Rising tide of street crime overwhelms Sindh Assembly

Opposition, treasury members trade taunts amid noisy scenes in the House

Our Correspondent June 08, 2024
Street Crime: PHOTO


The opposition staged a vociferous protest in the Sindh Assembly on Friday against the rising tide of street crime in the metropolitan city where trigger-happy muggers are looting and killing people with impunity.

It is not a matter of one person's death. Seventy people have been killed recently in the city by street criminals, said opposition leader Ali Khursheedi while speaking on the floor of the house.

Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah expressed his displeasure over the opposition's protest, saying that it was not the right way to highlight an issue.

MQM MPAs had also brought photos of the individuals killed in recent mugging incidents. Home Minister Ziaul Hasan Linjar assured the house that the provincial government was fully aware of its responsibilities and police were trying hard to stem the tide of street crime. "There will be a significant improvement in the situation very soon," he added.

Tension in the house

The assembly session started at 3pm with Speaker Owais Qadir Shah in the chair. Questions related to the Home Department were answered during the sitting. At the outset, opposition MPAs asked tough questions about the deteriorating law and order situation in the province, especially in Karachi, leading to a pandemonium in the house. The speaker advised the opposition not to spoil the atmosphere of the house.

Opposition leader Khursheedi said that law and order in Karachi is an important issue. MQM MPA Qaraul Ain said that the educated youth are being killed in the megalopolis even after handing away their mobile phones and cash to muggers. Home Minister Linjar said that the government has been giving compensation to the families of the victims and also supports the affected families.

PPP MPA Sadia Javed taunted the MQM saying if the grisly discovery of dead bodies in gunny bags has stopped in Karachi. To this, the home minister said that extortion and target killing have ended in the city. He added that several accused involved in target killings have been arrested since he became the home minister.

War of words

Senior Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon stood in his seat to advise the opposition to stop making noise and instead listen to the home minister who was giving answers to their questions. The speaker directed Sharjeel to take his seat. The home minister said in response to the opposition's criticism of police performance that he would not tolerate the "humiliation" of his police force.

PPP MPA Marvi Rashidi condemned the MQM's "frivolous behavior" saying that its members did not know parliamentary traditions. Without naming the MQM-P, Rashidi said that everyone knew to which party notorious target killers like Ajmal Pahari and Saulat Mirza belonged to but they shy away from mentioning it.

Opposition leader Khursheedi said that the treasury members did not want them to discuss the law and order situation in Karachi. The home minister said that he was only recalling the past, which the opposition was disapproving of.

He added that Ajmal Pahari and Sault Mirza were arrested by Sindh police. In a tit-for-tat response, MQM's Bilqis Mukhtiar asked the home minister about the whereabouts of Rehman Dakait and Uzair Baloch. To this, Linjar said that Rehman Dakait has been killed by the Sindh police and Uzair Baloch is in jail.

The house remained a fish market during the session amid intermittent sloganeering by the noisy opposition MPAs. The speaker asked the opposition to maintain decorum of the house warning to adjourn the session for 20 minutes.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 8th, 2024.


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