Friday, March 8, 2013
For God Sake De-weaponize Karachi
March 8, 2013
By Saeed Qureshi
Lately there has been a spate of deadly explosions in Karachi and Quetta killing scores of innocent, peaceful citizens of this hapless country. It is indispensable to de-weaponize Karachi in order to restore a modicum of peace in that city now entirely left at the mercy of brigands and killer mafias.
As to why this decision has not been taken so far defies the logic and places our rulers at par with the enemies of public peace. That one giant decision can put a tab on the proliferating terrorism, surging violence and spiraling lawlessness debilitating Karachi economically and socially. There must be millions of all calibers of weapons being used by murders of all shades for massacring the citizens for ulterior motives, for sectarian vendettas and for extortion and robberies.
The hopeless and delicate law and order situation in Karachi should not be invisible or unknown to the law enforcement agencies or the governments at center and in province. Invariably everyday citizens lose their lives. The assassins keep repeating their murderous sprees as if to display their brazenness as well as to mock the inability of the police and custodians of law to nab them.
There is a pall of fear hanging over Karachi for many years that intensifies as the time passes. It seems that the local government is a part of a diabolic conspiracy to keep Karachi in constant spell of turmoil, impasse and insecurity.
There is no let-up in any manner in the savagery of the target killers who not only kill but torture their captives before taking their lives. It is a colossally frightening picture awash with human blood all over. The official network seems entirely dysfunctional to protect the citizens, from the unrelenting orgy of human blood let loose by the trigger happy and audacious fiends in human garb.
If the government is wary of relegating Karachi to the army for an operation a la Swat to clear Karachi of the miscreants and savage criminals wrecking the peace in this largest metropolis, then at least it should put on ban on possession of weapons. Weapons are instruments of mass killings and massacres that only the hooligans and murders carry as the common citizens cannot have the money to buy even a small caliber pistol. The wicked and barbaric thugs keep an arsenal of firearms with which they unleash a reign of terror and fright ever day over the city.
Why the provincial and the federal governments do not blink eye over the complete breakdown of law and order in a city that is the hub and life-line of Pakistan’s economy? If the police and paramilitary forces can reach the affected areas after an explosion and bomb blast to carry out a search operation, why can’t a comprehensive search and arrest operation be mounted in the entire city and every house for finding weapons?
Why doesn’t the provincial government declare possession of weapons as illegal and violation of law punishable by several years of incarceration? Why doesn’t the government order for all the weapons to be registered with the authorities and those not registered to be recovered and confiscated. The possessors of illegal weapons should be punished on the spot by the summary or roving courts set up in every locality. These courts should move with the police or army during the search of the weapons.
Hundreds of families have been deprived of their bread earners and the children have become orphans. The goons have turned Karachi into a killing field of the citizens mostly poor, impoverished and from the lower segments of society. The citizens move out of their dwellings with an embedded fear whether they would still be alive by the evening when they return to their homes.
Why the government has a soft corner for the killing mafias, the murderous gangsters and enemies of public peace as evident from its reluctance to ban possession of firearms and other lethal weapons. Is it that the heavyweights in the government are behind this grisly mayhem of lawlessness and sordid breakdown of administrative machinery? Do they share cash and jewelry and cars and other similar valuables through their hired thugs?
Karachi has become an exceedingly insecure and dangerous place not only for the tourists and Pakistanis living aboard but also for the local population. Why the government, can’t call all parties conference for serious deliberations over this most burning and precarious issue, devouring the lives of the frightened and defenseless people?
Do the governing heavyweights know that this spiraling lawlessness is playing havoc with Karachi’s economic potential and that of Pakistan also? My crying question is why the political government, the police paraphernalia, the intelligence network, the army and all those responsible for the security and well being of Pakistan and its citizens are, posing as unconcerned onlookers.