Karachi in flames

Karachi in flames

Indifferent to the nation’s agonising groans, the cruelty of man conti-nues to wreak havoc on Karachi, cavalierly playing with the lives of its inhabitants and mercilessly putting their belongings to the torch. The 24 hours ended mid-day Thursday witnessed the murder of no less than 40 persons, 24 of them in just the last 12 hours, with the bodies of quite a few found mutilated and defaced. The death toll has kept growing. The loss, immeasurable though as far as the worth of a single human being is concerned, runs into millions, in material terms, when vehicles and houses come crashing down, reduced to ashes.

If nature is indifferent, no less callous have been, and there lies the tragedy, the leadership in power, the political parties enjoying control over the forces of violence – the rioters – and influence in the governance of the city and, indeed, the custodians of law and order. The stakeholders are engaged in political wheeling-dealings, rushing from one meeting to another, settling terms of sharing power that, in their terminology, goes for reconciliation.

Nothing could be more devastating to the soul, and nothing could be more shameful for the rulers.It is hard to draw a true picture of the blighted city as it exists at present. One could imagine the dead bodies of active workers of rival political parties or ethnic groups lying on street corners in an advanced stage of putrefaction and shoved into gunny bags.

An innocent passer-by, who had, with some trepidation, stepped out of his house to shop for iftar for his family, shot dead and sprawling on the roadside alongside a bleeding victim of the cruel circumstances asking for help; a half-burnt corpse of a young college-going student, with his mind full of vague aspirations for life that, in his blithe ignorance of the dangers accosting him at every turn, was cut short and lying in the wreckage of the car he was driving; a poor bus driver, perhaps the sole breadwinner of a family of seven, slumped over the steering wheel of his minibus – these must be common sights in the city that once throbbed with life round the clock.

Yet, the rulers are looking at Karachi as if it was a distant place of little concern to them. No gruesome tragedy, no criticism, no pleading for life;nothing seems to move them. Their attitude would suggest that they have lost the game; bringing peace is not within their power. Yet, as everyone knows, all they have to do is to restrain the bands of party thugs and, if they want us to believe that their parties do not harbour such bloodthirsty goons, let Karachi be controlled by the Army. – Nation