In Karachi, guns are not the problem

IIronically the ones who call for de-weaponization are the same ones who wear weapons as traditional ‘jewelry for men’.In a city like Karachi who would want to be stripped of the only defense one has? The thing which allows you to feel empowered, secure and safe?

Syed Ali June 29, 2010
Since 2009, different quarters have been calling for the de-weaponization of Karachi. But with minimal trust in law enforcement agencies, many would feel safe with a licensed weapon in their possession, ideally placed in hands reach and to be used for defense only.

Ironically the ones who call for de-weaponization are the same ones who wear weapons as traditional ‘jewelry for men’. But is this the only way to help curb target killing in Karachi? But why in Karachi?

Karachi has imported many cultures over the years. Traditions came with the migrants whether from across the border or from up the frontier and are all are free in this city to be whoever they are.

There is severe shortage of LEA's for the city in comparison to other parts of Pakistan. Most of the police and rangers are not from Karachi.  They hail from various villages and towns, and are sent here to keep a leash on the residents and maintain security half heartedly. Corruption is rampant from top to bottom within the whole system. Police stations are "sold" and power offering public seats are regularly bid upon. Regular bribes are traded and there is hardly any accountability or rule of law.

In a city like this who would want to be stripped of the only defense one has? The thing which allows you to feel empowered, secure and safe?

There was legislation passed by the Parliament asking for submission of licensed or illegal weapon to the same police station which gives you chills even when driving by it. How many would actually deposit their weapon knowing the morals and ethics our society possesses.

A decade ago only the rich, influential, sardar's, industrialists, and feudal cum politicians living in Karachi were seen roaming around with guards openly displaying their weapons. Perhaps this has not changed much, except that some can afford private security guards with spiffy uniforms now.

Suppose we were to de-weaponize every part of the country? The campaign needs to start after from when the weapons are made, which is the North and move downwards to the South of Pakistan as this tradition of keeping weapons came very last in this city.

Therefore, as per the ethnic based political party, the "target killing" in Karachi will not end until the city has been de-weaponized. We can now understand  that this menace is something which is not going to stop anytime soon, because they know it is impossible to strip the city of 20 million from house to house, and still be free of weapons.
Syed Ali A businessman who writes on politics and civic issues. He completed his masters in business administration from Boston University. He tweets @abidifactor.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.


Imran Khan | 11 years ago | Reply hows that for an irony, the ones who have a problem with the concept of weapons being "jewelry for men" are the same ones who are speaking for the right to bear arms. while in the case of ANP that "jewelery for men" stigma is being labeled by every tom, dick and harry, even when the ANP is distancing themselves from it by asking for deweaponization. The MQM on the other hand, besides claiming a higher urban culture and sophisticated traditions is asking for the freedom to bear arms read "jewelry for men" so who exactly is aiming for the "jewelery for men" argument and who exactly is distancing themselves from it? Will the "unbiased" and very "informed" Mr. Zaidi care to comment?
Saeed Ahmed | 11 years ago | Reply we can not blame any political party or person involved behind the target killing in this critical scenario because we whole are Pakistanis and every citizen from any part of the city allowed to move anywhere else without any restriction. My suggestion for all political parties and stakeholders of the country especially in Karachi to solve all these matters with compromise and give and take policy otherwise it would be out of range to control law and order situation in the city. I proud to be a Muslim Pakistani, I love Karachi and Karachities
Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