Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) Deputy Convener Khawaja Izharul Hassan has strongly criticised a recent controversial statement of the city police chief in which he downplayed the rising street crime by blaming the traders’ community for creating a sense of insecurity in the city through media.
While speaking at a news conference on Sunday, Hassan said that AIG Javed Alam Odho’s statement amid a surge in street crimes was a matter of great concern. “He is a capable officer. He should not forget that he is the chief of Karachi police,” he told a press conference at the party’s Bahadurabad office, where he was flanked by MQM Coordination Committee members and party MPAs.
AIG Odho, while addressing businessmen and industrialists at the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) on Friday, said that former KCCI president Zubair Motiwala, who spoke before him, sounded more like a political leader than a businessman. “Crime rate in Karachi is lower than even some US and Indian cities,” he had claimed.
Hassan said that the police officer’s victim-blaming attempt was irresponsible. “He is a public servant and he should never talk politics. His statement has handed an honourable acquittal to street criminals,” he added. Hassan wondered that the Karachi police chief did not even admit that the city was plagued by street crimes.
The MQM leader also criticized Murad Ali Shah who, he claimed, had failed both as chief minister and as home minister of Sindh. While addressing the PPP co-chairman, Hassan said: “Asif Ali Zardari, you kept on taking credit for peace in the city through targeted operations, where is that peace?”
He further said that Zardari should tell who was responsible for street crimes in Karachi. He alleged that the city police, instead of arresting street criminals, were encouraging and even patronizing them. “People withdrawing money from ATMs and banks are not safe. It seems criminals have been given a freehand to rob the people of Karachi,” he said.
He criticized the lax attitude of the ruling party towards the provincial police, saying no police officer has been suspended or transferred despite an unprecedented increase in street crimes in the metropolitan city. He alleged that the land mafia was also working in connivance with police in the city.
The MQM leader called for setting up model courts to try street criminals on terrorism charges because terrorizing citizens and killing them in cold blood during robberies is sheer terrorism. He called for a comprehensive and effective strategy to eliminate street crimes in Karachi.
Also read: Karachi police chief admits sharp rise in street crime
Hassan claimed that no political party has raised its voice against street crimes in the metropolitan city. “Jamaat-e-Islami is after Karachi’s mayoral position, while Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf only wants to grab the Prime Minister’s office,” he claimed.
The MQM leader also did not spare PM Shehbaz Sharif. “Your party has promised to maintain peace in Karachi, but the rising street crimes are a big question mark on your performance,” he said. CM Shah has failed both in controlling street crimes as well as in tackling the flood calamity. “The people of Karachi have no doubt shot themselves in the foot by trusting the city police chief,” he said.
Hassan went on to also criticize Karachi Administrator Barrister Murtaza Wahab, who belongs to Karachi but has not done anything for the city. “I just want to ask you what you have given to Karachi’s people in return for Rs300 billion collected in taxes from them,” he asked Wahab. “Instead, you have started extorting money from Karachi through an extortionist organization.”
The MQM leader slammed the imposition of Municipal Utility Charges and Taxes (MUCT) through K-Electric bills from Karachi consumers. “I want to ask why this municipal tax has only been imposed in Karachi and not in Sukkur or Larkana,” he questioned before warning that if this tax was forcibly taken, then Karachiites would stop paying their electricity bills.
Hassan also rejected calls for his party to part ways with the coalition government, saying that those asking the MQM to quit had not done anything during their three and a half years in government. “If you want the MQM to leave the government, then you should also stop dreaming about returning to the Prime Minister house,” he said while referring to the PTI.