KARACHI: In a meeting aimed at an ‘exchange of thoughts’, a delegation of traders and industrialists on Thursday put before Corps Commander Lt Gen Naveed Mukhtar their concern over and suggestions related to the city’s dilapidated infrastructure, poor utility services and issues related to law and order as well as the ‘inability of police’ to deal with them.
Apart from expressing his resolve to fix law and order, the corps commander sought their suggestions to revive the economy, the traders said.
The traders and industrialists’ delegation, originally representing the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) were led by Businessmen Group chairman Siraj Kassam Teli, who said such meetings between the two sides were expected to be held in future as well to understand each other’s points of view.
“It was an over two-hour-long discussion,” Mr Teli told Dawn. “Both sides exchanged thoughts over the ongoing operation in Karachi, the law and order situation, deteriorating infrastructure of the city in general and industrial areas in particular. He [Lt Gen Mukhtar] appreciated our feedback and we hope to meet each other in future as well for such positive and healthy discussion.”
Apart from a brief insight of the meeting by Mr Teli, the KCCI issued a detailed statement of the discussion between the two sides.
KCCI president Iftikhar Ahmed Vohra, Tahir Khaliq, Zubair Motiwala, Haroon Farooki, Anjum Nisar, Agha Shahab Ahmed Khan, Majeed Memon, A. Q. Khalil, Muhammad Idrees and Jawed Bilwani were part of the delegation.
“The KCCI delegation expressed deep concerns over issues pertaining to poor administration, dilapidated infrastructure, water, gas and electricity shortages, severe traffic jams in various roads, rising encroachments in different localities, inability of police to deal with several issues, underperformance of industrial units and other similar issues,” read the statement.
The corps commander, the statement added, highlighted the overall progress and achievements of the Rangers-led targeted operations across Karachi and briefed the KCCI delegation about the working and coordination of intelligence agencies for effective action against extortionists, killers, kidnappers, banned militant outfits and other criminals across the board.
“He [Lt Gen Mukhtar] also inquired about the business climate and sought KCCI’s suggestions for the revival of the economy as the uncertain situation has terribly sabotaged the image of Karachi,” said the statement. “He was of the view that the genuine representatives of the business and industrial community should also be regularly invited to participate in meetings being held from time to time to discuss and review the law and order situation and other issues of Karachi.”
The business leaders ‘underscored the need’ to cleanse the Sindh police of the officers who had been appointed on the basis of their political association during the past decade.
“Keeping in view, the poor performance of the police department and its inability to deal with issues, politically-affiliated appointments must be thoroughly scrutinized with a particular focus to completely depoliticize and cleanse this department,” the KCCI statement quoted Mr Teli as saying.
The same suggestion was given by him for the employees of the Karachi Municipal Corporation (KMC), Karachi Water & Sewerage Board (KWSB) and the fire department. “Mr Teli also stressed the need to eradicate dozens of politically affiliated and ghost employees who are responsible for the poor performance of various civic utilities departments including KMC, KWSB and fire department,” said the statement.
Published in Dawn, May 29th, 2015