It will go to the eternal discredit of the PPP, MQM and ANP, the three parties the people of Karachi had elected to rule, that they threw the city to the gangs of terrorists.
While in the past Karachi faced numerous problems like any other mega city in the world, the incidence of target killings was never as high nor its eruptions so frequent. During the last eight days over 30 people have died, scores of others wounded and more than 50 vehicles set ablaze. There still seems to be no respite to violence.
The current wave of violence started when the MQM issued a call for business centres’ shutdown after the killing of a party activist and his brother. The next day a local ANP leader was gunned down leading to another call for shutdown. As if vying with its coalition partner, the MQM issued a second call for strike. Both the parties know that protest calls of the sort are invariably preceded and followed by killings and acts of arson in Karachi.
The closure of the markets and the wheel jam strikes disturb the common man’s life. What is more, it harms the national economy by bringing to halt the industrial and commercial activity in the country’s commercial and industrial heartland. The suspension of bus service stops students from pursuing their studies while hundreds of litigants desperately in need of justice and often coming from far off districts fail to reach the courts.
The killers belong to well-known gangs patronised by political parties. Their identity is no secret. The SC was given a detailed briefing by the top security agencies on who’s who in the business of killing. The enquiry into the Nishtar Park killings was discontinued to avoid ruffling the alliance’s feathers. Those behind the gory incidents of May 12, April 9 and October 18 were not unmasked for a similar reason.
The coalition government that rules the centre and Sindh has failed to provide security of life, the least expected from an administration. What stands in the way of stopping the killers are political exigencies wrapped up in the slogan of ‘political reconciliation’. Unless the government abandons the policy of appeasement for short term gains, peace will continue to elude Karachi. – PT