Govt plans conducting operation in Karachi

KARACHI: The provincial government has finally decided to conduct operations against criminal elements in different violence-hit areas of Karachi where the 4-day long carnage has so far claimed more than 80 lives.The decision emerged after a meeting chaired by Secretary Interior Arif Ahmed Khan here Wednesday.Source said the search operation would be conducted after imposing curfew in sensitive areas. However a final decision in this regard will be made upon Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah’s arrival in the city.Pakistan’s commercial hub shut down on Wednesday for a day of mourning after a fresh wave of violence that killed 12 people Tuesday.In the attack, gunmen opened fire in the Shershah scrapyard, killing 12 people late Tuesday. The dead included eight Pakistanis of Baloch descent, said Sharmila Farooqi, a provincial government spokeswoman.Footage on TV showed several small shops, including fruit and vegetable stalls, ablaze in Malir, a neighborhood on the outskirts of the city. Young men ran onto the streets, and police officers tried to keep the situation under control, the footage showed.The killings began on Saturday, ahead of a by-election to replace a provincial lawmaker murdered in August, raising fears of a new bout of instability in the city.The ongoing violence has killed supporters of Pakistan Peoples Part’s local coalition partners the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and the Awami National Party (ANP).

Both parties accuse each other of killing their supporters, fanning political tensions within Karachi that reverberate to the capital Islamabad.Karachi is plagued by ethnic and sectarian killings, crime and kidnappings.The government has not released exact figures, but rights groups say more than 260 targeted killings were reported in Karachi during the first six months of this year, compared with 156 during the same period in 2009 – Sananews