The Supreme Court on Monday expressed dissatisfaction with the government’s report on Karachi violence, saying the report lacked facts that are needed to make headway in the case.
The report was submitted by Attorney General Anwarul Haq during the suo motu hearing of the unrest in Karachi.
The five-member bench of the Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry ordered the Attorney General to file a new report, carrying the latest information about those who are creating unrest in Karachi.
A report without analysis
The five-member bench hearing the Karachi violence suo motu case said it was “unhappy” with the report. It said apart from the first three pages of the report, it was “all newspaper reports and no analysis”.
The court directed Inspector General of Sindh Wajid Ali Durrani to present a comprehensive report on the Karachi killings. The chief justice and bench of members asked Durrani questions that he failed to answer. The court sought the names of police officers who were killed in the line of duty and also those of the arrested target killers. However, Durrani failed to answer these questions.
The AG submitted the report compiled by the Special Branch, FIA, and Intelligence Bureau. The Intelligence Bureau requested the court to keep its report classified.
The court said a decision to keep the report classified will be taken after it has been reviewed. It also remarked that since most of the report is based on newspaper reports, keeping it confidential is not important.
The court also directed the AG to file reports from the ISI and MI.
‘Some Karachi areas are no go zones’
Durrani admitted before the Supreme Court that law-enforcement agencies cannot enter some violence-hit areas of Karachi.
The IG also told the court that ethnic and sectarian tensions are the main reasons for the unrest in Karachi.
He said that extortionists and land grabbers are also adding fuel to the violence in the city.
Durrani said there are several ethnic groups in more than 100 areas of Karachi.
He said 306 people have been killed in Karachi between July 24 and August 24 this year.
He said 232 cases have been registered in 75 police stations during one month. The IG said that despite the ongoing carnage, the situation is within the control of law-enforcement agencies.
Too much security for VIPs
The chief justice told Durrani that Karachi is “in a terrible situation” and that “the city will be out of his hands” if he does not curb the violence immediately.
To this, Durrani responded that he needs one more month to improve security in the city.
The chief justice asked Durrani to give him the number of police officials in Karachi and also the number of police officials designated to VVIPs.
Durrani responded that out of 32,000 police officials, only 20,000 are operational. He said that 12,000 are non-operational out of which 4,000 are protecting SIU and CPO officials and 8,000 are on VVIP duties.
When the chief justice asked him to explain why the VIPs required so much security, the IG expressed ignorance on the matter. He added, however, that the VIPs claim their life is under threat and that they need security.
Senator Babar Awan was present during the court proceedings. Senior PPP leader Raj Haider was also present, but was not summoned by the court.
Sindh government's counsel Abdul Hafeez Pirzada is defending the police and answered all the questions that the IG failed to answer.
The hearing with resume tomorrow (Tuesday), where Durrani will be expected to bring out names and comply with the court's requests.
Updated from print edition (below)
SC to hear case on Karachi violence today
A five-member larger bench of the Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry will begin hearing the suo motu case on Karachi violence in the metropolis on Monday (today).
Federal and Sindh governments will present a comprehensive report based on input from security agencies before the bench comprising Justice Shakirullah Jan, Justice Nasirul Mulk, Justice Tariq Pervez and Justice Ghulam Rabbani.
The Supreme Court had earlier rejected a report presented by the advocate general Sindh for its failure to identify the groups involved in target killings, abduction and extortion in Karachi.
In view of the sensitivity of the case, heightened security arrangements have been made, involving deployment of 600 police and Rangers personnel at the Supreme Court’s branch registry in Karachi.
According to a statement issued by the Karachi registry, foolproof security arrangements have been ensured on the day of the hearing on Monday and entry into courtroom No 1 will be regulated by passes. Senior Superintendent of Police, South Zone, Naeem Sheikh said police and Rangers have set up check posts on roads leading to the Karachi registry, Shaheen Complex, Polo Ground, Khajoor Chowk and II Chundrigar Road to search people heading towards the court. Suspicious persons will not be allowed to proceed on their way without thorough investigation.
Trained commandos have also been deployed along with additional personnel from police headquarters. Sheikh said he would be present in the court premises at seven in the morning to check police personnel’s performance.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 29th, 2011.