Protesting too much

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The MQM feels the heat

With gangs of criminals striking with immunity on account of the negligence or connivance of the ruling alliance during the past five years, Karachi has become ungovernable. Unless a serious attempt is made to restore peace it would be difficult to hold violence-free elections in the city. For five years, each one of the three parties previously in power blamed the other for the target killings and lawlessness. When it came to action there was none. When the issue of lawlessness in Karachi was taken up by the Supreme Court, there were eye-opening revelations. Murderers sentenced by the courts had been released on parole and subsequently disappeared in thin air. Police officials involved in crimes were not only retained but also promoted. A serving Sindh IG confessed he could not take action against his subordinates because they were political appointees.

After remaining in power for a decade at one stretch, it has come as a shock to the MQM to be treated like other parties by the law enforcement agencies. It has complained about the operation on Friday because it was “unannounced”, was carried out in areas considered to be MQM’s strongholds and has led to the arrest of “innocent people.” Not long ago, the MQM had demanded the initiation of an operation against the Peoples Aman Committee in Baloch dominated Lyari area which was then considered to be a PPP stronghold. It had also demanded an operation in the Pukhtun dominated areas. The lawlessness in Karachi is fairly widespread and no area in safe, which implies that there are criminals not only in Lyari and Sohrab Goth but also in other localities. The caretaker government needs to take an even handed action to root out crime irrespective of the localities’ voting pattern or their ethnic or political identity. What is more, the operations need to be conducted without prior announcement to ensure that the criminals do not manage to disappear or remove their lethal weapons and instruments of torture to safe places. There should be no sacred cows in the city.

The MQM’s complaints are incomprehensible. Even now it has a staunch party member as Governor. The caretaker Chief Minister too is reportedly its nominee. The Saturday’s operation in Lyari indicates that the law enforcers are acting without any prejudice. One expects them to remain neutral. All suspects need to be thoroughly probed irrespective of their affiliations. Any lenience shown in this regard would nullify whatever good one expects from the ongoing operations.

1 COMMENT

  1. When action. Is carried out in Lyari it is welcomed by MQM, but when the same law enforcement agencies catch the hoodlums of MQM, it is termed state repression. All criminal, to whichever party they belong to should be caught, tried and eliminated by Ant Terrorist Courts.

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