Karachi's Safety Ranking Climbs Amid Declining Crime Rates

Karachi, one of world's fastest growing megacities, has seen its crime index ranking improve dramatically from 6 in 2013 to 50 in 2017, according to a survey of 327 world cities conducted by Numbeo.  Karachi was ranked 47 in 2016.  Reduction in violence is helping revive Pakistan's economy, making it the third fastest growing trillion dollar economy among the top 25 world economies by purchasing power parity.

Comparison to Major Cities:

Creek Vista, Karachi, Pakistan

In South Asia region, Karachi, now ranked 50, is safer than Bangladeshi capital Dhaka ranked 18 and the Delhi suburb of Gurgaon ranked 40.  Delhi is ranked 60, Lahore 138, Mumbai 160 and Islamabad 226.

Karachi is also safer than American cities of Detroit, MI (17),  Baltimore, MD (20), New Orleans, LA (21), Albuquerque, NM (27), St. Louis, MO (30) Oakland, CA (33) and Milwaukee, WI (46).

The year 2013 marked the beginning of the deployment of Pakistan Rangers in Karachi to fight rampant extortion, terrorism and violence by armed gangs patronized by some political parties.  Evidence suggests that some of the politicians involved had links to Indian intelligence.

Impact on National Economy: 

Reduction in violence in Karachi is helping revive Pakistan's economy, making it the third fastest growing trillion dollar economy among the top 25 world economies by purchasing power parity.

In a recent article titled "Pakistan Keeps Terrorists on the Run and Economy on a Roll", leading Japanese publication Nikkei Asia Review reported from Karachi that the negative perception of "terrorism, corruption, misrule" are "becoming  outdated, and businesses are taking notice... thanks to sweeping operations by the army and a powerful paramilitary force".  Here's a more extended excerpt of the Nikkei story:

"The Pakistan Rangers, a paramilitary law enforcement organization overseen by the military and the Interior Ministry, set out to tackle the violence head-on. In 2013, the Rangers Sindh -- which operate in Sindh Province, including Karachi -- mobilized 15,000 troops. The provincial legislature granted them broad powers to search homes and make arrests, enabling them to quickly turn the tide.

In 2017, there were zero bombings and only five kidnappings, according to Saeed, who serves as director general of the Rangers Sindh. This is no small feat in a city with a swelling population of 17 million -- perhaps even 20 million if migrants from rural areas are factored in. "We destroyed all of the terrorists' pockets," he said, adding that hotel occupancy rates are over 90%."

Summary: 

Karachi, one of world's fastest growing megacities, has seen its crime index ranking improve dramatically from 6 in 2013 to 50 in 2017, according to a survey of 327 world cities conducted by Numbeo.  Last year, Karachi was ranked 47. Reduction in violence is helping revive Pakistan's economy, making it the third fastest growing trillion dollar economy among the top 25 world economies by purchasing power parity.  As the country's largest city and its financial capital and economic hub, a safe and healthy Karachi bodes well for Pakistan's future. The Pakistani military has played a crucial role in securing the nation's future by bringing peace to Karachi.

Here's a video of a Karachi mall:

https://youtu.be/KeKmj28m2-c



Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Gangs of Karachi

Gangster Politicians of Karachi

Karachi is World's Fastest Growing Megacity

Karachi's Human Development Index

Pakistan Rising or Failing: Reality vs Perception

Pakistan's Trillion Dollar Economy Among top 25

MQM-RAW Link

Views: 1018

Comment by Riaz Haq on June 6, 2018 at 3:55pm

Pakistan works to clean up Karachi, once world's 'most dangerous city'
Hollie McKay By Hollie McKay | Fox News

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2018/06/06/pakistan-works-to-clean-up-...

KARACHI, Pakistan – In the once terror-teeming city of Karachi on the coast of Pakistan’s Sindh province, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani is a name some hold in esteem.

“We learned from New York. The zero-tolerance policy and the application of the rule of law – that nobody is above the law – was key,” Muhammad Zubair, the Governor of Sindh and former Chairman of the Pakistan Privatization Committee, recently told Fox News, referencing Giuliani’s 1990’s crime clampdown in New York. “Karachi was so bad for two decades with warlords in the streets and a mess so deep that foreigners wouldn’t even come here for a day. And our number one, proudest achievement today has been turning Karachi around.”

