Revitalising the civilian institutions
It was ironic that the targeted killing of Karachi University Professor Waheedur Rehman took place on the day the COAS vowed to crush all mafia in Karachi. The incident happened within days of the killing of social activist Sabin Mahmud. Imran Khan is for once spot-on when he says target killings create an environment of fear which scares away potential investors from the city. One of the reasons why many Pakistanis have invested in real estate in Dubai is because they do not feel comfortable doing business in Karachi. It is highly worrisome that law and order has continued to worsen despite the presence of the Rangers here since 1994.
A political leadership rising from the masses is supposed to be better aware of the complexities of social issues peculiar to its constituency and the ways to resolve them. Similarly police system based on thanas with an information gathering system at the grass roots level should be better suited to deal with the challenges of managing law and order in a big city. Instead of putting an end to violence and crime in Karachi, the MQM tended to become part of the problem. The situation in the city got further complicated with political recruitment in police and a tendency to depend on blue eyed boys. The frequent recourse to Rangers and military intelligence agencies as a solution of the last resort led to a situation where the police and civilian intelligence agencies suffered neglect. Starved of funds every civilian department dealing with law enforcement tended to deteriorate. The police in general is short of weapons and equipment while the elite force is poorly trained. The civilian intelligence agencies do not possess modern gadgets to detect crime and the prosecution department does not have talented and trained officers.
There is a need to revitalise the civilian institutions dealing with law and order. Unless this is done, it may not be possible to crush the different types of mafia operating in the city.