EVEN for a country racked by endemic lawlessness, as unfortunately Pakistan has been for some years, the situation in one of its principal cities that is home to a large-scale industrial and commercial activity should call for quick, stringent measures to put a stop to the violence. An estimate puts the death toll at 79, most of them victims of target killing, in a period of 72 hours. Unfortunately, our ruling leadership appears to be helpless before these gangs of murderers roaming around Karachi and freely shooting down anyone they want. Last Tuesday witnessed, perhaps, a most cruel reply of random killings at the junk market, known as Shershah Market, where 12 persons were mowed down by motorcycle riders armed with Kalashnikovs, taking the day’s tally of deaths to between 26 and 33, according to different sources. The junk market victims, reportedly, were mostly ordinary labourers working there to earn a living, which makes the whole scenario most cruel and inhuman.
The Karachi situation is a strange mix of tragedy and confusion. The PPP, which is a major governing party of the province of Sindh, is repeatedly charged by its coalition partner MQM of complicity and inaction, often demanding the resignation of provincial Home Minister Zulfiqar Mirza (PPP), who has at least once accused the MQM of being behind the mayhem. On the other hand, the ANP, another stakeholder in the city because of the burgeoning Pashtun population and also a ruling ally of these parties at the Centre, has exchanged allegations with the MQM of letting loose their bands of killers to target rivals. – Nation