Karachi operation should be above politics: Nawaz

* PM seeks cooperation of all stakeholders to find a ‘joint solution’ of issue * COAS wants police in Karachi depoliticised * Committee set up to oversee Karachi operation

KARACHI: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday stressed that the operation being conducted in Karachi to cleanse it of criminal elements should be above politics.
Chairing a meeting over the law and order situation in Karachi, the prime minister apprised the participants about the government’s efforts towards restoring peace in the city. He said that terrorists and criminals should be brought to justice without any political prejudice. “We started the operation in Karachi with the agreement of all political parties and stakeholders,” he added. The prime minister said, “Being the economic hub of the country, Karachi holds special significance for me.”
“We want cooperation of all stakeholders in Karachi and I see no one who will not want to improve the law and order situation of Karachi, therefore, a joint solution is the only option,” he added. Nawaz emphasised upon the capacity-building of the Sindh Police and appreciated acquisition of services of retired army personnel for maintaining law and order in Karachi. He said it was very natural that there will be retaliation from extremists and terrorists, but the government is prepared for that, and all possible support will be provided to law enforcement agencies to counter the retaliation.
Prime Minister Nawaz directed constitution of special committees to address any hurdle or grievance due to the Karachi operation. He reiterated that the present government implemented the Protection of Pakistan Ordinance with a view to deal with the menace of terrorism and bring criminals to justice. Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan told the meeting that state-of-the art equipment was being provided to the law enforcement agencies, and revealed that about seven hundred thousand illegal mobile SIMs have been cancelled. 
He further said that “once the 3G mobile technology is in place, we will further carry out a crackdown against illegal SIMs.” meanwhile, Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif told the meeting that the Pakistan Army was ready to provide any kind of support to the federal and provincial governments with hundred percent honesty and sincerity. “We will give our honest opinion and assistance whenever sought from us,” said the army chief. He also suggested that postings and transfers of police personnel should be depoliticised and called for equipping police with modern equipment and resources.
The meeting was attended by former president Asif Ali Zardari, Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad Khan, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Army Chief General Raheel Sharif, ANP Senator Shahi Syed, MQM Ex-MNA Syed Haider Abbas Rizvi, Jamaat-e-Islami Secretary General Liaqat Baloch, DG ISI Lt General Zaheerul Islam, Karachi Corps Commander Lt General Sajjad Ghani, Secretary to PM Javaid Aslam, Sindh Chief Secretary Sajjad Saleem Hotiana, Interior Secretary Shahid Khan, Law Secretary Zafarullah Khan, Intelligence Bureau Director General Aftab Sultan, Sindh Rangers DG Maj General Rizwan Akhtar, ISPR DG Maj General Asim Saleem Bajwa, Acting Sindh IG Police Ghulam Haider Jamali, CCPO Karachi Shahid Hayat, Karachi Commissioner Shoaib Ahmad Siddiqui and senior officers.

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