No-go areas: Afaq told to take up plea with SHC

Afaq is unimpressed with govt’s ability to abolish prohibited areas.

Our Correspondent January 25, 2012


The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked Mohajir Qaumi Movement Haqiqi (MQM-H) chief Afaq Ahmad to approach the Sindh High Court (SHC) for the clearing of no-go areas in Karachi.

The petitioner had moved the apex court through a contempt of court plea against the government for not taking action against the perpetrators, keeping areas under their tight control.

Heading a three-judge bench, Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry said that the court has not delivered a final judgment in suo motu proceedings regarding the target killings in Karachi.  Therefore, taking up a contempt plea would not be appropriate at this point in time.

The bench observed that the petitioner could move the SHC for his grievance as Chief Justice Mushir Alam was already overseeing progress in the suo motu case. The chief justice observed that the petitioner could return to the apex court, in case he remained dissatisfied.

Talking to reporters on the premises of the SC, Afaq said it was baffling that the government kept silent on the presence of zones, where access was restricted unlawfully.

He said the matter remained a political problem as evident from the silence of the opponents, who did not dare raise any objection. Referring to MQM’s influence in Karachi, he said these no-go areas were being actively guarded by armed men under the government’s nose.

Afaq said peace in Karachi was a real possibility provided the government decides to de-weaponise the metropolitan. He said the court’s verdict in the NRO remained unimplemented as cases against politicians were not re-opened after the apex court declared that the law did not stand. Afaq said the Sindh home minister had asked him to move to Lahore despite the improved law and order situation in Karachi.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 25th, 2012. 


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