Organised gangs have the tenacious capacity to exterminate anyone anywhere. The recent killing of veteran Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader Waja Ahmad Karim Dad confirmed that fact.
Assassins come well prepared and fully informed. They are skilful killing machines who are trained to disappear upon completion of their heinous missions. According to news reports, a little over halfway through August alone, the death toll has crossed the 150-mark.
(Read: Violence continues in Karachi; 200 killed in July)
The locations for these blood battles are mostly places where turf wars have been raging for several years ie Korangi and adjoining Goths (villages). Fear has gripped Lyari and its surrounding areas, old town areas, Baldia, parts of Orangi and many other places, due to the ongoing ‘kill and run’ episodes. It is important to note that erstwhile torture cells enacted by many terror planners are back in focus. And if one goes by the statement of the sitting MNA from Lyari, the existence of such camps and arms dumps are not clandestine destinations, at least for the local sufferers.
Common sense suggests these killing missions cannot be carried out without the tacit support of hawkish elements in various political parties. One plain interpretation is that warring groups are trying to silence the more active and vocal elements amongst the ranks of opponents. It is obvious that eliminations shall deprive parties from the support of loyal and dutiful workers. Newcomers to party ranks would also be frightened away from this blood laden game.
A drastic outcome of these acts has been the weakening of moderate and peaceful membership of various parties and strengthening of extremist but invisible hands. It is also disappointing to consider that in the times to come, political parties of various origins and profiles are likely to be controlled by rogue elements against the sane and ideological people. For quasi criminal record bearers, this is the ultimate victory and advantage. Do we, as a society, agree to such a travesty of our political culture and context?
A clear message that the citizens have been able to read is the serious incapability of law enforcement apparatus in preventing these happenings. Many assumptions can lead us to analyse this shortcoming.
(Read: How the police is failing the people of Karachi)
The scale of spread of areas is a major determinant. The city portrays the image of a gun-loaded society with plentiful of trigger happy youth waiting to burst into action. A reflection of this fact is the evidence of widespread celebratory firing that is witnessed on the eve of Independence Day or any similar moment. In a city of over fifteen million, with less than fifty thousand law enforcement personnel, one can imagine the predicament of force commanders.
(Read: The bad guys are better armed than us, says IG)
Preparedness, training, multiplicity of tasks, VIP duties, patrolling sojourns and long working hours cause fatigue, lack of motivation and a decline in the efficiency of police personnel. Allegations of connivance, nepotism, corruption and malpractice are no mean factors in this grave state of affairs. The apparatus of political decision making and the forces that control it have been found complacent in the prevailing circumstances. While the political leadership verbally condemns these acts of killings and terror, it stops short of taking action against the black sheep that use party affiliations for covertly supporting these annihilation drives. Since party leadership is not elected through open conventions or a legitimate mechanism of political functioning, their acts go virtually unaccounted for and unchallenged.
The economic fallout of target killings is tremendous. Countless working days are lost due to the inability of city and provincial administration to restore order. Closure of shops, businesses, workshops, small and medium enterprises, transport and educational institutions cause incredible damage and hardship to the common man.
Daily wage workers, push cart vendors, repair mongers and vendors suffer losses that reduce them to pauper status. To buy peace, some of these folks attempt to align themselves with the ‘invisible’ hands.
Thus the network of willing and not so willing accomplices in the labyrinths of terror goes up. The households and families who have lost a family member – especially a bread earner – slide deep into emotional, psychological and economic trauma that mere lip service cannot cure. It is obvious that the numbers of directly affected families and people is increasing. Needless to say that unaddressed frustrations erupt into desperate acts which snow ball into perpetual unrest.
The conventional process of crime and punishment may not be able to address this situation. A political consensus backed by mass support of ordinary people shall be the first building block towards a preventive mechanism. Some of the key points for consideration include enforcement of a cumulative de-weaponisation regime in the city, de-politicisation and capacity building of the police force, an institution of a potent surveillance mechanism and immediate relief to the families of terror targets. Monitoring and objective reporting by electronic media can help in pre-empting many crises in the making.
The author is a professor and chairman of the Architecture and Planning Department at the NED University.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 21st, 2011.
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@Mr Orangiwala - you sure have an interesting imagination. I Think its high time that some residents of Karachi stop complaining and thinking of them as "Mazluum". This is not as simple or as wild as you make it sound on your blog..
Well it was revealed in a report by the joint interrogation team (JIT) set up by the federal and Sindh governments
@ Dr. Noman , take some time off to read something worthwhile and elighten yourself and your kind as to why the Mighty army won't buzz .This might help you understand the real dynamics of what is coming up in the up-coming months
You must have read it in Takbeer :D
Well said doctor sahib. without support from hawkish elements these organised killings are not possible. To control some tragic events we need to eradicate the basic reasons like injustice, porverty, unemployment etc etc.
Karachi – A Sure Shot Recipe For Peace
The deadly terrorism violence in Karachi has reached the stage where even to think that any civilian government can control the situation will be a folly. Now restoration of permanent peace will not be an easy task even if civilian government calls the armed forces to help Karachi back to normalcy.
However, Karachi can not and must not be left at the mercy of warmongers & terrorists who are hell bent in their nefarious designs to make this part of Pakistan another case for the world community to interfere with an excuse they made in the case of Libya.
The situation in Karachi is not grave rather it is ultra grave. The solidarity of the country is not just threatened, it is under a direct attack.
As such, the government is urgently advised to immediately order a full fledged military operation or impose limited martial law, whichever is allowed under the constitutation (without wasting a moment) in the selected areas of Karachi, which are badly affected in the ongoing lawlessness. In this regard, the military authorities may be given a fixed time frame to achieve peace, like they did in Swat, by getting rid of all such criminals, responsible for the current lawlessness and also to make the city an arms free area.
Deep down in every crisis is a political variable at work. Even mafia does not function without the backing of mighty and powerful.
Pakistan is calling for its Anna Hazare not for anti-corruption bill, but for saving the innocent humanity in Karachi carnage.
Come on, just one person from the huge crowd of President, Prime Minister, Ministers, Chief Ministers, Governors, Speakers & Deputy speakers, MNA’s & MPA’s.
Is there not even one person in this nation of 18 crore people, to just stand up and protest like Anna Hazare, against the unabated killings of innocent perons in Karachi?
The silence of the entire nation and all the organs of the state on Karachi Killings is deafening. But all of us must remember, that if today we fail to move individually & collectively, to stop the daily carnage of humanity in Karachi, then be ready to face the situation, where even our names will be scratched from the annuls of the history.
Na Samjho Gay Tou Mit Jago Gay Aay Pakistan Walo Tumahari Dastan Tak Bhi Na Ho Gi Dastanon Mein.
I read somewhere that professional killers based in South Africa come to Karahi, do their job and leave the country!