The violence in Karachi was in a league of its own. The megacity – stuffed with around 25 million inhabitants and infamous as the place the Taliban captured and beheaded Wall Street Journal reporter Danny Pearl in 2002 – seethed with drug smuggling, kidnapping, extortion and daily bomb blasts. Sectarian street clans waged war with hardline Islamic gangs, and it was commonplace for elected political parties to also have their own armed militia wing.

In 2013, Karachi ranked – as per the World Atlas – as the sixth most dangerous city in the world. Other rankings had it even higher. But by 2018, it was listed past 50th. So what was the magic bullet?

“In 2013, I made the economic plan and a major part of that plan was doing whatever was possible from a law and order standpoint,” Zubair explained. “The Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the Army Chief knew that a brutal operation was the only way out of this mess.”

Pakistani officials decided that instead of using military units or the then-relatively weak local police force, the roughly 30,000-strong Karachi paramilitary security apparatus known as the Rangers would lead the charge. Although they had been in effect since the 1990s, the Rangers had little legal authority to use force. But laws were quickly amended, and officials embarked on a campaign to drum up full support from the federal government to guarantee that the Rangers would be issued the necessary personnel and weaponry to “undertake whatever was needed.”

By September 2014, Operation Karachi was locked, loaded and finally ignited. Karachi was divided up into “defense phases” to carry out the meticulously planned operation, of which eight phases have since been completed with a ninth phase to be announced soon.

“Our plan was not rocket science. We did what was needed. People were being killed day after day and the perpetrators were getting away with it,” Zubair said. “On 10 minutes notice, the whole city could be shut down, with people running to their homes amid the burning and looting. This was going on year after year, dozens of times a year. But for the first time in 2016, Karachi was not shut down a single time. That trend continued in 2017.”

Today in Karachi, students huddle in coffee shops by the seaside, and sneak prohibited beer and hookah into trendy clubs and restaurants. There is a renewed vigor for everything from mass-scale cricket matches to theater performances, film festivals, traditional dancing and cultural pursuits.

Comment by Riaz Haq on June 6, 2018 at 3:59pm

Pakistan’s first-ever Venice Architecture Biennale pavilion is all about cities
And how complex and dynamic the country’s can be
By Ian Volner Jun 6, 2018, 1:45pm EDT

https://www.curbed.com/2018/6/6/17422574/venice-architecture-bienna...

Somewhere between the Olympics and the world’s biggest, baddest, design-school pin-up lies the Venice Architecture Biennale.

Every two years, a few dozen nations deputize a small circle of curators and thinkers to represent them at the show; many of the participating countries are regulars, with permanent pavilions of their own, often dating back to the early 20th century, and located in the leafy Giardini della Biennale near Venice’s easternmost tip.

But each edition of the exhibition also brings a batch of wildcards, never-before-seen entrants whose homelands have decided, for whatever reason, to throw their hats into the ring. This year, first-timers included Guatemala, Saudi Arabia, and Lebanon. And social media (full disclosure: mine included) took a special shine to the premier outing from the Vatican, a brace of inventive freestanding chapels by architects both well- and lesser-known.

There was one rookie nation, however, whose appearance at the Biennale was especially poignant, both for the character of its installation and for the mere fact of its being in Venice at all: Pakistan.

“This is a very political statement,” says Salman Jawed, a member of Coalesce Design Studio, the collaborative, multidisciplinary firm that helped bring the Islamic Republic of Pakistan to Venice for the first time.

The politics he’s speaking about are not, at least at first, overtly evident: Situated in a small public park not far from the Giardini, the Pakistani installation, titled “The Fold,” is a roughly four-yard-square cage of irregularly-spaced steel bars towering some twenty feet in the air.

Slipping into this rather forbidding envelope via a narrow passage, the visitor discovers a playground-like atmosphere within, a trio of wooden swings dangling from overhead beams, and a pair of wooden benches on curved, brushed-steel rockers. The contrast between stern exterior and playful interior gives a pleasant jolt. But understanding its polemical intent requires a little more digging.

As Coalesce partner Zeba Asad explains, in Karachi, “all the urban spaces are in the street.” The Pakistani capital is home to over 21 million people, most of them jammed into a relatively small wedge of the metropolis, with little room for parks, plazas, or other urban amenities.

