The govt 'takes notice' of target killings today, tomorrow and forever

What does it mean when the govt "takes notice" of incidents of violence? In my experience - absolutely nothing.

Hafeez Tunio April 17, 2011
Once again the chief minister of Sindh, the governor of Sindh and other responsible senior functionaries of the government have taken notice of the recent spate of target killings in Karachi.

But I have to say that I have been reading such reports ever since my childhood, saying that such and such authority has taken notice of such and such incident, and promising such and such action. But it has never really amounted to anything except an exercise in public relations.

The first time I heard of this “taking notice” was when a provincial minister education ‘took note’ of an incident of kidnapping involving a classmate of mine at school. When the news came that the minister had “taken notice” the school administration and teachers were all happy and hoped that the kidnapping would be resolved. I asked my teacher what would happen now and she said that our friend would soon be freed, since the government had finally taken note.

But she was dead wrong – no pun intended of course – because two days after the minister claimed to have ‘taken notice’, the body of our classmate was found. This happened because his parents were unable to pay the amount that the kidnappers had demanded as ransom. Clearly, the government was unable to do much though it wanted to give the impression that it would resolve the matter.

Since then, whenever I come across a news item in the press saying that the president, or prime minister, or chief minister, or governor or some minister has ‘taken notice’ of any wrongdoing and has issued directives for redressal or remedy of the situation, I become most sceptical.

Only time will tell whether the taking of notice by the Sindh chief minister and governor of the most recent round of target killings will have any effect and end this violence. Going by past experience and performance of the Sindh coalition, what is likely to happen is several public statements where ministers will profess their desire for peace and an end to the killings and some pictures in newspapers, followed by yet another bout of killings. And this cycle will go on and on.
Hafeez Tunio

Political reporter">@etribune 

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.


Fortune Cookie | 12 years ago | Reply Its people power that is required. It must be peaceful! Every funeral must be attended by the people of Karachi.
Grace | 12 years ago | Reply @Faizan: I would say we should also curse ourselves because we are all part of the problem too when we try to bribe others and neglect to pay our fair share of taxes. It's easy to blame others but we all need to also look at ourselves and what we can do.
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