KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah said on Saturday that surveillance has been increased on the border areas between Sindh and Punjab following the ongoing operation Zarb-e-Aahan against gangsters in Punjab's Rajanpur district.
“In the aftermath of the ongoing operation against militants in the southern Punjab it is feared that the outlaws may sneak into the swamp areas of Sindh,” he said in a meeting with DG Rangers Sindh Major General Bilal Akbar, who called on him at the CM House.
Rajanpur operation: Army takes charge of Zarb-e-Aahan, says ISPR
While the DG Rangers told the chief minister on the ground and aerial operation against terrorists, overall law and order situation including targeted operations against criminals were discussed during the meeting, sources told The Express Tribune.
Meanwhile, Punjab operation and its probable impact in Sindh also came under discussion during the meeting. “It was decided in the last meeting that vulnerable border areas with Punjab would be sealed so that militants could not escape into the province,” Shah said.
The DG Rangers further briefed the chief minister about the surveillance of borders, saying the law enforcement agencies had been placed on high alert to stop any infiltration of militant groups into Sindh.
Moreover, Shah lauded the role of law enforcement agencies for restoring peace in Karachi and appreciated the sacrifices of Rangers personnel for bringing stability in the province.
Rajanpur operation: Troops launch ground, aerial offensive
The development came hours after the Pakistan Army took over the charge of a full-fledged ground and aerial offensive in Rajanpur against the notorious Chottu gang.
“Army troops have been deployed. Take over charge of operation. Cordon reinforced, police and Rangers already in operation will continue to participate under the army,” DG ISPR Lt-Gen Asim Saleem Bajwa said in one of his Twitter messages.
On Friday, army troops had joined the police, the 18th day of Operation Zarb-e-Aahan, in an effort to rescue 20 law enforcers abducted by gangsters three days ago.
At least seven policemen have been killed and another 20 taken hostage by the gangsters. Around 18 more police personnel are under treatment in different hospitals. Only three bodies of the seven slain policemen have been retrieved due to intense gunfights, with the gangsters threatening to kill the kidnapped policemen one by one.
Kacha Jamaal in Rajanpur district has served as a hideout of the Chottu gang for years and even has been named as Chottu Island by the locals. The island is about 11km in length and 6km in width.
Gangsters kill six, seize 15 policemen in Rajanpur
Ghulam Rasool, who is booked in about 154 cases of kidnapping and killings directly or indirectly, carries a head money of Rs2 million.
He has a fighting force less than 200 well-armed but untrained comrades. For the past three decades, the Rojhan sub-district has been the battleground among Mazaris, Gorchanis and Bugtis. All tribes have supported the gangsters to create a defensive shield against each other.