KARACHI - Law enforcement agencies say there has been a considerable decline in incidents of crime and terrorism in the city in 2016 due to the ongoing targeted operation.

The Sindh Rangers claimed to have arrested 446 target killers this year. Police said they arrested 248 target killers and 335 terrorists in 2016. However, people continued to fall prey to target killings and 635 lives were lost. The suspected criminals arrested during the operation had been associated with “militant wings” of various political parties. As many as 35,000 outlaws have been arrested so far.

Rangers’ figures show that they conducted 1,992 operations across the city and arrested more than 2,847 suspects. Police arrested 32,951 suspects. The Rangers figures showed that just 11 sectarian target killers were arrested in operations in the outgoing year. According to these figures, 348 of the total 446 target killers arrested during the operation belonged to political parties and 87 had links with Lyari gangs. Police arrested 106 extortionists, 18 people involved in kidnapping for ransom and 1,065 robbers. Some 4,177 accused were arrested for possessing illegal weapons, while 2,460 drug peddlers and 4,844 absconders were also held.

The Rangers claimed to have recovered 13 abductees and arrested 26 criminals involved in kidnapping for ransom. About weaponry recovered during the year, the Rangers report says that at least 1,845 weapons, including machine guns, light machine guns, sub-machine guns, rocket launchers, detonators, pistols/revolvers and explosives, were confiscated during the year. Police recovered 5,753 weapons during the operation, including 1,616 hand grenades and 14 suicide jackets. Police claimed to have killed 233 accused in alleged encounters, including 59 terrorists and 174 robbers. Police officials who wished to remain anonymous said that 100,000 outlaws were arrested during three years of Karachi operation. However, the conviction rate remained unchanged because people booked in most cases were released as frequently as they were arrested.

Police officials said that already overcrowded jails in Karachi and even other parts of the province had been unable to take the burden of such a large number of prisoners. It is worth mentioning here that all major kingpins associated with political parties and gangsters are still at large. Some of them are Hammad Siddiqui, Farooq Saleem, Noor Muhammad aka Baba Ladla and Ustad Taju. A number of high profile criminals fled the country and no effort was being made to bring them back.