KARACHI - The stakeholders of the city have demanded the withdrawal of apex court decision regarding ‘Restoration of City’s Original Land Use Plan’ and expressed concern that the decision could create worst law and order situation in the city.

Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar announced Saturday that his city administration will not implement the Supreme Court’s orders of demolishing residential buildings and marriage halls in the city.

Addressing a press conference, he said these buildings were not among encroachments but an issue of subleasing the land.

However, illegally-built marriage halls will be razed, he added. Akhtar also made an appeal to the Sindh government to stop implementing court orders pertaining to demolishing 500 buildings including marriage halls in the city. The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM-P) leader said the provincial government must file a petition in Supreme Court to review its decision of razing further 500 buildings in the port city.

Akhtar said the city administration had successfully implemented the top court’s directives on demolishing encroachments on public footpaths and nullahs.

“However, now I humbly request the Sindh government to stop implementing court orders on razing 500 buildings. The chief justice of Pakistan should also review the court orders in this regard,” he added.

The top court has also ordered demolishing marriage halls, where citizens have already made bookings for their children’s weddings, said the mayor, adding that the orders will not be carried out until alternative land is provided to the owners. “If 525 slums and goth schemes can be regularised then why can’t this issue be resolved?” he questioned.

Separately, Adviser to Sindh Chief Minister on Information & Archives, Law, and Anti-Corruption Establishment and PPP leader Barrister Murtaza Wahab in a statement on Saturday said that the Federal Government should be aware of the fact that Karachi is not alone or orphan.

He said that commercialisation of residential plots have also been done in Islamabad too. Adviser said that the incumbent Federal government has double standard when it comes to the rights of Karachiites.

The adviser clarified that Pakistan People’s Party has never supported to put the people out of their homes in the name of anti-encroachment drive. He said that it was only after the clear stand of the PPP that the MQM is now trying to take credit over the protection of the rights of Karachiites.

The adviser said that it was the MQM which first took into illegal possession the state land to build homes and later the shattered the same. Barrister Murtaza Wahab said that the PPP rebuilt Karachi from Keamari to Surjani town. He said that a conspiracy is being hatched by blocking the water of the port city. The Adviser said that the votes of the PPP were given to the PTI illegitimately but where is the PTI in Karachi now, he asked.

Chairman Association of Builders and Developers (ABAD), Hassan Bakshi while talking to The Nation told that the association has decided to file a review petition in Supreme Court verdict regarding “Restoration of City’s Original Land Use Plan”. The Chairman said that the around one thousand plots were converted status from residential to commercial in the scheme launched by the former Mayor Naimatullah Khan in 2001. The owners of these plots were paid around 25 billion rupees for the conversion purpose.  “Under the decision of two honourable courts, investors were buying residential plots and investing billion of rupees for the conversion of plots. Now how is it possible that the conversion was made illegally?” Bakshi asked.

He said that the implementation on Supreme Court orders issued on 22 January is impossible because millions of families will be affected from it.

“If any authority will try to implement on the decision to demolish thousands of residential structures then it will not only create chaos in the city but it could also lead to a civil war,” Bakshi said.

He informed that a meeting of ABAD office bearers was also held on Saturday and the meeting has decided that a review petition will be filed on the court decision.