Seen from one perspective, “The Fold” is an attempt to address this condition: The placement of the swings at odd angles means that users are constantly at risk of colliding with their fellow swingers, just as the children of Karachi must hazard cars, pedestrians, and one another as they play in the city’s crowded streets.

The rocker-benches perform a similar maneuver, obliging the sitter to negotiate with anyone beside them so that neither will slide sidelong into the dirt should their neighbor stand up. As a metaphor, the installation is at once a teasing critique and a tongue-in-cheek celebration of Pakistan’s jostling urbanism, giving exhibition-goers a taste of Karachi without sparing them its vexing particulars.

Stepping into a swing herself, Asad demonstrates its operational logic. “You have to go forward for me to move back,” she says. “We have to talk to each other or it would be a disaster.”

Not just an urban critique, the installation also makes a broader case for dialogue, compromise, and coordinated action at every political scale: The globe, no less than Karachi, is a crowded place, and the designers identify patterns and prescriptions that could apply to either, layering a second metaphor atop the first.

Comment by Riaz Haq on October 3, 2018 at 10:29pm

Sindh govt join hands with World Bank on various projects worth $10bn

https://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2018/10/02/sindh-govt-join-hands-w...

Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah said that his government’s policy is very clear. He is working for transforming governance economic growth, sustainable development and human capital development. “I am committed to achieving these goals through accountability to the core of government, encouragement of economic growth, liberalisation of the agriculture sector and through strengthening population management and early childhood development,” he said.

Several projects including Karachi Neighbourhood Improvement project worth $86 million, in which the provincial government has to put in $14 million to start the project, Karachi Urban Management (KUM), a $200 million project, Karachi Urban Mobility project worth $400 million, Karachi Water and Sewerage project worth $640 million also came under discussion. These three projects had needed some provincial government approvals and to finalise investment plan to start the project.



KARACHI URBAN MANAGEMENT PROJECT:

The World Bank has proposed $200 million for Karachi Urban Management Project. The chief minister said that the objective of the project is to enhance urban management service delivery of Karachi Metropolitan Corporation and other districts metropolitan corporation (DMCs).

The proposal is to provide performance-linked block grants to six DMCs and KMC for local level infrastructure and municipal services. A capital development grant was proposed for KMC for flood management and rehabilitation of urban drainage infrastructure.

The chief minister directed P&D Chairman Mohammad Waseem to call a joint meeting of local bodies and secretary local government to finalise the KUM Project so that necessary recommendation could be firm up for final approval.

KARACHI URBAN MOBILITY PROJECT:

The World Bank proposed $400 million for Karachi Urban Mobility. The project is aimed at improving urban mobility, accessibility and road safety in Karachi. Under the project, the WB would construct Yellow Line corridor, including the development of infrastructure rehabilitation and BRTs construction system.

The chief minister approved the project and directed P&D chairman and Transport secretary to move forward with the project by completing all the required formalities and also sends the concept paper to Economic Affairs Division.

SINDH WATER & AGRICULTURE TRANSFORMATION & RESILIENCE PROJECT: 

The goal of Sindh Water & Agriculture Transformation & Climate Resilience project is transforming water management and agriculture production towards higher levels of water productivity and improve climate resilience. The WB has proposed $300 million and the provincial government share would be $150 million.

Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah said that under project rehabilitation of canal system on the right of Dadu and Rice Canal and on the left bank of Akram wah, Ghotki Feeder and the Fulleli system would be made. He also added that under the project advance irrigation reforms have been proposed and masterplans for the monitoring system of right bank barrages would also be evolved.

TRANSFORMATION AND REVITALISATION OF THE FISHERIES SECTOR PROJECT:

Transformation and Revitalisation of the Fisheries Sectors (TRFS) will cost about Rs150 million. The chief minister said that the goal of the project was to transform and revitalize fisheries and aquaculture by improving management, competitiveness and community.

The project would introduce sustainable management systems, including spatial planning, vessel registration and licensing and data management. The chief minister said that under the project private sector participation would be incentivized and would build value chains. He added that the project also aims at improving nutritional food security and livelihoods for women and families and strengthening institutions.

