Clueless authorities

As Karachi bleeds unendingly, the authorities seem to have no clue to restoring sanity to its angry and vengeful inhabitants. Five more, including activists of MQM and MQM (H), were murdered on Monday, only to be lost in the mass of hundreds who have been killed before. Interior Minister Rehman Malik, who seems to take charge of the situation every time the target killers unleash their terror and the death toll shoots up, announces the imposition of a partial curfew in sensitive areas to comb them for culprits. In effect, though, it is the motorcyclists that are being caught for violating the ban on pillion-riding. On Monday, 630 of them were detained but, according to one report, 500 later let off the hook on striking an under the table deal with the police. The provincial Home Department that has to implement an agreed policy believes that ‘semi-curfew’ only came up in the discussion with Mr Malik but not finally decided upon.

In the meantime, apart from voices of anguish from leaders of different political persuasions and opinion makers, one hears calls for solution and words of accusation and firm resolve to draw the curtain down on the gory drama being daily enacted in this principal port-city. There is no doubt that the country as a whole suffers from a general sense of insecurity not only because of the possibility of an unexpected occurrence of acts of terrorism, but also the widely prevailing lawlessness. But Karachi remains the focus of serious concern. For, it would be a lucky day when the metropolis does not send out frightening signals of targeted killings. And as the town teeming with approximately 15 million inhabitants, is an amalgam of virtually every linguistic and ethnic group of the country, the concern for safety is not confined to any particular region. In addition, though perpetual violence has led many an industrial magnet to shift his enterprise to safer places, Karachi continues to be the hub of business and industry. Disturbance there inevitably affects the country’s economic life and of all and sundry – Nation