TERRORISM IN KARACHI

PROFESSOR ALI SUKHANVER

Karachi, once the most prosperous, promising and developing financial hub ofPakistanis now at stake. The people ofKarachiare left with nothing but a feeling of insecurity and uncertainty. Stray bullets and unidentified killers are ruling over this metropolitan city. In spite of their best efforts the provincial government, the police, the Rangers and even the leaders of various political parties have yet not succeeded in finding out the actual root cause of this blood shed. The city is turning to a land of horror and fright.

Some analysts are of the view that the situation is in fact an outcome of long time ethnic conflicts and differences, fuelled by political forces. Some others are of the opinion that people belonging to different land-mafia and drug-mafia are behind this warlike scenario in the streets ofKarachi. God knows better which are the hands trying to scatter and shatter the peace and prosperity of Karachi but one thing is very much obvious that the disturbance and unrest in Karachi is not the result of any ethnic conflict neither it is a racial problem. Whenever there is a bomb blast, a suicide attack or falling down of a building, one can easily find people from all ethnic identities rushing to the spot to help out the effected ones.

 

One day before the Independence Day celebrations on 13th August, some miscreants set a minibus on fire near a post office in Keamari area of Karachi. There were about fifteen passengers in that minibus. “The attackers set the bus on fire and ran away before the passengers could understand the situation”, said the in-charge of the local police station, “The blaze left one man dead and four others injured”. The passengers of this unlucky minibus did not belong to any particular ethnic community neither they were the members or workers of some particular political party. It means the miscreants targeted this bus not to victimize some particular ethnic or political segment of society but their only aim was to generate an air of horror and fright. Three weeks prior to this incident the media reported murder of a six years old innocent girl Liaba. It was 10th of July 2011 when Liaba, the only daughter of a poor Pashtun rickshaw driver was returning to her home from her madrassa. She was a few steps away from her door when some stray bullets deprived her of life. The brutal killing of this innocent girl filled all eyes with tears. Without any discrimination of caste and creed her murder was mourned over and condemned by everyone. In such a situation where the bullet and the target both are absolutely stranger to each other, it seems completely out of place to call such episodes ‘target killings’. In most of the cases the victims are rarely targeted on their ethnic or political identity. How can we call it ‘target killing’ when Innocent people including fruit and vegetable vendors, general stores and tuck-shop owners, labourers, daily-wagers and bus passengers are being sentenced to death pitilessly by ‘invisible authorities’.

 

Worsening of the law and order situation in Karachiis not a new phenomenon. It was somewhere in mid 1980s when people from varied ethnic and cultural backgrounds started hailing to Karachias their permanent destination. Since then different invisible forces have been trying their best to create an air of mistrust and disbelief among different communities living here. Now after a long struggle of almost three decades these forces have succeeded in changing the face and fate of Karachi. This city now appears to have entered an era where mass killing of people has become a hobby for the professional killers. Innocent people are being murdered without any rhyme and reason. The local administration seems helpless and the law enforcing agencies seem powerless. In the beginning it was reported that the militant political forces were only targeting their rivals but now attacks on residents are becoming progressively more haphazard. In a recent incident of the same type of ‘target killing’ on 17th August former Pakistan People’s Party MNA Waja Karim Dad and his friend Sadruddin Bhai were shot dead when they were sitting along with other friends at a hotel in the remits of Jackson police station. They were breaking their fast when a group of motorcyclists arrived on the spot and opened firing on them. Resultantly, both received bullet injuries and died on the spot. Later, the same group of unidentified armed men allegedly opened indiscriminate firing at a food stall, where people were sitting for Aftari near Achi Qabar Mithadar. Resultantly a young man of 35 died on the spot while six others got seriously injured. The incident shows that most of the time the miscreants have only one aim and objective; to generate an air of fear and harassment and to promote a general feeling of insecurity among the people ofKarachi. The situation has become so complex and complicated that people have lost all their trust and confidence in the political government. They feel that the law and order situation inKarachi cannot be controlled without the interference of army. In fact it is the planning of the international conspirators to drag thePakistan army into the blazing inferno ofKarachi. They want to divert the attention of the army from the borders where internationally supported terrorists are always busy in planning to destabilizePakistan with their cruel terrorist activities.

 

The situation in Karachiis not very much different from that of Baluchistanand Khayber Pakhtunkhawh. From Quettato Peshawarinnocent people are being murdered in the same way. Bomb blasts, suicide attacks and target killings have become a routine matter. In fact the blazing fire of terrorism which once started from KPK has now reached Karachiafter engulfing the fertile lands of Baluchistan. Though the situation seems extremely out of control but someone will have to step forward and take the responsibility of playing the role of savior and rescue this city from the cruel clutches of such a depressing state of horror and fear. The government must not allow the law of jungle hold here supreme.Karachi is an international city; peace and prosperity ofKarachi means peace and prosperity ofPakistan. The government ofPakistan must take serious action to control the situation before it is too late.

  The writer is a Pakistan based analyst on defence and strategic affairs

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