KARACHI: The Supreme Court has finally accepted that the Sindh government and the police have sprung into ‘real’ action to fix Karachi’s violence but it said a lot more needs to be done.
The five-member larger bench made this observation in its order released on Thursday following the two-day hearing of the Karachi law and order suo motu implementation case held in its Karachi registry last week.
“Unscrupulous persons have certainly made the life of the citizens difficult in all walks of life by indulging in nefarious criminal activities,” observed Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, referring to incidents of target and sectarian killing, kidnapping for ransom, extortion, drug peddling and land grabbing. “Thus, day by day it has become very hard for the citizens of Karachi to lead a peaceful life.”
The only satisfactory aspect in the city since the suo motu proceedings began in August 2011 is that a democratic set up continued through an elected government and an elected provincial government was installed after fresh elections. Nevertheless, the law and order has deteriorated day by day. “What could be more disappointing to the citizens than receiving the dead bodies of their near and dear?” the bench remarked.
Appreciating the action taken by the Sindh and the federal governments, the apex court said that the operation launched after September 4 this year is only the beginning. “To ensure that the writ of the government prevails in the city of Karachi, a lot of work is required to be done.”
What needs to be done
The bench ordered Sindh IG and Rangers to ensure arrest of 33,665 absconders and proclaimed offenders, who were roaming around in the city. The men who killed the witnesses in the murder case of Geo TV reporter Wali Khan Babar should also be dealt with strictly, the bench ordered, directing the presiding officers of all anti-terrorism courts to make sure the trial of the accused involved in heinous crimes is completed within seven days as prescribed under the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997.
On the issue of 2.5 million illegal immigrants present in the city, the bench hoped the federal and provincial governments will look into this “as it is one of the important reasons on account of which the law and order situation is not being controlled”.
It ordered the government departments and law enforcement agencies to submit their comments on the report prepared by the one-man commission appointed by the apex court to probe the smuggling of arms, ammunitions into the city through the seaports and its onwards transportation to the rest of the country. The district magistrates, DCOs and other authorities should prepare exact data on licences for prohibited arms.
It also directed the IG to submit a detailed list on action taken against the culprits involved in the murder of the policemen, who had taken part in the operations launched in Karachi during 1992 and 1996.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 28th, 2013.
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