A larger bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, while hearing Karachi unrest case, directed the Sindh chief secretary, Rangers and police to produce a joint report over no-go areas in the city.
Earlier, Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry rejected separate reports filed by Ranger, Police and Chief Secretary over no-go areas. The bench said: the court wants immediate peace in the city. The peace could be restored by implementing the court October 6, 2011 order, it added. It is pertinent to mention here that the family of Arshad Pappu, the Lyari gang warlord who was tortured to death by another group last week, was also present in the courtroom. The CJ inquired from Rangers’ counsel Shahid Anwar if any Rangers personnel were assassinated in Lyari and if their killers had been apprehended by the force. Anwar replied police conducted raids in Lyari at night and arrested 18 culprits.
The CJ grilled the counsel, saying 8 people were killed in the city yesterday which meant the law enforcing agencies were not doing their job. “A heavy budget was allocated to Rangers and powers were assigned to police. But what result have you shown?” asked the CJ.
“Any area where someone other than the government is exercising writ is called a no-go area. The chief secretary, the Rangers DG and the Sindh IG did not admit in clear terms about presence of no-go areas in Karachi. The court wants immediate peace in Karachi. The Rangers DG and Sindh IG should go now and bring a joint statement,” the court said.
The CJ said Rangers’ chief had not accepted responsibility for the worsening law and order situation. “If you go to Lyari, Shershah, Lines area and Jamshed Quarters, you will find no-go areas there. Girls are being lifted in the presence of police and Rangers in defence,” said the CJ.
He further said, “One of you says no-go areas exist while the other negates it. You are making a mockery of courts.” The Sindh chief secretary requested the court to allow 15 to 20 days time to police and Rangers to cleanse Karachi from crime. The CJ said elections are close and asked the chiefs of Rangers and police to ensure peace in the city. SSP Niaz Khosa also appeared in court and said half of Karachi has turned into a no-go area, completely contradicting the Rangers’ chief’s earlier statements.
Khosa said, “We are forced to free culprits over phone calls. Calls come from all areas including Lyari when culprits are arrested.”
While citing a report on the number of terrorists arrested, the Supreme Court said that most of those caught were found to be associated with different political parties. The court said that parties should expel all such members who are involved in terrorist activities. According to one of the report submitted before the Supreme Court during Karachi law & order case, cops held at least 208 suspected target-killers and 258 extortionists, who mostly belonged to outlawed outfits and political parties. The report submitted by Acting IG Sindh revealed that of these at least 224 culprits faced 351 cases of murder, armed robbery, possession of unlicensed weapons, etc. A breakup shows 27 suspects have affiliations with TTP, 81 with MQM, 38 Sunni Tehreek, 17 Lyari gangs, 6 defunct People's Aman Committee, 2 LeJ, 13 ANP, 4 banned Sipah-e-Muhammad, 14 outlawed Sipah-e-Sahaba, 2 Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, 4 Mohajir Qaumi Movement and 4 Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).