Pak launches operation in Karachi; 14 arrested
PRESS TRUST OF INDIA
Karachi, Aug 24: With no let-up in violence in Pakistan's commercial hub, security forces today launched a massive search operation to flush out terrorists, gangsters and other anti-social elements from the city, arresting criminals and recovering weapons from the affected areas.
The para-military Rangers that carried out operations in different parts of the city arrested 14 suspected criminals and also recovered a huge cache of arms and ammunition.
Calling it a 'surgical operation', heavily-armed paramilitary forces and police conducted house to house searches to roundup terrorists, target killers and kidnappers.
Brigadier Wasim Ayub said at a press briefing today that 14 arrests had been made and a large quantity of arms, ammunition, chemicals, explosive devices, extortion notes, mobile phones, heroin and charas recovered.
He did not elaborate on what kind of chemicals were seized but said they were used to make weapons.
"There is no political pressure on us to spare anyone or ignore any troubled area. We are carrying out the operations and raids on intelligence reports," the Brigadier said.
The Police and Rangers got into action after the provincial government came under increasing pressure to call in the Army to control the political-ethnic violence that has left over 500 people dead since early July.
While some 325 people were killed in the violence in July, the figure is 205 in August with around 100 people killed and 100 wounded in the last week itself.
Interestingly, no operation could be carried out in the crime-infested Lyari slum after residents came out and protested last night when the Rangers and police reached the spot to conduct raids.
The raids were not carried out after a shooting incident during the protests in which six people were injured.
The security forces comprising the Rangers fanned out into the worst-hit Lyari, Orangi Town, Malir, Gulshin-e-Iqbal, Ahsan Abad, Saddar and some other parts of the city, which had witnessed spate of incidents of firing during the past week.
The forces moved in after cordoning off the areas and blocking traffic movement.
The Mutthaida Qaumi Movement which is the biggest stakeholder in the city with the highest number of seats in the National and Provincial assemblies from here has alleged that criminals and separatists from Balochistan were operating out of Lyari with impunity and were involved in the violence, killings and extortion rackets with the support of some ministers in the Pakistan Peoples Party-led government.
The MQM has called for a unbiased and above board clean up operation in Lyari as the first major step to stop the ethnic, sectarian and political related violence.
Soon after the provincial cabinet met Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and the crackdown was announced, heavy presence of law enforcement agencies was seen in the city.
Businessmen, traders and shopkeepers say their businesses have been badly affected despite the pre-Eid shopping season due to the violence in the city.
The city was limping back to normalcy today after a complete shutdown was observed yesterday on the call of MQM to protest and mourn the killings.
MQM says the Urdu speaking Mohajirs who migrated from India at the time of partition were being targetted by the killers and criminals on basis of their ethnicity.
Lastupdate on : Wed, 24 Aug 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 24 Aug 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 25 Aug 2011 00:00:00 IST
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