KARACHI: The chief justice has extended the deadline to evict residents of Pakistan Quarters by three months, after clashes between the residents of the federal housing colonies and police turned violent on Wednesday.
At least 16 people, including six police personnel, were injured as a protest by residents of Pakistan Quarters against their eviction led to clashes with the forces.
Dozens more were arrested as they protested against the operation to evict them from the quarters following the Supreme Court’s directives. Residents beat up and threw stones at personnel attempting to enter the quarters. Heavy contingents of police, including the anti-riot force, were called and they resorted to baton-charge, tear gas shelling and used a water canon to disperse the protesters.
One policeman also resorted to aerial firing following which he was taken into custody and his weapon was seized.
As the situation worsened, Governor Sindh Imran Ismail contacted Chief Justice Saqib Nisar, who ordered that the operation be halted for three months.
Police suspended the eviction operation earlier today after Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah telephoned AIG Karachi and expressed anger over the use of force against the residents.
Speaking to the media, SP Jamshed Quarters said, “Over a dozen people have been taken into custody and a case will be registered against them for hindering government work.”
“We have suspended the operation for now and will continue it when directives are issued,” he added.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Karachi President Khurram Sher Zaman, speaking to the media in the aftermath, said his party had asked the governor to take notice of the incident.
“We condemn the police action [against the people]. This is not a federal matter. [But] we have asked the Centre to play its role [in resolving the situation],” he said.
Meanwhile, Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan leaders Amir Khan, Naveed Jamil, Farooq Sattar and PTI MPA Jamal Siddiqui reached the site to extend support to the residents of the quarters.