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SC turns down Sindh govt’s plea to stop anti-encroachment drive.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday turned down the Sindh government’s plea to stop the ongoing anti-encroachment operation in the port city and directed the federal, provincial and municipal authorities to sit together to work out a plan for provision of alternate places to the people affected by the operation.

Headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar, a bench of the top court was hearing a petition filed by the Sindh government at its Karachi registry.

The provincial government moved the petition seeking directives for the civic authorities to halt the operation against illegal constructions in the city.

CJP Nisar directed the federal and provincial governments as well as Karachi Mayor Waseem Akhtar to discuss the operation and work out a plan for rehabilitation of the affectees and apprise the court about it by 12pm tonight.

The Advocate General Sindh complained to the judges that the mayor doesn’t have a rehabilitation plan and requested them to issue a restraining order against the operation for a period of four weeks.  The mayor was razing encroachments at fast pace, he added.

At this, the top judge said it is the responsibility of the provincial government to devise such a plan. “We can’t stop the operation against encroachments,” he said, adding that if it is stopped now, then it may not be carried out in future.

Why can’t the government speed up efforts for rehabilitation of the affectees, asked a member of the bench, Justice Ijazul Ahsan.

The chief justice slammed the provincial government’s approach , saying it wanted to give legal cover to encroachments.

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