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4 Lakh Beggars Come Here During Ramzan; Know Why

Pakistan: During Ramadan in Karachi, Pakistan, the streets buzz with activity as people prepare for Pakistan. Eid Celebrations. However, amid the festivities, one major challenge looms large – the overwhelming presence of professional beggars. Numbering around 400,000, these beggars flood the city, turning its bustling streets into their hunting grounds for alms. What sets these beggars apart is not only their sheer numbers but also their involvement in criminal activities, which adds to the challenges faced by the local population.

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From roads to malls, markets and even traffic signals, no one seems to escape the ubiquitous presence of these beggars. They occupy every available space, making it increasingly difficult for residents and visitors to move around the city without encountering them. While Eid celebrations in Pakistan bring joy and excitement to many, for others it serves as a stark reminder of the social and economic disparities that plague the country.

Karachi’s Additional Inspector General (AIG), Imran Yaqoob Minhas, highlighted the magnitude of the problem, saying that during Ramadan, metropolitan cities like Karachi are visited by 3 to 4 lakh professional beggars. Minhas claims that these beggars see Karachi as a lucrative market, where they not only beg but also engage in criminal activities. Such a large number of beggars poses a major challenge to law enforcement agencies, which are struggling to maintain law and order amid this chaos.

Minhas advocates the installation of more cameras in the provincial capital, stressing the need for better surveillance measures to curb criminal activity. However, combating this multifaceted problem requires more than just increased surveillance. This calls for a holistic approach that addresses the root causes of begging and provides viable alternatives for people trapped in this cycle of poverty.

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The problem extends beyond Karachi’s borders, with reports of Pakistani beggars attempting to travel to Saudi Arabia under the guise of pilgrimage, only to be arrested for begging in the Gulf state. Additionally, Karachi has seen an increase in crime incidents during Ramadan, with 19 deaths due to various crimes since the start of 2024 and more than 55 deaths in robbery-related protests.

The data shows a disturbing trend, with over 6,780 criminal incidents reported in Karachi during Ramadan alone, including vehicle theft and hijacking.

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