Karachi, January 11, 2016 (PPI-OT): Director General Pakistan Rangers Sindh, Maj. Gen. Bilal Akbar said that Karachi operation will continue as there are no such hurdles which cannot be resolved with both the tiers of Sindh and Federal government and in the issue, the role of the Rangers is very minor.
“Despite the ongoing push and pulls, I have been clearly instructed by the heads of armed forces and the federal government to go on with Karachi Operation. The future of Karachi Operation is bright and solid which will continue Insha-Allah until it reaches its logical conclusion”, DG Rangers added while replying to BMG Chairman’s remarks in which Siraj Teli said, “Action speaks louder than words and the same depicts in the performance of Pakistan Rangers who have successfully shown the results in Karachi operation which is highly praised by the entire Business and Industrial Community of Karachi.”
Siraj Teli, however, feared that attempts were being made to once again plunge this city to the same position where it was almost two decades ago which the Business and Industrial Community will never allow and they will always support Rangers and the Governments who will continue to struggle to restore complete peace and tranquillity across Karachi.
Chairman Businessmen Group and Former President KCCI Siraj Kassam Teli, Vice Chairmen BMG and Former Presidents KCCI Tahir Khaliq, Zubair Motiwala and Haroon Farooki, President KCCI Younus Muhammad Bashir, Senior Vice President KCCI Zia Ahmed Khan, Vice President KCCI Muhammad Naeem Sharif and KCCI Managing Committee members attended the meeting in camera, along with an special gathering of over 175 members representing different markets and industrial zones.
Maj. Gen. Bilal Akbar accepted the demand of Siraj Teli to formulate a Coordination Committee with whom Rangers’ officials could share evidences and discuss suspicious activities of any businessman or industrialist prior to taking action and Rangers will never spoil anyone’s reputation because of any by chance or unintentional incident but will only take action in clear and solid actionable cases. This action will now be taken after bringing the issue to the notice of KCCI’s Coordination Committee.
The demand to formulate Coordination Committee was immediately accepted when Siraj Teli pointed out that the law and order situation and these crimes of Bhattas etc. were flourishing in the city for the last 20-25 years and all the Business and Industrial Community have been participating either under duress or willingly giving Zakat or donation to party/election funds as per the situations and today in some files or registers of such institutions, anybody can find our names and the amount or kind participation which does not mean we have any part in their activities.
On the occasion, Siraj Teli cited an examples of a particular Industry where Rangers went to check on the basis of false information provided by some unscrupulous person or department in such a manner which gives the wrong impression about the integrity of the concerned businessman.
Maj Gen Bilal Akbar understood the situation and gave the responsibility to Karachi Chamber to decide and it was agreed that the President of Karachi Chamber will be contacted in such cases privately and there will be a three member committee comprising the President-KCCI, one Senior Leader and a representative of concerned Market Association or Industrial Zone whose case needs to be decided. Siraj Teli clearly stated that as per the policy of Businessmen Group we will not support in case we find the evidence to be correct.
Maj. Gen. Bilal Akbar further assured that no action will be taken against any businessman or industrialist who has somehow been the victim of extortion and such individuals are not being considered as ‘facilitators’. “Not a single member of the Business Community will be taken into custody on the basis of suspicion only. As of today, I don’t have anything serious against any businessman, any industrialist or any trader”, he added.
Maj. Gen. Bilal Akbar was thankful for the support extended by the Business and Industrial Community of Karachi along with untiring efforts being made by Rangers’ official, the security situation of Karachi has improved to a certain extent. “The element of fear has been reducing and it will reduce further in the days to come. Our Operation is not against any political entity but only against criminals which will continue without any discrimination.
We will never allow anyone to hold strikes, shut down petrol pumps or ablaze vehicles”, DG Ranger added. In response to concerns expressed over rising street crimes, failure of police officers to control the situation and Business Community’s queries whether rangers is mandated to control street crimes or not, DG Rangers informed that Rangers will now undertake operations to effectively deal with rising street crimes in Karachi.
Referring to concerns expressed by Siraj Kassam Teli with regards to politicizing of police and the suggestions about depoliticizing and capacity building of police department along with implementation of an effective system for ensuring sustainable peace in Karachi so that police could become capable enough to maintain peace even after the conclusion Karachi Operation in the next two to three years, DG Rangers said that he was also worried about this issue and opined that reformation of police must also happen simultaneously with the ongoing Karachi Operation in order to make police department responsible enough to play the lead role in maintaining peace across Karachi city.
