Army chief vows to go to any length for terror-free Karachi

Lauds efforts of Rangers, law-enforcement agencies

Our Correspondents January 28, 2016
Gen Raheel Sharif. PHOTO: FILE


Army chief General Raheel Sharif vowed on Wednesday to go to any length to make Karachi terrorism-free as it was decided to accelerate the ongoing operation in the megalopolis against criminals, including target killers and extortionists.

The decision came as Gen Raheel visited the Corps Headquarters in Karachi and chaired a special security meeting to review progress achieved in the targeted operation in the city.

Apex committee decides to intensify Karachi operation

The five-hour-long meeting was attended by senior military and intelligence officials, including DG ISI Lt Gen Rizwan Akhtar, DG Rangers Maj Gen Bilal Akbar and the DG Military Intelligence, said a statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).

“He [Gen Raheel] was briefed in detail regarding the ongoing Karachi operation, including intelligence-based operations,” it added.

The army chief has visited Karachi on multiple occasions to review the security situation and progress made in the targeted operation which was launched in September 2013.

At Wednesday’s meeting, Gen Raheel appreciated efforts of the paramilitary Rangers and other law-enforcement agencies in improving the security environment.

He also commended the intelligence agencies for “achieving major breakthroughs in unearthing various terrorist networks, dismantling terror infrastructure and severing their linkages with terrorist cells and bases outside Karachi”.

The army chief “vowed to go to any length for a secure and terror-free Karachi to ensure a peaceful and fearless routine of daily life for the people of Karachi.”

A security official told The Express Tribune that the meeting decided to speed up the Karachi operation with a focus on criminals responsible for targeted killings and extortion in the city.

I don't believe in extension and will retire on due date: army chief

During the operation, the Rangers and police have so far busted several terrorist groups and criminal gangs while apprehending over 80,000 suspects. Hundreds of criminals and terrorists, particularly those affiliated with different banned outfits such as Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and al Qaeda, have been killed.

The operation has brought about a steep decline in crime in Karachi with cases of terrorism, targeted killings, extortion and kidnapping for ransom down by half in 2015 in comparison with the previous two years.

However, retribution from terrorists has been costly for law enforcers with over 200 policemen and dozens of Rangers losing their lives.

While expressing satisfaction over the progress so far achieved by the Rangers and law-enforcement agencies in the operation, the official said both federal and provincial governments needed to complement these efforts.

The Army is reportedly not happy with the performance of provincial government to implement the National Action Plan (NAP). In recent months, differences between the Sindh government and the Rangers came to the fore after Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah accused the paramilitary force of overstepping their authority in probing graft cases.

Retribution from terrorists largely reduced, says Gen Raheel

Last month, speaking at seminar in Karachi, Shah insisted that the Rangers’ mandate should be restricted to action against terrorists, target killers, kidnappers and extortionists as they wrangled over granting an extension to the paramilitary force to remain in the province with special powers.

However, the security official made it clear that the paramilitary force and other law enforcement agencies would continue to make efforts to break the nexuses between corrupt elements and criminals in the city.

The official said the case of Dr Asim Hussain, a close aide of Pakistan Peoples Party president Asif Ali Zardari, was a ‘classic example’ of how corruption was contributing in the rise of criminal and terrorist activities in Karachi.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 28th, 2016.


Naim Khan | 5 years ago | Reply General saab please stay for another 3 years, terrorists are not finished in Karachi and job is not completed. It's not finish yet, Rangers have arrested 1000's our military courts have only prosecuted FEW. I don't know if you remember sir late General Naseer Ullah's Karachi operation was more effective, but unfortunately BBB's government was demolished and Nawaz Sharif came in Power and worst happened operation was STOPED by Nawaz government. MQM flourished under Nawaz government, WORST thing happened to those Police Officers, who were part of that operation they were all KILLED ONE BY ONE BY MQM ( over 200 police officers ). Please don't leave unfinished job. If Nawaz Sharif should had kept General Naseer Ullah Babar on the job, it would have been all over and we would have saved so many lives including lives of those 200 police officers. Sorry to say Pakistani politicians are problem to a solution. And yet MQM flourished more under Mushrif government, it's an Indian backed organisation you know it we know it.
Parvez | 5 years ago | Reply Please also address ' economic terrorism ' (corruption ) as well.
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