Comment by Riaz Haq on March 31, 2019 at 7:25am

#Karachi revitalization drive to remake #Pakistan. NED University study found that traffic congestion costs Karachi $2 billion a year. Data from municipal corporation showed more than 3 million #motorcycles currently in use with 25,000 added each month. https://reut.rs/2HQeAZa

The modernization of Karachi’s old downtown is one of a string of projects aimed at revitalizing Pakistan’s largest city and economic powerhouse, which has long been plagued by traffic congestion, water and electricity shortages and rampant crime.

But experts say the politicking by local parties and wrangling between different levels of government that have stalled Karachi’s growth for decades continue to hold back development.

Public transit programs, including a shiny new bus service and the revival of a long-closed inner city rail service, are among the projects stuck in the gridlock.

Both transport schemes have been held up awaiting authorization from Islamabad to invite bids to supply new buses and begin laying railways tracks, according to Sindh province’s Transport Minister Awais Qadir Shah.

Muhammad Sualeh Faruqui, CEO of the federal development corporation in charge of the bus project that is expected to move 250,000 commuters daily, said an agreement between the provincial and federal government should be finalised soon.

But no movement has been made on the bus or rail projects since Reuters spoke to Faruqui in January.

On Saturday, Prime Minister Imran Khan announced the allocation of 162 billion rupees ($1.15 billion) for Karachi’s development, to be primarily spent on transport and sewage projects.

“We need to make a master plan for Karachi and define the limits of the city and whether it will expand beyond its current area,” Khan said.

CONGESTION CRISIS
In the 1960s, Karachi boasted the tallest building in South Asia, an operational inner-city rail service, vibrant nightlife, and booming tourism.

But more than 50 years later, the city’s infrastructure has failed to keep pace with a population that has sky-rocketed more than 300 percent, leaving many public services such as health, transport, and water either provided by an informal private sector or controlled by organized crime.

The city nevertheless remains key to Pakistan’s shaky economy, now on the verge of its 13th IMF bailout since the late 1980s, accounting for 20 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), according to World Bank figures.

“Improving Karachi’s efficiency and Karachi’s economy, improves Pakistan efficiency and Pakistan’s economy,” said former finance minister and Karachi resident Mifath Ismail. “It is the only port city in Pakistan and it’s the hub of all international trade.”

A study by the NED University of Engineering and Technology found that traffic congestion costs Karachi $2 billion annually. Data from the local municipal corporation showed more than 3 million motorcycles currently in use with 25,000 added each month.

Comment by Riaz Haq on July 27, 2019 at 7:03am

#Karachi vice: Meet #Pakistani cop who channels #police stories into gritty #crime novels. Cop Omar Shahid Hamid is one of #Pakistan's most popular English-language authors.His father was killed by a notorious hitman, his partner was murdered by #Taliban. https://gn24.ae/8627f21f6eba000

Personal tragedy haunts the hard-boiled novels that are turning top cop Omar Shahid Hamid into one of Pakistan's most popular English-language authors.

For nearly two decades Hamid has worn a badge in Karachi, the mega port city on the Arabian Sea that for years was rife with vicious political and extremist violence.

Now a deputy inspector general, he is also fast becoming one of Pakistan's most recognisable writers, publishing four books in quick succession since 2013.

His work has even nabbed the attention of major streaming outlets on the hunt for new original material from South Asia, including Netflix, which has already seen major success with similar material in TV series such as Sacred Games, about Mumbai's corrupt underworld.

Hamid said the secret to his success is his unflinching accounts of political corruption, contract killers, and crooked cops alongside nuanced portraits of Karachi's divided neighbourhoods.

"Books like mine wouldn't work if I pulled punches," he tells AFP.

"It's that grittiness, that uncompromising reality that I think a lot of readers enjoy."

At times the reality has hit dangerously and heartbreakingly close to home.

Hamid did the bulk of his writing while he was on sabbatical after being advised to leave Karachi and take a break from policing in 2011 when he was threatened by Islamist groups.

Close to reality
Weeks after the release of his first novel "The Prisoner", his mentor and police partner Chaudhry Aslam - the inspiration for one of the book's protagonists - was killed in a Taliban-claimed suicide blast.

In his third novel "The Party Worker", Hamid portrays the rise of a brutal hitman who killed at the behest of a fictional political party ruling the city with an iron fist.

For Karachi insiders, the character mirrors the life of feared hitman Saulat Mirza, who served as the feared enforcer for the once-powerful Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) party - and whose list of victims include Hamid's own father, Shahid.

