ISLAMABAD, Sept. 3 (Xinhua) -- Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif Tuesday started a two-day visit to the violence-hit southern port city of Karachi where targeted attacks claimed the lives of nearly 1800 people in the first six months of this year.
Sharif met senior leaders of all political parties and businessmen and sought their proposals to restore peace in Karachi, the country's commercial center where violence has badly affected economic activities.
The powerful group of ethnic Urdu-speaking Mutahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) is calling for handing over the city to the army to deal with the miscreants. "I am deeply concerned over the violence in Karachi and will take action which can restore peace,"Nawaz Sharif told a gathering of leading businessmen and traders.
He said his government will give more powers to the paramilitary Rangers force, which will have a major role in the proposed"targeted operation"against the miscreants. He said peace is essential for investment and economic progress and without investment, progress is impossible.
The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) said those killed included victims of sectarian violence, targeted killings, as well as over 100 people whose dead bodies were found in the city and who appeared to have died in incidents of violence.
The prime minister discussed with political leaders and the businessmen various options to end the violence.
Nawaz Sharif will preside over a special meeting of the federal cabinet in Karachi on Wednesday to discuss one-point agenda of restoring peace in Karachi, Information Minister Pervez Rashid said.
The government has already got support for the targeted operation against those who are behind the killings, kidnapping for ransom, extortion of money from the businessmen and occupying land. "The operation will be without any discrimination to clear the city of the criminal elements,"the prime minister said.
Some political leaders expressed serious concerns about the inability of the law enforcement agencies to effectively deal with the miscreants. They also suggested strictly discouraging the trend of political appointment in the police department.
Jamaat-e-Islami leader Hussain Mehenti, who attended the meeting, called for indiscriminate action against criminals to ensure supremacy of law.
Abdul Qadir Patel of Pakistan Peoples Party demanded to cleanse the city of illegal arms.
The MQM Leaders Babar Ghauri and Haider Abbas Rizvi said that their party has given the suggestion of targeted operation in the city.
Leader of Awami National Party Senator Shahi Syed said Karachi needs e-weaponization and strict action should be taken against the miscreants and terrorists.