SC orders removal of no-go areas in Karachi by April 4

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Friday directed the police and Rangers to eliminate the no-go areas in Karachi by exhausting all the resources available to them by the time the apex court resumes hearing of the port city’s law and order case on April 4.

A five-member larger bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and comprising Justice Jawwad S Khawaja, Justice Khilji Arif Hussain, Justice Amir Hani Muslim and Justice Ejaz Afzal, was hearing the Karachi no-go areas case.

The court sought a report pertaining to the no-go areas from the police top brass and director general Sindh Rangers through the advocate general of the province on April 4.

During the hearing, the chief justice said that they were going to Karachi to hear the law and order case and all the law enforcement agencies would be responsible if they failed in implementing the court order.

The court admonished the top cops, asking why the police were unable to locate the areas when the media could obtain credible information in this regard.

DIG West Zone, Karachi, Zone Amir Farooqui appeared before the bench and claimed that the situation was improving in the city.They claimed that there were no no-go areas in the city instead criminals were holed up in some pockets of the metropolis where operations are being conducted.

Justice Khilji Arif Hussain inquired whether people could independently move in Shanti Nagar area of Karachi where a Naval base was also located.The police officers told the court that a slum area was located under the hills in Manghopir where at least 200 militants of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan are present. They said situation was now improving as compared to the past when they were working under political influence.

The chief justice noted that no police officer had submitted that any political party was not allowing him to work freely.The cops said that anti-polio campaign was carried out in Shanti Nagar, which was identified as a no-go area by a newspaper.

The CJ inquired if the criminals, who were still roaming freely in Lyari, had been arrested, adding that the Supreme Court bench would also take up the issue during the hearing of the Karachi law and order case.

The bench directed that copies of its order and newspaper, carrying story regarding no-go areas, be provided to the Rangers DG and Sindh IG, seeking their explanation as to why the situation had not improved in case they rejected the story.