Friday, May 18, 2012
Can Someone Stop this Carnage?
May 18, 2012
By Saeed Qureshi
During the past few weeks, scores of precious lives have perished in Karachi in the so called target killing. The trend of vendetta murders continues unabated. There are rival groups both political and trigger happy goons killing for ransom or extortion money. They also remain locked in a do or die combat for the ulterior motives of mutual annihilation. The law enforcement agencies mostly police and paramilitary are interspersed all over Karachi for a wild goose hunt for killers, sharp shooters and other assortment of criminals.
There is no respite in the dare day massacres by mafias and heavily armed groups that brook no mercy for their targets. They subject their victims to spin-chilling brutalities. The mutilated and twisted bodies bear the signs of torture that normal human being cannot even think of. The limbs of captured hostages are dismembered and broken and their bodies holed with lethal weapons. This is happening in a country where an elected democratic government is at the helm.
There is an unremitting war raging between the MQM and their political and ethnic adversaries that take a toll of citizen’s lives every day. The Lyari area in Karachi has turned into a battlefield where the count of dead and injured is multiplying, where bullets are flying and where gunfire ringing in front of the police and rangers and other peace keeping forces.
The law and order is fragile or negligible in the strife-torn sensitive areas of Karachi where pitched and guerrilla style battles are being fought. The law enforcement agencies are hauling good number of miscreants and bounty killers on daily basis. But the desperadoes are mushrooming and replacing those caught.
It is indeed a frightening situation where the lives of peaceful citizens are at stake. The business community is the worst sufferer and they do not or hesitatingly open their shops for fear of being killed or kidnapped if they refuse to pay the extortion money.
The daily life of the citizens in Karachi is paralyzed. The entire city has turned to be a replica of Baghdad and Kabul where life of ordinary folks is prone to drone attacks or night patrolling of the occupation troops. In Karachi it may not be drone attacks and even hostile soldiers busy in ambush sprees. Here are visible and invisible enemies that are wreaking havoc with the social harmony of that largest city of Pakistan to choke Pakistan economically.
There are migrants and new settlers from other parts of Pakistan that reportedly have taken to the most lucrative business of drug trafficking, land grabbing and kidnapping for ransom. There are various brands of religious militants who brook no mercy in massacring the identified heathen or opponents to their fanatic creed of religion. Extortionists are all over the city and all they need is gun or a knife and will to kill on the drop of the hat.
Then there are Baluchies, the alien economic workers, Pathans, the religious bands inclusion Taliban, the political rabble rousers and so on. Karachi is a potpourri of various ethnic groups and perhaps the safest haven where they can perpetuate in their nefarious acts with impunity.
The MQM cadres, the PPP breakaway factions, the hardened and heartless assassins, the foreign agent provocateurs, the local thugs, bandits and outlaws; the incorrigible emotionally charged political activists, all aggravate the lawlessness and fish in the troubled waters.
The snatching of cars and purses, the decamping with money and jewelry, the breaking into the houses and making inmates as hostages to take away the precious belongings, money and jewelry are daily happenings. The looting of the banks and ATM machines are frequent. This murky atmosphere has robbed the citizens of their peace of mind and it is trapping them into a syndrome of paranoid, unknown fears and phobias, and mental agonies. No one is safe in Karachi and very few should be mentally sound as to perform their daily chores with peace of mind.
If the laws enforcement agencies with their mighty firepower and immense manpower, and meticulous organization and with the official support seem to be incapable of restoring peace to bedeviled Karachi then I would offer two alternatives that might work.
Firstly, hand over Karachi to the armed forces. They should impose a curfew for a specified period of time on daily basis. They should set up summary military courts to award speedy sentences to the heinous criminals that should range from firing squads to long jail terms. They should not be lodged in local jails but isolated in an island in the oceans miles away from Karachi.
If the incumbent government has reservation about the army’s induction into resorting peace in Karachi and stem violence then it should invite Taliban to restore peace in that city that has become a haven for crooks and criminals of all hues. They would perform this task in matter of few weeks. No other mafia or killers ‘brigands can compete with them. It is doubtful if they would go back after doing the needful.
If this is not acceptable either, let government convene a session of all the political parties and hammer out a joint plan of action to curb and halt this terrible mayhem that is pushing the city of Karachi and the whole of Pakistan into a terrible civil war. What could be the outcome of that? The answer is fragmentation and further division of this country into how many parts no one presently knows.
If none of these options can be plausible for the government and it would watch the gory situation as it is unfolding, then in all fairness it should resign hands up with the confession that it cannot overcome the epidemic of violence and rampant carnage swallowing lives of innocent people day in and day out.