It has been two years since the Rangers initiated the cleanup operation in Karachi after all political parties were ‘on-board’ with the grand plan of ridding the megalopolis of crime and violence. As the law and order situation in Karachi had improved considerably since, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar said on Saturday that the operation would be further intensified. This news will only be received positively as the people of Karachi have expressed their gratitude at reclaiming their city. But what about the political parties who cried foul from day one? If they had truly consented to the crackdown, why do they express their reservations time and time again?

The recent bravado displayed by the MQM ahead of the LG polls after a relative period of silence raises suspicions. Is there a reason behind this newfound courage? The results of how the operation will progress will clear the situation. Hopefully the Rangers’ statement to “continue the operation till the last target killer has been arrested” is the absolute truth and no leniency is shown to any individual regardless of their power.

The decision to intensify the operation is justified if one keeps in mind the accomplishments highlighted in the performance report. According to the paramilitary force’s two-year performance report, 10,353 suspects have been arrested in 5,795 raids since the campaign’s launch. The detainees include 826 terrorists, 334 target killers and 296 extortionists. The Rangers said 364 terrorists associated with various banned organisations – including al Qaeda, different factions of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi – were also killed in gunfights with the force.

While that is all well and good the main problem remains that of the 70,000 arrested, most have either secured bail, have been acquitted by the court for lack of evidence or were found innocent in the initial investigation and let go. Although the police have made 80% of the arrests, there are gaps present in the political and justice system that is accounting to the low conviction rate of those arrested.

A recent example is that of Samiuz Zaman, who was arrested by the police in June this year for his alleged involvement in the targeted killing of Professor Waheedur Rehman but was released due to lack of evidence. At the time of his arrest, the police had claimed that he was wanted for several other murders and yet he walked away untainted. The paramilitary force, the government and the political parties need to be on the same tangent, if the success of this operation is to truly reach a ‘logical solution’.