• Home minister says action will begin in Sukkur, Larkana divisions after Eid
• Before launching operation, govt to ask chieftains to settle tribal disputes thru talks, says Murad

KARACHI/SUKKUR: For the umpteenth time, the Sindh government has announced that a “large-scale operation” will be launched after Eid in riverine areas against heavily armed groups of bandits who have established a reign of terror in several areas.

The announcement was made by Sindh Home Minister Ziaul Hasan Lanjar when he told a press conference in Karachi’s Bilawal House that the operation would be launched after Eid in Sukkur and Larkana divisions.

Accompanied by Local Government Minister Saeed Ghani, the home minister said: “After Eid, a large-scale police operation will be carried out to combat robbery and criminal activities in the rural regions of Sukkur and Larkana divisions. There’s a zero tolerance for any crime in Sindh.”

In Kandhkot, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah also spoke about an operation in collaboration with the army and Rangers but unlike the home minister was stopped short of announcing a time frame.

Speaking to the media in Dari Sundrani where he had gone to offer his condolences on the death of the wife of MPA Abid Khan Sundrani, he said: “Tribal feuds have destroyed peace in the upper Sindh region.”

He said that his government would first engage all chieftains in these areas to convince them to get all their disputes settled in order to stop violence. He said if this did not work, an operation would be launched to eliminate dacoit gangs.

He disclosed that he had discussed the proposed operation with Interior Minister Mohsin Naqvi during his recent visit to Karachi.

The CM said he did not know the source of military-grade weapons being used by dacoit gangs.

He, however, reiterated his government’s determination to wipe out the gangs and restore complete peace in the region.

The talks of an operation, even a military operation, were not new.

First, the then Sindh cabinet had in March 2023 approved an operation clean-up and then the caretaker cabinet took up the matter in its meeting on Sept 14, 2023 and decided to launch a massive operation in the riverine area and shutdown of internet services. The Sindh Apex Committee had on Sept 22, 2023 approved yet another time a comprehensive joint operation with army and Rangers against dacoits in the riverine areas.

However, the operation against dacoits in riverine area remained merely in pipeline for one reason or the other.

Body formed to find ‘missing’ child

Speaking at the press conference, the home minister also spoke about the progress of investigation into the case of seven-year-old Priya Kumari, who had gone missing in August 2021 from her residential area in Sanghrar village of the Saleh Pat Tehsil in district Sukkur.

“A high-level committee has been formed to investigate the Priya Kumari case. DIG Javed Jiskani will lead the committee also comprising Shaheed Benazirabad SSP Tanveer Tunio and SSP Amjad Shaikh.”

He declared that all individuals involved in the kidnapping of Priya Kumari would be put behind bars.

The Sindh government has already anno­unced a reward of Rs5 million for anyone who can provide information about Priya that helps the police in the search for her recovery.

Published in Dawn, April 1st, 2024

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