KARACHI: In the absence of political stakeholders, Chief of the Army Staff General Raheel Sharif reviewed the ongoing operation in Karachi on Wednesday and directed the authorities concerned to “continue [it]till its logical conclusion”.
Although Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah is so-called captain of the Karachi operation, it is for the second time that he was not invited to such an important meeting held at the headquarters of V Corps, better known as the Karachi corps.
On Feb 16, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was briefed on the operation at the same venue in the absence of the chief minister.
No political stakeholders invited to meeting on law and order
But the Wednesday meeting was completely a military affair, where the army chief expressed satisfaction over the intelligence input and progress of the Karachi operation.
ISPR chief Maj Gen Asim Bajwa said in a Twitter message that Corps Commander Lt Gen Naveed Mukhtar and Director General of Rangers Maj Gen Bilal Akbar had briefed the army chief on “operational preparedness, Karachi operation and latest law and order situation”.
The army chief observed that the operation had brought relief to Karachi as incidents of target killing and extortion had declined. He said the operation would remain across the board and indiscriminate and “continue till its logical conclusion”.
Apparently against the backdrop of the killing of a Karachi University teacher and human rights activist Sabeen Mahmud, the army chief directed intelligence agencies and Rangers to trace, apprehend and expose the perpetrators.
The army chief believed that the pattern of recent killings indicated a design which needed to be checked.
Another tweet by the ISPR chief quoted the army chief as saying that peace in Karachi was being given priority so that economy picked up. He vowed to continue to work with the people and the government “to finish all mafias”.
It was the army chief’s first visit to Karachi since the April 23 by-election in the NA-246 constituency won by the Muttahida Qaumi Movement with a huge margin.
Gen Raheel praised law-enforcement agencies, particularly Rangers, for maintaining peace during the by-election.