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KARACHI: Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) president Muhammad Idrees, while expressing deep concerns over rising lawlessness and street crimes in every single area of Karachi, strongly slammed the law enforcement agencies (LEAs) who have failed miserably to control the situation and maintain peace in Karachi where citizens were fearlessly being looted and killed upon slight resistance even in broad daylight and at densely crowded places.

“The Karachi Chamber has been constantly highlighting this serious issue from time to time, but the high-ups at LEAs remain silent and it appears that they are least bothered to provide any relief in terms of safety and security to the perturbed citizens and the business community”, he said, adding that it was really unfortunate that all the energies, alertness and efficiencies are exhibited by LEAs only when they are deployed on providing security to any VIP whereas ensuring a secure environment for hundreds and thousands of Karachi residents was nowhere in their priority list.

“Keeping in view the capabilities of Additional IG Javed Alam Odho, the business community has high expectations from him hence, he must take concrete steps and deliver at any cost”, he stressed, adding that He also stressed there was a need to depoliticize police and introduce a mechanism of punishment & reward wherein the poor performing officers should be suspended for a period of at least six months while the hardworking ones must be promoted.

Muhammad Idrees mentioned that due to shrinking business and industrial activities caused mainly by the rising cost of doing business and the stubbornly high inflation, poverty and employment has risen sharply in the society where the unemployed youth, after failing to find adequate jobs, were landing up in the world of crime that has led to raising the bars of numerous criminal activities all over Karachi.

“In order to efficiently deal with the alarming situation, the government, in addition to issuing directives to LEAs to strictly control crime, must also seriously look into the root causes of rising lawlessness. Therefore, the government should take steps to bring down the inflation and high cost of doing business which, in return, would promote business expansion, industrialization and create abundant employment opportunities, saving our youth from become prey of the criminal world”, he said, adding that due to flash floods, many individuals poured into Karachi but foreign criminal elements also took advantage of the situation and entered the city who are here to sabotage law and order hence, this serious issue much also be given attention otherwise the situation would worsen further.”

Referring to CPLC data, he mentioned that in the month of July 2022, a total of 160 vehicles and 4,377 bikes were either stolen or snatched whereas 2,154 mobile phones were also snatched and 52 people were murdered.

The situation worsened in August 2022 when a total of 167 vehicles and 5319 motorbikes were either stolen or snatched while an alarming number of 2677 mobile phones were also snatched and 44 people were killed. “So many killings within a couple of months and rising snatching incidents pose a big question mark on the performance of LEAs who must be held accountable for their failure to deal with the situation”, he added.

He said that the Federal Government has also been largely ignoring law & order and other issues of Karachi which, despite contributing massively to the national exchequer, remains deprived and suffers badly which was a sheer injustice to the largest city of the country. “It is a pity that Federal Interior Minister was not bothered to neither review nor resolve Karachi’s issues as he remains heavily engaged in attending talk-shows on TV Channels”

Keeping in view the aforementioned facts, President KCCI fervently appealed Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Federal Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan, Chief Minister Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah and Heads of Law Enforcing Agencies to pay special attention to the miseries and hardships being suffered by Karachiites and adopt concrete steps to eradicate street crimes from Karachi where citizens were currently finding themselves too totally unsafe and vulnerable.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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