Eleven more people were killed on Tuesday in Karachi, raising the death toll to 41 in four days of violence.
Six Awami National Party (ANP) activists were among those killed in Tuesday’s violence.
The latest wave of target killings in Karachi remains unabated and has claimed 41 lives in last four days. These incidents started soon after the presidential announcement that local government elections would be held in Sindh within four months. Rival political parties indulged in a vicious turf war, soon after the announcement and left the city bloodied.
The affected areas included Manghopir, Pak Colony, Orangi, Sir Syed Town, Liaquatabad, Azizabad, Taimuria, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Gulistan-i-Jauhar and Shah Faisal Colony.
The Sindh home department has vested the Pakistan Rangers (Sindh) with powers enshrined in the Anti-Terrorists Act (ATA) and given them charge of 26 police stations.
Sindh government had already imposed Section 144 in the city. Anyone found violating these orders would be booked under Section 188.
In exercise of powers vested under Section-10 of the Pakistan Rangers Ordinance, 1959, the government of Sindh has pleased to confer upon the Pakistan Rangers Sindh all such powers as envisaged under Section 5 of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997 in the jurisdiction of following police stations of Karachi with immediate effect for a period of one month which may be extended.
Towns that are under Pakistan Rangers Sindh are Nazimabad, Gulberg, New Karachi Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Shara-e-Faisal, Landhi, Bin Qasim, Korangi, Orangi, Baldia, North, Liaquatabad and SITE.
Police Stations under the Pakistan Rangers Sindh include: Gulistan-e-Jauhar, Shah Faisal Colony, Shara-e-Faisal, Landhi, Khokhrapar, Malir City, Saudabad, Korangi Industrial Area, Awami Colony, Pakistan Bazar, Orangi, Peerabad, Mominabad, Iqbal Market, Mochko, Shahrah-e-Noor Jehan, Taimuria, North Nazimabad, Azizabad, Gulberg, Kohwaja Ajmer Nagri, Sir Syed, Nazimabad, Gulbahar, Rizvia and SITE-A.
After the aggressive outburst of Sindh Home Minister Dr Zulfikar Mirza and Local Government Minister Agha Siraj Durrani in the Sindh Assembly, President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani hold a meeting with senior PPP leaders and federal ministers at the Presidency to discuss prevailing political tension in Karachi.
The meeting was attended by federal ministers Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar, Qamar Zaman Kaira, Naveed Qamar and Raja Pervez Ashraf, , PPP Secretary General Jahangir Badar, Leader of the House in Senate Nayyar Bokhari ,President’s Political Secretary Rukhsana Bangash and spokesman Farhatullah Babar.
Dr Mirza’s reaction on “politically motivated targeted killings”(as described by him) in Karachi and Local Government Minister Agha Siraj Durrani’s remarks against the Karachi city government led the MQM ministers to stage a walkout from the Sindh Assembly.
Later on the same day, Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani spoke to Muttahida Qaumi Movement(MQM) chief Altaf Hussain on phone .
According to a statement issued from MQM’s London Secretariat, “Prime Minster Gilani has regretted the inappropriate behavior of PPP provincial ministers during the Sindh Assembly’s session.”
In a statement, he said the country was passing through a critical stage and the need of the hour was to adopt policy of reconciliation not confrontation.
The MQM Rabita committee has alleged that, “conspiracies are being hatched to disturb the peace of Karachi.”
Mr Hussain spoke to MQM leaders at the party headquarters in Karachi, and advised them against issuing provocative statements.
Prime Minster Gilani while speaking to Mr. Altaf Hussain said, “President Asif Ali Zardari has reprimanded Agha Siraj Durrani and Zulfiqar Ali Mirza in front of me. We all want to go along together, but you two are destroying my reconciliatory policy. I have no doubt in my mind that we will be partners in future also and we don’t want to waste our strength by opposing the MQM.”
Prime Minster Gilani also spoke to Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah over the phone who told him that a meeting had been convened on Thursday to discuss the breakdown of law and order in Karachi.
The president told Dr Mirza that the MQM’s cooperation was necessary to save the PPP government both in Sindh and at the Centre. It is also reported that the president angrily asked Dr Mirza not to spoil his efforts for reconciliation.
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah met the Sindh governor immediately. Ishrat-Ul-Ebad and Qaim Ali Shah expressed their determination to strengthen the reconciliation process in Sindh. It was pledged in the meeting that all the coalition partners in the province would continue their efforts for the development of the province.
The Sindh governor and the chief minister, while taking serious notice of the recent killings in Karachi, ordered action against terrorists without any discrimination.