Karachi operation to be expanded, speeded up
The decision was taken in an apex committee meeting chaired by the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif and attended among others by Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad Khan, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah, Corps Commander Karachi Lt General Naveed Mukhtar, Director-General Sindh Rangers Major General Bilal Akbar, Inspector-General of Sindh Police Ghulam Hyder Jamali and Sindh Chief Secretary Siddique Memon.
After the meeting, COAS General Raheel Sharif said that the Pakistani people and army would not hesitate in rendering any sacrifice to safeguard the borders of the country. He vowed to continue “across-the-board operations” at an increased tempo and hunt down the terrorists who committed heinous acts.
The special session of the apex committee was held at Corps-V headquarters in Karachi a day after the Safoora Chowrangi bus firing tragedy targeting the Ismaili community.
The special session reviewed the progress of the ongoing targeted operation in Karachi and also the strategy by the agencies concerned for arresting the culprits behind the Safoora Chowrangi tragedy.
The meeting resolved that indiscriminate action would be taken against the criminal elements and their abettors to apprehend them regardless of their political, religious, linguistic, religious, and sectarian affiliations.
The meeting took the decision that the patrolling system of law-enforcement agencies and intelligence system in the suburban areas of Karachi would be beefed up for conducting operations against criminals hiding out in such areas.
The meeting decided that a system of vigilance and checking at exit and entry points of the city would be made further stringent.The meeting decided that relevant government and law-enforcing officials would be appointed purely on merit through a transparent process in the entire Sindh, including Karachi, for the long term sustainability of the targeted operation against criminals.
The apex committee decided that all the channels of funnelling finances to terrorists would be checked and completely blocked and for the purpose all the LEAs and intelligence outfits concerned would work together. There would be a system in place to keep an eye on those providing financial assistance to the terrorists for stopping them from abetting terrorism.The special session resolved that meetings of the apex committee would be held on a weekly basis for meaningful and purposeful discussions.
The meeting decided that civil and military intelligence outfits would further beef up their mutual relations for the sake of the ongoing operation against the terrorists and criminals. The apex committee decided to form a sub-committee for coordination and building a synergy between the military and civilian intelligence efforts for optimum utilisation of intelligence-based operations against criminals.
The meeting reiterated the commitment to continue the targeted operation on across-the-board basis and irrespective of any discrimination. The operation is purely against the terrorists and would reach a logical end, resolved its participants.
The chief of the army staff also approved a Counter-Terrorism Office at the V Corps headquarter with an intelligence sharing cell. “The decision of the COAS would make the operation more effective and target-oriented,” said the Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah in a statement issued after the Apex Committee’s meeting. The chief minister termed the meeting encouraging and said it would strengthen the targeted operation.
The meeting decided to establish a surveillance/ monitoring system to keep an eye on activities of criminals in the city. It was also decided that community policing at station house officer-level would be evolved.
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah told the apex committee that Rs3.4 billion police upgrading package was assured by the prime minister when the targeted operation was launched in Karachi but the commitment had not been fulfilled. “This has exerted an additional financial burden on the shoulders of the Sindh government.”
The chief minister said on the occasion when the operation was launched, the prime minister had promised to give Rs3.4 billion Police Package but the commitment had not been fulfilled so far. “Under the package, the police were to be equipped with most sensitive gadgets/equipment and vehicles like armoured personnel carriers (APCs),” he said.
The Chief of the Army Staff, General Raheel Sharif, assured the chief minister that he would provide all the equipment to the Sindh Police, including APCs, within a month if the government of Sindh sent him a detailed list. The chief minister told the meeting that the Sindh government had launched the Karachi targeted operation purely from its own resources, which were already very meagre.