‘Street crime common issue of all metropolises’

Our Correspondent
Wednesday, Apr 17, 2024

Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon has said that street robberies are a common issue in large metropolises around the world and Karachi is no exception to this situation, but the provincial government is obligated to give due focus to the security problem.

Speaking at a press conference here on Tuesday, he said the past caretaker government in the province should be held responsible for the latest deterioration in the security situation in the province.

Memon said the Sindh government had the fullest realisation of its obligations towards the law and order situation and the provincial authorities were fully responsible for resolving every problem area in this regard.

He said the government had been considering the option of extending financial compensation to the heirs of deceased victims of street crime in Karachi. Responding to the statements given by MQM-Pakistan leaders criticising the performance of the government in preventing street crime, Memon said the leadership of MQM-Pakistan had a biased opinion on this issue. “The MQM doesn’t enjoy public support anymore so they [MQM leaders] have been issuing such statements out of desperation. We are not concerned about any strategy or ultimatum given by the MQM as we are concerned about the safety of our people and we will resolve this issue”.

The information minister said that suspected criminals involved in felonies shouldn’t be granted bail by courts. He said that the law and order situation in the province had been improving following action taken by the police and Rangers.

He said that decisive action has to be taken to regulate the market which deals in used cellular phones. He assured media persons that the government had been taking strict action against criminals with the fullest commitment.

Memon said the law-enforcement agencies (LEAs) were fully cognisant of their responsibilities to ensure public safety. He told journalists that the LEAs had apprehended several criminals while they had also recovered 13 abductees in the province.

He said Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah soon after assuming the office of provincial chief executive for the latest term had convened a meeting on the law and order situation, showing that the maintenance of law and order was a top priority of the government.

He said Pakistan was blessed with one of the strongest security forces in the world as the LEAs had been discharging their duties in a praiseworthy manner. He claimed that the crime rate had climbed up during the interim regime in the province while the law and order situation had started to improve following stringent security steps taken by the present government. He said that 13 abductees had been recovered by the LEAs in the province in just the last fortnight.

The minister said six unsuspecting persons had been saved by LEAs from abduction as they had been lured by armed bandits of the riverine belt. He said that a targeted operation was being conducted by the LEAs both in Karachi and in the riverine areas of the province. He said the LEAs had killed 11 suspects allegedly involved in street robberies in Karachi in the current month.

He said the LEAs had apprehended 60 criminals in an injured condition and 33 of them had been arrested just in one week. He said that 85 suspected criminals had been apprehended from Karachi who had been allegedly involved in car theft incidents. He said the LEAs had imprisoned members of the criminal “Raja gang” from District West in Karachi.

Memon told journalists that Pakistan stood at 78th position on the World Crime Index, whereas the crime rate in the metropolises of 77 countries was more than that of Karachi. He said the crime rate of Atlanta, Dhaka, and New Delhi was more than that of Karachi. He claimed that the residents of London had been deprived of 500 cellular phones in a single day.

Memon was of the view that inflation and joblessness had been the two key factors behind the increasing crime rate in Karachi.

He said action was being taken against illegal immigrants who were suspected of having been involved in killing victims of street robberies who had offered resistance. “Such actions show complete seriousness of the provincial government to improve the law and order situation,” he said.

Memon, who also holds the portfolio of the Excise & Taxation and Narcotics Control Department, said the drugs had been a major menace in Sindh as was the case elsewhere in the country.

He lamented that the latest forms of synthetic drugs had the potency of overpowering the senses of the persons who indulged in substance abuse, and in some appalling instances those who were involved in drug abuse had even killed their parents.

Memon said the Sindh government of the Pakistan Peoples Party had the utmost resolve to get rid of the menace of narcotics in the province.

He advised the parents to keep a check on the company kept by their adolescent children and also about their socialising habits.

He said the government had launched a crackdown against criminals involved in drug trafficking in the province. He said that two suspects associated with the drug mafia had been killed in Hyderabad.

Memon, who also holds the portfolio of the provincial Transport Department, said pink buses under the Sindh Peoples Bus Service would be launched on new routes in Karachi to facilitate women passengers.

He said the government would launch a free shuttle bus service for connectivity between the Orange and Green Line sections of BRTS in Karachi. He said the government would lay the foundation stone of the Yellow Line bus service in Karachi in the current month.