KARACHI - President Asif Ali Zardari on Monday directed to form a joint task force of intelligence and law-enforcement agencies. He also ordered to launch a crackdown operation against criminal elements in Sindh. He also suggested for devising a mechanism for giving approval for holding of public rallies and for declaring some specific areas as off limits for political rallies.

This he said while chairing a meeting at Bilawal House here on Monday where law-enforcement and intelligence agencies gave a complete briefing on the incidents of attack on bus in Benazirabad, firing on rally in Karachi, murder of Muzaffar Bhutto and law and order situation in the province.

Sindh Governor Dr Ishrat ul Ebad Khan, Chief Minister Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah, provincial ministers, Chief Secretary Sindh, Inspector General Police Mushtaq Shah and senior officials also attended the meeting. He directed the authorities to take stern action against miscreant elements.

Sources said prevailing security situation in Karachi and Sindh province was reviewed in the meeting in the wake of recent violence in the City which left 11 people dead and more than 30 wounded after gunmen opened fire at a rally against proposed Mohajir province. 

A four-member Cabinet committee, mandated by Federal Cabinet to resolve Karachi unrest issue, held a meeting with President Zardari at Bilawal House and apprised him of the developments.

The committee is being headed by Federal Minister and senior PPP leader Makhdoom Amin Fahim, comprising Maula Bux Chandio, Naveed Qamar and Khursheed Shah as members.

Sources said that the committee members have held meetings with Sindhi nationalist parties to address their concerns over the proposed Mohajir province.