Stemming unrest: Malik orders immediate removal of party flags

Interior minister vows more security at flyovers and overhead bridges.

Hafeez Tunio April 02, 2012


As Karachiites brace for yet another wave of violence to hit the agitated metropolis, a high-level meeting on Sunday decided that “indiscriminate action would be taken against criminals” in a bid to restore the flagging law and order situation.

The meeting was chaired by Interior Minister Rehman Malik and Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah and was attended by Sindh Home Minister Manzoor Wassan, the Sindh chief secretary, home secretary, DG Rangers and representatives of other law enforcement agencies.

Malik revealed that security officials had been directed to remove flags of all political parties from buildings in the city. Malik said flags should be removed from government properties within 24 hours. “If flags are not removed within the given timeframe, the concerned SHOs will be held responsible.”

From now on SHOs are expected to follow through on this directive, he said. However, he said political parties may plant their flags on special occasions after clearance from local authorities.

He said the administration would identify certain “sensitive areas” and establish more police checkpoints there.

“The seven sensitive areas of Karachi now have increased police presence; sharpshooters have been placed near flyovers and there will be frequent patrolling by the security officials,” Malik stated.

A committee, comprising the commissioner of Karachi, DIG Police, AIG Special branch, and other law enforcement officials, was also formed, which will be tasked with controlling the law and order situation in the city.

While addressing the meeting, the chief minister said that President Asif Ali Zardari has directed authorities concerned to take “indiscriminate action against culprits”.

Reacting to reports that target killers often use flyovers and overhead bridges to shoot people, the meeting decided to establish check posts along all bridges to ensure they are under constant monitoring of law enforcement officials.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 2nd, 2012.

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