Karachi, Sindh – Altaf Shakoor, Chairman of the Pasban Democratic Party (PDP), has voiced grave concerns over the growing number of slums in Karachi, blaming the local bureaucracy and police for sponsoring and protecting these illegal encroachments. The situation has escalated to the point where Karachi is now characterized as a city of slums, plagued by crime and drug trafficking.
According to Pasban Democratic Party, the encroachments in Karachi have become hubs for criminal activities, with many criminals residing in these slums. The local police are accused of extorting bribes from residents and failing to act against these illegal settlements despite court orders. The Sindh High Court, particularly Justice Nadeem Akhtar, has repeatedly ordered the removal of such encroachments, but the local authorities, including the police and district administration, have shown a lack of commitment to these directives.
Shakoor emphasized that the illegal drug trade in Karachi is a result of a corrupt alliance between the police and the bureaucracy. He stressed that without determined action against these illegal settlements, problems like street crime, drug peddling, and traffic congestion in the city will continue unabated.
The PDP Chairman also highlighted the resistance from some political parties when actions are taken against illegal slums. He cited the situation in Pakistan Quarters, Jamshed Quarters, and FC Area, which are filled with illegal settlements despite being designated for government employees’ residences. This, according to Shakoor, demonstrates the failure of the government, courts, and law enforcement agencies to enforce the law.
Shakoor proposed that if the government is reluctant to displace slum dwellers, it should establish legal settlements for them. However, he warned that ignoring the issue of illegal encroachment is akin to undermining the government’s authority. He suggested the use of artificial intelligence technology to detect and flag illegal encroachments, advocating for strict measures against those responsible, including the dismissal of SHOs and Deputy Commissioners who fail to act, and registering FIRs against the land mafia involved.
This call for action highlights the urgent need for a coordinated response from all stakeholders to address the encroachment crisis in Karachi and restore law and order in the city.