KARACHI: While dismissing speculations about a “political solution” with the members of the banned organisation, Peoples Amn Committee (PAC), Interior Minister Rehman Malik said on Sunday that the PAC members “could not be called politicians” and that there was no possibility of drawing them into negotiations.
Speaking to the media during a visit to Lyari, Malik said that they should “surrender, prove their innocence and then they will have every right to become politicians.”
Responding to a suggestion given for handing over the criminals to the Punjab police, the interior minister said that if they thought such an action would save them, they were mistaken. “The Punjab police, too, have to work according to the law,” he said, adding that the constitution does not allow one to commit crime in one district and get prosecuted for it in another.
“If they think that with [Pakistan Muslim League — Nawaz’s chief] Nawaz Sharif’s support they will become leaders or if they think they will be safe under the PML-N umbrella, then they are mistaken. If they have committed a crime and are wanted by the police, then law will take its own course,” he said.
Malik said that that there were some “smart people” in Sharif’s party who would not accept criminals into the PML-N.
The interior minister said that there will only be “targeted operations in Lyari”, adding that the police “did not lose the battle” and in fact, it was his initiative to pull out the forces from Lyari in order to foil criminals’ plans to spread terror in the city.
Malik said that he was widely criticised for the ceasefire, re-positioning the police and giving the miscreants 48 hours to surrender but he did not pay heed to the criticism and that it was “tactical re-positioning”, the results of this strategy were visible now.
The minister said that the names of suspects had been added to the exit control list (ECL).
When asked what would happen after the 48-hour deadline was over, he said, “Don’t think that after 48 hours, we will go and attack with guns. I want to give the people of Lyari a feeling of security.”
“I want them to know that if the Rangers and the police are there, they are there to protect them, not to conduct an operation against them.”
He said that orders for food supply and resumption of electricity in the the neighbourhood had been given and that it will be done within a day or two adding that concerned authorities would assess the damages caused by the operation and the affected would be compensated.