KARACHI: Activists of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) have been targeted the most in politically-motivated target killings so far, according to statistics released by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan on target killings in Karachi.
A staggering 218 people were targeted and killed on political grounds and out of them, 61 belonged to the MQM, 40 to the Awami National Party, 39 were activists of the Mohajir Qaumi Movement-Haqiqi (MQM-H) and 29 belonged to the Pakistan Peoples Party.
The increase in the number of killings is appalling. In HRCP’s 2009 report, the total number of killings was 747, while the number of target killings in Karachi totalled 291.
However, in the first 11 months of this year, the total number of killings in the metropolis stands at 1,860 including 711 target killings. Out of the 711 murders, 218 were politically motivated while 283 were non-political in nature.
The worst months — in which the number of political and non-political target killings was the highest — were July and October, according to the data.
The HRCP assistant coordinator, Abdul Hai, said the increase in crime and terrorism in the city is because of the Taliban. “The Taliban want to derail the Pakistan government and so they are attacking every aspect in our society that can become a centrifugal force, like sectarian and ethnic violence,” he said.
Expressing dissatisfaction with the police’s performance, Hai said that it is the most corrupt department in the city and it had failed miserably at maintaining law and order in the business hub of the country. As a solution to the problem, he said, “Giving employment to over 500,000 people would help eliminate corruption and also curb terrorism, crime and domestic violence.”
Published in The Express Tribune, December 12th, 2010.
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