KARACHI: Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Gulzar Ahmed on Monday slammed the Sindh government and local bodies for what he described as “enmity” against Karachi over various instances of misgovernance.
“The Sindh government has an enmity with this city, as do the local bodies,” remarked CJP Ahmed while hearing a case against billboards installed unsafely within the city.
The BJP said that if the mayor of Karachi Wassem Akhtar claimed that he had no right to work, “he should go home”, he also asked when the mayor’s term ends.
The mayor responded that his term of office will end on August 28, and CJP said he should “go” so that the city can “get rid of him”.
At the same time, the Karachi Commissioner submitted a report on the city’s billboards to the court.
“Billboards are all over the city. You can see billboards everywhere,” remarked the CJP. He said that if these billboards fall, “there will be a lot of damage”.
The lawyers of the district municipal company complained to the court that people had set up billboards on their private property.
In response, Justice Ejaz ul Ahsan (Ejaz ul Ahsan) suggested that the court order a five-year investigation to determine who set up the billboard.
“There are so many billboards on buildings that windows of homes have been blocked off,” observed the CJP. He added that ventilation of these buildings was restricted due to the billboards.
“This is a violation of the law. There is no such thing as government,” noted CJP Ahmed. He added that every man had formed his own “martial law”.
“Where is the writ of the Sindh government? Is there anyone who would clean up this city,” the CJP asked the advocate general of Sindh.
“Kids are drowning in sewage water every day. Even my car’s tyre went in a gutter,” CJP Ahmed told the officials present in the court. He reminded the government lawyer that it was his city as well.
“I feel there’s an enmity with the people of Karachi,” observed CJP Ahmed. He added that there was no one ready to develop the city.
“People come, fill their pockets and leave; no one does anything for the city,” said the irked CJP.
The CJP then asked the officials present in court who had put up the billboards in the city.
Commissioner Karachi once again told the court that people had put up signboards on private buildings. He also informed the court that the government had removed multiple billboards from the city.
To this, the CJP responded saying that billboards were still up on the buildings near FTC. He added that this was a violation of building codes.
“How is the permission given to set up billboards? Where is the government?” asked the CJP again. He added that Chief Minister Sindh Murad Ali Shah would do a tour on a helicopter but nothing would happen on the ground.
“Mr attorney general, is there anyone [who will] do something for this city?” inquired the CJP.
“Everyone is ruining Karachi,” observed Justice Gulzar. He added that it seems everyone was a “mafia” in the city.
CJP Ahmed then turned his ire towards the city’s power supply company. He said that, every day, “ten to eight” people were being “electrocuted” in the city.
“K-Electric has earned in the billions. K-Electric directors should be arrested and sent to jail,” remarked CJP Ahmed. He added that the power supply company has “used” Karachi to pay off its foreign loans.
The CJP also remarked that a case should be registered against the K-Electric chief executive officer and all the management of the company should be placed on the Exit Control List.
The CJP said that the court would issue written orders regarding the matter.