KARACHI: The Sindh Rangers director-general warned on Tuesday that the current peace in Karachi might prove temporary and killings could return to the city if the additional powers given to the paramilitary troops were withdrawn.
DG Maj-Gen Ejaz Chaudhary, however, promised an indiscriminate action against criminal elements to put an end to the city mayhem.
“One must consider the effects of any action,” he told a press conference.
“So you would have witnessed that since we launched the operation against criminals the situation is much better. But let me add that this is all due to the powers we have been assigned and the situation may prove temporary if such powers are withdrawn. So for a lasting peace and to control the law and order situation the Rangers must continue to have these powers.”
He said Rangers troops accessed the ‘no-go areas’ in the strife-hit localities and also busted torture cells, adding that the paramilitary force was not unaware of any such place before the operation was launched.
Answering a question, he said supply of arms to the city from other countries could not be ruled out.
“You must have seen the video of Ajmal Pahari (suspect) in which he confesses that he was trained in India. So we can’t rule out this possibility. Let me assure you that we would not let killings reemerge in the city if such powers remain intact with the Rangers,” added the Sindh Rangers chief.
Answering another question, he said street crime was primarily the subject of the city police while the Rangers were deployed in the city to assist them for maintaining law and order.
“Before we launched the operation, many killers managed to escape but still we pursue them and hope to get the desired results within the shortest possible time,” he added.
“The number of suspects arrested is not low. We are moving on intelligence reports and the force is taking due care to prevent the common people from any inconvenience.”
He said the Karachi situation demanded a long-term and comprehensive strategy and one should not expect that the state of affairs could be normalised through a “switch on or off” mechanism.
“So what I am trying to explain is that the recent violence could revisit if the current comprehensive strategy is not followed. And it’s known to everyone that a strategy, or policy, is designed by the government not by the Rangers.”
He said the government took the decision to launch the current action on Aug 22 and the provincial home department on Aug 25 finally issued a notification empowering the Sindh Rangers.
“We are determined to press ahead and continue our efforts against criminals. We would stop only after bringing an end to the violence.
These efforts should be seen as a campaign rather than a short-term strategy,” he added.