Instead of new clothes, many forced to buy kafan


Followed by a fresh wave of violence that erupted across Karachi after the murder of former Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Member of National Assembly (MNA) Waja Karim Dad on Wednesday, the metropolitan was deserted on Friday.
Though the Muslim world would be celebrating Eidul Fitr in less than a fortnight, the people of the city have not started shopping for the religious occasion. On Friday, most of the major markets, shopping malls and commercial hubs remained closed, whereas public transport on the roads was thin and attendance at public departments and private institutions was very low.
A shopkeeper at the Jama Cloth Market located on the MA Jinnah Road told Pakistan Today that people do their Eid shopping around this time, but he had sold two shrouds instead of any clothes for Eid. Rescue workers have been searching for and transporting tortured and bullet-riddled bodies stuffed in gunny bags that were dumped at various locations across the metropolis with a piece of paper in the pockets of the deceased, saying ‘Peace or war, or you need more bodies’; whereas the police has been too busy counting the bodies to do anything worthwhile.
The former PPP MNA’s murder has added fuel to the fire, and incidents of violence have increased in almost every part of the commercial hub of the country, which is echoing with the sounds of sporadic gunfire.
Miscreants carrying weapons took to the streets and opened fire on public buses, roadside restaurants and shopping malls.
What could possibly be termed as the worst-ever wave of violence in the metropolitan has forced many citizens to be confined to their houses. Most shopkeepers at the Zainab Market told this scribe that they look forward to Eid when majority of the citizens buy something and they are able to save money for a rainy day, but not many people are interested in heading to the markets this year due to continued incidents of violence in the city.
Police record reveals that in Ramzan this year, 123 people have fallen victim to target killing, which typically means that gunmen on motorcycles drive up to their would-be victims and open fire on them before roaring away. During the massive riots that follow murders, majority of the duty doctors at the major state-run hospitals remained busy treating bullet wounds suffered by the victims.
Most of the murders were ethnic-based as the victims comprised Pashtuns, Balochs and the Urdu-speaking people, majority of whom were ordinary, innocent citizens. According to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan-Sindh, among those killed during the recent wave of violence, four people belonged to the Hindu community and one to the Christian community.
Violence on sectarian and ethnic bases and for grabbing power of the industrial hub and the biggest city of the country has a long history. Besides target killings, criminals also kidnap citizens whose bodies are found later in gunny bags dumped in deserted places, whereas they also throw chemicals on passenger buses and hand grenades on restaurants, hotels and shops.


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