Peace in Karachi vital for stability in Pakistan: army chief
KARACHI: Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa visited Karachi Corps Headquarters today where he was briefed on security situation in Karachi, progress of operation Raddul Fasad and support to Census in Sindh Province.
During the briefing, the army chief appreciated the efforts of Pak Army and Pakistan Rangers (Sindh) for their contributions towards successful execution of these assignments.
The COAS reiterated that efforts will continue till restoration of complete normalcy in Karachi and the Province.
Earlier, Gen Bajwa was received by Commander Karachi Corps Lieutenant General Shahid Baig Mirza. DG Rangers Sindh was also present.
How it all ‘changed’ in Karachi
Violent crime has dropped significantly in Karachi, a teeming metropolis of more than 18 million people, since the launch of a paramilitary operation three years ago.
The sweltering, violent metropolis is Pakistan’s largest and wealthiest city. It accounts for half of national revenues and hosts the stock exchange, central bank and a giant port.
The military’s crackdown in Karachi started late in 2013, when the murder rate soared and mutilated bodies were dumped in alleyways daily.
The operation, which escalated in March 2015, was officially aimed at criminals and militants.
According to recent Reuters report, police in Karachi are seen as too weak or corrupt to stamp out violence effectively, so many residents are willing to rely on the military despite its history of coups.
In March 2015, paramilitary Rangers swooped on the MQM’s headquarters in Karachi, seizing arms and detaining “criminals”, including a fugitive convicted of murder.
It was a direct challenge to the authority of Hussain, who, despite living in London since he fled murder charges in Pakistan in 1991, leads the party and remains one of the country’s most powerful figures.