Pakistani business tycoon and real estate developer Malik Riaz and US investment group headed by Thomas Kramer signed a memorandum of understanding to invest fifteen to twenty billion dollars in the Safe City Project aka Bodha Island City, 3.5 kilometers off the Karachi shore.
The idea behind building the ‘safe’ city, according to Mr. Riaz is to provide employment opportunities and to escape crime and terrorism. The city will also have the world tallest building built by Thomas Kramer, sophisticated educational institutes and luxurious malls and shopping centers. This project reminds one of Guatemala City’s ‘Paseo Cayala’ project that was announced this year in the beginning of January.
While the promises made for employment make sense, the eradication of crime by building a separate city with a violence-stricken city doesn’t sound convincing. It will probably differentiate people with wealth and people who can’t afford a project like that but will certainly not help to eliminate crime or terrorism. Miscreants can easily cause trouble anywhere these days. And especially in a country like Pakistan and a city like Karachi, notorious for heinous crimes, cannot escape the inevitable.
The common man in Pakistan needs proper law and order rather than expensive and out-of-reach buildings and apartment to escape crime and violence. And that can only be provided by an efficient government and not a business tycoon.