Sindh’s apex committee on Sunday decided to mount a crackdown on the local collaborators of international spy agencies like India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and those involved in acts of terror across the province.
The committee has formed a task force – headed by the home secretary and including Sindh Rangers, police and intelligence agencies officials – to coordinate with it and provide it with technical support.
The meeting, held with Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah in the chair, was attended by the province’s top officials including Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad Khan as well as Corps Commander Karachi Lieutenant General Naveed Mukhtar and Sindh Rangers’ Director General (DG) Major General Bilal Akbar.
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“Today’s meeting reaffirmed its commitment to wipe out terrorism from Karachi and other districts of Sindh and continue the targeted operation till all terrorists are eliminated,” Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon told reporters.
He said the committee also decided to take terrorists, as well as their abettors and financers, to task.
“A comprehensive list is being prepared of abettors and financers of terrorism and soon the law enforcement agencies will take action against them,” he said.
The minister said terrorists affiliated with banned outfits were on the run and the apex committee had decided to keep pursuing them.
“All the hideouts of these terrorists will be destroyed in Karachi,” he said, adding that action would also be taken against the seminaries being run by these militant organisations.
Hinting that differences between the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) led Sindh government and security establishment were resolved, Memon said that the provincial government would give more powers to the Rangers and the provincial assembly would endorse such a measure.
“The Rangers will be given more powers and the recent extension given in these powers will be endorsed by the Sindh Assembly by a majority vote,” he said.
Defending the provincial government, Memon said the law and order situation in Sindh was better than other provinces, but some elements were creating hype.
The minister contradicted his own government’s earlier claims that the Rangers conducted an operation in government offices without taking the CM into confidence. “The chief minister is the captain of the targeted operation and all Rangers’ actions are being carried out with the CM’s approval,” he said.
However, he refused to say whether the raid on the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) headquarters, Nine Zero, was also carried out with the CM’s approval.
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Official sources said that during the meeting the military leadership expressed concern over the slow implementation on the National Action Plan and feared that it could cause problems in rooting out terrorism.
The chief minister assured the corps commander that the government would try its level best to implement the decisions being made by the apex committee, they added.
Bilawal meets corps commander, DG Rangers
Before the apex committee meeting PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto held a meeting with the corps commander Karachi and the DG Rangers.
Sources said the PPP chairman expressed his party’s concern over Rangers raids at various government departments and stressed the need to have strong coordination while taking action against criminals and their supporters.
Sources said the military leadership was of the view that due to negligence on the part of the Sindh government some terrorists had taken shelter in government departments.
DG Rangers Major General Bilal Akbar assured Bilawal that no unilateral action would be taken. “All actions will be taken in consultation with the Sindh government,” he was quoted as saying.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 13th, 2015.