No intention to end Karachi operation anytime soon, says Prime Minister

Published: November 8, 2013
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An Express News screenshot of the PM at the press conference in Karachi.

An Express News screenshot of the PM at the press conference in Karachi.

KARACHI: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif  on Thursday spoke to the media in Karachi and announced that the Karachi operation had made a tangible difference in the city’s law and order situation, and the government had no intention to cut it off within a few months, Express News reported.

The premier was talking to journalists in a press conference held after his meeting with representatives from Karachi’s business community.

Nawaz Sharif said that security forces had arrested around 6000 suspected target killers, extortionists and kidnappers in the metropolis and though the operation could be improved further, there was no doubt it had affected the city’s security situation for the better.

“By and large, everyone from the business community has agreed that the operation has had positive results,” said the prime minister. “Nobody said that the situation was as bad as before.”

Nawaz Sharif was flanked by Governor Ishratul Ibad on one side and Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah on the other. He congratulated both officials on the success of the operation.

Nawaz agreed to the Governor’s request that a committee be formed to supervise the operation.

The PM went on to say that the government was aware that criminals from one province were taking refuge in other provinces, and Sindh, Punjab and K-P were all victims in this regard.

He promised due action against such criminals, adding that the courts must pursue an expeditious trial against every one of these suspects and take into account the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) reports provided by in this regard.

Nawaz Sharif said the country was facing serious challenges but strong decisions by a strong government could put things right.

The Prime Minister also announced the steps taken by the government to bring the economy back on track and resolve the crippling energy crisis.

‘Lay down arms,’ Nawaz tells Baloch rebels

Earlier, on his visit to the  disaster-stricken Awaran district of Balochistan, the PM asked Baloch rebels to lay down their arms and to work towards the betterment of the country.

Nawaz said there was nothing to be gained from fighting with the rebels, and that they were “our brothers” and there should be no motivation to take revenge from them.

After a major earthquake hit Balochistan on September 24 this year, the army began relief work in the province, which was made difficult by rebel activity in the region.

The rebels had charged the army with conducting an operation in the garb of relief work – a charge that Maj Gen Salik, who oversees the relief operations, strongly denied.

Relief work

While speaking to earthquake victims and tribal leaders in Awaran, Nawaz Sharif also announced the government’s plans to give Rs0.5 million in aid to the families of victims who died in the Balochistan earthquake. Those who were injured will also be given Rs0.15 million each.

He remarked that “while no specific worth can be put on life,” this financial aid is being being given to provide relief to the victims.

Nawaz said that Awaran should be turned into a “model district” and the government wishes to improve Awaran so that it is “no less then Karachi, Islamabad or Lahore.”

“[We shall] rebuild Awaran so that it looks like a beautiful city, not a village,” the premier said.

Nawaz also asked the victims in his address whether they would prefer that the government rebuilds their homes or if they would rather rebuild their houses themselves.

The government will take action to provide electricity via solar power to Awaran 24 hours a day, Nawaz continued.

He also emphasised that the government is bearing the cost of these relief activities and “did not take foreign aid” to fund it.

Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and Balochistan Chief Minister Abdul Malik Baloch were present with him during the address.

Quake

A 7.7-magnitude quake struck Balochistan on September 24, destroying thousands of mud-built homes as it spread havoc through Awaran and Kech districts and southwestern parts of the country. Awaran is counted among the most sensitive and insurgency-hit districts of Balochistan.

According to the USGS, the epicentre was 23 kilometres below the ground in Awaran district.

The death toll from the quake was at least 350 people with more than 800 injuries. The quake had destroyed access routes to many areas in the province, making it difficult to determine exact figures of the victims.

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Reader Comments (24)

  • A-No.1
    Nov 8, 2013 - 3:27PM

    Monetary inducements are not going to work. Mr PM you cannot buy everyone. Stop depriving the province.

