KARACHI: A debate with the opposition over the law and order situation in Sindh emerged in the Sindh Assembly when Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) and Muttahida Majlis e Amal (MMA) members refuted the government’s claims regarding improvements in the law and order situation, alleging that ‘Police are involved in organised crime’.
The dispute arose after an adjournment motion was moved by MQM MPA Mohammad Hussain. In his speech, Hussain presented the official data of street crime, especially vehicles and cell phones being snatched in Karachi, saying, “Around 209 vehicles have been reportedly stolen in the city in a month and 13,000 mobile phones have been snatched in the same period. The kidnaping for ransom is rising again. How can you claim to have controlled law and order in the province?”
Hussain also informed the house about dacoits inside ATM machines, jewellery being snatched from women in broad daylight in the city.
Endorsing Hussain’s speech, Kanwar Naveed Jameel, the parliamentary leader of MQM in Sindh Assembly said, “Around 310 cops and two senior superintendents of police are involved in these crimes. I am not creating hype in this House, but this is an official report shared by the Karachi AIG.”
Jameel directed the attention of the House towards Sanghar district where, according to him, stolen bikes were being sold under the auspices of police. He questioned the House why cops hailing from Bannu, Mohammad Agency and Rahim Yar Khan were inducted in Karachi. “The outsiders whose credibility is at stake are given law and order responsibility,” he remarked.
Nusrat Seher Abbasi of GDA said that the citizens of Sindh were not safe in any district and law and order situation was deplorable from Kashmore to Karachi. “The worst example of law and order can be quoted from a snatching bid where criminals at gunpoint deprived an elderly woman of her earrings. This caused bleeding from her ears.” According to Abbasi, many people prefer not to register an FIR against the crime due to fear. PTI’s Khurrum Sher Zaman said that there were a total of 31,000 cops in Karachi and of them, only 14,000 were performing duties in the city while the others have been deputed for VVIP protocol. He demanded that cops be hired on merit.
Khawaja Izharul Hasan of MQM referred to the budgetary provision for law and order and said, “In 2018, government had allocated Rs21 billion for this purpose and Rs1.25b more have been enhanced for law and order in the current fiscal year, but the situation is going from bad to worse.”
MMA’s Abdul Rashid joined in the debate and suggested that the government direct its attention to the Katchi Abadis that have been “turned into hatcheries for criminals”. “Police personnel are posted in the same police stations for 15 to 20 years. They develop links with criminals and land mafia,” he said.
Marvi Rashdi of PPP, while appreciating the government’s efforts said, “Terror reined in the city when the PPP came to power in 2008 and it has gradually controlled the situation.”
Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, concluding the debate on law and order, said, “Sindh is better than other provinces when it comes to law and order.” He appreciated the sacrifices rendered by police, Rangers and other security personnel and said, “Not only to government, but credit also goes to opposition parties who joined hands to root out this menace.”
The chief minister referred to the Army Public School, Peshawar and militants’ attack on Bannu Jail and said, “Can anyone tell us the progress on those cases? Has anyone arrested the culprits involved in it?” He said that the situation in Sindh was totally changed as police and law enforcement agencies have resolved high-profile cases. “We have arrested and resolved the cases of Wali Babar, Amjad Sabri and Sehwan blast,” the chief minister remarked.