CJP takes exception to road blockades for VVIPs, says no compromise over people’s rights

KARACHI: Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar on Saturday ordered the Inspector General (IG) of Sindh Police to submit an affidavit in a case regarding road blockades to facilitate VVIP movement.

Headed by the CJP, a three-judge bench of the apex court was hearing a suo moto case pertaining to traffic blockades for VVIP movement at the Supreme Court’s (SC) Karachi Registry.

While hearing the case, the CJP questioned Sindh IG AD Khawaja about the reasons behind blocking of public roads for long periods in order to assist VVIP movement.

To this, the Sindh IG said there were laws governing the movement of politicians, bureaucrats and other top government functionaries on roads. To which CJP Nisar said that the roads are never blocked for him, despite him being a VVIP himself.

The Sindh IG responded that traffic is not stopped for more than two minutes in such circumstances. He also said that instead of blocking the roads completely, necessary arrangements are made for smooth VVIP movement.

The CJP specified that the convenience of the public should be kept above everything else and that the general public faces immense hardships when roads are blocked for VVIPs.

Justice Nisar then directed the Sindh IG to submit an affidavit affirming that roads are not blocked to assist VVIP movement for long periods of time, stating further that the affidavit will be reviewed by the court to ensure that the people’s rights are protected.

The CJP took suo moto notice of the frequent blockade of roads for VVIP movement all over the country. He ordered the authorities concerned to submit a report on the matter.

It has become a frequent practice in the country to block the roads, with no regards for traffic flow, in order to assist smooth and safe movement of higher officials of the state’s institutions. The practice adds to the woes of public and enables, in fact, strengthens the VVIP culture in the country.

The public, however, has reached a tipping point. In Karachi last week, Karachiites forced traffic police to re-open the busy Shahrah-e-Quaideen, which had been blocked to accommodate VVIP movement.

IG Sindh says he’ll leave his position if directed:

AD Khawaja, while speaking to the media outside SC’s Karachi Registry, said that he will leave his position if directed to do so, adding that it’s his utmost priority to make sure that the civilians go through least amount of difficulties.

When asked whether a new IG for Sindh is to be deployed, Khawaja replied that the day he gets the orders, he will leave his position.

It is pertinent to note that Sindh government has tried thrice in the past to remove Khwaja from the position of IG. But all three times, the government has failed. The new consented replacement is Abdul Majeed Dasti.

 

 



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