KARACHI - President-elect of Pakistan Mamnoon Hussain has said political parties are backing groups of criminals, land-grabbers, and extortionists a fact also highlighted in various decisions of the courts.

In his first interview with the BBC Urdu after getting elected as the 12th president of Pakistan, the Karachi-based senior politician said whenever he thought of resolving law and order issue of Pakistan his mind came to Karachi first. He said he was well aware of the practical situation in the city.

He said Karachi needed special attention as it was the driving force of the entire country and that the city was vital to the country from every aspect.

Talking about deteriorating law and order situation of Karachi, Mamnoon said a full-fledged action to eradicate crime had not been taken in the past as the criminals, land-grabbers, and extortionists had political backing and that this fact was mentioned in various court verdicts too.

He added that situation could not improve until the practice was ended and criminal elements were brought to justice.

Mamnoon said being symbol of Federation, he would do his level best to make it realize by the provinces that most of the problems could be resolved through consensus.

Mamnoon said there was need for intelligence agencies to come together under a platform and for political parties to stop backing criminals.

Reminiscing about Agra, the president-elect said that if Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz (PML-N) government initiated peace talks with neighbouring India, he wished to be part of the process and hoped to play a role in this regard, as Agra was his birthplace.

He further said that he wished to visit Agra, especially to see the Taj Mahal.

Mamnoon was born in India’s Agra city in 1940. He migrated from India with his family to Pakistan during the 1947 partition of the sub-continent.