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A soldier from Pakistan's paramilitary Rangers forces is silhouetted against the rising sun as he stands guard in the Lyari area of Karachi.—Reuters Photo

KARACHI: Police are using rival gangsters belonging to the Arshad Pappu group in the ongoing Lyari operation, which is primarily launched against the defunct People’s Amn Committee, sources said on Saturday.

With their faces covered, unknown men, as young as in their early teens, were seen guiding the police and helping them identify suspects during the daylong gunbattle that took place on Friday and Saturday.

“It reminded me of the early 1990s when law-enforcement agencies patronised and brought along Mohajir Qaumi Movement-Haqiqi men to the Landhi and Korangi areas when, operation against the Muttahida Qaumi Movement was launched,” said a senior media person, who was covering the daylong operation.

The masked men were seen moving around with impunity in Lyari on Friday, stopping and checking people present there or passing through the area on motorcycles, newsmen and local sources said. A senior police officer, requesting anonymity, admitted that the police had sought assistance from Arshad Pappu’s men in identifying the hideouts and suspects.

“We need the help of locals since it’s a very complicated and tricky place for carrying out an operation,” the officer added.

On Friday, the police requested newsmen covering the Lyari operation not to expose the masked men.

However, Karachi police chief Akhtar Husain Ghorchani dispelled the impression that police were using rival gangsters in the ongoing operation in Lyari.