Karachi operation to continue until peace restored: Nawaz

* PM says Sindh, federal govts have still a long way to go in fight against terrorists, criminals * Lifts ban on recruitment in civil armed forces

KARACHI: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said on Friday that the operation in Karachi will continue and that he would himself monitor it.
Chairing a high-level meeting to review the law and order situation in Karachi the prime minister directed that the ban on recruitment in the civil armed forces be lifted. The meeting was attended by Sindh Governor Dr Eshratul Ibad, Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Commerce Minister Khurram Dastagir, Sindh chief secretary, Sindh inspector general of police and Intelligence Bureau director general. 
On the recommendation of Rangers director general, Prime Minister Nawaz directed that, in order to ensure merit and transparency, army recruitment centres be engaged to facilitate recruitment in police. “Recruitment should be purely on merit, without any favouritism,” he emphasised. Keeping in view the protection of witnesses, investigators, prosecutors and judges, the prime minister directed shifting of anti-terrorism courts to Malir Cantonment. 
He directed the Sindh government to expedite the establishment of isolated high security prisons in Sindh for internment of terrorists. The meeting agreed in principle that additional police stations would be established in Lyari. The prime minister directed the Interior Ministry to expedite the blocking of illegal mobile phone SIMs and use of biometrics system for issuance of SIMs in the future. He also directed the Sindh government and Rangers to take action against land mafia, which is illegal occupation of state lands. 
“ Karachi operation will continue. The sacrifices rendered by our security agencies are invaluable. Karachi operation is not a routine issue for the government and I will regularly monitor and supervise operation and will help the provincial government in resolving their issues,” Prime Minister Nawaz stated. He said that a high-level meeting has been called in the next week in which all the chief ministers, chief secretaries and inspectors general of police will participate to review the overall security situation of the country. 
“We will also discuss coordination mechanism regarding border control, intelligence sharing and combating terrorism,” Nawaz said. He said police and Rangers should use new anti-terrorism laws to combat terrorism, extortion and land-grabbing. Earlier, the Sindh chief secretary briefed the prime minister on the law and order situation and apprised him that 393 cases of heinous crimes have been registered.
Prime Minister Nawaz was told that illegal migration of foreign nationals was also causing the law and order problem. He was informed that fresh inductions in the police force were needed to strengthen the force. Nawaz appreciated the fast-track procurement of high-tech equipment for security purposes.
Separately, addressing the business community at exports trophy awards ceremony of the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), Nawaz said that better law and order in the country, especially in Karachi, was vital for the nation’s economic prosperity and development. Besides a large number of KCCI members, including leading industrialists and exporters, Sindh Governor Ishratul Ebad, Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah, Senior Minister of Sindh Nisar Ahmed Khuhro, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Federal Commerce Minister Khurram Dastagir Khan, Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon, Sindh Assembly Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani, former federal ministers Dr Farooq Sattar and Babar Khan Ghauri were present on the occasion. 
Nawaz Sharif said Karachi was the heart of the country and after taking over as the prime minister he had initiated interaction and held detailed meetings with all the stakeholders, including the main political parties and business community. He said this resulted in a consensus that a well-planned and across-the-board operation was unavoidable to rid the city of crimes, mainly terrorism and kidnapping for ransom. He expressed satisfaction that the operation was going in the right direction. However, he said, the federal and Sindh governments still have a lot to do on this account to achieve the desired results. “Every individual should play his role for the peace, prosperity and development of the country,” he pleaded. Nawaz regretted that foreign businessmen hesitate to visit Pakistan, particularly Karachi. He said that the government was committed to restoring peace and security to the satisfaction of every citizen of the country and to attract foreign traders and investors in the country. The prime minister appreciated high spirits of the business community who, he said, were working hard for the economic prosperity and development of the country.

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