Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani on Wednesday night directed Director-General Rangers Sindh Ejaz Chaudhry to ensure safety of the business community and address their concerns.
He issued the order following a meeting with a 30-member delegation of the business community at the Corps Commanders Headquarters in Karachi. The delegation included presidents of the Karachi Chamber of Commerce, Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry and heads of various industrial zones.
During the one and a half hour long meeting, the businessmen expressed their concerns regarding the law and order situation. They demanded a permanent role for rangers in policing, establishment of new rangers pickets at key locations in industrial zones and certain constitutional changes that would ensure speedy trials of criminals in the courts.
According to KCCI President Muhammad Saeed Shafiq, it was an important session for the business community “because it is only the army chief who can ensure that our concerns are addressed.”
(Read: Volatile city - Army chief takes stock, weighs in on Karachi)
According to Shafiq, the meeting was arranged at Gen Kayani’s desire. “Till the last minute we believed that we were going to meet the corps commander,” he added.
Gen Kayani agreed with the businessmen that constitutional changes are needed to rectify the weaknesses inherent in the country’s laws, Shafiq said.
Although the businessmen were happy with the ongoing ‘surgical operations’, they demanded permanent deployment of rangers in the city to ensure that the criminals who have fled the operations do not return to the city.
The army chief directed DG Rangers Ejaz Chaudhry, who was also present in the meeting, to establish a two-digit helpline for businessmen and general public.
(Read: Decrease in Karachi target killings is temporary: DG Rangers)
Gen Kayani also directed Chaudhry to establish check posts at the entry and exit points of the industrial zones and increase patrolling in the city. A military statement said that Corp Commander General Muhammad Zahir ul Islam briefed the army chief about the law and order situation in the city. He was also briefed on the Sindh flood and relief efforts being done by the army.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 22nd, 2011.