The Sindh High Court has issued notices to the Sindh home secretary, police chief and the city commissioner on a petition calling for military intervention in Karachi.
The petition was filed by United Human Rights Commission of Pakistan Secretary General Rana Faizul Hasan, when the Lyari operation was in progress and the police had laid siege to the town.
The petitioner had requested the court to direct the respondents to deploy army personnel in Karachi for three months to aid the government in view of more than 650 killings in the city till mid-May.
The petition also questioned the rationale behind the Lyari operation, calling on the government to give compensation to the heirs of victims and make Karachi weapon-free.
On Saturday, Justices Maqbool Baqar and Shafi Siddiqui heard the initial arguments of the petitioner.
To a query by the bench, Hasan said that the police had suffered huge losses during the week- long operation in Lyari, exposing the law enforcers’ capacity of taking on criminals.
During the crackdown, many armoured personnel carriers were damaged, several policemen and innocent citizens were killed and the entire neighbourhood was held hostage for days at a stretch, the plaintiff said.
He referred to a statement by the Sindh inspector general of police, who had admitted the failure of the police and also acknowledged that the criminals had a better strategy, communication, and weapons and ammunition.
The petitioner stated that some areas in the city were overflowing with illicit weaponry and serve as havens for criminal elements.The police alone cannot control the law and order and the situation demands that the army be called in to aid the provincial government. After hearing the arguments, the bench ordered the issuance of pre-admission notices to the respondents, including the Sindh additional home secretary, for an unspecified date.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 27th, 2012.