QUITE a few letters have appeared in these columns on Karachi’s traffic issue. Given the seriousness of the situation and the Karachi traffic chief’s resolve to check violations, I would like to point out that the menace has become so widespread that it is beyond the police’s ability to sort out the situation. There cannot be a cop in every street and after every kilometre.
As a citizen I do not doubt the police chief’s sincerity, but I believe what the city needs is a holistic approach in which several agencies should work together. We have to take into consideration encroachments on roads and the occupation of footpaths. Traffic police cannot remove encroachments on its own. It is the job of the relevant provincial and municipal departments. Thus the Sindh government, the Mayor and traffic police should work jointly. This is an uphill task, because we are not very famous for inter-agency cooperation.
We also need help from ulema, mosque imams and TV and radio to make people aware of their responsibility. I believe a fatwa was issued by a renowned scholar – that it was haram to drive the wrong side or to violate traffic regulations. I believe similar fatwas have been given in the UAE and elsewhere.
I think all TV channels should spare some electronic time and broadcast appeals and warnings to all drivers. The police alone just cannot do it. Principals in schools and colleges should also regularly tell their students not to violate law.
I think political leaders should also make appeals to their voters to adhere to law. Prime Minister Imran Khan is a popular figure and he should share in this
Published in Dawn, November 4th, 2018