Pak Wall Street crumbling

Himalayan News Service

Karachi, July 24:

Pakistan’s Wall Street, the Golden Mile in this port city that is estimated to generate 70 per

cent of the country’s revenues, is crumbling but no one seems to care a whit. A series of meetings were held in the past two years on restoring II Chundrigar Road to its former glory but these ended in buck passing, even as the city government presented a record budget earmarking billions of rupees for law and order, infrastructure and beautification. The road is home to the Karachi Stock Exchange, Karachi Cotton Association, banks, finance and shipping companies, IT and electronic markets, foreign exchange dealers, textile conglomerates, rice export firms and import-export houses for different commodities. “Crime here has reached unparalleled heights. Mugging, mobile phone theft, car snatching and other crimes have become routine,” The News reported, “In the daytime, people are accosted, especially when they leave ATMs. After dark, people are afraid to walk to their cars and many companies now have guards to escort employees to their transport. It is common to hear of being stop-ped by gun-toting men and asked to hand over their wallets.”

Eight employees of a multinational bank discovered earlier this week that six of their cars had been burgled and stereos removed on the same day. “No one is ready to take responsibility, not even the police,” the newspaper reported. Due to shortage of parking space, mafias have emerged that have encroached on public areas and charge for parking. “This money, which runs into millions of rupees, goes into private pockets and those of corrupt officials. But the government looks the other way,” The News reported. Infrastructure is crumbling. The road has caved in at different places and pavements are virtually non-existent.