Muttahida hints at quitting coalition govt if crime wave, killings not stopped in Karachi

Published April 3, 2024
CM Murad Ali Shah congratulates PPP stalwart Masroor Ahsan on his victory in the Senate election on Tuesday.—APP
CM Murad Ali Shah congratulates PPP stalwart Masroor Ahsan on his victory in the Senate election on Tuesday.—APP

• Subzwari calls for operation to curb street crime in Karachi
• Murad says govt committed to improving law, order in province

KARACHI: Perturbed at an alarming rise in cases of muggings and killings of citizens in the metropolis, a senior leader of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan has demanded an operation against street criminals and hints at parting ways with the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz-led coalition government if the killing of innocent people is not stopped.

“The MQM-P will leave any government if people continued to be killed in Karachi during street crime,” said former federal minister and Senator Faisal Subzwari.

Senator Subzwari’s veiled threat came after Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah admitted that the law and order situation in Karachi had worsened during recent months.

Talking to the media on the premises of the Sindh Assembly on Tuesday, where he came with MPAs of his party for the Senate election, Senator Subzwari said that over 50 citizens had been killed in street crime in Karachi during the past three months but there was no one to catch the killers.

He said that earlier every targeted killing was blamed on the MQM-P and the institutions would come into action against his party.

He said that demands of an operation would have surfaced, if there had been such a slaughter elsewhere. “However, an operation against street criminals is not being demanded by political parties in Karachi,” he lamented.

Underlining the need of an operation against street crimes, he said that people of the city did not have the same weapons as criminals did. “I don’t know why the operation is not being started in Karachi,” he wondered.

He said that youth of Karachi was being killed after a few thousand rupees.

Senator Subzwari urged the federal interior ministry and the director general of the Rangers to take notice of the alarming surge in the street crime and killing of innocent citizens.

Taking exception to a recent statement of Home Minister Zia Lanjar on street crime situation in the city, the MQM-P leader said that the home minister was making mockery of the situation. “He is home minister, not a joke minister,” he jibed.

He said that it was the job of the home minister to enable police intelligence to curb street crimes in the city.

The MQM-P leader said that the Pakistan Peoples Party had been in power in the province for the past 15 years, but the law and order situation remained alarming during its successive tenures.

He said that people of the city were in a state of confusion as to who would solve their problems.

He said that the agreements with the IMF belonged to the state and not the government. “If the country defaults, the price of bread will reach Rs200,” he apprehended.

When asked about replacement of Sindh Governor Kamran Tessori, Senator Subzwari said that there was no discussion about the change of the governor and it was not even under consideration.

CM admits law and order unsatisfactory

Meanwhile, talking to the media on the premises of the Sindh Assembly a little before casting his vote in the Senate election on Tuesday, CM Shah said that the provincial government was implementing strict measures to improve law and order in the province.

“These measures include addressing street crime in Karachi and kidnapping for ransom in the riverine area,” he added.

He also acknowledged that the law and order during their last tenure was not satisfactory, and it further deteriorated during the caretaker government. He said that the situation was not that bad during his previous tenure as it was in the months of January and February.

“However, the provincial government is committed to improving the situation and is taking steps to achieve this goal,” he added.

To a question, CM Shah stated that during his last term, he implemented effective measures to improve law and order in the province.

He said that street crime in the city was brought under control and police pickets were established along the Indus River embankment to restrict the bandits in the riverine area.

CM Shah further added that his government was taking strict measures to crush street criminals and dacoits and he promised that the situation would improve shortly.

Published in Dawn, April 3rd, 2024

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