Karachi: Acting President of the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), Muhammad Idrees, while expressing sheer disappointment over Karachi Operation which started in September last year, stated that although some decline has been witnessed in target killings but other severe issues particularly the street crimes, kidnapping for ransom and demand for bhatta (extortion) continue to worsen day by day.
Talking to a delegation of Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) during their visit to KCCI, Muhammad Idrees added that in such terrible circumstances, the businessmen and industrialists are finding it impossible to continue their businesses and many businessmen have either shutdown or shifted their businesses to safer destinations, which is likely to affect the economic performance of Karachi city.
HRCP delegation comprised of Secretary General HRCP, I. A. Rehman, Vice Chairperson HRCP (Baluchistan Chapter), Tahir Hussain, Ms. Hina Gillani and Najamuddin while KCCI Managing Committee members Zafar Saeed Baghpatee, Shehzad Mobeen, Ibrahim Kasumbi, Tanveer Barry, and Secretary General KCCI, S. M. H. Rizvi were also present at the meeting.
Muhammad Idrees pointed out that business community of Karachi city has been vehemently demanding complete shutdown of all prepaid SIMs as criminals are using illegal prepaid SIMs to carry out their activities. Over 70 percent of crimes of all kind take place using mobile phones with prepaid SIMs and the only solution is to shut down all the prepaid SIMs in one go and get them reissued to their postal addresses through courier service as per CNIC already provided which will automatically get rid of all such SIMs issued illegally on fake CNICs. “Businessmen are constantly being threatened via phone calls made from these illegal SIMs to pay extortion money or face the consequences. The situation is worsening every day but no action has been taken to strictly deal with such criminals”, he added.
When HRCP delegation sought solution to these issues, Acting President KCCI said that deployment of army under the Constitution in aid of Civil Government is the only solution to the security issues being faced by Karachi city. Deployment of Army in Karachi has become inevitable due to expected repercussions of Zarb-e-Azb Operation as has been done in Islamabad, Multan and other cities whereas Karachi is more vulnerable.
Citing a couple of incidents of kidnappings, Muhammad Idrees accused that some unscrupulous elements within the police department are involved in numerous unlawful activities. “Chairman of Tariq Road Traders Association was recently kidnapped and the police denied of having any information about his abduction but, shockingly, a CCTV footage revealed that the said businessman was picked up by police and taken to unknown location in a van without having a registration plate. When this footage was shown to concerned police officers and protests were held, the kidnapped businessman was immediately released on same day”, he informed.
He said that frequent transfers of police officers is another serious problems which requires attention. Police officers are frequently transferred from one place to another, making it difficult for them to plan things to tackle problems, execute and deliver results.
Speaking on the occasion, Secretary General HRCP, I.A. Rehman said that the purpose of their visit was to take KCCI’s feedback on Karachi Operation since its commencement in September last year.