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KARACHI: “The federal and provincial governments, in the larger interest of the country as well as Sindh province, must put all their political differences aside and work collectively to resolve the issues being suffered by Karachi which, if not promptly tackled, would affect the entire country due to Karachi’s colossal role in the economic development of entire Pakistan,” said President Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI) Muhammad Idrees.

He said that in addition to suffering badly due to rising lawlessness that stands unsolved, the miseries for the business community and the public have intensified further nowadays as the land grabbing activities were once again on the rise particularly in District West, District Malir, Scheme-33 and even in District Jamshoro and it appears that the relevant departments and Law Enforcing Agencies (LEAs) were completely numb as nobody bothers to respond to the worsening law and order situation along with rising activities of land mafia.

He asserted that land grabbing activities including illegal allotment of land/ plots were being carried out under the supervision of government officials and it was a matter of grave concerns that the connivance between the revenue department, district administration, anti-encroachment department and also the police has led to illegal sale of large number of plots worth billions of rupees particularly those situated in developing areas of Karachi.

“Whether a public or private property, precious lands were fearlessly being taken over by some highly organised and powerful groups of land grabbers who, after illegally occupying these lands, sell them by making fake papers that creates a lot of problems for the actual owners who are compelled to suffer for years to prove the ownership in the court of law,” he added.

He said that Karachi, despite contributing 65 percent revenue to FBR, 95 percent to SRB and 54 percent in terms of exports, remains deprived of basic infrastructure facilities along with safe and secure environment as not a single area of the city can be declared safe today.

It becomes really a challenge for the public and the members of business community to safely takeaway cash after withdrawing from any bank in any area of the city as street criminals were roaming fearlessly on every street of Karachi and they do not hesitate in shooting innocent people on slightest resistance.

He was of the opinion that policemen must also be refrained from carrying weapon while wearing civil dress as it has been observed on several occasions that such police officers in civil dress were also actively involved in various criminal activities.

Referring to CPLC data, President KCCI stated that the state of affairs in terms of law-and-order situation have worsened really badly as total of 186 vehicles and 4,486 motorbikes were either snatched or stolen whereas 2,199 phones were also snatched along with a case of extortion and 34 murder incidents in the month of February 2022 alone. During 2021, over 482 homicides, 116 kidnappings for ransom, 23 extortion cases, and three bank robberies were reported and around 2,094 vehicles and 50,841 motorcycles were either snatched or stolen and around 25,188 mobile phone snatching cases were also reported.

“Although the CPLC data represents the entire Sindh but it was a matter of grave concern that around 95 percent of all these criminal activities took place in Karachi which clearly indicates the totally awful and most vulnerable security environment in Karachi,” he said, adding that the downwards slide of the law-and-order situation in Karachi was clearly visible yet the LEAs remain not more than silent spectators only.

President KCCI was of the opinion that amid poor governance, Karachi suffers terribly due to street crimes and land grabbing issues which can only be resolved when both the federal and provincial governments make coordinated efforts and give due attention to this most neglected city of Pakistan which, unfortunately, has been facing step-motherly treatment since more than one-and-a-half decade.

He appealed to the Prime Minister Imran Khan, Federal Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid, Chief Minister Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah, DG Rangers and IG Sindh Police to devise effective and result-oriented strategies on war footing basis to curb all types of criminal activities particularly the rising street crimes and land grabbing activities with a view to provide relief to perturbed Karachiites and save this city from further disaster.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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