Street-crime upsurge: MQM-P urges action on Karachi security

Criticizes PPP’s govt in Sindh for alleged failure to rein in street criminal

Our Correspodent April 07, 2024


The MQM-P has criticized the PPP government in Sindh for its purported failure to control street criminals in Karachi. As a key ally in the central ruling coalition, the party has urged the nation's top security official to address the deteriorating security conditions in the economic hub of the country.

Addressing a press conference in Karachi on Sunday, MQM-P Senator Faisal Subzwari noted that the PPP had been ruling the province for the last 16 years, yet citizens from Karachi to Kashmore were not safe.

“No action is being taken against armed gangs and dacoits in Kashmore or against street crime in Karachi,” Subzwari said while calling on Interior Minister Mohsin Naqvi to visit the city and summon Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah.

Read: Street crime epidemic

He called for summoning provincial officials and for the federal interior minister to form a committee.

“We requested that a neighbourhood watch system should be implemented. If the Sindh government won’t, then we would implement this mechanism,” he said.

Under the proposed system, he said, concerned residents of the city would guard their areas and work on the security and safety of their own neighbourhoods.

He also called for an increase in police patrolling in middle-class and poorer areas of the city. He said mainly motorcycles and mobile phones were stolen by street criminals.

“Is it conceivable that police checkpoints are not present at all entry and exit points of the city? Of course they are. Then is it conceivable that the market for stolen phones in the city runs without the patronage of the police?” he asked.

He said mobile phones worth billions of rupees are stolen in the city every year. He wondered if it was possible to believe that the police were not involved.

Turning his guns on Sindh Home Minister Ziaul Hassan Lanjar, he said the minister should fix his “attitude” and “open his eyes and ears before opening his mouth”.

In a recent press conference, Lanjar said that the law and order situation in Karachi was currently much better than what it used to be in the previous years, adding that a “hype” had been created over the issue of street crime in the city.

“If you do not respect Karachiites’ lives and property, then we surely do. We will ask you questions, in the [Sindh] Assembly and outside of it too.

Read:Police seem helpless to curb brazen robberies

“You have a heavy responsibility […] now you are not the coordinator of a political person. You are not just a member of the Sindh Assembly. You are the home minister of the entire province,” Subzwari said.

He said that if Lanjar was unaware about the state of affairs, then Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah should know. “Summon law enforcement agencies, form a system,” he said.

Subzwari said the MQM-P would hold meetings in every neighbourhood in an effort to find a solution to street crime. “Whatever solution can be implemented, we will do it.”

He called on the Sindh High Court (SHC) chief justice to take notice of the lawlessness. He further said that street crime was an “industry”, and urged the SHC chief justice to take this matter up in court. “Call all institutions and ask what is happening, how it is happening and who is making it happen,” he said.

MQM-P leader Khawaja Izharul Hassan said the party is constantly raising its voice regarding the situation in Karachi. Talking about the appointment of the Sindh inspector general, he alleged that the provincial government had “blackmailed” the PML-N in order to appoint someone of their choosing.

“They [dacoits] have been given the licence to kill after the appointment of the Sindh IG, the home minister and the chief minister,” he said. “People are angry and are resisting now — they are not scared, they are fighting with the dacoits and losing their lives,” he said.

‘Crocodile tears’

Reacting to the press conference, Sindh Home Minister Lanjar said that establishing peace and order in the province was the government’s priority.

In a statement, he said that the PPP was trying to eliminate dacoits from the province, adding that the government had faith in police and law enforcement agencies.

He said that police personnel had also sacrificed their lives while establishing peace in the province. He said that the MQM-P was aiding criminals by making the police force “controversial”.

Lanjar said that the Sindh police chief was an officer with a “good reputation”, adding that all institutions were serious regarding establishing peace in the province.

“The MQM should note that the thieves and robbers have no ethnicity, they are only robbers in our eyes,” he said, adding that the government would deal with the people playing with the lives of innocent citizens.


Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