KARACHI: The Sindh chapter of Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) Tuesday expressed grave concerns over deteriorating law and order in Karachi, particularly the rising trend of target killings.
Statistics compiled by the HRCP Karachi chapter shows that a total of 1138 people have been killed in the city during the first half of 2011, with 490 of them falling prey to targeted killings on different grounds including political, sectarian and ethnic basis.
"Karachi has been under the influence of political parties for the past several months and continuous surge in killings in the city reflects the government's inefficiency to cope with the mounting threat of insecurity," said Zohra Yusuf, Chairperson HRCP while sharing statistics during the press briefing at their office.
For appeasing the ruling coalition partners, she noted, the government had failed to take any decisive action against culprits causing unrest in the city.
Of the 490 victims of target killings, 150 were killed apparently for their association with various political, religious and or nationalist parties, 56 for their ethnic background and eight on sectarian grounds.
According to the HRCP report, as many as 65 women were killed during first six months of this year – 24 of them were killed by relatives, 26 by unidentified culprits, four were set on fire, three killed on railway tracks, 2 each killed by robbers and Lyari gangsters, three on the pretext of Karo-Kari, while one woman was killed by police. Meanwhile 37 men lost their lives in the ongoing Lyari gang war this year.
The report listed 56 ethnic killings which were reported this year. Of those targeted, 51 of the victims were male, while one female and four children were killed.
The figure shows that 250 people with no political affiliation were also killed in Karachi this year while 139 killings were reported during the corresponding period of last year. This indicated a rise of 179% in the killings this year.
The report detailed names of parties (political, religious, nationalist and banned organizations) or groups and the number of their activists assassinated during the first six months of 2011.
It said 77 target killing victims belonged to Muttahida Qaumi Movement; 26 to Pakistan People`s Party; 29 to Awami National Party; 16 to Mohajir Qaumi Movement-Haqiqi; 7 to Sunni Tehreek; 9 to Jamaat-e-Ahl-e-Sunnat; two to Jamiat-e-Ulema Islam; one to Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N); one to Jamaat-i-Islami (JI); one each to PML-Functional, Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz, and Punjabi-Pakhtun Ittehad and four to Sipah-e-Sahaba (banned).
During the first six months of 2010, the figures were comparatively low as MQM-H had their 34 activists killed; MQM 22; PPP 11; PPP-S 2; Punjabi Front 1; ANP 16; Sunni Tehreek 4; PML-N 1; PML-Quaid-i-Azam 1; PML-F 1; JI 3; Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam 2; JSQM 2; PPI 1; Sipah-i-Sahaba (banned) 3; and Tehreek-i-Taliban (banned) 1.
According to HRCP data, 113 people were killed on personal enmity last year while this year the figure mounted to 123.
Forty-one policemen were killed during the first six months this year, while 32 policemen had been gunned down last year.
In bomb blasts, 41 men were killed this year and 27 people between January and June 2010.
Stray bullets claimed 8 lives this year as compared to 19 last year.
Thirty-four people were killed in police encounters this year, three men died in jails, while four men were bumped off by police this year. Four persons died in jails between January and June 2011 while nine prisoners had died last year.
Total 30 children were killed in different incidents this year so far. Thirty-two bodies were found, with three of them identified as drug addicts.
Zohra identified Lyari and Orangi as the worst affected areas in Karachi and said police officials seemed helpless in reducing the crime ratio.
She raised doubts over statements given by Interior Minister Rehman Malik wherein he had claimed the menace of killings in Karachi would soon come to a halt. "It is an unrealistic claim in the present circumstances," she opined.