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  • Qabil Khan
    Nov 8, 2013 - 3:42PM

    November Herald magazine reveals that the Army account is based on fiction. The magazine’s reporter who was present in Awaran contradicts the military account completely. It’s a pity the Express Tribune doesn’t bother to do any investigative journalism. Recommend

  • javaid randhawa
    Nov 8, 2013 - 3:52PM

    What you mean mr A-No.1 He is prime minister and talking to his own people. Why did you not help victims ur self. Is he buying or selling something. Change ur mind and let the people be helped by any means. Or think that troubled or disturbed area have been away from education or health facilities because of people like you.Recommend

  • Khurram
    Nov 8, 2013 - 4:14PM

    Balochistan is on bioling point…please control it Mr. PM….build balochistan….build Pakistan…Recommend

  • Nov 8, 2013 - 4:22PM

    The lion of Punjab gave a tiny, little, weak statement.
    Does not sound like a confident,upright, man. demanding
    action. More like wishy washy wimp.Recommend

  • It Is (still) Economy Stupid
    Nov 8, 2013 - 4:33PM

    “Lay down arms, help your country: PM’s plea to Baloch rebels” No such plea to TTP, JUD, LeT, good taliban, Punjabi Taliban and other non state actors.Recommend

  • Ali
    Nov 8, 2013 - 4:39PM

    @ A-No.1 It seems money does work. Arent you working on RAWs payroll?Recommend

  • Legend
    Nov 8, 2013 - 4:57PM

    Why don’t you start by returning the missing persons first?Recommend

  • A-No.1
    Nov 8, 2013 - 5:13PM

    @javaid randhawa:
    Wrong. He is talking to people deprived & exploited by a larger province.

    @Ali
    Yes money does work. The larger province will be grabbing more from this besotted province.Those on Punjab parties payroll should look introspectively? Get it.Recommend

  • Identity!
    Nov 8, 2013 - 5:21PM

    These arms are the results of last 65 years of exploitation by the Punjab and establishment. For last 65 years many generations of these small provinces; Balochistan, FATA and KP were exploited through continues injustices, corruption, suppression, killing, fake propaganda wars, violation of constitution, occupying resource, using and ignoring of other provinces and cashing on their faith. Mr. PM your own history is the best example of how brutally the dictators violated the constitution, challenged the role of law and writ of the state. How brutally they defame you and had occupied the government. And how simply the dictators is going to run away and released as an innocent…although he and his supportive establishment having blood of innocent on their hands. How can you violate the rule of law and how can you proof the system of justice? Other provinces need their identity, rights, justice their lost integrity and honor. The Nation must be deal as Nation not a servant and army must serve as servant and protector not a killer and monster. Recommend

  • Sodomite
    Nov 8, 2013 - 5:39PM

    @Kublai:
    I saw it on TV and you are right. What a wimp and he was reading from his notes.Recommend

  • ali ahmed
    Nov 8, 2013 - 6:19PM

    not a confident man..reading from the note book while talking with Obama….offer talk to rebels with out precondition…

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  • Zaida P
    Nov 8, 2013 - 6:22PM

    Can somebody remind me what was it exactly that Pakistan has done for the Baloch since 1947?

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  • Pradhan
    Nov 8, 2013 - 6:29PM

    It is strange to hear this call from a country’s PM where the national narrative is that it is foreign funded arms struggle and yet he appeals to them to lay down their arms.

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  • eiman
    Nov 8, 2013 - 6:41PM

    quake hit the province and Mr nawaz sharif has visited the province now. its all about defining ones pirorities and shows how much government cares for them every one seems to be concerned about negotiation with zaliman why not with balochs then. if negotiation is the only way to peace why not with balochs why not PML-N and PTI take stand on this

    Recommend

  • Jibran
    Nov 8, 2013 - 7:10PM

    @Zaida P:
    You talk to the Army Men (Colonels, Brigadiers, Generals) privately… and you would know. They use extremely filthy language for Balochistan. The level of contempt is unbelievable. I think it was the same for Bengal.

