Chief Justice Saqib Nisar extended on Wednesday afternoon the deadline for residents of Karachi’s Pakistan Quarters, a government employees housing society in Garden, to vacate the premises by three months.
This came after protests in the area turned violent when the police tried to force residents to leave.
Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah took notice and asked the police to withdraw and Governor Imran Ismail approached the chief justice and asked him to reconsider his decision.
Several residents were injured after the police used water cannons and batons in an attempt to subdue the protesters who refused to leave the area. The police were acting on the directives of the Supreme Court, which had given a deadline of Wednesday to have the 400 houses in Pakistan Quarters vacated. A policeman was also injured in the protest.
Men, women and children began their protest early Wednesday morning, blocking the road and disrupting traffic. The police also arrested a number of protesters.
MQM and PTI leaders arrived at Pakistan Quarters to speak on behalf of the residents. MQM leader Farooq Sattar said the residents have certificates of ownership and shouldn’t be deprived of their due rights. “The government can enter a partnership with the residents,” he suggested. He requested the prime minister to stop the eviction process.