Interior Minister Rehman Malik. — APP File Photo

KARACHI: Interior Minister Rehman Malik on Thursday gave a deadline of 48 hours for the criminals fighting in Lyari to surrender as the troubled area of Karachi remained tense and continued to portray the image of a battlefield on seventh consecutive day of the “grand operation,” DawnNews reported.

Speaking at a press conference along with Chief Minister Sindh Qaim Ali Shah, the interior minister warned the miscreants to get ready for stiff action if they fail to surrender before end of 48 hours deadline.

A meeting on law and order situation in Karachi was co-chaired by the chief minister Sindh and the interior minister earlier.

Briefings by the Inspector General Police Sindh and the Director General Rangers and intelligence agencies were given to the participants.

He said that the Rangers along with police will take part in the ongoing operation against the criminals by the deadline end. “A joint operation of police and rangers is inevitable in Lyari,” he added.

The minister said that provisional check posts for the Rangers will be stationed tonight.

He said that the houses will be set ablaze if any rocket launchers recovered from there.

Rangers and police have been directed to take over all exits and entry points to ensure that no weapon is allowed to go in or the criminals are not allowed to leave Lyari or do any other action detrimental to the peace of the area.

The minister said Taliban and banned outfits were also fighting against the security forces in Lyari.

He said that a strict line of action has been formulated against the miscreants. “Four helicopters equipped with machine guns will be observing the operation on ground. Latest satellite system will also be used for the surveillance,” he added.

The minister vowed that Karachi will be prevented from becoming another Swat.

Moreover, the interior minister announced Pakistan Police Medal for SHO Nawaz and Sitara-e-Shujahat for the DSPs and Pakistan Police Medal for SSP for demonstrating courage and leading role by them during the grand operation.

SSP CID Chaudhry Aslam, who is leading the operation in the area and survived during bomb attacks has also been given Sitara-e-Shujahat for his highly dedicated and professional courage demonstrated by him.

Considering the difficulties being faced by the residents due to the present ongoing targeted action, the chief minister ordered immediate provision of relief to the residents of Lyari.

Meanwhile, the locality remained tense and continued to portray the image of a battlefield with reports of at least 38 people including six security officials having been killed and over 100 others being wounded during the past week of the operation there.

The Karachi Board of Secondary Education has also postponed all examinations of classes nine and ten in the area.