KARACHI: The Supreme Court of Pakistan Thursday ordered the provincial government in Sindh to clear the capital, Karachi of illicit arms, ammunition and “no go areas.”
The larger bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, has directed the authorities concerned to initiate the process for surrendering of illicit weapons within 15 days for ensuring peace in the port city.
The court, in its interim order passed in Karachi law and order implementation case, ordered the application of rule of law as well as the enforcement of the fundamental rights of the citizens under Article 9 of the Constitution.
The Inspector General of Police (IGP) Sindh, and Director General Rangers (Sindh) were directed to submit reports on the next date of hearing that “the entire city has been cleared and there is no ‘no go area’ there anymore.”
The Supreme Court, showing satisfaction with Sindh government over promulgating a law on the subject, urged the other provincial governments to attend to the issue as well at the earliest.
“It may be pointed out that in countries like Pakistan where such situation exists, the executive authorities have to take drastic steps with a view to control and maintain law and order situation in order to protect the life of the citizens.”
“In the instant case without depoliticising the police, positive result apparently seems to be an uphill task; however, to ensure peace in Karachi, certain steps will have to be taken.”
The Supreme Court declared presence of 2.5 million aliens in Karachi more alarming than targeted killing and similar violent activities.
“Presence of such persons is not only a factor for increase in crime, but at the same time without proper registration, they are a burden on the national economy and many other administrative problems.”
The government should take immediate action against them in accordance with law, namely the Foreigners Act, ordered the apex court bench.
The court also ordered NADRA and police to initiate cleansing operation by identifying fake National Identity Card (NIC) holders in the city.