Lack of political will keeps the city burning


With the “turf war” between rival groups to capture the public mandate in Karachi on ‘gunpoint’ entering a critical phase, Interior Minister Rehman Malik is on a peace mission to Karachi.
Despite the much-hyped Aman March, killing continues in the port city. The media reports put the death toll at 300 only in the month of July this year, while sources claim that the figure is much higher than that, while at least 400 have been injured.
The clashes between Mohajirs, Pashtoons and the Aman Committee “mobsters” were not enough for the Singh government. Dr Zulfiqar Mirza added fuel to the fire by publicly announcing for support to the MQM-Haqiqi group and within days, an infighting started in the MQM-controlled areas with the return of the “expelled” Haqiqi workers.
The Karachi situation is so complex that one cannot pinpoint the core problem which could be resolved through mere talks. Despite paying so many visits to Karachi with making a new claim each time – form ‘Israeli weapons’ to the ridiculous one of ‘killings are happening due to betrayal by wives and beloveds’ – Malik seems helpless.
This time around though, Rehman Malik has come up with the ‘action mantra’ against terrorists and ‘aerial surveillance’. One should ask the interior minister why the government did not react until now and what about those thousands killed? Who is responsible for the killings?
Former Intelligence Bureau (IB) chief Maj (r) Masud Sharif says that handling the Karachi unrest was beyond Malik’s capacity. “I fear that the state has failed to honour its responsibility and the political will is missing out to control the situation. We would also have to see that who are at the helm of affairs today to control the law and order situation and why don’t they act in time to nab the culprits,” he said.
Sharif’s views confirm the assertion of some MQM leaders who have been claiming that some ministers of the Sindh government are involved in violence in Karachi and backing of opposing groups is the real cause of continued violence in the city, while the lack of political will means that the ruling party wants to keep the city burning.
The violence in Karachi has roots in politics and business. Perpetrators are using criminal gangs for their political and business gains and the innocent people are victims of these conspiracies. From the so-called “peace-loving” Awami National Party (ANP) workers to those killing in guise of Aman Committee thugs; and from the thunder squad of the Mutahidda Qaumi Movement (MQM) to that of the MQM-Haqiqi’s assassins, all are responsible for this turf war which seems never ending.
Until and unless the ruling party leadership decides to take the criminals head-on, there seems no let up in Karachi violence and it seems that the bloodbath would continue until the rulers’ designs are