Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani spoke out against Karachi’s land mafia on Saturday, saying that land grabbers should vacate state property, worth trillions of rupees, within a month.
The premier made the statements while visiting his former professor Waris Mir’s residence here on Saturday.
“The people of Sindh, in particular, have stood up against land grabbers, extortionists, and terrorists and will not rest till these criminals are eliminated,” he said.
Action would be taken across the board against those who have robbed the state of its wealth, he added.
He also said that thousands of acres of land listed in the revenue record of the government would be retrieved.
The premier said that the federal government fully supported the operation taking place in nine areas of Karachi, and added that it was being conducted successfully.
Law enforcement agencies have been instructed to take action on credible intelligence and minimise collateral damage, he said.
Gilani said that peace in Karachi was critical for the economy of the country.
“We cannot afford the law and order situation to get out of hand. We will succeed, because it is the only option,” he added.
Army voices concern
The Pakistan Army reiterated its concern over the ongoing spate of violence in Karachi and called for an end to target killings in the commercial hub of the country.
Talking to a foreign news channel, military spokesperson Major General Athar Abbas said many innocent people had lost their lives to violence in the city.
He expressed hope that the joint operation by the Rangers and police would restore peace and rid the city of its criminal elements.
Abbas said, intelligence provided by Pakistan’s intelligence services was being used to target miscreants in the volatile regions of the city.
While expressing his views on the question of the new provinces, the PM said that the people of Southern Punjab felt that the issue of creating more provinces has been launched to sabotage their movement. The Pakistan Peoples Party leadership however, believes in consensus and would take a decision of national importance on that basis as it had done in the case of the constitutional amendments and other major changes, he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 4th, 2011.