KARACHI: Chairman Businessmen Group & Former President Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry Siraj Kassam Teli and President KCCI Junaid Esmail Makda have appealed the honorable Chief Justice Mian Saquib Nisar to thoroughly interpret Supreme Court’s order for removal of encroachments from Karachi prior to completion of his successful tenure as it is a general impression that the said order has been grossly misinterpreted and was widely being misused by KMC.
In a statement issued, Siraj Teli and Junaid Makda categorically stated that the Karachi Chamber would never speak in favor of any encroacher and would always oppose them but the ongoing anti-encroachment drive was not purely targeting the encroachments as most of the actions were being taken against genuine and legal shopkeepers who had these shops in possession since many decades and they were regularly paying rentals to KMC under lease agreements.
They said that although the honorable Supreme Court ordered KMC to remove all encroachments over nullahs, footpaths and inside the Parks but unfortunately, it has been observed that KMC authorities were not adhering to the court’s order and have resorted to razing all KMC markets and shops without any fairness and transparency.
Chairman BMG said that all the wrongdoings under anti-encroachment drive by KMC have to be immediately stopped with a view to save thousands of shopkeepers from getting deprived of their daily bread and butter. “As the anti-encroachment drive has resulted in making huge number of people completely jobless and terribly affected their families, we fear that the situation was likely to give birth to criminals, posing severe threat to the law and order situation of Karachi where peace has finally started prevailing”, he added.
While referring to KCCI’s statement issued on November 28, 2017 on this particular issue, Siraj Teli reiterated that all political parties and bureaucrats, who remained in Sindh government from time to time during the past 25 to 30 years and all relevant departments were equally responsible for the encroachment issue. “They all are responsible and now they just want to wipe out everything under SC’s order to save their necks and hide their wrongdoings”, he added.
He was of the opinion that the anti-encroachment drive was totally one-sided in which all the rubble was being passed on to the public, shopkeepers and the business community whereas those elements, who actually paved way for such illegal activities under their nose, were not being taken to task. “These elements are taking advantage of the current situation by deliberately misinterpreting the Honorable Supreme Court’s Order to hide behind the curtain as they fear that if the situation continues to move on like this, the day will not be far when it will be their turn as well and they will also be held accountable for all their wrongdoings”, he added.
“The city is undoubtedly facing serious encroachment issue that simply cannot be denied and there are a lot of illegalities as well therefore, KCCI strongly believes that the encroachment drive must continue but it should strictly remain confined to court’s order which has to be thoroughly interpreted and implemented in letter and spirit” said President KCCI Junaid Makda while requesting the Honorable Judiciary and the Chief Executive of the province to take notice of the wrongdoings being suffered by Karachiites.
He stressed that although assurances have been given on numerous occasions by Sindh Minister for Local Government Saeed Ghani and Mayor Karachi Waseem Akhter for provision of alternative places to genuine affectees of anti-encroachment drive but no relief has been provide to thousands of affectees who have expelled from their legal business premises. “Alternate places have to be done on top priority as it was a question of daily bread and butter for thousands of individuals who became jobless as their shops have been completely flattened and they have no other source of income”, he added.
He was of the opinion that Karachi, being the financial, industrial and commercial hub of the country, deserves a better treatment and all issues of the metropolitan city must be timely resolved so that the city is brought at par with other cities around the world. “However, the government, on the other hand, must also realize the hardships being suffered by the genuine affectees and should make sure that the poor segment of society is not deprived”, he added.