In another attempt to appease the coalition government’s enraged ally MQM, President Asif Ali Zardari called for stringent law and order measures in Karachi and asked both Sindh and federal authorities to initiate tough action against anyone involved in extortion and other heinous crimes.
Presiding over a meeting on the law and order situation in Karachi held in the Presidency, the president also addressed existing cyber laws, saying they needed to be revisited to make them responsive to the reality of cyber crimes.
The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and the business community have been protesting against ever increasing incidents of extortion in Karachi. MQM had earlier boycotted the president’s address to the joint sitting of parliament, but reversed its decision at the eleventh hour. Now, the party has once again threatened to boycott the ongoing joint session which is reviewing recommendations made for reengagement with the United States.
Presidential spokesperson Farhatullah Babar, who is also a senator, said that a special cell had been established to tackle extortion and complaint centres had also been set up in the offices of the home minister, the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry, the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, as well as the Additional IG Police Karachi.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 23rd, 2012.