There is an aura of discomfort with the news that militants have been shifted from the Karachi Central Jail to other districts of the province and some even to other provinces. Members of the LeJ and other outfits have been both bold and crafty in breaking their way out of prison. What is clear is that the prison system needs an urgent revamp as officials at the Karachi Central Jail have themselves faced charges of abetting the escape of inmates. The Karachi Central Jail is already overburdened making management complicated, and corrupt officials within further exacerbating the system cannot be tolerated. Furthermore, it would serve law enforcement in this country well for the government of Sindh to keep intelligence information, especially the whereabouts of such high-profile inmates, hidden from the public.
Only when there is a direct threat to the people should information be divulged. An example is the intentional release of two militants on account of corrupt officials. The silver lining in this escape was that the Rangers conducted an effective operation for weapons recovery that it had not achieved in 25 years. The force must continue its work until Karachi no longer requires a paramilitary force for its safeguarding. Although peculiar that such a search of its kind had been ignored for two and a half decades, allowing the murders and the act of families being broken to occur, the momentum of a dramatic security clean-up needs to be accelerated.
Currently, Karachi is playing a dangerous game of superficially enhancing its economy with an abhorrent security infrastructure. If it is unable to keep anti-state elements at bay, the efforts at development could all come crashing down one day. It is imperative that high-profile prisoners are entrusted to loyal law-enforcement agents and that any element that even so much as tries to endanger the safety of fellow citizens be censured and imprisoned as per the law.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 21st, 2017.
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