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KARACHI: Traffic police ordered to stop campaign

January 26, 2006

KARACHI, Jan 25: The drive against tinted glasses was abandoned late Wednesday night after four days during which 207 cases were registered and 228 people arrested. Sources in the police department said that a wireless message was aired from the city police chief Niaz Ahmed Siddiki that the campaign be stopped forthwith. The decision came after the State Minister for Religious Affairs Dr Amir Liaquat’s car was intercepted by Clifton police late Tuesday night. The car had tinted glasses and a fancy number plate.

The minister was let off following intervention by the Sindh Home Minister Rauf Siddiqui.

“The Clifton police registered 78 cases against violators of traffic rules and regulations during the campaign, which is being carried out without any discrimination,” Town Police Officer Imran Shaukat said, adding: “We examined a number of vehicles and impounded 78 of them, most with tinted glasses.”

Police said that Dr Amir Liaquat’s car was intercepted on Khayaban-i-Shamsheer in Defence Housing Authority near Defence Stadium. Witnesses said that the police had stopped the car as it had tinted glasses and a number plate other than the one issued by the government. Dr Liaquat objected to police behaviour and made a call to Sindh home minister, who rushed to the spot. The police officials were admonished for intercepting the state minister’s car. After the home minister’s intervention, Dr Liaquat was let off. The police did not register any case against him.

A senior police officer maintained that Dr Amir Liaquat’s car had ‘zero- level’ tinted glasses which were permissible under the law.

On Wednesday, more than 55 cases were registered against those having tinted glasses in their vehicles,” DIG Operations Mushtaq Shah told Dawn.

About the vehicles having company-fitted tinted glasses, he said that the law did not bar in-built tinted glasses because the company-fitted glasses had certain limit of darkness.

However, people in general complained about impolite behaviour of police during checking. They said that the police treated them like criminals. They said that the violators of traffic rules should not be treated like criminals as they were respectable citizens.