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Friday June 21, 2024

Business community asks PM, COAS, CM to act against lawlessness in Karachi

By Our Correspondent
June 06, 2024
President Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI) Iftikhar Ahmed Sheikh speaks during a meeting on June 4, 2024. — Facebook/Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry
President Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI) Iftikhar Ahmed Sheikh speaks during a meeting on June 4, 2024. — Facebook/Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry

The business community of Karachi on Wednesday raised concerns over lawlessness in Karachi and appealed to the prime minister, the chief of army staff and others to act against it, otherwise they would launch a protest against it.

The business community took the stance after the target killing of businessman Asif Suleman Bilwani, who was brutally murdered during broad daylight.

President Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI) Iftikhar Ahmed Sheikh, while expressing deep concerns over rising incidents of target killings in Karachi, appealed the PM, the chief of army staff, the chief minister of Sindh and the interior minister to take strict notice of the rising lawlessness in Karachi, which, if not promptly addressed, would lead to the flight of investment from the largest city of the country and intensify problems for the already ailing economy.

Sheikh stated that Karachi has once again been plunged into the darkness of lawlessness as every day either a businessman or an industrialist or a student or a common man is being fearlessly murdered, which poses a grave question mark over the performance of law enforcing agencies, particularly the police and Rangers who are primarily responsible for maintaining law and order in Karachi.

He said that as per the available CPLC data, 163 people were murdered in Karachi from February to April 2024 and this number was likely to go up further as more target killings took place in the month of May and at the start of June. “The deteriorating law and order situation, particularly the recent wave of back-to-back incidents of target killings, have triggered a lot of anxiety not only amongst the members of business community but also the citizens of this city who find themselves totally unsafe while carrying out their businesses or commuting on the streets of Karachi.”

While urging the government to strictly deal with the situation, he suggested that the police officials of the area, where a target killing incident happens, should be taken to task by initiating strict disciplinary action coupled with denial of posting in sensitive areas on their failure to quickly arrest the culprits, which would definitely yield positive results.

He also demanded reviewing heavy deployment of police personnel for the security of ministers, bureaucrats, high-ranking police officials and others, which leaves behind a very small number of policemen for public protection.

In a press conference held on Wednesday at the secretariat of the Federal B Area Trade and Industries (FBATI), representatives of seven industrial zones expressed their anger at the lawlessness in the city, which recently claimed the lives of 78 residents, including industrialist Asif Bilwani, and gold medalist students.

They have decided to hold dialogues with the Sindh IGP and the Rangers DG on security measures immediately and plan to approach Chief of Army Staff General Asim Munir if the lawlessness issue is not resolved in Karachi.

President Federal B Area Trade and Industries (FBATI) Syed Raza Hussain said that the poor law and order situation has taken a toll on the city's economic activities, leading to the closure of businesses and the flight of capital to different countries.

He demanded that police personnel be removed from the protocol duties of bureaucrats and politicians and deputed to protect the citizens of the city, which is contributing handsome revenues to the national exchequer.

The SITE Association of Industry (SAI) also expressed concern over the murder of the industrialist. Its Patron-in-Chief Zubair Motiwala, Chief Coordinator Saleem Parekh, Former President Jawed Bilwani, President Muhammad Kamran Arbi, SVP Muhammad Hanif Tawakkal, VP Muhammad Farhan Ashrafi, Chairman Law & Order Committee Abdul Hadi and Members of the Executive Committee of SITE Association of Industry expressed distress over the murder of Bilwani in a dacoity incident.

They condemned the increasing incidents of murder in dacoity attempts in the city. Expressing heartfelt condolence with the bereaved family, they prayed to the Almighty Allah to grant high place to Asif Suleman Bilwani in heaven and fortitude to the bereaved family to bear this irreparable loss with equanimity.