KARACHI - President Asif Ali Zardari on Friday reiterated that elections in the country will be held on time, vowing that extremists and terrorists will not be allowed to subvert the electoral process by creating law and order situation.
Chairing a meeting at CM House and later another one at the Bilawal House, he ordered the provincial government and relevant agencies for taking stern across the board action to ensure protection to the citizens which he said was their prime responsibility.
Discussing security situation in Sindh in the wake of Abbas Town bombing in Karachi at the CM House meeting, the president called upon all political forces and other stakeholders to come forward, work hand in hand with the law enforcement agencies in Karachi and play their active role to restore peace and stability to the metropolis and help bring the criminals to book regardless of their affiliations.
The meeting was attended among others by Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad; Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah; provincial ministers Pir Mazharul Haq, Muhammad Ayaz Soomro, Agha Siraj Durrani, Murad Ali Shah and Sharjeel Memon; Sindh Chief Secretary Raja Muhammad Abbas; heads of law enforcement agencies; and other high officials.
Spokesperson to the President Farhatullah Babar said the president at the outset of the meeting condemned the barbaric incident of Abbas Town and offered fateha for the departed souls. Expressing his sympathies with the bereaved families, he directed for extending full support and assistance in rehabilitation to the victims and providing them best medical treatment on government expenses.
The spokesperson quoted the president as saying that “we all have to work together and augment government efforts to restore complete law and order and protect lives and property of the citizens in the economic hub of the country”.
The president said that government accords top priority to safeguarding the lives and property of citizens and that they could never be left at the mercy of a handful of vicious elements. He reiterated that the criminals involved in violence would be traced and brought to justice.
The president assured that the federal government would provide all possible help and assistance to the victims of bomb blasts. Earlier, the governor and chief minister briefed the meeting on latest security situation and the steps being taken by the government.
Later, Governor Ebad and CM Qaim Ali called on President Zardari at Bilawal House. Besides security and other matters, the developmental projects in Sindh were discussed during the meeting.
After the meeting, Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon told the media that President Zardari has ordered the Sindh government to take action against the criminals in Karachi without any differentiation. He said that it has been decided that government will provide flats to the victims of the Abbas Town blast, for which location would be identified soon.
He said that on the directives of the president, CM Qaim Ali Shah met with the injured admitted in the hospitals and handed them compensation cheques of Rs1 million each. He added that commissioners also visited the area of Abbas Town and handed the compensation cheques of Rs1.5 million to the identified legal heirs of those killed in the blast, while the compensation of remaining heirs would be given soon.
PPP Karachi Chief MNA Abdul Qadir Patel and PPP Senator Yousaf Baloch also called on President Zardari at Bilawal House. Later, Senator Yousaf told the media that the president has assured them that the Rangers’ operation in Lyari would be stopped immediately, though targeted action against the criminals would continue.
He said they told the president that Rangers’ operation in Lyari was in violation of the sanctity of ‘Chadar and Chaardewari’. He said that they told Zardari that people of Lyari were already unhappy with the PPP government, and this recent operation would further dishearten them.