Karachi, Altaf Shakoor, Chairman of the Pasban Democratic Party (PDP), has voiced serious concerns about the growing encroachments in Karachi, alleging the involvement of local bureaucracy and police in patronizing these illegal settlements. According to Shakoor, these slums, which have transformed Karachi into a ‘slum city’, are not only hubs of criminal activity but also protected by the police.
According to the Pasban Democratic Party (PDP), Shakoor criticized the local authorities for their failure to act against these encroachments despite clear court orders, including a recent directive from Sindh High Court Justice Nadeem Akhtar. He highlighted the ongoing issue in areas like Superhighway Suhrab Goth, where illegal structures persist despite court orders for their removal. Shakoor pointed out that these encroachments also serve as drug selling points, alleging a corrupt nexus between the police, bureaucracy, and the illegal drug trade.
The PDP Chairman observed that political resistance often arises when actions are taken against these illegal slums due to the dwellers being considered voters of certain political parties. He cited the example of operations against illegal structures in Pakistan Quarters, Jamshed Quarters, and FC Area, noting that these government lands are overrun with illegal settlements.
Shakoor suggested that if the government intends to avoid making the slum dwellers homeless, it should establish legal settlements for them. He stressed the need for using advanced technology like artificial intelligence to identify and tackle illegal encroachments and called for strict actions against the land mafia and police officials who fail to act. He also suggested that FIRs should be filed against those involved in establishing and protecting these slums.
In conclusion, Shakoor emphasized that addressing the issue of illegal encroachments is crucial for tackling street crime, drug peddling, and traffic problems in Karachi. He urged the Sindh High Court to establish its authority by holding the commissioner and police chief of Karachi accountable for the city’s encroachment issues.