Acting Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Gulzar Ahmed on Thursday lamented that Karachi has become the “worst city” in Pakistan.
He made these comments while hearing a suo motu case at the Supreme Court pertaining to the death of 10-year-old Amal Umer.
A three-member bench of the apex court expressed a lack of trust in the Sindh government during the hearing when the provincial government’s prosecutor said he wanted to present his point of view on the “important matter” being discussed in the court regarding the provision of heavy weaponry to patrolling police.
“The Sindh government doesn’t even have a solution to any problem so you don’t speak,” Justice Ahmed responded, adding that the state of the Sindh government was “very bad”.
The top judge particularly regretted the situation in Karachi.
“With sorrow, I am saying that Karachi has become the worst city in Pakistan,” he said. “There is no government in the city of Karachi.”
He said that in the past, they [Karachiites] used to be able to go far from their houses to play, but now their children cannot even leave their houses.
Justice Ahmed gave the example of an incident where a car was stopped in a crowded bazaar and Rs9 million were stolen.
“In Karachi fugitives are roaming freely,” he said, adding that these fugitives were involved in serious crimes and the police were unable to catch them.
The acting chief justice said progress that the megalopolis had made was coming to an end. He said that officers just wanted to collect money and had left the people of the city on their own.
During the court proceedings, the lawyer for Amal Umer’s parents said that in a report about the incident, police had accepted their mistake and responsibility had been fixed upon police, regulators and the hospital. The counsel added that Sindh police were stopped from using heavy weapons during patrolling in light of the report.
Justice Gulzar said that he didn’t know much of the background of the case and questioned the feasibility of stopping the police from using weapons “in a city like Karachi”.
The lawyer noted that in many cities across the world, patrolling police are not given weapons such as machine guns.
The apex court ordered parties in the case to submit their written recommendations in four weeks along with a legal stance for them.
The hearing of the case was adjourned till after summer holidays.