After the hearings


The directives should be followed

While reserving its judgment on the Karachi violence case, The SC has issued important directives to improve the situation in the metropolis. Keeping in view the hurdles created in the past in the implementation of orders not liked by the government, one will have to see if these are carried out in letter and spirit.

During the apex court’s proceedings in Karachi all stakeholders presented their point of view before the five member bench. Equally important was the information provided by various intelligence agencies, particularly the ISI about the criminals involved in target killings and extortion. The directives were given keeping in view the information and the views put before the court. They touch three domains i.e. legislation, investigation and prosecution. Since there is no law against the collection of skins of sacrificial animals which has become a major source of income for a number of political outfits and leads to bloodshed every year, the court wants Sindh Assembly to pass a law to ban the forcible collection of skins. The Advocate General and police have been directed to submit daily reports on the steps taken against criminals. This was needed because political pressure recently led to the failure to include in the FIR the names of two high profile target killers involved in the murderous attack on a police van and the release of another on bail. Additional IG Karachi has been ordered to obtain written certificates from all four subordinate deputy IGs to substantiate his claim that incidents of extortion had gone down. Through another directive trial courts were ordered to complete the hearing of cases of extortion and targeted killings on a priority basis.

New laws required by changing circumstances, better preparation of cases by the police and an efficient disposal of cases by the courts may hopefully bring back to Karachi its long lost peace and former splendour. Some of the directives will however hit the vested interest which is likely to use its influence to block their implementation. The government needs to realise that by assisting the apex court, it would improve its own image. By blocking the directives, it may lose the last chance to bring peace to Karachi through civilian means.