A city abandoned | Pakistan Today

A city abandoned

To killers and extortionists
It will go to the discredit of the coalition government in Sindh that it has abandoned Karachi to killers and extortionists during its almost five-year tenure. So much blood has flown in Karachi that keeping a tally of the dead has become a specialised job. According to HRCP which keeps a credible record, at least 740 were killed in the city in violent shootings during the last five months alone. Out of these, 107 were political activists who form the single largest category of victims. The rest were targeted on account of ethnic and sectarian reasons. On Friday, 10 more people, including a policeman died in incidents of violence in various parts of the city.
It is widely recognised that most target killings and acts of extortion are politically motivated. Initially, only the major ethnic party in the city had a monopoly over target killings and “bhatta” collection. With the passage of time others too have learnt the ropes. Thus, practically all components of the ruling alliance are involved in the deadly game. The appointments of blue eyed boys at key police posts have politicised the force. A number of outstanding officers who took action ignoring political considerations have been physically eliminated. Taking benefit of the prevailing lawlessness, a number of criminal gangs too have come into action. The government claims it has given a free hand to law enforcement agencies, including the Rangers and police. This has not helped as notorious criminals manage to escape the dragnet with the help of their political patrons.
On Wednesday, city traders went on strike against the killings, extortions and abductions of the members of their community. One wonders if the strike would in any way improve the situation. The province is without a home minister since Wassan went on leave in April and subsequently offered his resignation. The home department is being looked after by the already overburdened CM. As long as the policy of giving a free hand to coalition partners continues, there is little hope of peace in Karachi.

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