The futility of Karachi mayhem

As news of an MQM leaders death broke all shops were closed. A day without business in the financial hub of the country will not help solve our national economic problems.

Absar Khan August 04, 2010
Raza Haider, an MQM leader and member of the Sindh Assembly, and his guard were shot dead at a mosque in Nazimabad in Karachi. It was a sad event. Target killings are unwarranted and uncalled for. The culprits of this cold-blooded murder and all such murders should be caught immediately and punished severely.

But another sad event followed the murder. As soon as news of the incident broke all shops were closed. Members of the self-proclaimed 'middle-class' and 'most educated' political party of Pakistan were allegedly seen threatening shopkeepers. Some shopkeepers were even physically attacked by workers. A Pakhtun cobbler's small shop was torn down.

Should shops and businesses in Karachi be forced to close down?

The closure of businesses and shops means a substantial loss of billions of rupees every day. It means that daily wagers will not have money to buy food to feed their families. Bread, milk, eggs, pulses, flour and rice will not be available.

Pakistan is already suffering from massive budgetary difficulties and day-to-day financial problems. An entire day without business in the financial hub of the country will not help solve our national economic problems.

The politics of pain

Only one party could be responsible for the city-wide shut down of business. Karachi is MQM and MQM is Karachi. If any party wants to prosper in the political culture of Pakistan it should practice patience and tolerance even in the face of tragedy. Punjab is often seen coping with the after effect of any tragedy much prudently. This is why the party should advise its workers to stop the forceful closure of shops and businesses.

Business as usual for city police

Meanwhile, as the public rushed to reach home safely, policemen continued the practice of greasing their palms on Shahra-e-Faisal and other busy routes in Karachi. Why would the police harrass civilians on a day when the entire city was worried about security and getting home safe and sound? I am not in favor of ransom during a normal situation in the country but during emergencies it is inexcusable.

All in all, I feel that we, Pakistanis, are quite emotional as a nation. We react to the things emotionally while completely forgetting its adverse outcome. We must understand that during such trying times Pakistan needs our honest and patient services more than it needs impulsive reactions.
WRITTEN BY:
Absar Khan A student of mechanical engineering and avid follower of current affairs. Absar blogs on international relations and life in Pakistan.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.

COMMENTS (6)

Wasim Ali | 11 years ago | Reply Lawlessness in karachi Karachi has been enduring frequent violence events for the last couple years. During this period the death toll has reached in hundreds. The city is home to about 18 million people and serves as business hub of the country. Political killings have recently been escalated. Members of the ruling alliance of three parties are being shot dead on regular basis. A few weeks ago, the mafia made their presence felt once again when they killed a political figure Raza Haider, senior leader of the city's dominant political party, along with two guards. After this sad incident , government claimed to bring the cold-blooded culprits to law. This incident triggered the chaos and violence deteriorating the law and order situation throughout the city. Outbreak of violence following the deadly attack resulted in deaths of several innocent people. Economic impact After tragedies the terror prevails and the businesses remain closed for many days. The closure of businesses and shops means a substantial loss to the economy of the country. In a situation like this daily wagers, belonging to the lower class, will not have money to buy food to feed their families. These incidents mount heavy deficit to the budget targets. The economy can not grow or even function normal when there is an entire day without business in the financial hub. Who Owns the City We all know who runs Karachi. Looking at past, it becomes obvious that Karachi gets captured by chaos and terror after every tragedy . The reason for this mishappening is lack of patience. It is the responsibility of the dominant party to guide people prudently and change their mind-set to avoid violence after tragedies occur. It must urge the people to have patience until the full disclosure. We see terror attacks in Punjab very oftenly but they look better than karachiites when it comes to cope with such situations . Because of the alliance with ANP and MQM, federal government seems to be paralyzed. It has failed to protect the people of the city. It should realize the sensitivity of the issue and must address it in a proper and effective manner before it is too late. The Role of Government The government says that there is evidence that those causing trouble in the city have links to the Taliban Federal Interior Minister stated that this assassination could be the work of Taliban-linked militant groups. But MQM, representing the city's majority Urdu-speaking community, blamed the attack on a rival political force, the Awami National Party which is a representative of Karachi 's ethnic Pashtun population. It has been seen that these two major political forces have routinely blamed each other for deadly attacks on their activists. As we know that we are quite emotional as a nation. We react to the things emotionally while completely forgetting its adverse outcome. We must understand that during such trying times Pakistan needs our honest and patient services more than it needs impulsive reactions. Karachities are compelled to live amongst all this chaos and mayhem, while those responsible for public safety have scores of armed vehicles escorting their movement across the city. The Police and Rangers are nothing more than silent spectators in the face of killings and arson. The ruling alliance claiming support of masses, do nothing but blame all and sundry. The opposition , Judiciary the civil society, the intelligentsia are just silent spectators of Karachi bleeding. It won’t be totally wrong to say that these outbreaks of violence in the city have exposed the helplessness and inability of the government to perform its basic duty which is to protect its citizens.
Wasim Ali | 11 years ago | Reply Hello Sir, I am intersted in writng content for your blog. Regards, Wasim Ali
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