ISI, MQM brief Pak Supreme Court on Karachi situation

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Karachi violence
Karachi, Sept 9: A day after a top paramilitary officer described the situation in Karachi as worse than terrorism-hit South Waziristan, Pakistan Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Choudhry on THursday warned that such situations lead to military takeovers.

The comments from the Chief Justice came during the suo moto hearing by the Supreme Court into the recent violence and bloodshed in Karachi that has led to the killing of around 500 people in July and August.

The violence and killings have been described as the worst ethnic, sectarian and political violence in Pakistan's biggest city and financial hub in 16 years time.

At Thursday's hearing, the CJ and other judges on the five-member bench heard the arguments and statements of the lawyer for the Mutthaida Qaumi Movement -- the largest single party in the city -- and were also given in-camera briefing by the ISI on the situation in the city.

During the briefing the Attorney General and other attorneys were asked to leave.

Geo TV reported that the ISI showed a presentation to the Supreme Court which contained video footage and maps of different areas. The reports of the Joint Investigation Team were also discussed.

Earlier, Choudhry cautioned that worsening law and order situations like the one persisting in Karachi lead to martial law. He, however, said this option had now been closed.

The Director-General of Rangers in Sindh, Major General Ejaz Chaudhary, had yesterday said that the situation in Karachi was graver than that in South Waziristan as political parties had militant wings and criminals operating for them in Karachi who were behind the violence and killings. 

The five member bench said it was not happy with the "one-sided" arguments being presented by the MQM counsel, Farogh A Naseem.

The CJ asked the counsel for the MQM as to why he had not submitted a list of other innocent people killed in Karachi and why had he only given the court a list of MQM party workers and supporters killed in the recent violence.

During the hearing, the MQM counsel also alleged that the Awami National Party (ANP) and Lyari gang members were involved in incidents of kidnappings and killings in the city.

The five member bench said it was not happy with the "one-sided" arguments being presented by the MQM counsel, Farogh A Naseem.

The CJ asked the counsel for the MQM as to why he had not submitted a list of other innocent people killed in Karachi and why had he only given the court a list of MQM party workers and supporters killed in the recent violence.

During the hearing, the MQM counsel also alleged that the Awami National Party (ANP) and Lyari gang members were involved in incidents of kidnappings and killings in the city.

The bench observed that if this was the case where were the names of the ANP members accused of target killings in the police FIRs.

Meanwhile, law enforcement agencies (LEAs) arrested two target killers during separate raids conducted in various areas today.

According to reports, Rangers conducted a search operation in New Karachi and arrested a target killer called Kamran Rafique, suspected to be involved in killing five people.

In another raid at a hotel, another notorious target killer, Kamran alias Lamba, accused of murdering six people, was arrested.

During the day, Rangers arrested more than 62 suspects and seized arms in different areas of Karachi. In an earlier search operation in Baldia Town, more than 50 people were arrested.

PTI

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