KARACHI: Another ten people lost their lives in Karachi over the last 24 hours in what appeared to be an unending cycle of target shootings.
The killings happened with a concomitant rise in rioting in parts of the city as the government dithered on whether or not to launch a crackdown.
This time around, the visit of Interior Minister Rehman Malik appears to have not borne any fruit. He went into a huddle with top Sindh government functionaries to consider ways to stem the tide of violence. Then he also visited Nine-Zero and Mardan House.
But all this effort scarcely translated into a silencing of guns. Unlike his previous trips following spates of target killings – when he would meet coalition partners in the Sindh government and the killings would come to a stop – his dash to the metropolis this time failed to do the trick. The situation, in fact, is going from bad to worse.
On previous occasions, the provincial administration gave full powers to Rangers against criminals, and that seemed to have had the desired effect. However, this time the Rangers enjoyed these powers already but the killing spree is going on regardless.
Five among those killed on Sunday were “well-wishers” of the ANP and one MQM activist.
Orangi Town locality remained the city’s tinderbox because of its ethnic mix. In one incident, target-killers attacked a dump-truck at Islam Chowk and killed both its driver and conductor. Then, within a distance of one kilometre from this spot, the killers struck again, spraying truck driver Nisar Khan and cleaner Abdul Wahid with bullets. Both were pronounced dead on arrival at the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital. Their bodies were later dispatched to Dir.
In one more incident, ANP member Sahib Ali was gunned down in Khadda Market right in front of his house. ANP spokesperson Abdul Malik, however, said the killers entered his house and shot him dead. In the same locality, Javaid Noor was also gunned down. Police said he was also an ANP activist.
In another incident, a man was shot dead by unidentified armed men at Lyari Town in the jurisdiction of Chakiwara police station. The deceased was identified as Fateh Sher. Police said he was a member of a Lyari gang allied to Rehman Dakait’s commander Mullah Sultan.
Police found the bullet-riddled body of a young man, apparently a Bengali, from the bushes in Sector 51-D, Korangi in Zaman Town police precincts.
Taj Rehman was killed when unidentified assailants opened fire on a passenger bus, killing Rehman and injuring three other passengers at Qalandaria Chowk within the limits of Sharah-e-Noor Jahan police station.
Separately, culprits opened indiscriminate fire at the Quetta Sardar Hotel, killing Bashir Khan and injuring Jalal Khan in the jurisdiction of Samanabad police station. Bashir Khan was an activist of the Awami National Party and the party’s media wing condemned his assassination.
One MQM worker Abdul Malik, son of Afzal, was gunned down in Baldia No 9 in the precincts of Mochko police station. Police have arrested an ANP worker Zahid from the Quaidabad locality in this connection.
Noor Hussain was shot dead in a firing incident within the limits of Mobina Town police station.
In the aftermath of the killing, unidentified persons torched a passenger wagon in Gulshan-e-Iqbal police precincts.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 26th, 2010.
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