An upsurge of sectarian and political violence swept through Karachi on Saturday, despite the prime minister’s presence in the city, as 20 people, including seven people belonging to the Deobandi school of thought, became the latest victims of targeted killings.
Six students of the Jamia Arabia Ahsanul Uloom seminary were shot dead in Gulshan-e-Iqbal by at least four men on two motorcycles. The armed men drove up to a teashop where the seminary students had gathered and sprayed them with bullets.
The killings caused the law and order situation in Gulshan-e-Iqbal to soon deteriorate as people took to the streets to protest against the incident. This was the second attack on seminary students within a month.
In a separate incident on Saturday, a 28-year-old man was gunned down in the North Nazimabad neighbourhood. He also belonged to the Deobandi school of thought and was the information secretary of Ahle Sunnat wal Jamaat’s North Nazimabad unit. Twelve other people were killed in separate incidents in different parts of the city.
Saturday’s killings come less than a week after the Supreme Court directed the police and law enforcement agencies to ensure peace in Karachi. There has not been any significant change regarding Karachi’s frequent killing sprees despite the apex court’s suo motu notice regarding Karachi’s deteriorating law and order situation.
The city’s descent into violence coincided with the visit of Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, who expressed his anger at the way the police and other security agencies were dealing with criminals.
There seemed to be no writ of security forces, as police and Rangers were missing from the scene, while many youngsters, brandishing automatic guns, were seen roaming the roads and resorting to aerial firing.
During a meeting with Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali and Sindh Governor Dr Ishtraul Ebad Khan, Prime Minister Ashraf directed the two top officials of the province to take strict action again those responsible for the incidents, and provide security to the citizens.
The city also witnessed similar violence four days ago, when the prime minister had convened a meeting at the Governor House. During the meeting, the chief minister, citing intelligence reports, briefed the prime minister about the looming threats before Muharram. After the briefing, the premier ordered the Sindh government to take targeted action against suspects but no tangible result has come out, so far.
Earlier, while briefing the media after inaugurating the Al-Haj Faw Motors Automobile Assembly plant at Port Bin Qasim in Karachi, Prime Minister Ashraf said he had directed the Sindh government to stop the slide in Karachi’s law and order situation and take action against the suspects involved.
“All political parties should give up disparity and join hands against criminals elements, terrorism and extremism,” he said. He added that the government would implement Supreme Court orders and urged all political parties to dispel criminal elements from their rank and file.
The prime minister pointed out that more than 400,000 people had already been killed in terrorist attacks across Pakistan, while the government has spent billions of rupees on the war against terrorism. “The government will not let criminals kill innocent people. I have asked the provincial government to start a surgical operation and eliminate criminals,” he said.
President Asif Ali Zardari meanwhile contacted the Sindh chief minister late Saturday night regarding the day’s violence.
No confrontation, PM reiterates
During the brief media chat, the prime minister once again ruled out the existence of any confrontation between institutions in the country, reiterating that all institutions were working within their domain.
“Please try to understand, and avoid likening confrontation to a difference of opinion,” he said. Whereas divergence of opinion is a good omen for any democratic setup, he said, a confrontation is always deadly because it undermines governance.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 11th, 2012.
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@iPhone: Then why not let the military take over for the next 50 years, ala Turkey and take religion out of everyone. That's a solution to this daily barbarity.
Disarm the terrorists and loudspeakers from those who do not deserve ir .
Unless and until we stop our preachers and imams from openly and freely giving sermons against each other and other's belief, this will NEVER stop.
We need a massive operations in Karachi, which should go beyond boundaries, and across religious and political parties militant wings.
City desperately needs Naseerullah Khan Babar inspired Operation, the best operation KHI has ever witnessed. It is one of the few things that always attracted me about PPP.
It is basically a civil war when system fail to provide the solution of problems then all things goes out of hand of every one.In the era of Zia when there used to be slight disturbance Curfew used to be imposed but now after death of thousand, words and statements are made. Akram Niazi
Strict action my foot................ This is all designed with full support from parties involved in govt
There is only one solution for Karachi. Military operation on a massive scale.
I think banning pillion riding and imposing section 144 is the best solution as always.
Agencies are playing this dirty killing game. Shame on them