It seems nothing we do as a part of our every day routine is really safe anymore. Even an ordinary occasion can turn into a field of death. This is what happened in the early hours of June 26, when a party in Karachi’s Defence Housing Authority (DHA) ended in a gun clash between two groups, leaving at least five persons dead and nine injured. Among them was Taleh Bugti, grandson of the late Nawab Akbar Bugti. It is unclear if his bodyguards were in any way directly involved in the incident, which apparently occurred over an attempt to gatecrash the party, which was being held by another group, at around 2 am.
Given the sanctimonious times in which we live, there will be those who blame the presence of liquor and the scene in general for the tragedy, and the immorality they see behind such events. The fact, though, is that entertainment of this kind is not new. Parties of every variety have been a part of life for decades, even centuries. It is hard to see any society existing without such opportunity to let off steam. The problem we face is a far wider descent into a cycle of violence that has affected every aspect of life and, as in the latest case, quite literally torn young lives senselessly apart.
Naturally, the details of what happened need to be investigated, as is the case after any crime. But we also need to think about the increasing presence of arms, and the ease with which so many are willing to use them. In the not very distant past, a dispute of this kind would, in all likelihood, have ended in bruises, blackened eyes and angry words. According to a story in this newspaper, Taleh’s body has been sent to his hometown. A family member said that his guards had failed to protect him and would most probably be killed. Such cruelty will not help in the least bit to ensure that such incidents never happen again. It is the presence of an arsenal of sophisticated weapons found at the scene which resulted in carnage. These weapons need to be immediately removed from circulation so that safety of life can be restored.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 28th, 2011.