The police have discovered that 95 per cent of the target killings in Karachi were done with 9mm and 30mm weapons.
The forensics division of the Sindh police has started drafting a record of people dealing in weaponry of these bores. According to them, in 2009 alone, 125,000 9mm pistols were sold.
Some weapons dealers have even sold 9mm pistols after punching in similar serial numbers. And then a huge quantity of weapons have no serial numbers as well.
Target killings have plagued Karachi this year. An estimated 889 people have been murdered and some 260 targeted over the last six months, said the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP).
Last year, 884 murders and 156 targeted killings were reported. The police chief has, however, disputed these numbers, saying that there were 747 murders so far this year and 112 target killings. The parties that make up the Sindh government have met repeatedly and issued statements to the effect that the violence will be controlled, but the drive-by shootings continue.
Among the victims of the target killings, 139 were affiliated with political parties and 105 were apolitical, said the HRCP. The figure also includes 16 people killed in different incidents of sectarian violence.
The data shows that 34 workers of the MQM-Haqiqi have been killed in the last six months, followed by the Muhattida Qaumi Movement with 22 workers. The Awami National Party lost around 16 party workers and 11 members of the Pakistan Peoples Party have been killed. The Sunni Tehrik has lost four of its members, while three each from the Sipah-e-Sahaba and the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) have been killed.
Meanwhile, 889 murders have been reported over the last six months, which includes 99 women and 39 children. A majority of the murders took place in June when 181 people were killed. The East Zone of the city has witnessed more bloodshed than any other zone with 274 murders, followed by 204 in the South, 187 in West, 154 in Central and 70 in Malir district.
Around 113 people have been killed in personal fights, 77 have been kidnapped and killed, 47 killed during a robbery, 40 people in the Lyari gang war, 27 in bomb blasts, and 19 by stray bullets. Five people were killed by police torture.
Violence against women has also been on the rise - 42 women were reported killed in the first six months of the year as compared to 42 women killed in 2009.
2 killed, 3 injured in firing
Thirty-year-old Jaffer Alam was killed, while Usman, Ahmed Ali and Wali Mohammad were injured when unidentified armed men opened fire in Ali Akbar Shah Goth, Ibrahim Hyderi, on Friday.
SHO Rahim Shah took the men to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre for legal formalities and later handed Alam’s body over to his family, who claimed that two men, identified as Alam Bangali and Abdul Manan, were involved in his murder. Alam was in charge of a Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) unit in Karachi.
In another incident, a 40-year-old man, identified as Akram, was killed when unidentified armed men opened fire at him in the Multani Compound, Garden, on Friday. Akram died after receiving five bullet wounds. His body was taken to Civil hospital. A case has been registered against the unidentified suspects.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 17th, 2010.