Karachi violence

As a reaction to the killing of Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s (MQM’s) senior member, Farooq Baig, four more people were gunned down in Karachi and about 25 vehicles were set ablaze by armed men across the city on Monday. According to city police chief, only buses and trucks had been targeted, giving this whole episode an ethnic colour, as the transport business in Karachi is the exclusive domain of the Pashtuns. The MQM has responded by condemning the killings as well as incidents of arson attacks. However, this seems to be an exercise of political papering over. Given its history, it is highly unlikely that some of its activists were not involved in these incidents and these were solely orchestrated by MQM opponents to malign the party.

It has almost become a routine that whenever an important member of MQM is killed, it responds with yet more violence, plunging the city into panic and fear. In August last year, after the killing of MQM MPA Raza Haider, more than 90 people were killed in a series of incidents of violence that extended over weeks that followed. Farooq Baig, a veteran member, was intercepted by a motorbike rider when he was on his way to Nine Zero. This happened at a time when a delegation of MQM was in a meeting with Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani in Islamabad to discuss the possibility of MQM’s rejoining of the cabinet. There are speculations that this killing was intended to sabotage negotiations and ensure that the MQM stays at bay. However, these are all speculations. The hard fact is that violence is the prime tool for achieving political objectives in Karachi. Due to political differences of various parties, Karachi’s security remains fragile. This must stop, because Karachi is the hub of industry, trade and commerce and its instability affects the entire country. The Sindh government must take action to arrest this wave of violence. – Dailytimes