While trying to appease the industrialists who have urged the government to deploy the army in Karachi, Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik said on Saturday that banned militant outfits and the bhatta mafia were involved in violence in the city.
Talking to the representatives of the SITE Association of Trade and Industry at the SITE office, he said he had evidence of the involvement of al Qaeda, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi in Karachi’s violence.
He said that the government would bring over 100 arrested criminals on the media in the next 48 hours.
The business community has warned that it may soon raise its own private force to defend its areas if law enforcement agencies fail to control violence. After the police made some high-profile arrests, gangsters attacked them on Friday night, killing five policemen and injuring several others.
Speaking on the occasion, Sindh Home Minister Manzoor Wasan said that the PPP had lost two governments on the pretext of security situation in Karachi. “How could we let the situation go out of control this time, as this may cost us our government?” he said.
“We can control the situation on our own. We think that the situation is not that bad that there is a need to call the army,” he said.
Seraj Kassim Teli, patron-in-chief of the SITE Association asked Malik to provide licensed weapons to ordinary people so that they could defend themselves.
The industrialists wondered why the police needed to take orders from the government every time they had to confront criminals. “Why do you say ‘we have given the police shoot-at-sight orders’ every time you come to Karachi?” one of them said. Talking to The Express Tribune, SITE Association of Industry Chairman Wahab Lakhani said that his colleagues had confidence in the government that it could improve the security situation.
Lakhani said that such a dialogue between the government and the business community was essential to resolve the problems of business community.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 21st, 2011.