Although there has been a reasonable improvement in the law and order of Karachi, this peace is transitory and not permanent, came the assessment from Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik here on Saturday.
“The government is working on long-term plan to bring permanent peace to the city,” he added.
The minister met the business community at the Korangi Association of Trade and Industry where he came to discuss ongoing government efforts to improve security in the city. Businesses were up in arms over the kidnappings for ransom and extortion that had risen to unimaginable proportions.
In one example, Malik referred to a Rangers raid on Sunni Tehreek offices before Friday’s strike. He said that people would see more raids if any political or religious party tried to force shops and businesses to shut down during strikes they call. “Yes, I ordered [it],” he said. “I own up my orders, as I want to give a tough message to those who want to ruin the peace of Karachi.” He went on to say that powerful gangs who thought the government could not catch them, are now behind bars. “People will see more action against all criminals regardless of their political affiliation,” he added.
When questioned, the minister assured that the Supreme Court decision on target killings in the city would be implemented in letter and spirit. “I respect the verdict,” he said. “Those alleged target killers who are in police custody will be booked if they are found guilty in investigations.”
The president has approved Rs5 billion to improve Karachi’s security and half of this money will come from the federal government, with the remaining from Sindh. The money would be used to train and recruit police officers and buy them vehicles to increase their reach. He took the occasion to announce that three high-ranking police officers would be awarded the Pakistan Police Medals for playing key roles in arresting criminal gangs.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 9th, 2011.