Karachi - On a morale-boosting visit, Army Chief General Raheel Sharif yesterday assured the people of Karachi that they won’t be left at the mercy of terrorists and criminals.

Karachi witnessed two major incidents last week: kidnapping of barrister Awais Ali Shah, the son of Sindh Chief Justice Sajjad Ali Shah, and the assassination of internationally famed Sufi singer Amjad Sabri.

The army chief chaired a meeting on the security of the port city at Rangers headquarters where he patted on the shoulders of the paramilitary force which is leading a cleansing operation in the city since 2003.

Lauding them for their exemplary performance in the face of heavy odds and their sacrifices, General Raheel told Rangers they will be provided all assistance to complete the mission of restoring peace to the all parts of the commercial hub of the country.

Later in the evening the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) chaired another security meeting at Karachi Corps Headquarters which was also participated by Interior Minster Ch Nisar Ali; Sindh governor, CM and Home Minister; NSA Lt-Gen Retd Nasser Janjua; ISI DG and Karachi Corps Commander.

The operation has now entered into a phase where terrorists and their abettors are badly bruised, isolated and hence they will go for softer targets so as to find their survival and undermine the society psychologically, the COAS said, instructing all concerned to hunt them and preempt their moves to frustrate their designs.

Karachi witnessed two major incidents last week: kidnapping of barrister Awais Ali Shah, the son of Sindh Chief Justice Sajjad Ali Shah, and the assassination of internationally famed Sufi singer Amjad Sabri.

Awais Shah was kidnapped by at least four armed kidnappers from city’s posh locality Clifton on Monday shortly after he came out of a market after shopping. The whereabouts of the son of SHC chief justice remain unknown and there is no visible progress in that case.

Four days later, gunmen killed Qawwali maestro Amjad Sabri in Liaquatabad area. Two well-known religious figures also came under attack during the week but luckily remained unharmed. These incidents have raised questions on the claims of security improvement in the port city.

The army chief said that the ongoing operation had brought about a noticeable improvement in law and order situation of Karachi. However, he said, “As we progress to target the crime and terror syndicate network, we need to keep our focus on actionable human and technical intelligence and totally dismantle their support structure.”

He added: “We must continue our mission unabated to consolidate and not let anyone reverse our gains.”

Giving assurance to the people of Karachi, the COAS emphasised that the nexus of terrorists, their abettors, sympathisers and financiers will be broken at all cost and ongoing operation will be taken to its logical conclusion.

He urged upon all stakeholders for earnest endeavours in their respective spheres within the overall ‘Whole of the Nation Approach’ for overcoming the menace of terrorism.

General Raheel exhorted all commanders including those of security, intelligence and law enforcement agencies to continue working hand in glove and leave no stone unturned for restoration of total peace in the city.

The meeting participants were briefed in detail about security situation and various aspects of ongoing operation. Measures to build capacity of police and other law enforcers were also discussed for lasting peace in the economic hub of the country.

Earlier, the COAS visited headquarters of Pakistan Rangers (Sindh) where he was briefed by Sindh Rangers DG Maj-Gen Bilal Akbar about ongoing operations, the prevailing security situation and the way forward for Karachi operation.

Talking to the troops, the COAS said that determination, courage and resolve of Sindh Rangers, to rid the city of the terrorists and criminals have earned them widest respect from the people of Karachi.

“Across the board operation focuses on the entire network of terrorists, their abettors and financiers, and will continue till we achieve our objective of peace and restore normalcy in all parts of Karachi,” he reiterated.

“All assistance - including intelligence and material combat support - will be provided to the Rangers to accomplish their mission,” he said.

Referring to the recent incidents, the COAS directed all commanders including those of intelligence agencies to continue working hand in glove and leave no stone unturned in finding the perpetrators.

NISAR MEETS SHC CHIEF JUSTICE

Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar also arrived in Karachi on Sunday and spent a busy day. Apart from the meeting to review the law and order situation of the metropolis, Nisar paid a visit to Sindh High Court Chief Justice Sajjad Ali Shah, whose son was kidnapped last week.

The minister first held a meeting with Sindh Governor Dr Isharatul Ebad Khan at Governor House and discussed with him the overall law and order situation of the province with a focus on Karachi.

Ebad briefed Nisar on the targeted operation against the criminals and terrorists in the metropolis. Both the leaders vowed to continue the operation till its logical end noting that peace in Karachi is linked with the prosperity and development of entire country.

Later, the federal minister along with the governor met with SHC Chief Justice Sajjad Ali Shah at his residence. Nisar apprised the Shah about the progress made in the efforts for the recovery of his son, Awais Ali Khan.

Chaudhry Nisar along with Dr Ebad also visited the residence of eminent Qawwal Amjad Sabri and offered condolences to the members of the bereaved family. On the occasion, they also offered Fateha for peace to the departed soul.

They assured the bereaved family that the killers of Sabri would be brought to justice and for this the law enforcement agencies were swiftly carrying forward the investigation process. Sindh governor said that the murder of Amjad Sabri has saddened his fans in Pakistan and other parts of the world.