PM likely to take hard line against MQM, PPP during Karachi visit

PM postponed his scheduled visit to Karachi on Monday to discuss 'policy guidelines' with the army chief: source

Abdul Manan June 30, 2015

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is expected to visit Karachi on Wednesday to issue a strong policy statement on the city’s security situation, sources privy to the development told The Express Tribune.

“The premier postponed his scheduled visit to Karachi on Monday as he wanted to discuss some policy guidelines with the military ahead of his visit,” an official source told The Express Tribune.

“PM Nawaz will visit Karachi on July 1 and is expected to deliver a strong policy statement on the Karachi situation,” the source said.

Read: PM Nawaz postpones Karachi visit

The development comes after PM Nawaz met with Army chief General Raheel Sharif at the PM House earlier today. “Matters related to Operation Zarb-e-Azb as well as return, rehabilitation and resettlement of Temporarily Displaced Persons (TDPs) came under discussion during the meeting,” a statement from the PM House read.

Regarding the meeting, the source said, “PM Nawaz and General Raheel Sharif discussed Karachi’s situation in the wake of BBC’s report on Muttahida Qaumi Movement, and Pakistan People Party co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari's stance on the ongoing Rangers operation against criminals particularly corruption and bad governance in Sindh government.”

Read: Karachi unrest: MQM received funds, training from India, BBC

The top civil and military leadership discussed an 'ideal' situation in which they were ready to 'spare' Zardari for the time-being but squeeze the party's financiers in Sindh, the source added.

Further, the source upheld that although Zardari has backtracked from his statement against the military establishment, the civil-military leadership have decided that the former president’s future course of action would determine where he stood.

"One of Zardari's biggest financial supporters might be in trouble as he purchased Sindh government land from Zardari,” the source added.

Read: Criticism against army is unacceptable: PM Nawaz

The source also said, “Rangers will continue operation against criminals, corruption and bad governance in Sindh come what may."

On the involvement of India’s premier spy agency, RAW, in Pakistan, the source said, “Pakistan' s representative in UN Maliha Lodhi has been summoned and will be asked to play a more active role in highlighting Indian interference in Pakistan’s affairs.

Read: Pakistan to alert UN on Indian involvement

Lauding Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar’s role in the cases against MQM, the source said, “Altaf Hussain's cases will be pursued in cooperation with UK authorities.”