SC seeks report on infiltration of Taliban in city
KARACHI, Oct 31: The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered the Sindh police chief and other authorities to submit a report on infiltration of over 7,000 Taliban activists in Karachi and release of 150 convicts on parole.
A five-member larger bench, headed by Justice Anwer Zaheer Jamali with Justices Sarmad Jalal Osmany, Khilji Arif Hussain, Gulzar Ahmed and Amir Hani Muslim as members, was seized with the proceedings for the implementation of the apex court’s earlier order in a suo motu case related to Karachi killings.
At the outset of the hearing, the court asked Advocate General Fatah Malik to produce a report on land survey in the city. The provincial chief law officer stated that the survey could not be conducted, because a suit was still pending disposal in this regard.
Justice Jamali told the advocate general that the government did not need any court order to conduct the land survey. “In fact, it is the duty of the government to safeguard its land,” he added.
Sindh Chief Secretary Raja Mohammad Abbas rose to inform the court that the most important task was to get the summary for land survey approved from the chief minister that he had eventually got done.
Now revenue officers were there to conduct the survey, he added.
Justice Hani expressed displeasure over the illegal occupation of the state land by grabbers and remarked that the government land was encroached upon right from Gadap to Jamshoro along with the Superhighway. “Not a single person in this area owned more than 20 acres; now many own 200 acres each just by adding another zero to 20,” he said.
He said that as per records there was only one Malik Bhoora Khan who owned only 100 acres. “None can prove that he owned more than 20 acres,” he said.
Justice Jamali said that there were reports that between 6,000 and 7,000 Taliban activists had made their way into the city. He directed Sindh police chief Fayyaz Leghari to submit a detailed report in this regard.
Justice Hani required the police chief to explain if the criterion was met while releasing 150 convicts on parole.
The bench ordered the home department to submit a report on the matter.
As for the land survey, the bench directed the authorities to complete the task within three months, though the chief secretary had sought one year for it.
Justice Khilji said that the land survey should be conducted through a geographical information system, while Justice Hani added that the mapping should have been conducted every five years since 1990.
The revenue officials submitted that at least one year was needed to conduct a survey of government land. Justice Jamali said that three months were sufficient for conducting the survey from Gadap to Jamshoro. He also remarked that the revenue record was deliberately burnt after the assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto.
The bench also discharged show-cause notice earlier issued to the top officials, including the chief secretary.
In his reply to the show-cause notice for contempt of court proceedings, the chief secretary stated that he could not imagine disobeying or flouting the court orders and that he be pardoned.
He stated that he was not aware of the SHC order on the land survey and it came to his knowledge only on Oct 25 during the hearing.
He also said that at least one year was required to conduct the survey of 43 Dehs of Na Class land since the task was very tedious, technical and time consuming.
He stated that the provincial government was expeditiously following the court orders and the survey would be completed within the stipulated time.
The bench ordered that retired police officials who were involved in the operations in Karachi in the past and officials who had died in the line of duty should also be compensated.
The court also remarked that the city’s economy was in tatters due to the extortion mafias.
The bench also ordered that all unregistered cars and motorcycles in the city should be seized. Justice Jamali observed that several cars were being driven around without bearing any registration number plates. He asked the IGP how unregistered cars without fitness certificates even made it to the roads.
The bench ordered impounding of all vehicles that were being driven without registration number plates. The bench ordered the DIG traffic to appear before the court.
The court observed that due to the worsening law and order situation, economic activities in Karachi had almost become “zero”, while the IGP and Rangers DG kept on saying that “everything is okay”.
The Supreme Court adjourned the hearing till Thursday.