ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani said on Wednesday that all parties will be taken on board on planning to deal with the situation in Karachi, reported Express 24/7 .
The prime minister, while chairing a Federal Cabinet meeting in Islamabad to review the security situation in the country particularly in Karachi, said that the government has taken all stakeholders on board over the situation in Karachi, and the Army chief was also briefed on steps taken to control the tension in Sindh.
He said that the Awami National Party (ANP) is an important ally and he has met the party's Sindh President Shahi Syed twice, adding that the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) also has an important part to play in restoration of peace in the city.
The prime minister further mentioned that Sindh Governor Ishratul Ebad is working hard to bring back peace in the entire province.
'Govt seeking political solution to Karachi situation': Awan
Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan on Wednesday said that since law and order was a provincial matter, the federal government could not unilaterally call army in Karachi, APP reported.
Awan said that the government is striving for a political solution to Karachi situation as past army actions in the city did not deliver the desired results.
Talking to media after the federal cabinet meeting, Awan said that the Sindh government wanted to utilize the services of Rangers, police and other civil law enforcement agencies to restore peace in the troubled city.
She said that the military operation in Karachi could only be a temporary solution but the government is trying to find a permanent solution through political means.
Nisar opposes Army deployment in Karachi
Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan firmly opposed the deployment of army in Karachi, reported Express 24/7 on Wednesday.
In a statement, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader said that a debate must be held before deploying the army in Karachi under the constitution.
He said that those demanding Army in the province are not well-wishers of the army, adding that the force will be trapped once it is in.
Khan also accused every militant group operating in Karachi for being supported by a political party.
He also criticised the role of President Asif Ali Zardari in solving Karachi’s issue.
Nisar said the PML-N is also considering calling a National Assembly session on the Karachi situation.
Shopkeepers protest against extortionists, close down shops
Shopkeepers in the Medicine Market in Arambagh area of Karachi closed down all shops on Wednesday in protest against the violence and activities of extortionists in the city.
They also burnt tires and blocked roads in the area.
Meanwhile, the chairman of the All Karachi Traders Union Atiq Meer accused extortionists of expanding their activities despite the government’s claim of taking strict action against them.