KARACHI -  Law enforcement agencies remain clueless about the mafias supplying arms to Karachi.

The Rangers and the police have been carrying out the Karachi operation for the last 27 months. They have arrested hundreds of outlaws, including terrorists, criminals, gangsters, political criminals and other anti-social elements and recovered weapons beyond imagination.

The statistics for the outgoing year show that security agencies seized around 6,000 weapons of different types, including hand grenades and explosive material, during the Karachi operation. Police claim to have recovered similar number of weapons every year, but they cannot name those who bring these weapons to the country, particularly Karachi. Law enforcement agencies have carried out several operations in Karachi since early 1990s and claimed to have recovered thousands of weapons. Interestingly, similar weapons have been seen in other parts of the province and rest of the country but no operation against the mafia has been launched there.

A senior police official who has served in various parts of the province has revealed that tribes in rural Sindh have a far bigger number of latest weapons compared to the weapons seized by the law enforcers in Karachi. He pointed out that interior Sindh tribal lords had decades old enemies and they were using highly sophisticated weapons to counter each other without any fear of action from the authorities. He said that weapons in interior Sindh had become part of the tribal culture.

The weapons usually recovered from suspected terrorists and criminals include heavy machine guns, light machine guns, anti-aircrafts, rocket launchers, semi-automatic guns, G3 rifles, 8MM and M16.

It is worth mentioning here that the weapons recovered were highly expensive brands of various countries.

Police officials who wished to be anonymous told The Nation that influential mafias were behind the business, operating from the neighbouring countries. Weapons were being transported to Karachi and other parts of the country from Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Officials pointed out that some of the arms dealers having licences to import weapons were also involved in the business. Weapons locally manufactured by factories in KP were not as good as the imported ones.  Officials privy to the issue said that some low-rank arms dealers were arrested and then freed in the past without any punishment.

Talking to The Nation, Amir Ali, a criminal lawyer, shared his experiences. He said that dealers in KP offered home delivery of weapons. He said that arms dealers offered the home delivery service with money back guarantee.  Advocate Ali said, “Whatever you want, place an order with a token amount. Dealers are responsible to deliver it at your doorstep and collect the remaining amount.” He said, “Dealers having connections with international arms dealers provide local and imported weapons and whatever you want.” He pointed out that border security agencies are cooperating with the mafias in pursuance of their financial interests. He said that weapons were being transported across the country in routine through highways but no measure had been taken stop their supply.

Acting Sindh Police Inspector General Mushtaq Mehar did not pick up his phone when The Nation contacted him for his comments on this issue.