Karachi:Every day the media rants about the Karachi operation. Police and Rangers regularly hold press conferences, claiming arrests of dozens of criminals associated with political parties, banned outfits or violent gangs. Seized guns and ammunition are put on display for the camera lenses of electronic and print media, as the law enforcers boast about their “excellent” performance.
The Karachi police claim to have arrested 13,895 criminals since the operation started on September 4 last year till January 26. Out of those detained, 8,272 suspects have been sent to jail while 4,972 have been granted bails. The law enforcers say these men are involved in murders, kidnappings for ransom, extortion and robberies among other crimes.
Even if the figures are to be believed, 5,000 suspected criminals back in the midst of the people raises concerns about the success of the Karachi operation. Karachi police chief Shahid Hayat conceded that there were problems.
“We come across hurdles,” the AIG Karachi said. “The forensic science laboratory report is not issued in a day, and that’s why they [criminals] get bail.”
Pointing out the difficulties, he said: “We haven’t said that our cases are foolproof. There are shortcomings. And there is the issue of the investigation staff shortage. We have requested the government to recruit 200 law graduates as inspectors so that we can prosecute the cases in a more effective manner.”
Defending his department’s performance, the AIG said last month the jail administration had informed the police high-ups that 6,200 criminals were imprisoned during the operation.
“This month, 2,000 more were arrested taking the figure to 8,200. We have the complete record and we are not concerned about that.”
Background interviews with officials suggest no home work was done before starting the massive cleanup. During the various high-profile meetings held under Sindh chief minister with the top brass of law-enforcement agencies, it was never explained how many objectives of the targeted operation had been achieved or what was to be done next.
The participants, they said, were briefed by the police and Rangers officials with “all is going well” and the operation was giving satisfactory results. Surprisingly before the deadly attack on SP Chaudhry Aslam, the rising trend of terrorism in Karachi was never discussed in detail, the sources confirmed.
Nobody knows when the first phase of the operation ended or when the third stage would start? How would be the third phase any different than the first and second rounds? The majority of senior police officers are unaware about the purpose of the operation and are unable to come up with definite replies regarding the targets achieved so far.