KARACHI: May 6: A strong and targeted action against criminals and gangsters will be taken in Lyari and there will be no dialogue with such elements.

This was decided at a meeting presided over by Interior Minister Rehman Malik and Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah at the Chief Minister’s House on Sunday.

“There can be no dialogue with criminals,” Mr Malik said while speaking to the media after the meeting and added that members of the banned People’s Aman Committee would be dealt with according to the law.

At the meeting a consensus was reached on carrying out a strong action against criminal elements, he said.

Sources said Sindh IG Mushtaq Shah, home secretary Khawaja Siddique Akbar, additional chief secretary (home) Sohail Akbar and Sindh chief minister’s principal secretary Agha Jan Akhtar also attended the meeting.

The meeting focused on measures to be taken to maintain law and order in the province, particularly in Karachi.

The interior minister vowed to take action against the banned People’s Amn Committee operating in Lyari and other parts of the city.

He said a targeted operation would be carried out in Lyari, which he claimed, was the hub of gang warfare elements.

“The Rangers and police are in Lyari only to protect the people not to harm them. No one will be allowed to take the people of Lyari hostage. The criminals cannot take the cover of political parties,” he said.

“The action will be according to the law and not an extrajudicial one,” he added.

He said President Asif Ali Zardari, who had ordered the operation, was worried over the Lyari situation, adding that the government would compensate the people affected by the operation for their losses.

“I assure you that the people of Lyari will be compensated. The president and the prime minister have also directed the authorities concerned to release funds for development in Lyari,” Mr Malik told the media.

He vowed that the criminals who had been captured would be presented before the media, adding that names of Lyari gang warfare suspects had been put on the exit control list.

Replying to a question about the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s offer to People’s Aman Committee chief Uzair Jan Baloch to join the PML-N, Mr Malik said: “I don’t think they will accept him. But if they do, it will be an illegal act.”

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