Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa has said that Karachi is the engine of the national economy and despite improvement in the law and order situation, the city deserves an even better security environment so that a positive business trajectory is maintained. He said this while visiting the Pakistan Rangers Sindh Headquarters in Karachi where he was given a detailed briefing about the security situation of Sindh, including the law and order situation in the country’s business capital. One appreciates the fact that following an operation by the Sindh Rangers, the law and order situation in Karachi has improved over the past couple of years. This has also helped restore the confidence of various investors in the city apart from the sigh of relief that the residents are breathing.
Looking at the long-term prospects of peace in the city, one has to keep in mind the role that the local police have to play. As things stand, the police are viewed by many as part of the problem in the law and order situation in Karachi. This has to change given that the Rangers are a temporary solution to a long-standing problem. With the blessings of all quarters, the provincial government must try to reform the police and make it more accountable to the people of the city. Despite several attempts to do this in the past, the police remain a tool in the hands of the bureaucracy and vested interests in the province as well as the centre. This has to change, and police reforms are the need of the hour.
It is time both the Sindh government and the federal government set aside their differences and made a genuine attempt at addressing the issue of unsatisfactory law and order in Karachi. While crime has gone down thanks to the Rangers, there is the need for a longer-term solution. Until this is not done with genuine intentions, the city will continue to remain at the mercy of evil-doers.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 18th, 2018.
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