KARACHI: Additional Inspector General of Karachi Police Mushtaq Ahmed Maher has said that controlling street crimes was a serious challenge but efforts were underway and strategies have been devised which would result in bringing down the street crimes in the next couple of months.
Exchanging views during his visit to Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), Additional IG added that police department in association with NGOs has carried out a detailed research in which it has been identified that majority of the incidents pertaining to street crimes happen during traffic jams at peak hours from 5:00PM to 10:30PM.
To minimize street crimes during traffic jams, the police officers will try their level best to ensure smooth flow of traffic during peak hours which would help in drastically improving the situation, he added.
Businessmen Group Chairman and former president KCCI Siraj Kassam Teli, KCCI President Younus Muhammad Bashir, Senior Vice President Zia Ahmed Khan, Vice President Muhammad Naeem Sharif, former president Iftikhar Ahmed Vohra and KCCI Managing Committee members were present at the meeting.
Additional IG said that it was the responsibility of police to control street crimes which will be done by the department at any cost and if needed, they will seek assistance from Rangers and NGOs with a view to provide relief to Karachiites.
Commenting on the progress of Karachi Operation and referring to the concerns expressed by Siraj Kassam Teli over recurrence of crimes on completion of Karachi operation after two or three years, Mushtaq Maher said that the Karachi Operation has resulted in improving the security situation of the city by effectively dealing with major crimes and they have finalized blueprints for three years and five years which focus on equipping the police department to such an extent that they become capable enough to maintain peace across the city without any assistance. “A realization about the significance of Karachi city and its role in economic prosperity of the entire country has developed amongst various state institutions and the general consensus is that there is no going back from Karachi Operation which if stops would result in a disastrous situation”, he added.
He informed that the police department was currently looking at the possibility of making biometric verification mandatory for purchase of cellular phones as biometric verification proved very successful in registration of SIMs. If biometric verification is made mandatory for registration of newly purchased phones as well, it would definitely help in dealing with sale of snatched phones and bring down crimes pertaining to phone snatching. The idea of implementing biometric verification will soon be taken up with the Interior Ministry and Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), he added.
Replying to concerns expressed over rude behavior of police officers towards public, he admitted that police officers from top to bottom were acting very rudely with public particularly during VVIP movements mainly due to lack of discipline, training and punishment. He assured that they fully realize this issue and plans were underway to train officers and ensure discipline amongst them so that they could be very polite and be able to efficiently serve the public.
Earlier, Chairman Businessmen Group & Former President KCCI Siraj Kassam Teli, in his remarks, vehemently condemned the rude and extremely pathetic attitude of police officers who are on VVIP movement duty. “After wearing a uniform, they think they have become more powerful than anyone else which is why their attitude become really rude and they can easily be seen behaving ruthlessly on the streets of Karachi”, he said, and asked the Additional IG to either issue strict warning to all police officers or introduce an SOP which must ensure politeness towards general public.
Commending the role played by Police and Rangers in dealing with poor law and order situation under Karachi Operation, he said that the operation has resulted in bringing down the crime rate but still some criminal activities, including street crimes which fall under the purview of police department, continue to worsen and require immediate attention.
He also expressed dissatisfaction over failure to stop appointments in the police department on political grounds which may once again result in affecting the law and order situation of Karachi when the Operation completes in the next two or may be three years. “There is an immediate need to build capacities and capabilities of police officers so that they could efficiently take control of the security situation when Karachi operation completes otherwise terrorism and criminal activities would once again resurface, resulting in terribly destroying peace across the city.
Earlier President KCCI Younus Muhammad Bashir, in his welcome remarks, said that the Karachi Operation which was initiated in 2013 has resulted in substantially improving security situation as incidents pertaining to target killings, kidnapping for ransom and demand for extortion have reduced drastically but at the same time, street crimes have risen sharply which requires stern action by police in order to provide some relief to perturbed citizens.
He also underscored the need to depoliticize police department which will ultimately take control on completion of Karachi operation but they may not be able to maintain durable peace because of the appointments on political grounds.
He said that any attempt to slow down or stop Karachi Operation will not be accepted by the business and industrial community of Karachi which, if happens, will be widely protested by every single citizen of this city.
Younus Bashir also underscored the need to well-equip police officers with latest ammunition, gadgets, bullet proof jackets and other necessary equipment so that they could efficiently handle any law and order incident and ensure long-lasting peace across the city.