Peace to be restored in Karachi: PM
* Musharraf mulls action after new Karachi bomb attack
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Zafarullah Jamali on Tuesday said the government would take steps to maintain law and order in Karachi.
Talking to reporters after the National Economic Council meeting, the prime minister said the government had already taken some steps in this regard.
Acknowledging that President Pervez Musharraf took serious note of the terrorist attacks and had said that steps would be taken to maintain law and order in the city, the prime minister said the government was working on many options.
“The government has already taken some measures and will take some more to maintain law and order in the future,” he added.
When asked to comment on the conflict within the Pakistan Muslim League, especially differences between him and PML chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, the prime minister said there were no differences among the party leaders. He said all party members were friends and would work together for Pakistan’s benefit.
Sindh Chief Minister Ali Mohammad Mehr, who was also present, agreed the government had taken several steps for peace in the province.
Asked to comment on reports that the government wanted to replace him, he said they were all rumours.
Meanwhile, Interior Minister Faisal Saleh Hayat on Tuesday said the federal government had asked the Sindh government to ensure law and order in Karachi, reminding it that this was the provincial government’s responsibility.
Talking to journalists, he said the government had formed four investigation teams to probe the recent attack on an imambargah, terrorist attacks and the murder of Mufti Nizamuddin Shahmzai in Karachi.
He said the present wave of terrorism was a desperate effort by terrorists to destabilise the government.
He also said that as part of the pre-emptive measures under the standard operating procedure, the government had declared ‘high alert’ at sensitive installations and places in Karachi.
Asked whether the government would make administrative changes in the province, Mr Hayat said changing the administration was not a solution. “The federal government will carry on supporting the Sindh government,” he added.
“The present administration arrested 171 terrorist recently. Karachi is one of the cities where the administration and police have broken the terrorist’s networks,” he said.
The federal minister said there was no need to ask the army to maintain law and order in Karachi. He said Rangers and other paramilitaries were already cooperating with the provincial government.
AFP adds: President Pervez Musharraf was on Tuesday planning steps to combat the violence afflicting Karachi after a fifth attack in a month left 19 people dead.
“He will make an important decision that can save the lives of people and address the law and order situation,” Information Minister Sheikh Rashid said. He expected the announcement in the next few days.
Sheikh Rashid denied that authorities had lost control of Karachi. “We haven’t lost control, but there is a lack of information and inadequate handling by the Karachi administration,” he added.
President Musharraf was “gravely concerned” over deteriorating security in Karachi, Sheikh Rashid said.