Karachi unrest: Baloch insurgents present in Lyari, PM told

Rangers promises peace in 15 days in return for ‘free hand’.

Express August 23, 2011


Law-enforcement agencies have revealed that terrorists from an outlawed Baloch insurgent group are present in the troubled Lyari neighbourhood of Karachi and stoking the ongoing violence in the city.

According to sources, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani was told in a briefing on Monday that the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) – which is behind the Balochistan insurgency – has been promised a safe haven in Lyari by ‘some quarters’.

Officials from spy agencies, paramilitary Rangers and police briefed the prime minister on the unabated violence in the financial capital of the country.

Sources quoted the acting director-general of Sindh Rangers as telling the prime minister that his paramilitary force could control the situation within two weeks, if given ‘free hand’ by the political authorities. He sought powers to chase the terrorists and target killers even if they take shelter in the offices of any political or religious party.

The Rangers chief held out a firm assurance that his force could restore peace in the violence-plagued city with the help of police, if given full powers.

However, he added that planning of all operations should be the sole prerogative of his forces.

Officials of the intelligence agencies told the prime minister that they have gathered information about all ‘no-go’ areas in the city. On the basis of this classified data, they said, an operation could be launched against miscreants in the city.

Sources said that the Sindh police chief stood out during the briefing
due to his ‘non-serious attitude’. When asked to brief the meeting on the Karachi situation, he presented a long list of demands to the prime minister. His demands included more armoured and bulletproof vehicles and weapons.

The meeting took notice of the IG police’s ‘non-serious attitude’.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 23rd, 2011.

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