KARACHI: As the wave of violence gripping Karachi for a almost a week continued unabated and at least 12 lives were lost on Monday, the government decided to launch a surgical operation immediately without discrimination in all areas which have become combat zones because of target killings, extortion, land grab and politicised turf wars.
This was stated by Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Memon on Monday night while briefing newsmen about the decisions taken by the government after two marathon sessions of the Sindh cabinet at the Chief Minister’s House with Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani in the chair.
Terming the meetings as fruitful which will give positive results, Mr Memon said there was a detailed discussion on the situation in the city and different options were taken into consideration.
He said the government had decided to ensure protection of the life and property of people by foiling all conspiracies being hatched against democracy because if Karachi was disturbed, the entire country was disturbed.
He said no pressure would be tolerated and the operation would be launched across the board and all coalition partners and Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad, who was present in one of the meetings, were taken on board. They endorsed the decisions.
Asked if the army’s help would be required for the operation, the minister said the army is our heart. “Our police were demoralised by the killing of those police officials who had taken part in the last operation. However, now the IG Police and the DG Rangers have asked the government to have faith in their force saying they have full capability and capacity to eliminate the network of terrorists despite whatever weapons they had or whichever country’s support the terrorists enjoyed.”
Referring to allegations hurled by the MQM leadership against the PPP and the government, Mr Memon termed them baseless and said it could be because of some misunderstandings or due to wrong information. The allegations were not true. “The PPP is a federal party which exists not only in all provinces but in each and every part of the country and Azad Kashmir.”
He said the PPP never harboured terrorists and neither body-bags nor extortion was its culture.
He said the PPP considered the MQM as a federal party. Its complaint against one community was not justified. He said not only Urdu-speaking people were killed in the recent spate of killings, but also people who speak other languages.
The Urdu-speaking people were in majority in the PPP in Karachi and were ‘our brothers’.
The minister said he would not respond to similar allegations despite many PPP workers and leaders like Abdullah Murad and Munawwar Suhrawardi were killed because such attitude would only help anti-state forces who want to see the nation divided.
“We don’t like peace to be disturbed and that is why we want reconciliation with the MQM in accordance to the policy laid down by Shaheed Benazir Bhutto.”
Mr Memon said the MQM had raised an issue with reference to the Amn Committee and Lyari gang war. He said Lyari was a constituency from where Shaheed Benazir Bhutto and President Asif Ali Zardari were elected.
It was clear to everyone that when the drug and gang war was introduced in the locality. He said it was a fact that Rehman Baloch was killed during the PPP government and it was PPP government which had arrested 107 target killers and even the killer of MQM MPA Raza Haider was arrested, therefore there was no truth in the allegation that the killers were not being arrested.
He said there could be a delay but the government was determined to take every criminal to task.
He said the government was determined to make the city weapon-free so that Karachi should once again become a cradle of peace.
The minister also appealed to the media not to report any speculation without confirmation. He said some of those who had attacked policemen in Chakra Goth were arrested and others would soon be nabbed.