The anti-encroachment operation in Karachi entered into a very important phase on Sunday. The operation began early morning at the Empress market and the surrounding areas. More than 1,500 shops were leveled by authorities to try to restore the iconic market back to its original British era shape. Some of the shops that were demolished, some were decades old and had been built as well as rented out by the Karachi metropolitan corporation itself. Pan market and fruit market being some. Authorities had engaged the protesting shopkeepers in talks to end their sit-in. They complained the authorities of breaking an agreement with the commissioner of Karachi that stated that the shopkeepers were to be given time to remove their goods. Police and rangers were stationed to maintain peace and make sure that no incidents were caused, n o unexpected action took place, except a shopkeeper setting his own shop on fire in protest, reported the police. Roads leading to the market were temporarily closed. Authorities said that the Market would be restored to its original shape within the next 15 to 20 days. Another task force was made comprising of officials of Karachi metropolitan corporation, anti-encroachment and district police to prevent further encroachments in Saddar. The mayor of Karachi, Wasim Akhter told the media that parks would be made in the areas surrounding the market and that the illegal shops were made on the sites of these parks.
He also made clear that the anti encroachment order had been given by the prime minister and chief justice. He also promised that the shopkeepers who had been paying rent to Karachi metropolitan corporation, would be accommodated at alternative places and that a committee had been made to provide the shopkeepers with an alternative accommodation.