Malik visits Karachi town hit by violence

Malik met with residents of the Lyari area and said that there would be no talks with the banned Peoples Aman Committee.

Karachi: Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik on Sunday asked political parties to keep distance with the alleged criminal groups in Lyari area where gun battles between law enforcement agencies and criminal gangs left over 40 people dead and 150 injured.

Malik who met with residents of the Lyari area announced that there would be no talks with the banned Peoples Aman Committee and called on all criminals to surrender.

Malik`s visit to Lyari came after the government suspended the operation on Friday amidst increasing pressure from the media, opposition parties and civil right bodies that innocent residents were facing hardships and were caught in the gun battles between the police and criminal gangs.

Malik went to Lyari one day after violence was reported from other parts of the city in which at least seven people were killed including the son and grandson of a worker of the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party.

Police said that the attack, described by the PPP as `targeted killing` was followed by arson attacks that created tension and paralysed the routine life in the whole Kati Pahari area.

Malik said police would only carry out targeted operation in Lyari to flush out the criminals.

He also warned opposition party leader Nawaz Sharif against including Uzair Baloch the leader of the Aman committee in the PML N party.

"He is a criminal and action will be taken against him. There will be no talks with criminals and terrorists," Malik said.

Uzair Baloch who was a close associate of former home minister, Zulfiqar Mirza who had resigned last year due to differences with the government?s coalition partner, Mutthaida Qaumi Movement over Lyari has been dubbed as a most wanted criminal by the police.

Lyari traditionally has always been seen as a stronghold of the Pakistan Peoples Party but in recent months a fear has grown that individuals belonging to the Aman committee had grown too powerful and wanted to take control of Lyari and contest elections from their constituencies.