Karachi: Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry’s President Muhammad Haroon Agar expressing deep concern over deteriorating law and order situation in Karachi has demanded immediate sustainable and concrete safety and security measures ensuring effective implementation and delivering visible results to provide safety and security to the business and industrial community as well as Karachiites.
Addressing Inspector General of Police Sindh Shahid Nadeem Baloch along with his team during their visit to KCCI, Haroon Agar stated that it is the prime responsibility of the Government to maintain peace and ensure safety and security of life and property of the citizens. He lamented lawlessness in the markets of Karachi, particularly, in the old city area, Jodia Bazar, Cloth market and other markets at M. A. Jinnah Road was increasing and several precious lives of businessmen were lost in bloodshed.
The criminal activities viz. Extortion bhatta, kidnapping and killing for ransom, decoities etc. in the markets and industrial areas are rampant causing widespread fear and harassment, he added. He voiced the recurring and unbridled criminal activities and killings of businessmen had shaken the confidence of the business and industrial community on the law enforcing agencies. He apprised that everyday members of the business community and delegations from various markets of Karachi are approaching Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry complaining and protesting about life threats, receipts of extortion chits along with bullets to them sent by the criminal elements and requesting to immediately contact the concerned quarters for their safety and security.
Chairman Businessmen Group & Former President KCCI Siraj Kassam Teli conveyed his deep concern over the precarious law and order situation in Karachi, particularly in the industrial zones and old city area while criticizing the failure of the Government and law enforcing agencies to control the situation.
He stated that KCCI approached all the concerned quarters but commitments to the business community were never honoured in real sense as momentary and shortlived measures were taken. He stated that during the last five years he has been drawing the attention of highups concerned at the Federal and Provincial levels but in vain. He recalled that during last few years, federal and provincial minister for interior visited Karachi Chamber and pledged to control the deteriorating law and order situation but no concrete measures have been witnessed to sustain safety and security and improve law and order.
He was of the view that he had a feeling like he was talking to walls. He stated that it is the chief responsibility of the Government to provide protection, safety and security. He bewailed that it is a great irony that in the present grave economic scenario, injured economy, in the presence of energy and gas crisis, the business community of Karachi is steadfast to fortify the industrial and commerce activities, however, it has become impossible to continue doing business in Karachi in the wake of severe threats to precious lives of the members of business and industrial community.
He voiced that time and again the business and industrial community have been given excuses of lack of infrastructure, deployment and other problems. He was of the view that the law and order can surely improve if the political parties having stakes in Karachi stick on one page to control the situation. He proposed to stop the prepaid SIMs stating that same was the main root cause and 80 percent crimes were happening through the use of mobile phone. Therefore, he stated that the prepaid SIMs must be blocked and reissued after authentication with deliveries at the postal addresses mentioned on CNICs. Moreover, the unlawful activities of criminals should be monitored through mobile phone/SIM locaters and arrested.
He opined that the lives of the members of the business community are precious than the policies and business of mobile phone service operators. He said that he was proposing solution to the Government to allow each and every citizen to keep weapon for this safety and security which will act as deterrent. The KPK Government allowed the Polio team to keep weapon for their self defence which is a start, he believed. On similar line the every member of the business community be allowed to keep weapon for his safety. He lamented that old city area which was adjoining Lyari was worst affected. He pointed out to block a cut on G. Allana Road from where the criminals enter into the markets, harass the businessmen and flee easily.
Whether, establishing of police pickets, introducing community policing, installation of CCTV and establishing command and control, hiring of private guards, purchase of locator, for whatever security step may be, the business community had cooperated with Law Enforcing Agencies, however, practical measures and step must be taken rather lip services from concerned quarters, he concluded.
Inspector General of Police Sindh Shahid Nadeem Baloch announced formation of committees for seven industrial zones whereby appointed focal persons may immediately respond to typical urgent requirement like life threats, security of goods transported through vehicles etc. He was of the view that resources cannot come over night, however, he will make arrangements to ensure required deployment. He stated the he can’t deny some commitment in respect to safety and security of the business community might not be honoured in the past.
He stated that the Police had its own problems. The Police model was based on the law made in the Colonial Rule in 1861 and the business and industrial community never raised voice for police reforms like availability of resources and technology. He stated that it was a bitter reality that Police also had some dishonest elements but their number is low, however, the integrity of entire department must not be questioned as a large number of Police officials have been martyred in line of action to protect the citizens who also had their families to support.
He was of the view that there was lack of coordination between Police and CPLC in respect of the installation of CCTV cameras across Karachi. He apprised that special departments SIU, exportation cell etc. were established to facilitate the citizens. He said that he was well aware about the dynamic of Karachi as he had served in four districts and assured his team will do best possible efforts to maintain law and order. He also ordered to review the measures for S.I.T.E. Industrial area as well as the old city business areas and overcome the shortcomings.