KARACHI: Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Memon said that the Sindh Cabinet had unanimously decided to conduct targeted surgical operations in nine troubled areas of Karachi.
Addressing a press briefing in Karachi following the exhaustive Sindh Cabinet meeting with the Prime Minister, Memon said that it had been decided to conduct targeted operations in nine troubled districts of Karachi.
Memon added that the Prime Minister had also held discussions with coalition partners and hoped that the operation would bear positive results. He added that the operation would take action across the board and would be free of any influence from individuals or political parties.
Allegations by the MQM
Memon deplored the allegations levelled by the Muttahida Qaumi Movement against the PPP calling them “baseless” and being “fed” from some sources. He termed the call by MQM leaders to provide protection to one segment of the society as unreasonable.
The Information Minister said that the PPP did not indulge in name calling or levelling allegations against coalition members and allied parties, neither did it believe it was its policy to indulge in extortion, forcibly collecting Zakat, Fitra and animal skins.
In response to a question, Memon said that if any member of People’s Party had called MQM a terrorist organisation then the party would take strict disciplinary action against such a member.
PPP against criminals
Memon said the PPP government had taken action against criminals including Rehman Baba and Arshad Pappu.
The Minister added that target killers who had been arrested were subject to a neutral investigation which included teams comprising members of the ISI, Military Intelligence, and other law enforcing agencies.
He added that the government and even the journalist community was aware of when and where the tradition of bodies stuffed in gunny bags started. And which where from did weapons started arriving in Karachi and under whose patronage.
Memon said that the PPP did not support terrorist organisations neither did it support arming its party members.
Memon urged the media to desist from reporting unsubstantiated stories. He urged them to report responsibly and after verification of facts.
Memon said that they would release videos which disclose the truth about concocted news stories.
Altaf calls for Gilani’s resignation
Responding to a question about Altaf Hussain calling for PM Gilani’s resignation, Memon said that they respected the views of the MQM chief. However he said that calls for resignation should have also come when there was an operation on the Lal Masjid and when Akbar Bugti was killed.
Earlier, it was learnt that the the Prime Minister had given his approval for a targeted operation in Karachi.
According to a statement reportedly made by Sindh Home Minister Manzoor Wassan, nine locations had been identified for a first phase of the operation to restore peace in Karachi. Wassan said that Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani had given his approval for the operation which does not involve any action from the army, The Express Tribune understands.
The Sindh Cabinet which held a meeting with the PM over the worsening law and order situation has decided to use Police and Rangers to take action against criminals across the board. Wassan said that the Prime Minister was briefed over the complex tussle between the extortionists, target killers and the land and drug mafia.
Meanwhile the government has decided not to interfere with MQM’s call for a day of mourning on Tuesday.
A press briefing is expected shortly.
MQM chief calls for Gilani’s resignation
MQM chief Altaf Hussain has called for Prime Minister Gilani to resign since he has failed to protect the people.
He said that Gilani's government had failed to provide protection to the people of Karachi and especially the Urdu-speaking community.
Gilani chairs Sindh Cabinet meeting over Karachi
Prime Minister, directed the provincial government and the heads of law enforcement agencies to take stern and indiscriminate action against the culprits who had made the city unsafe for the people. "This is unacceptable and the culprits must be brought to justice by awarding them exemplary punishment," he added.
The Prime Minister made it clear that the situation in the city had to be brought under control.
He urged the coalition partners and other stakeholders to jell together and extend their full support to the law enforcement agencies which were fully committed to protect the lives and properties of the citizens.
The Prime Minister said that the law enforcement agencies were fully capable of delivering effectively with the full backing of all stakeholders.
Chief Minister of Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah, Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik and Minister for Religious Affairs Syed Khursheed Shah were also present in the cabinet meeting.