Thursday, December 31, 2009

Karachi Carnage and the Colossal Arson

December 30, 2009
By Saeed Qureshi

What happened in Karachi, on tenth of Muharram, the Shiites’ most somber day, followed by unprecedented carnage? The upheaval is so tragic as to make one speechless. It’s difficult to describe the barbaric enormity of this tragedy that has seemingly surpassed all such previous spates of terrorist incidents. It is quite obvious that the perpetrators had already done their nasty and spine chilling home work meticulously to bomb the traditional holy procession followed by an already chosen target for arson. The famous hub of business activities Bolton market was simultaneously torched by understandably well planned and trained saboteurs who did their dirty work with diabolic urgency. This is the fifth day that all the available firefighting equipment has failed to put out the smoldering fire, emitting choking whiffs of smoke. 100 billion rupees gone down the drain, countless rendered jobless and the cosmopolitan city plunged under a pal of gloom and grimness.
The religious frenzy and sectarian hate is assuming frightening dimensions as to render the human life as insignificant as an insect. Humans are known to turn barbarians but that stigma was exclusive to the past societies. But logically if we attribute the massacre of a few score Shia faithful to the sectarian madness, who could be blamed for choking the jugular vein of business, known as Bolton Market. Karachi ablaze and with that the hopes and aspirations of the residents are fast fading away about the sanctity and security of their life, limb and properties guaranteed under the constitution. But did ever any government or its functionaries held this sacred document in esteem?
Customarily, there have been bland and inane vows by the law enforcement bosses to hunt the culprits and send them to hell. As a matter of fact the hateful culprits must be cheerfully having a good time for their monstrous feat. It is the worthless people of Pakistan who are living in an inferno and constantly exposed to a thousand dangers. The ubiquitous and past master in hurling out phony, counterfeit and deceptive statements, Rehman Malik was as usual in Karachi with his dreary sermons for the people to be patient and peaceful. Mr. Malik possesses the inimitable knack of amazing composure after each and every tragedy that swallows precious lives. And during making such farcical statements there is always a slight smile hanging on his face that not even the best expert in physiognomy can decipher.
That begs the serious question about the incumbent government’s ability and even intention to provide a modicum of governance for social peace and enforcement of law. The exacerbating situation bears no visible indications of being arrested or contained. The law and order has gone to dogs, the country is in the throes of a civil war and the society is infested with all brands of clandestine terrorists and saboteurs. The law enforcement network is broken, over worked and utterly incapable of dealing with even small emergencies, what to speak of a cataclysm of Bolton market. The question is as to why, in the first instance, the authorities, knowing well the fragility of law and order, allowed the religious procession to be taken out. The formation of investigation committees and commissions is the easiest job. Has ever a criminal nabbed, charged and sentenced?
The people are starving, the prices are sky rocketing, the gas is being switched off; the commodities are scarcer and getting out of the purchasing ability of the citizens. The sanctity of life has become a laughable cliche. Living in the president’s or prime minister’s house presents a detestable contrast with the life of a common man who comes out of the house with a mind torn by the phobias of lurking suicide bombers to strike him in a nook, on a bus stand and in a shopping center.
Democracy sans safety and accountability is a base coin with no worth. The leaders and the rulers better give security, clean, efficient, and people friendly governance to the citizens and take away the charade of democracy that survives on the blood of the citizens.
There is a widespread and growing disenchantment about the viability of the country. If at all anyone can be dubbed as anti Pakistan or unpatriotic, it is not the public but the powerful and the privileged classes. If the harassed people and paralyzed intelligentsia raise questions as to how the country was being run and whether this down-slide rapid drift would ever be checked or that country’s survival was at stake, they are not to blame. The cronyism, the stalking of Pakistan sacred land by foreign gun totting brigands, the foreign intelligence outfits’ insidious plot to destabilize Pakistan may be roses to the rulers but not to the traumatized people of Pakistan. From where would the sublime ideal of national solidarity glow if the callous extinguishers are outbidding to blow it off.
Let us all candidly admit, Pakistan is in a mess, a mammoth mess. The leadership consists of money grabbers, the rank liars, the pledge brokers, the political dwarfs, the spineless foreign agents and fifth columnists. The people are dumbfounded, losing their sense of proportion in the face of a dancing Dracula of death everywhere. If the prayers can matter, let there be peace in Iraq and in Afghanistan or at least Shia procession must have been spared by their divinities from the nightmare of December 27. Then what’s the way-out: honestly I don’t know. I am dizzy and losing my sanity.

1 comment:

  1. One worthwhile task carried to a successful conclusion is worth half-a-hundred half-finished tasks.