Karachi’s politics of violence

Letter July 12, 2020
One can only pray rule of law is enforced rather than another cycle of political point-scoring


While Pakistan remains embroiled in serious problems on multiple fronts, the PTI government has suddenly raised unresolved issues pertaining to the various JITs constituted to investigate heinous crimes committed by Uzair Baluch, a former gang lord of Lyari, and the militant wings of MQM. One can only pray that the rule of law is enforced rather than another cycle of political point-scoring.

For too long the financial capital of the country has been held hostage by criminal elements within political parties. However, the origins of such criminality can be traced back to the British Colonial Raj, as extrajudicial killings were very much prevalent in all their colonies. At the time of independence, the paid bureaucracy which we inherited had some time during their careers also been instrumental in the extrajudicial killings of natives who dared to challenge Raj. Iskandar Mirza resorted to such hideous acts of oppression and terror when he was posted as Governor East Pakistan in 1954. There are reports of such instances in West Pakistan too. However, the very foundation of the criminalisation of politics in Pakistan was laid by the Zia regime which created the MQM to counter the PPP in urban Sindh.

The MQM on the other hand became a lethal militant force when they went berserk under the patronisation of Musharraf, killing adversaries, indulging in kidnapping for ransom and even daring to stop Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, the deposed Chief Justice of Pakistan, from entering Karachi.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 12th, 2020.

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