KARACHI: The traders and industrialists of Karachi have demanded army intervention to stop bloody violence in city. The demand has been made by Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry, Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Korangi Association of Trade & Industry and Traders' action Committee in separate statements on Friday.
"Given the grave circumstances, where civil law enforcement agencies have failed in restoring peace in Karachi, which has now become hub of bloodshed hub, the Army must be called in, being the last resort to enforce peace in the city of 17 million," Khalid Tawab, President of Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce, suggested.
Similar demand was made by KCCI president Saeed Shafique saying that the police have miserably failed to restore peace in Karachi.
Chairman of Karachi Traders Action Committee (KTAC), Siddiq Memon also demanded of Pakistan Army's chief to take immediate notice of the grave condition of Karachi.
KTAC's chairman demanded that the city should be immediately handed over to the army as all trading activities have ended and the economy has been devastated.
Memon added that the police and rangers both have failed to maintain law and order in the city while the ongoing unrest and violence in the city has caused more than Rs.100 billion worth of losses to the local traders.
"More than 300 Eid bazaars and markets are closed while more than 35,000 workers of those bazaars and markets have lost their jobs," KTAC's chairman added.
Patron-in-Chief Korangi Association of Trade and Industry, S M Muneer, Chairman, Syed Johar Ali Qandhari, former Chairman, Mian Zahid Husain and Vice Chairmen, Saleemuzzaman and Shahid Jawed Qureshi besides members of KATI showing their grave concern on prevailing law and order situation of Karachi said that it seems that law and order is getting out of control of the local administration and the law enforcing agencies and it's now inevitable to call Pak army to control the law and order situation in the city.
"For the greater interest of the country and save precious lives of the citizens, we appeal to the government to ask army to take over law enforcement of the city for the time being and return to the barracks soon after cleansing the city from illegitimate arms and weapons which seems beyond control of the Police and Rangers", Qandhari said.
He said that the ongoing strife between various groups and gang war has destroyed Karachi's peace and traders and industrialists are so frightened to go to their business. The old city area has totally disturbed while industrial production has severely affected. He warned that in such a situation government cannot run the country's affairs as Karachi being the backbone of the economy may not be able to feed the entire country anymore.
"This is worst ever economic situation in the city during last three years and due to, which entire country is suffering. People are feared of their lives and reluctant to come out of their homes. How the country's economy could be run in this extremely fragile situation", Muneer asked the government.
He further asked the apex body of the business community - FPCCI to immediately call an emergent meeting of the stakeholders and decide line of action in order to save the country's economy.
The business leaders were of the view that killing of innocent people in almost every area of Karachi is becoming a routine and it appears law enforcing agencies were not enough capable to control the situation. How can police control the situation when almost 5,000 policemen were deputed to give escort and security to around 100 VIPs in a city of over twenty million people, they questioned.
Chairman, Pakistan Tanners Association (S.Z), PTA, Aziz Ahmed also strongly appealed the government to take stringent measures to restore and maintain law and order of the city to save precious lives of the citizens. He said in a statement that exports shipments are badly affected due to worsening law and order situation due to which industrial activities have crippled severely. He mentioned that labor force is not coming to work due to massive target killing in almost every corner of the city.
He said that all the foreign buyers have also cancelled their visit to Pakistan due to the reason and exporters are extremely worried over cancelling of orders. He asked the government to take every necessary action to restore law and order instead of sitting idle.