    Recommend

  • Nov 8, 2013 - 7:31PM

    @ Identity
    The Pukhtoons of KP were exploited by their Nationalist politicians and not Punjab. Pukhtoons
    like Ayub Khan and Ghulam Isahaq Khan were the strongest Presidents with longer tenures. The non-nationalist civilian and Military rulers have done unprecedented development work in KP
    As for FATA, it is controlled and administered by the federal government through a Pukhtoon Governor and not Punjab.

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  • Rex Minor
    Nov 8, 2013 - 7:59PM

    The Prime minister of the central Government in a democracy should act like one, and not demand, “lay down your arms” which sounds like the military Governor. Besides, how come that a major General of the army oversees the relief operations which should be the function of the Chief Minister of the province. Does the Pakistani General get paid for civilian duties?

    Rex Minor

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  • M. Emad
    Nov 8, 2013 - 8:39PM

    The Baloch do not trust Pakistan Army. Why not Pakistan government allow foreign aid NGO/agencies to work earthquake hit areas of Balochistan?

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  • Baluchi Cynic
    Nov 8, 2013 - 9:37PM

    Can we, the public generally and people of balochistan particularly, beg you to stop playing these old antics; it is nauseating. We know solving Baluchistan issue is not remotely on your agenda. actually no one cares about anything in this country. what they really care about is themselves and their own families (though i doubt that).
    do not make Awaren-Karachi and Gwadar-Dubai , just let us live a peaceful life. but no, that won’t happen, the wound was left to fester until it transformed into a cancer.The People of Baluchistan are paying the price of other’s incompetence,greed and lack of spine. caught between liberationists and anti liberationists the suffering of a common man/woman never makes a news story. but such empty drum beating does.
    Mr.(not so) sharif sb,who do you think you are fooling?

    i have not heared emptier words than these in my entire 30 years of existence. i dont know, may be that’s how they used to rule colonies ; a differnet message for the domestic audience and a totally different one for the wretched..This one was meant for Karachi,Pindid,Islamabad audience.

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  • Muslim Leaguer
    Nov 8, 2013 - 11:08PM

    Only the dedicated & sincere leadership of PMLN has the ability and is proving credibility in bringing peace & prosperity in Karachi when all other political parties have their armed militant wings!

    Recommend

  • aaaaa
    Nov 9, 2013 - 1:21AM

    @It Is (still) Economy Stupid:

    Thats a good thing. Theres a difference between the baloch and the TTP et al. The latter should be hunted and killed till their last man. Baloch have fought and indeed struggled for equal rights, its a separatist insurgency. The Baloch are the ones that should be talked to.

    Recommend

  • Zen.one
    Nov 10, 2013 - 1:45AM

    Some kind of rehabilitation schemes, particularly in the Lyari area of Karachi should be started, as the turmoil and the law and order situation has an economic angle to it as well. Huge number of frustrated youths, looking for jobs and trying to earn their livelihood but in vain, is the root cause of all sorts of crimes.
    I would request the government to start some economic rehabilitation schemes in general for the whole of Karachi, with particular importance given to youths, in the context of Jobs, small loans, scholarships, higher education and other income generation schemes. Otherwise the operation will not get its desired result as more unemployed youths will join the gangs and will indulge in other criminal activities.

    Recommend

  • True.Balochi
    Nov 10, 2013 - 2:24AM

    @M. Emad:
    NGO’s are not safe in Balochistan, and can be attacked by BLA, and the government will be held responsible. BLA is sponsored, funded and supported by India, sitting in our western border in the guise of helping Afghans(consulates, training centers). Little did they know that Balochistan, unlike Bangladesh is not surrounded on three sides by India, and only three sardars namely Bugti, Mengal, and Marri tribes and even in that tribes, less than 5 percent people demand an independence. And let’s not forget that Pashtuns are about 55% of Baluchistan population and there is no insurgency in their areas. They are staunch supporter of Pakistan, so are the native Balochs.

    Recommend

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