Interior Minister Rehman Malik has implied that banned militant outfits are responsible for the violence that continues to haunt Karachi. This seems to be a variation on the old theme of blaming India for everything that goes wrong.
While it is possible that militant outfits are involved in the mayhem, it is unlikely they are solely responsible. Some of the killings are sectarian in nature. Others are not. It is far from certain the extremists would have a role in all these various kinds of murders. It seems that the game of death being played out in our largest city follows a more complicated script. Various elements appear to be involved. The authorities need to discover what exactly is going on and why. The most urgent need is to find some way to end the violence. Rather than telling us what he thinks should be done Mr Rehman Malik should take action against all those involved in any way in creating so much unrest. The loss of up to 63 lives in the three days since the killing of Muttahida Qaumi Movement MPA Raza Haider represents a tragedy which cannot be ignored.
The new spate of violence has also triggered a host of rumours and conspiracy theories that further contribute to the insecurity in the city. Few are willing to believe the havoc has been created by the militants acting on their own. But if that indeed is the case it is all the more essential that the outfits be tackled everywhere in the country. Little seems to have been done for this purpose. Mr Malik needs to tell us why.
He, along with other members of the government, need to be aware that the situation in Karachi is inflicting great damage on the public’s belief that the government can guarantee law and order. It needs to be brought under control before the prevailing sense of instability increases.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 5th, 2010.
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