ISLAMABAD: A conspiracy to eliminate the leadership of MQM, PPP and ANP and journalists in Karachi has been foiled and masterminds have been captured, Interior Minister Rehman Malik said on Tuesday.
Talking to reporters outside the Parliament House, Mr Malik said there was neither a plan to launch an operation in Karachi nor any such action was going on in the city.
“I have always said that there will be targeted actions in Karachi based on intelligence reports,” he said and added that recent actions were different in nature.
In the first action, he said, some key people who were masterminding to turn Karachi into Lebanon were captured. “The arrested terrorists wanted to kill the MQM, ANP and PPP leadership and journalists.”
He said that with the help of leads provided by these suspects more arrests were made in other parts of the country.
“The second action relates to the arrest of criminals who were hiding in the house of a PPP worker. The Rangers have been granted police powers, therefore, they don`t need to seek permission from the interior ministry all the time,” he said.
He conceded that there was some confusion with Sindh Home Minister Zulfikar Mirza regarding these raids and said that coordination between various security authorities would be improved.
Subversion by India
Mr Malik said that subversive activities that India had been carrying out in Pakistan from Afghan territory had declined significantly. However, he added, smuggling of weapons into Pakistan continued unabated.
The subversive activities have stopped by the Indians after Pakistan lodged complaints with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, he said.
The minister said the issue of arms smuggling would also be taken up with the Afghan government because these weapons were being used in terrorist activities in Pakistan.
The interior ministry has already conveyed its concerns to the Afghan government through the foreign office, he added.
In response to a question, Mr Malik said the number of Indian consulates in Afghanistan along the Pakistan border was not 25.
“There are only five Indian consulates in Afghanistan along its border with Pakistan,” he said, adding “we also have five consulates in Afghanistan along the border.”
The minister said that Afghan support essential to root out terrorism from the region.
He said a large quantity of illegal weapons, including four suicide jackets, were seized by the excise police from a Karachi-bound truck near Naushahro Feroze on Monday.
“The initial reports suggest that these weapons were to be used in subversive activities during Chehlum in Karachi,” Mr Malik said.