The operation against extortionists under the directives of President Asif Ali Zardari will not be specific to an area or group, clarified Sindh information minister, Shazia Marri, on Saturday.
Addressing a press conference, she said that not only Lyari, but also all hideouts of extortionists operating in different areas will be targeted. “Action started by the police should not be considered a one-sided operation against an ethnic group,” she said. “We are trying to get rid of criminal elements irrespective of their party affiliation and areas.”
Referring to the orders of President Zardari, she described the operation against extortionists as an indiscriminate action against those who have made the lives of innocent people miserable. The government started the action from Lyari, which is a stronghold of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP). “The same action will be replicated in other areas,” she said.
Marri said that extortion is not a new issue but it has been developing over the years. “We appeal to all political forces and other groups to come forward and help the government in eradicating this nuisance.”
She made it clear that no citizen would suffer injustice during the ongoing operation against the criminals, adding that PPP has raised its voice whenever innocent people were affected in the past
The media was also briefed about the ruling party’s performance during the past four years along with the achievements of the Sindh government.
The blame game
Criticising the Pakistan Muslim League- Nawaz (PML-N) leadership, she said that they were misguiding people through fake promises while condemning the PPP government and leadership.
“It is interesting that the people distributing laptops are those who are responsible for introducing the Kalashnikov and drug culture in the country and are the brainchild of dictator General Ziaul Haq.”
She accused the PML-N leadership of looting and plundering public money and then running off to another country, while leaving other party leaders to face the dire consequences of former military dictator, Pervez Musharraf. “If they [PML-N] were sincere with the people of this country, then they would have spent time in jail instead of escaping with a few suitcases,” Marri said, adding that Pakistanis are aware of those leaders and workers who faced a tough time in prison.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 25th, 2012.