Staff Reporter Karachi
Federal Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed on Thursday met Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah and assured him that the Ministry of Interior would provide all the support Sindh needed in its operation against bandits.
Rashid told the chief minister that he could seek Rangers’ assistance for the operation at any time, according to a press release by the Sindh government.
The statement quoted the chief minister as telling Rashid that his government needed some sensitive equipment and while they were making arrangements to get the equipment, the Ministry of Interior could help them as well.
Rashid once again assured the CM of providing all the needed support to the Sindh government for the operation, though he added that law and order was a provincial subject.
When the chief minister said his government would soon clear Sindh’s riverine areas of bandits, Rashid asked him to book the bandits under the anti-terrorism law.
Earlier in the meeting, the chief minister said Pakistan, which was previously ranked the sixth most dangerous country in the world, was now ranked 126th, implying that the law and order situation had improved.
“Previously, we had to travel with a convoy, but the PPP-led Sindh government initiated an operation [against criminal elements] and got the highways cleared,” he recalled, adding that back then, the law and order situation had worsened to such an extent in Karachi that the city saw the emergence of no-go areas.
Briefing Rashid on the recent incidents of violence in rural Sindh, he added that the police conducted an operation in Shikarpur on May 23 to rescue eight kidnapped persons, during which kidnappers were able to attack a chained police armoured personnel carriers as it had malfunctioned.
Welcoming Rashid in Sindh, he said the provincial government and the Centre would work together, the statement quoted him as saying.
Interior Ministry Secretary Yousuf Nasim Khokhar, Sindh Chief Secretary Mumtaz Ali Shah and Sindh IGP Mushtaq Mahar, among others, also attended the meeting.
Rashid later also met Sindh Governor Imran Ismail at Governor House, where they exchanged views on Sindh’s political and law and order situation, along with issues of mutual interest.
“Strict action will be taken against those destroying the law and order in Sindh,” the minister said in a tweet.
Addressing a press conference after his meetings with the provincial leadership, Rashid ruled out the imposition of governor’s rule in Sindh and said the federal government had no plans to start any operation in the province.
“All the reports in the media are irresponsible; neither do we have an operational thinking nor is there talk of governor raj, nor does Prime Minster Imran Khan want to interfere in Sindh on behalf of the Centre,” the minister stressed, saying he would present a report to the premier on his visit.