KARACHI Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry on Tuesday said it was the responsibility of the chief minister to protect the lives of the citizens; however, the judiciary had to intervene into the matter if the CM failed to perform his duty. The Chief Justice gave these remarks while hearing the suo motu case on the violence in Karachi. A five-member bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammed Chaudhry, after hearing arguments from the counsels, adjourned the hearing, till September 5. During the hearing of the case, the CJ gave remarks that its time that the provincial government woke up, as the matter has become serious and a fundamental right to security is being violated. Pleading on behalf of the Sindh government, Abdul Hafeez Pirzada contended that the security situation had improved since the courts notice on the issue. He also informed the court that there are at least 2.5 million foreigners including Palestinians, Burmese, Bengalis, Nepalese and Sri Lankans living in Karachi, but less than 100,000 have been registered. He apprised the court that all foreigners have arms with increased influence in the affairs of the city and in recent years, these foreigners have augmented their influence and may be blamed for the rise in violence in Pakistans heartland. Chronicling the history of ethnic violence in Karachi, Pirzada said the first ethnic clash between two groups occurred in Sohrab Goth during the rule of General Ziaul Haq in the 1980s. He said the local bodies system, introduced by former president Pervez Musharraf, aggravated the ethnic tensions in the city. He warned that the tension during the local bodies elections could turn into ethnic strife in the metropolis. The counsel maintained the most critical problem of the city was extortionists (bhatta mafia) and drug mafia. Furthermore, he said the percentage of court convictions is very low and services of police and Rangers are not being properly utilised. The Chief Justice said the government has the resources and machinery to restore peace in the metropolis but lacks the will to do so. He directed the Sindh government to act immediately to curb the violence. He said the provinces chief minister is duty-bound to protect the people of Sindh. In his remarks, the Chief Justice said extortion money is being collected like a right in the city marred by frequent recoveries of mutilated bodies. He questioned as to how the situation could be improved under such circumstances. Justice Chaudhry said he would hear the case even during Eid holidays, if need be. He said he would remain present in Karachi, adding that Karachi is home to all and is city of everyone. The CJ said calling the army in Karachi to curb violence would amount to failure of democratic institutions and stated that the issue should be resolved democratically. The Chief Justice asked Pirzada about the polices failure to identify victims of target killings. He also expressed dissatisfaction that none of the accused were present in anti-terrorism courts, nor were issued a challan by the police. He slammed the police for not recording the statement of an injured victim who was recovered earlier this week. He noted that the provincial governments move to borrow federal security forces has proved very expensive. The better alternative, the CJ remarked, was to develop the provincial police force. On the other side, Jamaat-e-Islami, Awami National Party, Sindh Bachao Committee, Sindh High Court Bar Association and Karachi Bar Association filed applications requesting to become party to the case.