All the people named in the petition on Karachi’s violence, including the federal and Sindh governments, secretary of defence, were put on notice by a division bench of the Sindh High Court (SHC) here on Tuesday.
The notices will be issued in a constitutional petition, seeking limited army intervention in Karachi to restore law and order and stop the senseless, endless killing in the country’s biggest metropolis.
The petition was filed here on Monday by a non-profit entity that calls itself the United Human Rights Commission of Pakistan that is not to be confused with the independent Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP). This NGO’s secretary general, Rana Faiz-ul Hasan, has cited the federal secretaries of law, defence, interior, Sindh’s chief secretary, law secretary, home secretary and Inspector General of Police in Sindh as respondents.
The petitioner maintains that since January till August 20, more than 1,470 residents of Karachi fell victim to target killing, kidnappers, mafia gangsters and political feuds while thousands were injured.
Rockets and hand grenades have replaced the tiny TT pistols and the extortion mafia has sent shivers down the spines of the business and trading communities. Citizens belonging to all professions and speaking different languages were killed across the city without any obstacles or checks by the law enforcing agencies, which are over 50,000 in number, the petitioner maintained.
People are worried and are anticipating civil war in Karachi but the federal and provincial governments are unmoved. Relying on statements and concerns expressed in the Corps Commander meeting and above all the statement made by the Chief of Army Staff, expressing readiness to play a role in Karachi to restore law and order and peace, the petitioner maintains that when the Pakistan Army could control the law and order in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Swat why could it not be called for Karachi?
The petitioner prayed the court to introduce an amendment in the constitution, such as repeal Article 212-B, to end terrorism in Karachi.
The petitioner also requested the court to seek a report about the number of killings since 2008 to August 20, 2011. The court was also requested to direct the federal government to invoke constitutional provisions bringing in Governor rule and action by the Pakistan Army for a specific period of three months by invoking Article 245 of the Constitution of Pakistan.
The court was prayed to direct the authorities to seize all illegal weapons, including anti-aircraft guns, rocket launchers, hand grenades and other arms and ammunition of illegal bores.
On Tuesday, after a preliminary hearing, the bench ordered notices to be issued to all respondents for a date to be fixed later by the office of the court.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 24th, 2011.