"It's less a thing of making a sketch of Saulat Mirza," explains Hamid, calling the character a "sketch of a particular type of young man... who kind of in the last 30 years or so essentially gave their lives away to these ideologies thinking they were doing the right thing."

The goal is not to excuse such actions, he insists.

"Understanding the motivations of someone is a positive tool if you're someone who has worked as an investigator in counterterrorism for a very long time," says Hamid.

"What he has written is fiction but it's very close to reality," says Faheem Siddiqui, Karachi bureau chief for Geo News.

"As a crime reporter, I know what had happened in the city. It took a great deal of courage to write about these events."

Hamid's plots go beyond his own losses to appear at times like thinly disguised retellings of the seismic moments that have rattled Karachi in the last 30 years - from the murder of American journalist Daniel Pearl in 2002 to the killing of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto's brother Murtaza.

Dangerous city
Once a quiet port nestled on the Arabian Sea coastline, Karachi was transformed by the flood of refugees from neighbouring India after partition in 1947, setting the stage for disputes that needle the metropolis to this day.

Years later the port became a conduit for weapons, narcotics, and a new flood of refugees from war-torn Afghanistan, transforming politics and ratcheting up violence to make Karachi one of Asia's most dangerous cities.

"

Comment by Riaz Haq on September 2, 2020 at 10:22am

#Karachi a victim of poor planning, bad governance – and floods. "...the same story is repeated in varying degrees across all the cities of #SouthAsia – Rawalpindi, #Mumbai, #Delhi, Patna, Kolkata, #Dhaka and on and on."
#climatechange |The Third Pole https://www.thethirdpole.net/2020/08/31/poor-planning-poor-governan...


Many parts of Karachi went without electricity for 50 hours, prompting Sindh’s Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah to ask, “What kind of service is this?” Internet and mobile phone networks were disrupted all over Pakistan’s largest city.

Women, children and the elderly waded through waist-deep sewage to reach rescue boats as rain continued to pelt down; the boats had to navigate around floating furniture, submerged cars, motorcycles and even shipping crates pushed around by the force of the floodwater.

The meteorological department totalled August rainfall in Karachi at 484 millimetres (19 inches), with the highest daily rainfall of 130 mm at PAF Faisal Base on August 28.

“Last year, through the three monsoon months, the PAF Faisal Base recorded a total of 345 mm of rains; this year in just two months, over 600 mm rain has been recorded there,” Sardar Sarfaraz, the Pakistan Meteorological Department’s Karachi head told The Third Pole.

“The rains are unprecedented; and in all likelihood, this seems like an erratic event, with the last such intense rain recorded in 1931,” said Sarfaraz. “I cannot say with finality that this rainfall can definitively be attributed to climate change.”

---------
Noman Ahmed, dean of the Architecture and Management Sciences department at Karachi’s NED University, said some encroachments happened in connivance with different government agencies, while some were “organic”.

“For example, the encroachments on Gujjar Nala were facilitated by the KMC functionaries by providing inappropriate leases [on its edges – in areas that were not supposed to be inhabited in the first place],” Ahmed said.

“The alignment of the nalas [drains] have clearly been demarcated in all land-use plans available with the different civic agencies,” said Ahmed, and therefore selling plots of land was nothing less than a “criminal act”.

He did not blame those who had bought the plots. Ahmed said people had started building on the dry bed of Gujjar Nala because for decades there was nothing more than a thin stream. “They occupied the land without knowing how vulnerable they were to sudden inundation, and this is what happened in recent rains.”

Architect and heritage consultant Marvi Mazhar also attributed “unplanned and unregulated growth, lack of monitoring and corruption” as major reasons for the havoc the rains wrought on the city of 16 million, which has been heavily “concretised, with not enough soft ground left for water to be absorbed”.

The problem has persisted despite court judgements, including an order from the country’s chief justice that all illegal construction be removed from Karachi – whether on or off the drains.

Describing the removal of encroachments as “a very tricky affair”, Ahmed said that very often debris left behind by a demolition crew causes more obstruction to water flow than the original buildings.


“These drains can actually be added into beautification plans with plantations on either side, and run across the city like in Amsterdam,” said Mazhar. Instead, she said, they are seen and treated as an eyesore with garbage thrown alongside them, which invariably slips into the drain thereby choking it. She held both residents and the government responsible for the indifference shown towards Karachi’s garbage.

