Targeted operation in Karachi on the cards: Nisar


The government has proposed a targeted operation in Karachi against identified target killers‚ extortionists and criminals, Interior Minister Nisar Ali Khan said on Wednesday.

Addressing a news conference, Nisar said the next meeting of the federal cabinet would be held in Karachi where the blueprint of the proposed operation would be discussed.

He said the Sindh governor‚ chief minister and heads of intelligence and law enforcement agencies would be invited to the cabinet meeting.

Nisar said there was no need for a full-scale operation in Karachi, as a number of target killers‚ extortionists and criminals had already been identified and the city could get rid of these elements in a non-political and transparent targeted operation.

The minister said the government would be proposing that law and order being the provincial subject‚ the chief minister of the province should act as captain of the team and all federal agencies and resources would be put at his disposal to ensure success of the operation.

Nisar said a committee consisting of representatives of major political parties having presence in Karachi and known media and business figures was proposed to be formed to oversee the operation, so that no one could raise an accusing finger towards transparency and fairness of the operation.

The interior minister said the Rangers director general categorically told him that the situation in Karachi was controllable, provided the law enforcing agencies got freehand and there was no political interference.

He said action would be taken by civil armed forces and police against those elements against whom evidence was available and once action was initiated, no one would be spared irrespective of his political affiliation.

Nisar added that intelligence reports suggested that a majority of target killers‚ extortionists and criminals had political affiliations and the situation in Karachi would improve only if “we rise above party interests and political expediencies”.

About MQM’s demand for handing over Karachi to the army‚ the interior minister said he understood MQM’s concern that the time had come to take firm action against criminals in Karachi, but handing over the city to the army would not be in the interest of both the army and people of Karachi.

He said the federal government would present a detailed plan before the cabinet meeting in Karachi, but it was willing to modify it or replace it with another one if reasonably proposed by the provincial government.

Nisar also categorically stated that no decision about an operation in Karachi had been taken at the moment and any progress depended on the outcome of the cabinet meeting on Karachi.