KARACHI: The law and order record of Pakistan is not the best in the world, with Al Jazeera recently terming Karachi having the worst crime figures for a metropolitan city. Journalist Ross Kemp explores the violent side of the City of Lights as part of his Extreme World series.
The documentary shows Karachi, the economic hub of Pakistan and a city of 18 million people gripped by criminals, extortionists, kidnappers and murderers. He shows that political parties, which dominate the city, are allegedly in league with criminals in the city.
Last year, only more than 2,000 people were killed across Karachi, the documentary claims. It adds that around five people are brutally murdered every day on the streets of Karachi. The newspapers too are rife with news of kidnappings, target killings and torture.
Throughout the documentary, Kemp presents an analysis on the burgeoning gangs in Lyari and the ineffectiveness of law enforcement agencies in curbing the prevailing law and order situation in the metropolis.
‘One police officer for 2,000 people’
According to statistics quoted by Kemp in the documentary, there is just one police officer for every 2,000 people in Karachi. Unsurprisingly, the police find it impossible to curb crime in the city since their weapons are obsolete even as their opponents, the criminals, are equipped with the most sophisticated weaponry.
Kemp points out that almost all all police units are under-staffed and under-paid apart from being a target of criminals with 53 being killed for thier work.
To make matters worse, conviction rate of those arrested is very low due to bureaucracy and corruption in the justice system, allowing many criminals, who were nabbed by law enforcement agencies, quickly finding themselves back on the streets.
There were more than 100 kidnapping cases in the city last year, with the Taliban too having been allegedly involved in some of the incidents, presumably to fund their campaign in Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, some local gangs too were allegedly involved in kidnapping incidents, the documentary claims.
‘Lyari – a no-go area for police’
Lyari has been a major failing for law enforcing agencies for years. The documentary picks up on the thread that the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) controls the whole of Karachi, except for the area of Lyari.
Uzair Baloch, the “don” of Lyari (wanted for 25 murders by the police) roams carefree between the impoverished Baloch of the area who praise him for being a savior of their community.
Those inhabiting the narrow streets of Lyari pledge their allegiance to the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), and the area has allegedly become no-go for law enforcement agencies.
“No matter how brave they are, there is one part of Karachi which the police are afraid to tread in,” says Kemp, pointing fingers towards Lyari.
The documentary captures on camera how Lyari gangsters use children and women as human shields. Equipped with sophisticated weapons, the gangsters holed up in this area of Karachi indulge in tit-for-tat killings to settle scores against rivals, the documentary says.
“We Baloch do not forgive murder, we have a system. The revenge for blood is blood,” says Baloch.