`Criminals may try to stir violence in Karachi`

In Pakistan`s Karachi, two months of bloody violence in July and August claimed 500 lives.

Karachi: The Pakistan Rangers, a paramilitary force, has warned that target killers and other criminals may again try to stir violence in Karachi despite the ongoing "surgical operation" against them to quell the bloodshed.

"What we fear is that many of these criminals and killers fled the city or have gone into hiding once the operations began. We have concerns but are also prepared that these people might again try to disturb the peace in Karachi," DG of Pakistan Rangers (Sindh) Ijaz Chaudhry told reporters here.

The government had ordered the Rangers and police to launch indiscriminate operations against those involved in the violence, bloodshed, arson and land grabbing in the city after two months of bloody violence in July and August during which 500 people were killed.

Some analysts blame criminal elements and while others on ethnic, political and sectarian disputes for the killings.

The DG, however, asserted that the law enforcement agencies were targeting the hideout of the people behind the violence and arresting them.

"And all this action is being taken without discrimination against anyone or without any pressure from anyone," he said.

The wave of violence and killings this year has been described as the worst ethnic, political and sectarian violence in Karachi in the last 16 years.

The violence spiralled out of control since July and twice now the military leadership has expressed its concern with the law and order situation in Pakistan’s biggest city and also called for action without any discrimination.

Chaudhry said the security agencies are trying not to disturb the public and their cooperation will be sought in cases of extreme emergency.

He said that if powers of police remain with the Rangers, they will manage to eliminate extremists. The DG also suspected foreign hands in destabilising Karachi.

According to police statistics, about 29 target killers and another 653 suspects were apprehended and 167 weapons were seized in the 985 raids carried out from August 23 to September 04.

The Rangers claim to have nabbed nearly 236 suspects and 327 weapons in operations in about 30 areas.


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