KARACHI: The Federal Cabinet Wednesday decided an across-the-board strict and targeted action against terrorists and other criminals to restore peace in Karachi, after holding multi-dimensional deliberations here at the Governor House.
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah will command this operation, while Rangers and federal intelligence agencies will support provincial government. Their services will be on the disposal of the Chief Minister. The Federal Government will be fully on his back, said Federal Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, while briefing journalists after the cabinet meeting. He was flanked by Governor Dr Ishrat-ul-Ebad Khan, Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah and Federal Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid. Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif chaired the Federal Cabinet meeting. It was also attended by the Sindh Governor and the Chief Minister, heads of provincial and federal law enforcing and intelligence agencies.
The meeting discussed in detail Karachi’s law and order situation and its possible solutions.The interior minister informed the reporters about the importantdecisions taken by the cabinet.The cabinet formed a committee, headed by the Chief Minister, which would comprise heads of law enforcement and intelligence agencies.Besides, an operational committee headed by the director general of Rangers has been set up. A representative of National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) will also be included in it, which will meet at least once a week.
Another committee comprising representatives of civil society, retired bureaucrats and journalists will be formed, he said. It will monitor the operation against terrorists, kidnappers, extortionists and street criminals, so it may not be assumed that the plan is against a particular section of society, groups, or has certain political agenda, he added.
For addressing legal issues and concerns, a legal committee has been constituted to revise and formulate laws, if needed.
It will include Prosecutor General of Pakistan and MQM Senator Barrister Farogh Nasim as a legal expert.The Interior Minister said the Rangers had been given extra powers so that they could arrest and investigate the accused.Rangers complain that due to lack of investigation powers the criminals can easily get themselves freed, he said.He said that federal intelligence agencies submitted a long list of criminals before the Cabinet, who were involved in heinous crimes but were scot free.
He said the Cabinet also assigned the Inspector General of Police the task of revamping the police and making it capable enough to efficiently deliver its duties.The Interior Minister said some more important decisions were also taken,but being of sensitive nature those could not be made public. However, thesewould be visible in the planned actions that follow.Nisar said that despite being governments of different parties in Sindh and at the Centre, they have decided to stand together for bringing peace in Karachi, a very important city of the country and an international economic hub.
All the major political parties, businessmen, intellectuals, journalists and the people in general have praised and supported the Federal Government’s initiatives and efforts for restoring law and order in the city, Nisar said.He said the socio-economic conditions here affected the entire country. Peaceful and prosperous Karachi meant a peaceful and prosperous Pakistan.“It is not the time to do politics but to join hands with all sincerity and seriousness to maintain peace and security of life and property in Karachi,” he said.
The Interior Minister informed the media about the features of the action plan.
He said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had flown here and spent two very busy days exclusively to find a viable and permanent solution to the Karachi issue, which had become a serious concern not only for the Karachiites, but for the entire country.He said Nawaz Sharif had thorough consultations and detailed discussions with heads of law enforcing and intelligence agencies, senior journalists invited from all over the country, epresentatives of all the main political parties and groups, business leaders representing trade and industryof the entire country before holding a marathon cabinet session.
He took very important decisions on normalising the city environment and to ensure better law and order here.“Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has come here neither in the capacity of Prime Minister nor as the PML-N chief, but as a Pakistani to share sorrows of Karachiites and help bring peace and prosperity to them,” he added.Nisar said that the Cabinet recommended an immediate action against the unregistered SIMs in the country, which are reported to be over four million.The cellular companies will be compelled to issue their SIMs under a clear policy and guideline, he said.
He said the Cabinet was informed by the law enforcing agencies that cancellation of unregistered SIMs would greatly help control crimes in Karachi.He said a police station in each district of Karachi would be made a modelwhere the rangers would be part of investigation teams.He thanked Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah for endorsing and supporting almost all the decisions taken at the Federal Cabinet meeting.He also thanked the Sindh Governor for facilitating the entire process of consultations and deliberations aimed at finding solution to the Karachi issue.
He said PML-N led Federal Government respected the mandate of Pakistan Peoples Party and Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) in Sindh and all other political parties in the country.Nisar said he would hold a press conference in Islamabad about the government’s planned action against Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan and other banned organisations. Some very important decisions have been taken which cannot be announced here, he said.He sought media’s support to the government’s positive actions keeping in view the welfare of the people and interests of the country.He urged the media to show responsibility while reporting, especially on the issues of national importance.
“Please, help us. Be our eyes and ears,” he appealed to the media.
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah praised Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif for taking initiatives and extending full support to the Sindh Government in restoring peace and security in Karachi.He noted that the Prime Minister had very fruitful meetings with the city stakeholders, including the representatives of all major political parties and groups, on Karachi issue.He said the Prime Minister sought opinion in the cabinet meeting on the demand for deployment of army in Karachi to maintain law and order there. But, the meeting differed to the demand and supported an operation led by the rangers, he added.
Qaim Ali Shah said Karachi is the issue of entire nation.
Every one is concerned over law and order problem in the city. Federal Government has come forward to help Sindh Government in this regard, he added.He said this action plan could be expanded and even, if needed, the laws could be amended.PPP, PML-N and MQM have their own political agendas, but on Karachi all these are on the same page and have only one agenda, he said.Sindh Governor Dr Ishrat-ul-Ebad Khan thanked the Prime Minister and cabinet members for taking important decisions and making sincere efforts to ensure peace and security in Karachi, which is a mini Pakistan.