Taliban present in violence-hit Karachi: Rehman Malik

Krachi, July 09: Pakistan’s intelligence agencies have identified the Taliban’s presence in violence-torn Karachi, interior minister Rehman Malik has said.

“Intelligence agencies have identified presence of the Taliban in Karachi and the government is working on it,” the Daily Times quoted Malik, as telling reporters.

Malik, who was accompanied by Sindh chief minister Qaim Ali Shah, said that in order to bring the security situation under control, a new strategy had been evolved, under which some “grey” areas of Karachi would be handed over to the Rangers and some to police.

“About 250 officials of the Frontier Corps (FC) have also been called in to assist police and Rangers,” he said. “We have started targeted actions in the troubled localities. We want to secure every street.”

Malik said the Rangers had been given a ‘free hand’ to conduct raids and operations. “They have been asked to go for encounters when necessary to stop the killings of innocent people,” he added.

Malik also said that presence of intelligence officials has also been stepped up three times to get authentic information against miscreants. He said that at least 80 people had been killed in the violence since Tuesday while the number of injured was over 100.

“President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani have directed me to show zero tolerance and take stringent action against the killers,” he said, adding that some 173 suspects had been apprehended, while two alleged assailants had been gunned down.

Malik also said that media persons would not be allowed to enter sensitive areas where raids and operations would be in progress. “No media coverage would be allowed until an area is cleared.”