KARACHI: The military’s top command hinted on Thursday that the Rangers-led operation in Karachi, which has been continuing for more than four years, was not going to end anytime soon and that it would “continue to maintain normalcy” in the city.

The resolve came when Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa during his visit to the Karachi corps hea­dquarters and Malir gar­rison underlined the imp­ortance of peace in Karachi.

“At corps headquarters, the chief of army staff was given update on security situation of the province especially Karachi and operational preparedness of the corps,” said a statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) after his visit.

During his visit, Gen Bajwa appreciated efforts made by Pakistan Rangers, Sindh, for restoration of peace in Karachi.

The operation, which was launched in September 2013, has been successful in improving sec­urity situation in Karachi to a large extent as the city after witnessing years of bloodshed on sectarian, ethnic and political grounds has started to show signs of stability. However, the metropolis has witnessed a sudden surge in some other criminal activities in recent months with street crimes remained the top challenges for law-enforcement and security agencies.

The army chief’s message that “efforts” for sustainable peace in Karachi would continue suggested that the paramilitary force-led operation, that allows Rangers policing powers, would continue.

“The army chief hailed performance of Pakistan Rangers Sindh in maintaining improved security in the metropolitan,” the ISPR statement said.

It said: “He said that peace in national economic hub Karachi is vital for security and stability of Pakistan. COAS said that efforts will continue to maintain normalcy in Karachi and the Province. Later, the army chief addressed officers of Malir Garrison. He appreciated officers for their professional excellence towards defence and security of the country.”

Published in Dawn, March 2nd, 2018