PM Nawaz meets with DG Rangers and Corps Commander Karachi

KARACHI: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif held a meeting Wednesday with Director General (DG) Rangers Major General Bilal Akbar and Corps Commander Karachi Lt Gen Naveed Mukhtar during his visit to Karachi.

5512939f8aac4During the meeting at Pakistan Air Force’s Faisal Base, the premier was also briefed on the ongoing targeted operation in the metropolis.

The DG Rangers and Karachi Corps Commander also briefed the premier on the city’s law and order situation.

The premier was also apprised over the ongoing targeted operation in the metropolis and the investigation carried out after the recent raid and arrests at Nine Zero.

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah was also present in the meeting.

The Karachi operation will be brought to an eventual conclusion and peace will be restored in the city, PM Nawaz said.

Karachi operation not against any political party: PM Nawaz

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, while addressing an awards distribution ceremony of the Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) on Wednesday, said that the ongoing targeted operation in Karachi is not directed at any political party but only “criminals”.

His statement comes in the wake of the raid earlier this month by Rangers on the Nine Zero headquarters of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) in Karachi’s Azizabad neighbourhood.

The raid, an unprecedented move by law enforcement agencies, drew heavy criticism from MQM leadership who alleged that such search operations were akin to “terrorism”.

The premier shed light on the government’s accomplishments in its fight against terrorism by terming the ongoing military operation against terrorists as “successful”.

PM Nawaz said that the government is on its way to eliminating terrorism from the country and that ongoing operations have destroyed militant networks and forced them to flee.

The premier reiterated his stance that the operation in Karachi was started with the consensus of all political parties. He further said that the operation in Sindh is not against any specific political party, but is targeting “criminals”.

He said that due to the operation, many crimes such as target killing, extortion and kidnapping for ransom have been curbed in Karachi. A peaceful Karachi is crucial to the economic progress of the country, the prime minister said.

He added that the 20-point National Action Plan (NAP) is being implemented successfully in all provinces of Pakistan.

The premier further said that the country has suffered the loss of a great number of lives and billions to its economy due to the fight against terror, hence the government will not stop until the fight reaches its logical conclusion.

He added that the government is striving to not only steer the country out of energy crisis but provide cheap electricity to the citizens and industries.

He said economic revival is a major challenge which cannot be overcome without overcoming the shortage of energy. He said that is why the Government is focusing on overcoming energy shortage and initiated different projects for this purpose.

Speaking on the occasion, Minister of Finance Ishaq Dar said the government is playing a role of facilitator and providing an enabling environment to the business community for economic progress of the country, Radio Pakistan reported.

He said today’s Pakistan is better than it was in May 2013 before the present government’s tenure and will further improve in the next three years.

Dar further said that all economic indicators are showing a positive trend. He said inflation is at the lowest level in thirteen years, GDP growth is at its highest level in six years and foreign exchange reserves have crossed $16 billion.

The premier later congratulated and distributed awards among the companies for their outstanding performance at the KSE.

The ceremony was also attended by Governor Sindh Ishratul Ibad, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Chief Minister Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah, Chairman KSE and Governor State Bank Ashraf Mahmood Wathra.

Move to bring back Altaf from UK under study, says Nisar

ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan revealed on Tuesday that the government was examining legal possibilities of getting MQM chief Altaf Hussain extradited, and said that a decision on the matter might be reached over the next few days.

551226dc72b8cHe was answering a question on whether the government was in touch with Interpol over the possibility of bringing Altaf Hussain back to Pakistan.

The minister confirmed that he had discussed the FIR registered against Mr Hussain over threats to Rangers personnel, allegedly hurled during an interview with a private TV channel, with British High Commissioner Philip Barton, adding that this was not a secret.

He told reporters that he had asked the high commissioner what British law said about threats made by individuals residing in British territory, but denied handing over any documents to Mr Barton, who is currently in the UK.

The minister said that the MQM should continue as a political entity, since it had a large number of patriotic voters. Asked to comment on the complicated nature of the government’s relationship with the Muttahida, he said that the operation in Karachi had nothing to do with that party and that the action aimed to end crime in the city.

He recalled that security agencies had been given a specific mandate in Sept 2013 by all political parties. He said that MQM leader Farooq Sattar had proposed on Aug 27 that Karachi be handed over to the army, adding that the very next day he (Nisar) had promised action by civil armed forces on Muttahida’s request.

Replying to another question, he said the option to impose governor’s rule in Sindh was not on the table. The minister initially refused to comment on reports that Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad was on his way out and governor’s rule would be imposed in Sindh. “How can I comment on something that is not on the table,” he remarked after a brief pause.

Minister denies plan to impose governor’s rule in Sindh

He rejected the accusation that the execution of Saulat Mirza – convicted for killing former KESC managing director Shahid Hamid – had been put off to push the MQM against the wall.

He said that initially the execution was delayed for 72 hours at the request of Balochistan government. Alluding towards Saulat Mirza’s mysterious interview where he admitted to killing Mr Hamid on the orders of Altaf Hussain, the minister said that security agencies thought the statement should be investigated further.

He said a summary proposing a three-month delay in the date of his execution was sent to the president through the prime minister. “We have received a communication from the Prime Minister’s Office, asking about the next execution date and today we responded to it, informing that it is April 1.”

The interior minister said it was the discretion of the president to approve a delay and brushed aside an impression that the law had been broken in trying to put off the execution.

Asked how the interview of a death row prisoner had been obtained and where and when it was carried out, the minister said that an inquiry to this effect was currently under way.

He denied that names of MQM leaders had been placed on the Exit Control List in the light of Saulat Mirza’s statement and said that a new ECL policy would be introduced next week, setting a maximum limit of three years for a name to remain on the list.

The minister also said that the provinces had so far sent 50 terrorism cases for trial by military courts. He said that nine military courts had far been set up and an open and transparent system was in place to decide what case should go to the military courts.

He also said that reports about Mullah Fazlullah’s death in Tirah Valley were not confirmed.