ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif yesterday resolved to continue the Karachi operation against terrorists and the corrupt until its logical end.

His verdict comes a day after former president Asif Ali Zardari accused state institutions of torturing and killing citizens.

Co-Chairman of the Pakistan People’s Party Asif Zardari claimed his party was being targeted in Karachi operation instead of the outlaws. The arrest of former petroleum minister Dr Asim Hussain in August for alleged involvement in terror and violence financing, misappropriation of funds for enhancing support for terrorism and other criminal activities led the PPP to believe the operation had some hidden agenda. The cases against former prime ministers Yousuf Raza Gilani and Raja Pervez Ashraf were cited as other examples by the party.

Yesterday, a ministerial committee of Sindh cabinet endorsed extension in special policing powers of Rangers after the PPP’s initial reluctance. However, a final decision in this regard was associated with Sindh Assembly’s approval in its Friday’s session after lawmakers’ debate. The deadline for Rangers to exercise exclusive policing powers in Karachi ended on December 5. Federal law ministry officials said the interior ministry could issue a notification regarding extension in Rangers’ powers under the Protection of Pakistan Ordinance if the Sindh government continued to delay the approval.

“The federal government could act if the Sindh government ignores the extension any further,” one official said. The special powers to arrest and conduct raids were given to Rangers under the Anti-Terrorism Act and were part of the ongoing operation against terrorists and criminal elements in the city. The Sindh government had earlier been extending the Rangers powers through notifications every 3 months but the PPP leadership’s grievances stopped Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah from signing the order this month.

Yesterday, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan called on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif here and discussed “country’s overall security situation.” Officials said the minister focused more on the situation in Karachi and Rangers powers seeking the prime minister’s intervention to keep the operation going. Nisar, these officials said, stressed that Rangers needed legal protection to continue targeted operation in Karachi.

Sources said Prime Minister Sharif vowed to continue the Karachi operation to purge the city of bloodshed and corruption.

He lauded the role of law enforcement personnel in Karachi operation which had improved the law and order situation.

The premier said the operation was not designed against any party or group. He said the operation was launched with consensus and no party was kept away from the consultation process.

Yesterday, Muttahida Qaumi Movement lawmaker Khawaja Izharul Hassan said there were no reservations on overall Karachi operation by his party, but on some isolated incidents.

Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah clarified the provincial government had no falling-out with Pakistan Rangers and the force will get extension in its stay.

According to Online news agency, the Sindh government has decided to give extension to Rangers stay in the province after successful talks with the federal government.