Extreme World: Karachi one of the most violent cities in the world

Published: September 10, 2012

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.

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Reader Comments (17)

  • RKM
    Sep 11, 2012 - 12:31AM

    So this great journalist has done the favour for Pakistan by doing the research, and also explaining the causes for such violence. Please use this documentary to do some strategic work. Sigh, i know this is just my dream.


  • abs
    Sep 11, 2012 - 2:49AM

    well a gentle requst to Kemp and every one else who think they have pain for the people of this city of Karachi, stop making losers from the gang wars hero or Robinhood. they don’t deserve such coverage and channel to declare their ownselves innocent,


  • Hassaan
    Sep 11, 2012 - 4:08AM

    Excellent documentary. Exposed everyone. Salute to the Journalist.


  • Cautious
    Sep 11, 2012 - 4:45AM

    And this is suppose to be the financial hub of Pakistan?


  • Naeem Siddiqui
    Sep 11, 2012 - 6:28AM

    Karachi is much more then Lyari or uzair baloch


  • Raw is War
    Sep 11, 2012 - 9:38AM

    religion is the key.


  • Kamran Khan
    Sep 11, 2012 - 12:09PM

    please for GOD stop propaganda against Muslims. Go to India you will see the most vulnerable
    situation than Karachi.


  • bilal
    Sep 11, 2012 - 12:52PM

    all political parties are equally responsible for killing the innocent people. now we all need to get united against these political parties and support for a change.


  • Yuri Kondratyuk
    Sep 11, 2012 - 1:06PM

    @Kamran Khan:

    Go to India you will see the most
    vulnerable situation than Karachi.

    Where in India please?


  • Nand
    Sep 11, 2012 - 1:10PM

    @Kamran Khan:
    Why do you have to bring India into this discussion. It seems that your whole world revolves around India only.


  • Kamran Khan
    Sep 11, 2012 - 1:32PM

    read the below article you will got your answer please don’t think
    that I’m against the india or indians. i was brought up india in the discussion
    because both countries almost in the same condition but no one made
    the documentary on it. why they want to show pakistan is a terrorist state
    because its a muslim country or they have other motives behind it.

    http://window2india.com/cms/admin/article.jsp?aid=2165&query=%22%20%20%22%20%20Delhi%20%22%20%22′ async defer=’defer


  • afzal
    Sep 11, 2012 - 11:26PM

    @Kamran Khan: sum up all the crime of all indian cities in an year…it still fall short of karachi…..it is the most violent city….who said both countries are in same condition?? dude which world are u living??hello …everyday blast ,everyday rape,every day target killing ,no go zone for police…wth??? this all is not india…..dude anyway u r data doesn’t matter ,,,whole world knows karachi so called economic hub is full of crime….beware of ur life…becareful in that city…live long..and yes dont compare ur self with us..we feel insulted..


  • afzal
    Sep 11, 2012 - 11:47PM

    @Kamran Khan: u can compare with baghdad(iraq) or mogadishu(somalia)….while mogadishu is more violent than karachi…..baghdad is slighlty less…..but again no point comparing…live long if possible in karachi..lolzRecommend

  • Sep 12, 2012 - 1:11AM

    Afazl# I think you did not watch your crime program
    On colors tv and other channels You Indians never
    Face reality and close your eyes like pigeon
    Or may be 3 monkeys na bura dekh na bura sun
    Aur Na bura kisi ko bata. That’s the reason
    I never compare myself to Indians. This Indian habit
    I’ve experienced alot because I’m working with Indians in
    My company and please thanks for caring me.


  • IceSoul
    Sep 12, 2012 - 1:19AM

    Kamran Khan, have you even ever been to Karachi? Recommend

  • Sunny
    Sep 12, 2012 - 6:01PM

    Pity on karachiites whether they are Baluchs, Pushtoons, Muhajir or anyone else. Kemp made a good documentary however, it gives the impression that “Baluch are being marganalised”,which is not true. Here i recall what happened in east Timur and Darfur where Christian missionary did everything to divide these areas from the mainland. Now a conspiracy is being hatched to separate Baluchistan. the Pakistani people, politician, bureaucrats and everyone else should do their part to fail this conspiracy. this is the only solution to see a strong karachi and strong pakistan.


  • Arif
    Sep 15, 2012 - 3:32AM

    Layari is like a 1/50th. part of Karachi. What about the sea side, the love of cricket in streets, the lighted fields of soccer, fashion shows, the mushairas and mahfils, the night outs in Clifton, the fun on the highways, the shopping on Zebi, the eateries of all kinds, flowers in Gulshan, the low mounts in Nazimabad, the green fields outside of malir and Malir cantt … …

    With the challenge of 18 M population, the brain drain from Pakistan, less effective education, corruption in government (recent fire in the factory), there will be unavoidable areas like Layari. But if you look with love towards the people of Layari, they are just like you and me…
    Sorry if I hurted someone’s feelings…Recommend

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