KARACHI: Director General Sindh Rangers, Major General Rizwan Akhtar, said on Wednesday that law and order situation in Karachi could not be improved unless the entire system is changed.
Speaking to the media after the inauguration of a new Command and Control Centre in Karachi, Akhtar said no force could bring peace to the city until the existing structure was fixed.
Akhtar further highlighted the major problems in the metropolis and said mismanagement of immigrants, uncontrolled urban expansion, continued patronage of land mafia, illegal hydrant business and smuggling are the main causes of unrest in Karachi. He said his force has recommended a system to monitor the flow of people in and out of the city but it has not yet materialised.
“We are checking the entry and exit points informally but this system needs to be institutionalised to make it effective,” he said. Speaking about land mafia and street crimes, Akhtar said these matters were very complex and his force does not have enough manpower to get involved and efficiently solve the problem.
The DG Rangers said that his personnel have been working hard to restore peace in the city for the last 18 years but with limited powers. He explained that the additional powers given to the paramilitary force after the Karachi law and order suo motu case were just on paper.
“We could only search and arrest suspected criminals; we could not detain them. As per the law, we have to hand over suspects to the police who have their own limitations,” he said.
The DG Rangers stressed upon the need of protection to witnesses in cases, saying that flaws in the system paves way for release of criminals.
“Police department has a system but it needs more improvement. The witnesses feel insecurity therefore they do not speak in courts when trials begin. It is need of the hour to protect them.”
Maj Gen Rizwan Akhtar said scanners at Karachi’s entry points have not so far been provided by the government. He said that crime could not be curbed unless illegal SIMs are completely blocked. About the ongoing anti-criminal crackdown in Karachi, the Rangers chief said the operation started in September 2013, but after November it could not be continued with the same momentum and strength.
The Rangers chief said unusual steps should be taken to bring peace to Karachi.
He was of the view that more powers were required for a satisfactory improvement in law and order situation. “We are making all-out efforts but the thing is that a piece of paper can’t empower us,” the DG said.
He said that the matters decided by the Rangers at outset of the operation could not be implemented due to some reasons.
“Every culprit should be punished, but things would not improve until we speak the truth. Issues can be resolved if institutions will work with coordination,” he observed. Major General Rizwan Akhtar said there are 14 Wings of Ranges operating in Karachi and each Wing comprises 550 persons that he had no powers more than snap-checking and arresting, He said that the Rangers personnel are only given search and operation powers, and only soldiers in uniform are allowed to show arms.
“Some politicians call for army takeover in Karachi but nothing could be done unless the entire system is changed, no matter whosoever comes or goes,” the Rangers chief said.
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