Interior Minister Rehman Malik explained the strategy behind launching targeted operations in Karachi. His comments, delivered at the State Guesthouse, came in a short while after former Sindh minister Zulfiqar Mirza had launched a public tirade against Malik.
According to Malik, “The business community vowed to strike and decided to leave the country. Everybody was talking about calling the army in to control the situation. In this scenario, the prime minister and Sindh chief minister directed me to devise the strategy. So I worked as per the orders of the government. I had a meeting with the Sindh chief minister and it was decided that targeted operations will be conducted. The crackdown in Karachi was only being carried out against criminals who are the enemies of innocent people. Targeted operations based on ‘real-time intelligence’ under my supervision were being carried out in Karachi. I issued clear instructions to the DG Rangers that ‘As per intelligences reports you can go to the areas and you don’t need my approval anywhere. Just send me the information.’ And that is the exact pattern which was followed.”
Malik also spoke about the operation in Lyari, which was met with protests by its residents. According to the interior minister, he had information that 18 Urdu-speaking people had been abducted and were being held in a Lyari neighbourhood. Malik explained that he had to take action to have the men released. “This operation is not against Lyari and its people but against criminal factors.”
According to Malik, a total of 103 suspects were arrested on Sunday from Allama Iqbal Colony, Zehri Para, Dhobi Ghat, Usmanabad and Jinnahabad. He said that the government would continue to act until the “miscreants” are completely eliminated and peace prevails in the city.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 29th, 2011.