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Lyari residents run across the street to avoid being caught in the violence.

KARACHI: The government has given 48 hours to ‘miscreants’ active in Lyari and elsewhere to surrender their weapons and ordered paramilitary Rangers to take positions along with police to weed out criminals.

Addressing a press conference here on Thursday, Mr Malik asked people to give the government one month to expose the elements who were involved in terrorism and destroying Karachi’s peace.

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah and Information Minister Shazia Marri and Special Assistant to CM Waqar Mehdi were present at the press conference.The chief minister said the government had devised a strategy to weed out criminals and claimed that the situation had improved. He said the action was being taken against criminals and not against any community.

Mr Malik said all those in possession of illegal weapons, including rocket-launchers and grenades, must surrender them within 48 hours at the nearest police station or a Rangers checkpost. He also said that those who were not wanted in a case about any heinous crime and found to have been forced into that crime would be dealt with mildly.

He said the government had also decided that any weapon recovered by police and Rangers during a general operation after 72 hours would be dealt with severely in accordance with the Anti-Terrorism Act and the house where such weapons were found would be destroyed.

The minister said the action by police and Rangers would be across-the-board in an area where writ of the government had been challenged.

He said a meeting on law and order had found that the operation in specific areas had achieved its targets. He pointed out that criminals had destroyed the water and power supply network. He directed the organisations concerned to restore water and power supply within 24 hours.

Mr Malik said the 72-hour deadline had been given on the demand of people of Lyari who had asked to give peace a chance.

He said Rangers and police had been directed to take over all entry and exit points to ensure that no weapon was allowed to go in and no criminal left Lyari or did anything detrimental to peace.

The minister said 36 cameras with digital lines had been ordered to be installed in the next four days and these would be controlled and monitored by the police headquarters.

He said police had been given four helicopters fitted with machine-guns to monitor activities of terrorists. A local monitoring system through highly sensitive apparatus was also being ordered to keep an eye on the Lyari town, he added.

Mr Malik said the method employed by terrorists in Malakand-Swat or Balochistan was traced in Lyari where all sorts of elements were challenging the writ of the government.

He said the action had taken a long time because police had not anticipated that terrorists were equipped with such deadly weapons.