KARACHI: The military establishment on Wednesday hinted that the Karachi operation that completed three years in September is not going to end anytime soon, with both the newly appointed corps commander and director-general of the Pakistan Rangers, Sindh, vowing to continue their “efforts for sustainable peace” in the city.

In a meeting with Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah held at CM House, Corps Commander Lt Gen Shahid Baig Mirza agreed with him that efforts were ongoing for sustainable peace in the city as decided in the last apex meeting. “In order to achieve sustainable peace in the city the government is now going to extend the operation against drug mafia, land mafia and those who want to destroy sectarian harmony in the province,” a CM House statement quoted the chief minister as saying.

The chief minister reiterated his government’s commitment to enforce the National Action Plan (NAP) in letter and spirit. He said Sindh had the honour to have held 17 apex committee meetings which led to effective strategy for targeted operation against terrorism, targeted killings, extortion and kidnapping for ransom.

“The operation produced best results only because when it was launched everyone, including apex committee members, law-enforcement agencies, federal government and its agencies were on board,” said the CM House statement while referring to Mr Shah’s discussion with Lt Gen Mirza.

The corps commander assured the chief minister of his support to make peace in the city sustainable which, he said, was in the larger interest of the people of Karachi and business community.

“The corps commander assured [the chief minister] that he would support the government and police as his predecessor had been doing. Peace in Karachi means peace in the country. There will be good teamwork against criminals,” claimed the CM House statement.

Earlier, Rangers DG Maj Gen Mohammad Saeed met officers and soldiers during his visit to various sectors of the paramilitary force in Karachi and vowed to continue peace-related exercise while expanding it to the entire province.

“Gen Saeed said the operation against the miscreants and terrorists who want to create obstacles to the restoration of peace across Sindh, including Karachi, will continue,” said a paramilitary force statement. “He lauded the Rangers’ role in the restoration of peace in Karachi as well as the measures of Lt Gen Bilal Akbar during his time as director general of the force. He expressed the determination that the Rangers, in cooperation with the people of the province, will foil the designs of the terrorists.”

Published in Dawn, December 22nd, 2016