In what can be a blow for the activist of Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP), President Asif Ali Zardari a few hours after a police crackdown was stopped in Karachi’s Lyari area, ordered to launch a grand operation.

Lyari, a stronghold of the PPP has been rocked by violent gun battles between security forces and the local People’s Amn Committee.

President Zardari while chairing a high-level meeting endorsed the decision of grand operation, which was earlier taken by the Sindh Government.

According to the officials, rangers, police and other security forces will join forces in a large-scale attempt to stamp out the violence in the business hub of the country. The federation has directed the provincial government to carry out an operation across the board without discriminating anyone.

President Zardari was of the opinion that the life and property of innocent people in the area must be protected and law and order must be restored.

Presidential spokesman, Farhatullah Babar, while speaking to the media observed, “The president directed that all law-violators be brought to book, regardless of their political affiliation, if any”.

He added, “The president reiterated that the situation in Lyari needs to be tackled both by the use of force against miscreants and through political means”.

The president reiterated that it was important for all political forces to join hands to restore law and order in Karachi, adding that genuine problems of development were also necessary to address.

Earlier, Interior Minister Rehman Malik threatened to torch any house where weapons and criminals were found, giving all miscreants two days to surrender.

Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah, who was attending the meeting with members of his cabinet, briefed the president about efforts under way to control the law and order situation in the affected area.

The on-going operation is being carried out against leaders and workers of the Peoples’ Amn Committee, a group reportedly formed by the former Sindh home minister Zulfiqar Mirza and now headed by Uzair Baloch.

While replying to a query, the CM said that unwanted people had infiltrated the organization, admitting that criminals and outlaws were being inducted into a PPP-formed body.

Earlier, Uzair Baloch while talking to the media expressed his willingness to surrender but he is only ready to surrender to the Rangers not the Sindh police.