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Wednesday 26, June 2019



The ‘criminal’ hub of Pakistan

By: Fahim Patel, Uploaded: 13th July 2011

When we talk about the city of Karachi, it might be the toughest place for any political party to govern. Karachi is the largest city and business hub of Pakistan. It has a lot of importance in the economic development of Pakistan, but the ‘ruling elite’ has always done injustice to the city.
We never envisage that this is the city that creates 70% of revenue for the whole country and probably that is why we are unable to fulfill its requirements. From the early 90s, we have seen rampant violence in Karachi. Crime has been increasing since then and those who are paid to protect us are equally involved in the sensitive law and order situation in the city.
Robbery, mugging, mobile snatching, extortion and target killing are not new for Karachiites. Robbery in banks and mobile shops is a part and parcel of business. Not a single person in Karachi is safe from these crimes and if we do a survey asking “Have you experienced robbery, mugging or mobile snatching?” I think that nobody would reply with NO. Currently, the law and order situation is very messed up in the city and we can say that living in Karachi is like a ‘breakneck journey’ throughout.
According to the Citizen Police Liaison Committee (CPLC), the crimes reported only in January 2011 include 377 cases of snatching and stealing of vehicles, 1,470 cases of snatching and stealing of bikes, 2,137 cases of mobile phone snatching and stealing, 731 cases of attempt to murder, 1,237 cases of road robberies and 189 cases of drug peddling.
The question is that why the capital hub of Pakistan is suffering from this situation since past many years. The police and our leaders are equally responsible for the situation. The MPA of MQM Khwaja Izhar-ul-Hasan, told the Sindh Assembly that they had reports that certain police officials in the city were “business partners” of criminals gangs in various localities.
The biggest robbery of Rs. 520 million had been carried out in the metropolitan on Dec 12, 2009 and a bag containing foreign currency worth 40,000 pound had been recovered from the house of a police personnel. When the so-called ‘protectors’ become the patrons of crime, the same situation should emerge what we are experiencing in Karachi.
The recent robbery at the T2F café in Defence Phase II was one of the really shocking incidents. 4 armed men looted laptops, phones, cameras, wallets and cash worth Rs. 70,000 from almost 40 people in a locality that is considered to be perhaps the safest in Karachi. As usual, an FIR (First Information Report) was registered against ‘unknown criminals,’ but no one was arrested.
Police has never done their work effectively in the city. According to a survey, after robbery or phone snatching most people do not go to police station to file a complaint, because the police is so crooked one does not know what might be the outcome. Robbery is so wide spread in Karachi because people don’t resist the robbers neither report them at police stations because of legal hassle.
If we go into the causes of robbery at large, there are several economic problems in the city of Karachi. Shortage of electricity, water and gas in industries has created more unemployment then ever. Due to poverty and frustration, people move towards crime and getting ‘easy money’.
Needless to say, it is the responsibility of the government to take actions against these rising crimes in Karachi, if they are not themselves involved in this. The government should provide employment to the youth of Karachi so that they don’t get involved in these small crimes. The custodians of the city should also do reforms in the department of Police from the lower to the top officials. And they should take major steps for creating an environment of peace among different groups.
For this purpose, we can refer to the example of Turkey where the government has made local government in Istanbul completely authoritative. The administrator has control over the system of police, transport and health. Same is the case for Karachi, it is the biggest city of Pakistan and we should handle this as a separate unit. The local government in Karachi must be established and given complete authority to handle crime along with development projects.

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Story first published: 13th July 2011






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