HRCP’s fact-finding team has blamed all main political parties in Karachi for bearing responsibility for the Karachi target killings. HRCP released its fact finding report at their Lahore office on Saturday. The HRCP fact-finding team said even parties which did not have assigned armed wings had a lot to answer for.
It also called for political parties to disband private militias and disarm criminal gangs to end bloodshed in the country’s commercial capital, Karachi. Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) chairperson Zohra Yusuf told a news conference that police in the port city have been politicised, have failed to take action and are ill-equipped to deal with the gangs.
The commission echoed a recent ruling from the Supreme Court, saying political parties have formed armed wings operating as private militias and warned: “All such militias must be disbanded.” More than 1,000 people were killed in violence in Karachi this year. In a report compiled by its fact finding team HRCP said: “All of the main political parties in Karachi shoulder considerable blame for their consistent and prolonged failure to prevent the loss of human life and of property.”
The commission also accused the government, saying: “The state has miserably and utterly failed in its responsibility to safeguard the people’s right to life.”Karachi is in a state of turmoil, it said, warning that there is potential for infinitely more chaos. The commission said the police department must be “depoliticised” and the law of the land must be invoked without exception “for any instigation to violence”.
Karachi must be purged of all weapons, both licensed or otherwise, the commission said, calling for “total deweaponisation”. The HRCP report follows Thursday’s Supreme Court ruling which also blamed “unimaginable brutalities” in Karachi on criminal gangs which have received financial support from political parties.
A 12-point explanation
1. Karachi’s main fault line lies in blame game, no addressing question of militant wings
2. May 12, 2007 was a turning point when Pakhtuns asserted themselves, began turf war
3. Political parties patronising criminals, citizens being viewed through ethnic lens, state machinery being used to grab land.
4. Crucial issues such as de-weaponisation not addressed
5. Karachi is a deeply fractured city
6. Law enforcement agencies are ill-prepared, without support to be effective.
7. Emergency and paramedical staff are intimidated during treatment of victims of violence.
8. Karachi’s urban growth has not been tackled producing turf wars.
9. Journalists fear reporting from areas affected by violence.
10. All businesses are subject to extortion, extortionists are believed to be linked to political groups
11. Lawyers are being murdered in targeted killings.
12. Some people are disappointed with democratic governance and looking to extra-constitutional forces.