More gestures of nothingness? – Vizier of reconciliation finally sees 11 political target killers


KARACHI – Law enforcement agencies have arrested 11 of the most-wanted target killers, who are responsible for killing over 100 citizens, disclosed Interior Minister Rehman Malik on Monday at a joint press conference with Sindh Chief Minister (CM) Qaim Ali Shah at the CM House. The press conference was held after a meeting to deliberate the law and order situation in Sindh, particularly in Karachi. The top brass of the Sindh Police and Pakistan Rangers- Sindh as well as others government officials attended the meeting.
“A criminal who has admitted to murdering 11 people is among them,” Malik said, adding that according to intelligence information, the target killers are associated with political parties.
According to an official handout issued from the CM House, participants of the meeting were informed that verification of the criminals’ political affiliation is underway, and complete details will be disclosed soon. Malik appealed to the leadership of all political parties to disown and discourage such elements, arguing that these men are using party flags for their criminal activities such as land-grabbing and kidnappings-for-ransom. Rejecting the notion that the government has been compromising the law and order situation because of its interests and reconciliatory politics, he claimed that action will be taken across the board and irrespective of political affiliations.
“Enough is enough. If any criminal is present within the PPP’s fold, even he will not be spared,” he said. Responding to a question, he said criminals were inside the People’s Amn Committee’s fold, and action will be taken against them as well. The interior minister claimed that courts are acquitting wanted criminals due to flaws in investigation as well as in the tenets of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC). He claimed, however, that the government was working on improving the prosecution’s job, and to remove flaws from the PPC.
Malik reiterated the government’s stance of not tolerating incidents of targeted violence and other crimes in the city, and issued directives to the police and Rangers for conducting joint operations against target killers.
At the same breath, however, both the interior minister and the Sindh CM accused the media for exaggerating targeted violence in Karachi and claimed that a total of 154 citizens had been killed since March 10, but only 44 of them were targeted. “It is important to distinguish whether the killings was targeted or not,” Malik said, adding that the media should report such killings only after confirming information from official sources. The situation portrayed by the media gives the impression that Karachi is like Baruit,” he said, arguing that “misreporting” by the media can adversely affect foreign investment in the country.