He also offered Rangers’ assistance in the capacity building, recruitment and training of police officers so that they could efficiently maintain peace on long term and sustainable basis. In reply to KCCI’s request, DG Rangers agreed to reactivate Rangers Cell at KCCI premises where Rangers’ officials will be available to listen to and resolve issues being faced by KCCI members.
Maj. Gen. Bilal Akbar was of the view that the reasons of distress for Karachiites have now changed from what they were some two years ago and it is really heartening to note that now concerns were being expressed over small issues which can easily be resolved by making little efforts.
Siraj Teli categorically stated that under a clear and very strict policy, the Businessmen Group or Karachi Chamber have no political affiliations as a Group or as an institution but individually some of our members may have. “As a Group and as an Institution, we never support them and we are not affiliated with any political party”, he added.
Terming KWSB as a ‘Mafia’, Siraj Teli said that the water supply of 550MGD was deceptively being estimated by KWSB to hide its own theft. “Whenever KWSB fears they might get caught for their wrongdoings, the Water Board accuses industrialists for theft and shortages which is not factual at all because excessive water is being provided to the tanker mafia in order to gain financial benefits”, he added.
He said that barriers on the streets of Karachi have been effectively removed but many five star hotels, government departments and other sensitive installations were still protected by such barriers which usually occupy almost 10 to 15 feet of roads and create immense hardships for general public. “As the law and order situation has improved and security situation is heading towards normalcy, these unnecessary barriers must also be removed to provide some relief to the masses”, he advised.
Siraj Teli, while underscoring the need for capacity building and depoliticizing of police department, said that that capacity building of police department must be carried out simultaneously with the ongoing Karachi Operation in order to ensure long term peace and security across Karachi.
“It is the police department which will ultimately have to take control of security situation of Karachi after logical conclusion of Karachi Operation. In this regard, Rangers should be involved to ensure that recruitments in police department were being done on the basis of merit and no recruitment takes place on the basis of political affiliation while the police department should be completely cleansed from politically affiliated officers.
He further requested Rangers Sindh to deploy at least two Rangers officials at KCCI premises along with a dedicated helpline and wireless radio service to facilitate KCCI members whereas the Rangers’ officials must also enhance patrolling and install pickets in some of the busiest commercial centres including Saddar, Sarafa Bazaar and timber market etc.
“If Rangers holds any information against any businessman or industrialist, the same should be confidentially be shared with KCCI as we don’t want any haphazard action which may affect our integrity”, Siraj Teli said, adding that if the information is genuine, KCCI will not support the concerned businessman or industrialist.
Vice Chairman BMG and Former President KCCI, Zubair Motiwala, while reviewing the progress of Karachi Operation, stated that that overall law and order situation has been improving which can be gauged from descending incidents pertaining to target killings, kidnapping for ransom, demand for extortion, vehicles and bikes thefts etc.
He underscored that Karachi Operation must continue until it reaches logical conclusion as there was lot more that needs to be done so that sustainable peace and stability could be ensured across the city. “Street crimes are being widely reported and foreign buyers are still reluctant to visit Karachi which is a very serious issue”, he added.
Earlier, while welcoming the DG Rangers Sindh, President KCCI Younus Muhammad Bashir expressed deep gratitude to Pakistan Rangers Sindh for their efforts and numerous achievements in the ongoing Karachi Operation which was initiated in 2013 with a view to completely cleanse Karachi city from criminal elements.
“Karachiites now feel pretty much safe and secure here and it has been observed that many individuals, businessmen, industrialists who left Karachi along with their families due to security concerns, are once again returning to this city whereas the investment was also taking place”, President KCCI noted, “However, keeping in view the incidents during the past couple of months, it seems that attempts were being made to once again plunge this city into the darkness of terrorism which if happens would result in further worsening the situation as compared to what it was prior to commencement of Karachi operation.”
Seeking DG Rangers’ attention towards water scarcity being suffered by the Industrial Community of Karachi, President KCCI accused Karachi Water and Sewerage Board for keeping water supplies very limited to industrial consumers and giving additional water to tanker mafia and hydrant mafia who sell water at exorbitant rates.
“KW and SB is hiding its own theft, its own wrongdoings and corruption whereas the industrialists are falsely being blamed for the water theft”, he added. He asked DG Rangers to review the water supply situation and take strict action against water theft even if it was being done by any industrialist as Karachi Chamber never supports such individuals.
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