ISLAMABAD: Three back to back meetings held on Wednesday in the Presidency on the situation in Karachi resulted in a decision taken by the coalition partners in the provincial government to authorize President Asif Ali Zardari to hold political negotiations with all political forces for bringing peace and normalcy to the metropolitan city besides taking appropriate administrative and law and order measures for the purpose.
Spokesperson to the President Farhatullah Babar said that the decision authorizing the President to hold political negotiations was taken at the first in the series of meetings of the Sindh cabinet comprising of provincial ministers belonging to the PPP, ANP, PML-Q and PML-Functional and chaired by President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani. The meeting reiterated Government resolve to restore peace in Karachi at all cost and to bring the culprits to justice regardless of their affiliations, if any.
The meeting that lasted for over two hours was attended among others by Mr. A. Rehman Malik, Federal Minister for Interior, Makhdoom Amin Fahim, Federal Minister for Commerce, Senator Dr Babar Awan, Chief Minister Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah, and members of Sindh Cabinet belonging to all coalition parties in the province. Matters concerning law and order situation, coalition matters and performance of various provincial ministries were discussed during the meeting.
The President during the meeting called upon all the political forces to complement Government’s efforts in bringing peace and normalcy to the city and to bring the criminal elements to justice. He said that we believe in taking along all the political forces on the issues of national importance and would continue to do so in future also. He said that Karachi was not only the economic hub of the country but also a factor of social and political stability and had international significance.
The President called for emergent administrative, political and law and order measures to bring peace to Karachi. Addressing the coalition partners the President said that we have to resolve this issue ourselves and at the earliest keeping in view the importance of this city and its role in the economy of the country. The representatives of coalition parties also spoke on the situation in Karachi and put forth various suggestions to address problem of peace and security in the city.
Home Minister Sindh Mr. Manzoor Hussain Wasan and Chief Minister Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah briefed the meeting about the recent situation in Karachi and the steps taken so far to restore peace. Briefing the meeting, Chief Minister Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah said that police and rangers were fully prepared and motivated to maintain peace in Karachi.
The President said that the meeting was very important which could be gauged from the fact that the issue was being debated almost simultaneously in the National Assembly and he had convened it in the month of Ramadan at a short notice. Fateha was also offered for innocent people who have lost their lives during the recent wave of killings in Karachi. Farhatullah Babar said that the larger meeting of coalition partners was followed by another meeting of the President with the PPP Ministers in the province during which not only the subject of peace in Karachi was taken up further but the performance of various PPP ministers was also reviewed.
On a question by the President about the implementation of his previous directives to release funds for strengthening the provincial police the provincial finance minister informed that the first installment of 450 million rupees of the five billion rupees package for revamping the Sindh police had been released. The President directed that the remaining amount should also be progressively released to meet the police demands for vehicles, APCs, bullet proof jackets, helmets, weapons and other accessories, he said. Yet another smaller meeting, the third in the series, was held soon thereafter to further fine tune the proposals in the first meeting to carry out negotiations with all political forces and take other measures for bringing normalcy to Karachi. – Onlinenews