The city’s trading community withdrew their call for a shutter-down strike for Monday after the Sindh government accepted most of their demands to help improve law and order as well as to curb the rising incidents of extortion and kidnappings for ransom.
Following a meeting between the representative of traders and the civil and police officials on Saturday, the Sindh government agreed to set up mobile phone locators to trace the extortionists, enhance the police presence, establish two complaint cells to listen to the grievances of the business community regarding ‘extortion’ and to provide arms licence to the traders through their trade bodies.
The meeting was chaired by Sindh Chief Minister, Syed Qaim Ali Shah while an eight-member delegation of All Karachi Tajir Ittehad led by its Chairman, Ateeq Meer, represented the traders.
It was also decided to form a committee comprising Sindh police chief, DG Rangers and Additional Chief Secretary (Home) to consider and implement the proposals of traders.
The chief minister also agreed to hold monthly meetings with traders while IG Sindh was directed to hold weekly meetings with them to listen to their problems.
The traders were assured that an extra force of 500 policemen was being added who would be deployed on permanent basis at various markets.
The staff at various police pickets and posts would also be strengthened particularly in the trading centres and markets of old city areas. The meeting was also informed that 1000 surveillance cameras were be installed at trading and commercial centres and markets in various localities.
These cameras were being tested and would be functional within a few days, the chief minister said, adding that mobile phone locators would soon be there to help locate the position of criminals. It was also decided to set up separate complaint cells at the CM House and IG Sindh’s office with toll free number.
The government also agreed to provide compensation to the legal heirs of those traders and businessmen who had become victims of terrorists/criminals. The traders’ body will furnish details of such cases along with FIRs after which these cases would be processed. Later, briefing the media, provincial Information Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon disputed the contention that every murder in Karachi was the result of targeted killing. “Most of these are due to personal and business rivalries,” he said adding that “some people hire professional killers to take revenge from their opponents.”
Memon reminded that it was the joint responsibility of coalition partners to control the law and order situation of Karachi. But he believed that a conspiracy was being hatched to destabilise Karachi.
He said that more than 50 target killers have been arrested and most of them are youngsters.
“These misguided youngsters are being used against the government and we will disclose their identities soon,” he added.
Published In The Express Tribune, June 17th, 2012.