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CJ assails Sindh govt, equates Karachi to weapon smuggling hub

Updated Aug 29, 2013 10:31pm


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Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry headed a five-member Supreme Court bench which was hearing the Karachi unrest case at SC’s Karachi registry on Thursday. – File Photo
Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry headed a five-member Supreme Court bench which was hearing the Karachi unrest case at SC’s Karachi registry on Thursday. – File Photo

KARACHI: Pakistan’s top judge said Thursday that weapons in large quantities were being smuggled in through the Karachi port and supplied throughout the country, including Balochistan.

Citing media reports, he said around 19,000 containers carrying weapons for Nato and US forces fighting in neighbouring Afghanistan had gone missing.

Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, who headed a five-member Supreme Court bench, came down heavily on the chief secretary Sindh and provincial police chief, saying both were not realising their responsibilities to ensure protection of lives and property of citizens.

The bench, with Justice Jawad S. Khawaja, Justice Gulzar Ahmed, Justice Athar Saeed and Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed as its members, was hearing the Karachi law and order suo motu implementation case at the apex court’s Karachi registry.

Expressing dissatisfaction with the reports submitted to the court by IG Sindh Police and the chief secretary over the missing Nato containers, the court summoned chief collector Customs to the hearing on Friday.

Questioning competence of the police, the court asked why CPLC was successful in catching culprits of kidnapping and murder cases, while the police was still unable to come up with anything substantial.

The bench was astounded with the advocate general Sindh’s statement in which he declared Karachi a ‘war zone’. CJ Chaudhry wondered why the advocate general of Balochistan had not given a similar report when worse cases had taken place in that province.

Meanwhile, Attorney General of Pakistan Munir A. Malik also submitted a report before the court, stating that the major reason for worsening law and order situation was the ‘growing population’ in the port city.

He also stated that drug cartels, weapons smugglers and gangs operating in the city had become a norm.

The federal government’s report further stated that any major operation in Lyari should be avoided. It also advised on banning pillion riding, while cautioning against shutting down cellular networks without prior coordination.

The report also revealed presence of a militant group namely “Muhajir Republican Army” in Karachi and recommended legal course of action upon identification of its members.

The court was also told that any mobile phone SIM card which could not be verified by September 15 would be permanently blocked.

The chief justice remarked that there was an ongoing turf war between different groups in the city and the federal government had not given any input to the provincial government during last two years to normalise the situation.

The bench directed the attorney general and advocate general of Sindh to seek instructions from federal and provincial governments to ensure protection of citizens’ lives.

The bench will take up the case again on Friday, Aug 30 at the Karachi registry.


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Comments (9) Closed

gangadin Aug 29, 2013 10:14pm

He has no idea what he is talking about. Karachi is a preview of what Pakistan will look like down the road. Politicians think that by ignoring this problem, it will go away. I don't care if the assholes at Dawn publish this or not, it will stay somewhere that I said that.

Mustafa Aug 29, 2013 10:25pm

This man has always been opposed to Karachi.

Nizamuddin Ali Ahmad Aug 29, 2013 10:27pm

Mr. Chief Justice: What are you going to do. What have you done so far. In two months you will be out of office.

Ali Aug 29, 2013 10:54pm

This is nothing but another drama by this CJ, only playing with media. His 7 years in the position has been worst for judiciary and Insaaf. Only poor people were sent to jail. He made the whole nation fool, he must be held accountable along with his son

muhibbewatan Aug 30, 2013 12:27am

Strong recommendations to the provincial authorities are going to fall on deaf ears and ''AKKAL KAY ANDHAY" as has been noted in the past. Only tough measures through legislation and APC deliberations with the interest of "AWAAM" at heart should bring some results provided the Federal and Provinicial Govts. are on the same page.

Imtiaz Faruqui Aug 30, 2013 01:30am

This a cock and bull story ,19000 containers of arm are missing. The Pakistanis could be sleeping but not the NATO.

Fazal Karim Aug 30, 2013 05:10am

Serious problem with Karachi is that no one owns it. Federal and Provincial governments do not own it because majority of the population are stateless i.e Urdu speaking. This indifference has created ground for opportunists to exploit feelings of locals and created a mafias and mafias.

sikander Aug 30, 2013 09:55am

Thanks that CJ woke up! Our political leaders spend their most of the time criticizing other opposition parties and do too little too late for the people and for the country. They should have built dams long time ago. They should have provided clean drinking water to the people. They should improved health care system and security. It is only now they realized that millions of people in Pakistan are living illegally. How pathetic....

Immad Aug 30, 2013 10:24am

I think Mr Honorable Chief Justice you are missing the fact that Nato does get its shipment from Karachi port, but it is KPK and tribal areas where Nato containers went missing. Targeting Karachi because its the only port in the country is wrong analysis, why cant you comment on those who get these weapons and then use these weapons to kill innocent Pakistanis. 50000 is the count of innocent killings by that group in Pakistan. Are you also a sympathizer of that terrorist group?