KARACHI: In less than 24 hours after imposing a ban on pillion-riding in Karachi, the Sindh government took back its decision after “re-assessing the security situation” on Sunday evening.

The ban on pillion-riding was imposed earlier in the day after the targeted killing of Jamia Farooqia head Maulana Dr Adil Khan and his driver in Shah Faisal Colony on Saturday evening.

A notification issued here said that the ban was imposed to maintain law and order in the city. The ban would not be applicable on women, children below the age of 12 years, senior citizens, personnel of law enforcement agencies, security agencies in uniform, employees of the essential services and journalists.

SHOs of the police stations concerned were authorised to register complaints as well as take necessary action against violators of the ban imposed under Section 144 of the criminal procedure code.

However, in a late-night development, Sindh Home Secretary Dr Usman Chachar issued a notification that says: “In view of re-assessment of the security situation and decision taken in a meeting on threat assessment and security held today afternoon dated 11.10.2020, the notification of even number dated 11.10.2020 regarding ban on pillion riding is hereby withdrawn/cancelled.”

MQM-P slams ban

Earlier in the day when the ban was in place, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan while condemning the Sindh government for ‘failing’ to maintain law and order in the metropolis urged the Sindh High Court chief justice and the provincial governor to ensure immediate lifting of the ban on pillion riding.

In a statement issued from the party’s Bahadurabad temporary headquarters, members of the Sindh Assembly belonging to the MQM-P expressed serious concern over the provincial government’s decision to impose the ban and said that increasing incidents of crime only proved ‘incompetence’ of the Pakistan Peoples Party government in Sindh.

They said that poor and middle class people and students suffered most due to the ban.

“By banning pillion riding, the Sindh government has conceded its administrative failure and that it cannot eliminate crime.”

They asked the provincial government to fulfil its basic responsibility of protecting people’s life and property instead of depriving them of their basic rights.

They demanded that the SHC chief justice and Sindh Governor Imran Ismail take notice of the situation and play their role in the immediate lifting of the ban.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for the MQM-P criticised the Sindh government for not providing any protection to the slain religious scholar Maulana Dr Adil Khan.

In a statement, he said that the slain scholar was getting threats for the past many months but it was shocking that the provincial government did not take any notice of it.

“The Sindh government has completely ignored the National Action Plan and there is a dire need to implement it to avoid recurrence of similar tragedies,” the spokesman added.

Demanding immediate arrest of Maulana Adil’s killers, the MQM-P demanded that the Sindh government provide complete protection to religious scholars as well as places of worship.

Published in Dawn, October 12th, 2020

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