Message to all resisting elements

Zeeshan Javaid

Wednesday, September 02, 2015 – Islamabad—Brushing aside the growling and thundering by the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) over the ongoing anti-criminal operation in Karachi, Civil and military leadership being on the same page have expressed resolve to continue operation till the elimination of last criminal.

Chief of Army Staff (COAS), General Raheel Sharif on Tuesday called on Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif to discuss the developments on internal and external fronts particularly regarding the ongoing Karachi operation against criminals and the situation on Working Boundary (WB) and Line of Control (LoC).

Interestingly, this development came after PM secretariat received the list of big-wigs of political parties and some sitting and retired bureaucrats allegedly involved in multi-billion scams, a senior official of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on condition not to be named told Pakistan Observer. Sources said that the major chunk of time was consumed between COAS and the prime minister about the discussion of internal security matters and the paramilitary forces’ operation against suspected terrorists in Sindh and their financers and facilitators. The civil and military leadership agreed to continue the Karachi operation till elimination of the last criminal in the city and not to accept any pressure in this regard, adding that the financial base of miscreants will be destroyed to free the country’s economic hub from the clutches of terrorists and supporters of anti-state elements.

The official of NAB revealed on condition of anonymity that a few politicians may face the wrath of Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) including former president Asif Ali Zardari, Faryal Talpur (Zardari’s sister), Owais Muzafar Tapi, former prime ministers Raja Pervaiz Ashraf and Yousaf Raza Gillani, former commerce minister Ameen Fahim, former provincial minister Sharjeel Memon, former chairmen Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), former MDs of Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited (SNGPL) Rasheed Lon, Arif Hameed and Zuhair Siddique from Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC), former director Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Riaz Ahmed Sheikh, Sharmila Farooqi and some sitting and retired federal and provincial secretaries. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif reiterated his government’s stance of owning the operation in the mega city which he termed entirely ‘apolitical’ and ‘indiscriminate’. The ‘operation’ against criminal elements in Pakistan’s commercial hub was initiated back in September 2013 after the federal cabinet empowered Rangers to lead a targeted advance with the support of police against criminals already identified by federal military and civilian agencies for their alleged involvement in targeted killings, kidnappings for ransom, extortion and terrorism in Karachi.

A high-level apex committee meeting chaired by the Chief of Army Staff Gen Raheel Sharif on May 14, 2015 decided to ensure effective policing and surveillance in the “vast suburbs of Karachi”, to prevent what the military spokesperson said “sneaking terrorist attacks”.

Meanwhile the prime minister stopped all the ministers and PML-N leaders from giving statements against Asif Ali Zardari and PPP, following issuance of statement by former president Asif Ali Zardari against PML-N.

Sources said, Nawaz Sharif has said in his directives that the act of issuing statements will give rise to bitterness in the political atmosphere which will ultimately lead to undermine democratic institutions and political structure.

Therefore, PML-N leaders should avoid giving statements to keep the political atmosphere congenial. It may be mentioned that former president Asif Ali Zardari had targeted PML-N leadership in a statement and in consequence to this statement, federal minister Abdul Qadir Baloch had slammed Asif Ali Zardari and PPP leadership.