• Another young student wounded by robbers in Gulistan-i-Jauhar
• PPP govt, police chief blasted for rising street crimes
KARACHI: As armed robbers shot at and wounded another young student in the city for putting up resistance to a robbery on Tuesday, the Pakistan Peoples Party-led Sindh government and police were blasted by all major opposition parties for their ‘failure’ to curb the fast spiralling street crimes.
Within a week two young boys studying engineering and law were killed and many other people were wounded in incidents of street crimes in different parts of the metropolis.
Instead of taking any concrete action to control the breakdown of law and order, Karachi police chief Javed Odho had asked Karachiites not to offer any resistance to armed muggers and hand over their mobile phones to them quietly.
On Tuesday morning, a teenage student was shot at and wounded by armed robbers in Gulistan-i-Jauhar.
Sharea Faisal police SHO Haji Mohammed Ishaq said that Faizan Afzal, 18, was standing along with his friend in Block-13 when armed men riding a motorbike came and held them at gunpoint and demanded cash and other valuables.
However, Faizan put up resistance upon which the robbers opened fire on him and fled along with a few hundred rupees.
The young boy suffered a single bullet wound in the leg and was taken to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre for treatment.
Sindh govt lambasted
Calling it a ‘failure’ of the Sindh government and the Karachi police, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) on Tuesday questioned the performance of the law-enforcement agencies in Karachi where street crimes had claimed over a dozen lives in a few past weeks.
Addressing a press conference, former Karachi mayor Wasim Akhtar said that the provincial government had failed to come up with any strategy to control crime in the city.
He condemned the statement of the Karachi police chief in which the officer had asked citizens to ‘surrender’ to robbers and don’t resist against robberies.
“This city has over 65,000 policemen and some 13,000 Rangers personnel,” he said. “The people, who are losing their lives and valuables, but not seeing any credible action against criminals, are justified to question the performance of government.”
He expressed serious concerns over the lethargic approach of police authorities and toeing an apologetic policy against criminals. “With this advice, you have given a clean chit to all criminals in Karachi. This reflects the level of weakness and lack of political will to control street crimes. The people of Karachi are left at the mercy of criminals after the chief of law enforcement agency is found in a state of denial,” he said.
JI slams city police chief statement
Earlier, Jamaat-i-Islami chief Hafiz Naeem ur Rehman came down heavily on the PPP government and accused the ruling party of putting Karachiites at the mercy of street criminals.
He said the Karachi police chief statement was an attempt to practically encourage robbers to continue looting and killing citizens.
“Karachiites are now under constant threat of mugging and killing as the police, Rangers and other law enforcement agencies have badly failed in the city,” he said.
“Within a week an engineering student was killed outside the NED University and then a law student outside his home. We warn the government and the administration that the mugging and killing spree in Karachi will not be tolerated and the Jamaat will announce its next course of action if the lawlessness in the city continues.”
Street crime exposes inept govt, says PTI
Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf (PTI) legislators also criticised the police performance and called it a total failure of the Sindh government and its chief Syed Murad Ali Shah that had given a rise to street crimes in Karachi since the start of this year.
Talking to reporters outside a private hospital, where they had gone to inquire after the health of young robbery victim Faizan Ahmed, PTI MNA Faheem Khan and MPA Raja Azhar claimed that police had become politicised and one should not expect any true policing from the law-enforcement agency.
MPA Azhar claimed that by November, 81,000 incidents of street crimes had been reported in Karachi since January in which a total of 518 people had been killed or injured during the armed mugging attempts.
“These incidents in fact expose the ineffectiveness of the chief minister, inspector general of police and Karachi police chief,” he said.
Published in Dawn, December 21st, 2022