SHC directs to remove barriers from Karachi streets

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Tuesday directed the commissioner Karachi and law enforcers to remove illegal barriers from the city’s streets.

A division bench also asked the authorities to submit a report, outlining the areas where barricades were built outside the government installations, consulates of different countries and offices of the political parties for the security purposes. It set Feb 24 for the next hearing.

The bench had taken up two identical petitions pertaining to installation of barriers on the thoroughfares of the city.

One of the petitions was filed by Rana Faizul Hassan, a civil rights campaigner and secretary general of an NGO, United Human Rights Commission of Pakistan.

The petitioner submitted that barriers were placed across large number of streets of Karachi restricting freedom of movement of citizens, law enforcers and the emergency workers.

He stated that recently this city witnessed 70 percent of roads being blocked by placing barriers or other hurdles by residents of areas including Jamshed Town, Gulshan-e-Iqbal Town, North Nazimabad Town, Korangi Town, where a state within state has been created.

He submitted that this situation being illegal caused a kind of anarchy in the city. He said that on the pretext of security measures walls have been raised along the streets leading to the Bilawal House that has caused citizens to suffer. The petitioner pleaded the court to direct the respondents to remove barriers from the streets.

In response to the court’s directions, commissioner Karachi Shoib Ahmed Siddiqui, DIG South Abdul Khalique Shaikh and other government functionaries turned up in the court on Tuesday. To a query, the commissioner Karachi told the judges that the barricades were installed outside the sensitive installation including the consulates of various countries for their security. These barricades did not hinder the movement of citizens.

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