KARACHI: Land grabbing and policing are the two biggest issues in Karachi, said former Citizen-Police Liaison Committee chief Jameel Yousuf.
He was addressing the first session of the three-day conference, titled 'Politik', at the Institute of Business Administration on Thursday. The session highlighted the main problems of the metropolis.
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"The police are controlled by politicians and are involved in cases of extortion and encroachment," he claimed. "It won't be easy for the political parties to continue to be corrupt if the police work as an independent institution."
There is no respect for citizens in our society, they won't get their rights until there is rule of law, he added.
Former Karachi Metropolitan Corporation administrator Fahim Zaman said there are no clashes on ethnicity in the city. The only fight is for the land. All the influential people in the country, including ministers, presidents and prime ministers, are involved in land grabbing, he claimed.
Security and VIP Culture
There are 24,000 policemen in Karachi, of which 10,000 to 15,000 are deployed to guard VIPs while the rest cater to the 20 million population, said Yousuf.
It is a poor state of affairs when the government does not take responsibility for the security of the masses, he said, adding that there is a lack of planning in the police department.
He advised that women should be inducted in the police force. Women are already making the country proud as pilots and Rangers' officials, he explained.
He also said that criminology should be taught to students and those who study it should be inducted into the police department.
Speaking at the second session on civil liberties, Shehri - Citizens for a Better Environment member Dr Raza Ali Gardezi said it is the state's responsibility to provide security to the public.
"Intolerance is rapidly increasing in the country. Our schools are being attacked so where should we go?" he asked.
"The mother does not feed the child until the child cries," said Gardezi, adding that we should learn to demand our rights.
The mindsets of people need to be changed to end discrimination, said Muttahida Qaumi Movement leader Dr Farooq Sattar while addressing the audience.
"Our Constitution will not be protected until we introduce electoral reforms. We cannot elect someone from the grass roots level until electoral reforms are introduced. A handful of families who are ruling the country will continue to rule us," said Sattar.
Stopping land grabbing: ‘Only genuine villages will be regularised’
"I want to live with honour and dignity and die with dignity. Let's build our struggle around this principle," he claimed.
Fareiha Aziz and Dr Aafiyah Zia also spoke during the session, attended by a large number of students. The discussion was followed by a question-answer session.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 29th, 2016.
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