Now Prime Minister Imran Khan has said he wants a “permanent solution” to problems associated with drains, the sewage system and water supply.

Comment by Riaz Haq on November 2, 2020 at 7:58am

Incomplete roads in #Pakistan's #economic hub #Karachi — the biggest city in #Pakistan and the third-largest in the world — show what happens when a megacity becomes a political orphan. Karachi ranks as having the worst public #transport system globally. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2020-11-02/pakistan-s-megac...

Karachi was once well connected by a circular railway but corruption and mismanagement in the transportation sector brought the city to a grinding halt in the late 1990s, according to Adam Weinstein, research fellow at the Washington D.C.-based Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft. Many of the railway tracks have become illegal slums with people moving from smaller towns to earn more.

“Karachi has yet to find a humane way to address land encroachment that stymies development and relocate people without incurring immense political blowback,” said Weinstein.

--------------

Muhammad Ali Jinnah Road has always had its share of traffic, but lately the main thoroughfare that connects central Karachi to its major port is in a state of near constant gridlock.

An elevated street eats up two of the road’s three lanes, but it’s empty — part of an incomplete project to create express lanes for public buses that was supposed to finish three years ago. It’s one of many towering structures scattered throughout the Pakistani city that were part of the latest plans to bring a modern transportation to Karachi, one of the world’s fastest-growing cities and the third-biggest by population.

Karachi ranks as having the worst public transport system globally, according to a 2019 study by car-parts company Mister Auto that looked at 100 major cities. It serves about 42% of Karachi’s commuters, relying on decades-old, overcrowded buses that use the roof as a second deck for passengers at times. Roads are filled with potholes, not all traffic signals are automated, and it’s common to see drivers running red lights. And yet the former capital is home to Pakistan’s main ports and the regional headquarters for companies such as Standard Chartered Plc and Unilever Plc, helping it generate half of the nation’s tax revenue.

-------------

“Karachi, despite its importance, is a political orphan,” said Arsalan Ali Faheem, a consultant at DAI, a Bethesda, Maryland-based company that advises on development projects. “The federal government is limited in what it can do, and the city government controls less than a quarter of the city. It means that Karachi’s problems belong simultaneously to everyone and no one.”




--------------------

“If cities can provide quality infrastructure, it by default increases productivity,” Uzair Younus, a non-resident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, said by phone. He’s the host of the “Pakistonomy” podcast and a former Karachi resident. “An administrative setup that is unable to provide decent mass transit to the largest city in the country will always be viewed with skepticism.”

Comment by Riaz Haq on Tuesday

#Pakistan's armed #police pop their rollerblades on to catch #Karachi's street criminals. Gliding in a circle with their weapons pointed inwards, and lifting and lowering the guns in unison, the 20-member unit clad in black undergoes rigorous training. https://reut.rs/3kdDWAy

Police in Pakistan’s largest city, Karachi, are deploying an armed rollerblading unit to curb theft and harassment on its teeming streets.

Gliding in a circle with their weapons pointed inwards, and lifting and lowering the guns in unison, the 20-member unit clad in black undergoes rigorous training.

“We felt we needed to come up with an innovative approach to control street crime,” said Farrukh Ali, chief of the unit, explaining that officers on rollerblades could more easily chase thieves on motorcycles through the city of 20 million.

Ali conceded that rollerblading police could not be deployed across many parts of Karachi due to the poor road conditions and uneven footpaths, but said they would be sent to public places with a higher incidence of theft and harassment.

“This is just the beginning,” said Aneela Aslam, a policewoman on the unit. “This rollerblading will really benefit us. With this training, we can reach narrow alleys very quickly where it is usually difficult to go.”

Safety concerns were raised when initial footage of the Karachi unit’s training showed officers carrying heavier weapons, but Ali said the unit would only carry handguns, reducing the risk of bullets richocheting.

The rollerblading police - who follow in the footsteps of similar units in Europe and elsewhere - are expected to begin officially next month, but they were recently spotted outside the venue of the Pakistan Super League cricket tournament.

And they have already begun patrolling Karachi’s bustling beachfront.

“Seeing them here in clean uniforms since the morning gives us a sense of security, as even in daytime, snatchings occur here,” said pedestrian Muhammad Azeem.

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