Task Force to check cases of extortion: Malik

KARACHI:A special task force will be set up with representation of political parties to look into cases of extortion in Karachi, said Interior Minister Rehman Malik here on Monday. “Task force will comprise police, rangers, FIA, ISI and two representatives each of PPP, MQM and ANP,” he said while addressing a press conference at Chief Minister House after presiding over a meeting on law and order situation along with Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah.He said Karachi was  the economic hub of the country and it was duty of the government to protect the life and property of the business community here.he Minister said that after checking the target killings in the metropolis, the government will fully concentrate on cases of extortion.“I extend stern warning to the extortionists to desist from such activities as it was now their turn,” the Minister said with  full determination.Rehman Malik said that during a meeting with the high ups of police, rangers and other concerned authorities along with Sindh Chief Minister, the law and order situation in the province was reviewed in detail.He appreciated the role of police and rangers in curbing the target killings and other related crimes in the city.“There were 37 target killings and 88 murders in Karachi during January 2011,” he pointed out while referring to the statistics of the Police Department.He urged the media to differentiate between the cases of murders and target killings.He said during the first month of the year, 29 accused have been arrested while 30 cases were detected.The accused arrested in killing of doctors during the year 2010 were  13 who had affiliations with various  religious groups.About the performance of Capital City Police, Karachi, he said that during the year 2010, over 1956  encounters took place, 692 gangs busted, 90 dacoits killed while 2332 dacoits and other criminals were arrested.At least 5956 cases were registered against persons involved in possession of illicit weapons while 5,861 were arrested and 5267 pistols were recovered besides other illicit arms, he added.
Rehman Malik said that his Ministry will continue to extend a helping hand to the provincial government by sharing intelligence information etc. to control the law and order situation in the commercial hub.He said that his ministry has made several proposals to the government to bring changes in the Arms Act with strict penalties to check proliferation of illicit arms in the country.He also ruled out any change in the Blasphemy Law.Talking on the occasion, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah said that personnel of police were being duly rewarded for their outstanding performance while plots were being given to the families of those who sacrificed their lives in the line of duty.“Law and order cannot be controlled without the help of the political parties,” he observed – APP