KARACHI, May 1: The Sindh government has called out the Army, Rangers and the Frontier Constabulary (FC) to help the police maintain law and order in the province, especially in the city, in the wake of a strike call given by the Muttahida Qaumi Movement for Thursday, Home Secretary Brig (retd) Mukhtar Ahmed said.
Addressing a press conference at his office on Wednesday, the home secretary said the Army was patrolling in the city and the situation was also being monitored through an aerial patrolling.
“Rangers and the FC personnel are also there to assist the police to maintain peace. Security has been provided at all exit and entrance points, railway stations, inter-city bus terminus, etc,” he added.
He said as the referendum was over, the strike call was given. “Peace is necessary for all and we will not allow anybody to disturb it. If anyone does not go to his work, it’s his will and it happens on such occasions. But if any terrorist activity is committed on the occasion, there is the anti- terrorism law and we will take action accordingly against the terrorists.”
He said after a long time peace had returned to Karachi with economic activities gaining momentum and investment pouring in. If terrorist activities were initiated to sabotage the process, the government would strongly react to the situation and would not allow anyone to take law into his hands.
Referring to previous strikes, the home secretary said it had been observed that a pattern was followed and people were terrorized on the eve of a strike, so that life could be paralyzed. “We have talked to transport and trade bodies, who have assured us that they would carry out their business activities on Thursday and will break the myth of the strike.”
He hoped that transports would also be on the roads and shops and markets would remain open. “We will provide the people maximum security. All government departments will remain open and no excuse would be acceptable for being absent from duty,” he maintained.
To a question whether the government had contacted the Muttahida Qaumi Movement to persuade it to take back the strike call, Mukhtar Ahmed said: “We are in touch with them and efforts are being made to convince them to take back the strike call.”
He said they (Muttahida) had some reservations and the government was attending to those problems and looking into it.
About the two explosions in the city on Wednesday, and whether there was any link of it with the strike call, the home secretary said: “Such blasts occur and we are not in a position to say right now whether it is a prelude to the strike call or anything else. We hope no such thing is there and it is a peaceful strike. However, any terrorist activity will be dealt with accordingly,” he added.
To a query about the arrest of suspected killers of the Muttahida leaders Mustapha Kamal Rizvi and Dr Nishat Malick, Provincial Police Chief Syed Kamal Shah, who was also present on the occasion, said: “Investigation into such incidents takes time and we do not make unjustified arrests.”
He said the police had arrested some suspects for their involvement in other terrorist cases and investigation was being carried out into the killing of the two former Muttahida legislators.