KARACHI: The Jamaat-i-Islami has questioned the “merit and competence” of Sindh home minister Ziaul Hassan Lanjar and accused him of “normalising” the growing number of street crimes in Karachi despite the fact that armed muggers had killed dozens of people in the city during the past few months.

This came after Mr Lanjar said during a presser that the law and order situation in Karachi was currently much better than what it used to be in the previous years, adding that a “hype” had been created over the issue of street crime in the city.

Addressing a press conference at the party headquarters Idara Noor-i-Haq on Monday, the JI Karachi chief Hafiz Naeem ur Rehman strongly criticised Mr Lanjar over what he called his “attempt to normalise” the growing number of crimes in the city and reiterated his demand to localise the police in the city.

“Only during this Ramazan, 10 innocent Karachiites lost their lives and became victims of street crimes,” he said and added: “the total death toll during the first three months of the year stood at 49 and you are calling it nothing unusual? Can any person with a heart comment like this? You call these numbers exaggerated by the media,” he said.

“Is killing of ten people in 20 days a usual thing for you, and that too when those people resisted muggers for saving their hard earned money? You [Mr Lanjar] have humiliated the people of Karachi and the families who are losing their loved ones, valuables and peace of mind every day,” he said.

“We demand the minister to take back his words and seek pardon from the people of Karachi,” said the JI chief.

Demanding police reforms, Hafiz Naeem urged the need to adopt community oriented policing model in order to address the issues of crimes in the city. He further said that purging the police department of black sheep and inclusion of local residents in the police were necessary to change the situation on the ground.

He held the Pakistan People Party government responsible for harbouring criminals in the Katcha area as well as in the urban areas of the province. He said the province had been handed over to criminals to an extent that the interprovincial highways were closed in the evening.

Published in Dawn, April 2nd, 2024

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