The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) on Monday noted with concern that the state of law and order in Karachi had “deteriorated alarmingly”.

Karachi has been facing an increase in street crime in recent months. Data presented before a high-level security meeting last week showed more than 250 Karachiites were shot dead and 1,052 others were wounded by street criminals between 2022 and March 28, 2024.

Police sources said that a significant increase in violent street crimes was registered over the past three years.

On Saturday, Sindh High Court Chief Justice Aqeel Ahmed Abbasi ordered law enforcement agencies to launch a crackdown on criminals, their handlers and facilitators to curb street crime in Karachi and improve security situation in other parts of the province, particularly the riverine area.

Rising street crimes in the capital of Sindh also brought face-to-face allies in the Centre on Sunday when MQM-P censured the PPP-led provincial government and demanded policing powers for Rangers across Sindh.

At a press conference, the MQM-P leaders presented a “charge sheet” against the PPP government and Sindh police, blaming them for their “failure and incompetence”. They also demanded the federal government intervene in the “larger interest of Karachi and its people.”

Earlier, the party had also demanded an operation against street criminals, otherwise, it hinted at parting ways with the PML-N-led coalition government if the killing of innocent people was not stopped.

In a post on social media platform X today, the HRCP said: “Tens of thousands of street crimes were registered by the police in 2023, in which over a hundred people lost their lives. The first quarter of 2024 has followed the same pattern.”

The HRCP pointed out that that retaliatory vigilantism and increased brutality by citizens in response to the crime wave was “not the answer”, adding that the government’s failure to address rising crime levels was “shocking”.

“The underlying factors such as economic desperation and unemployment need to be addressed urgently as well.,” it stressed.

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