As we all know, the streets of Karachi remain troubled. Death is virtually a daily event and law and order in our largest urban centre has collapsed entirely.
This is a disaster given that Karachi is our commercial hub: the point from which all business activity in the country emanates. It is, as such, vital that we regain control over it and contain the chaos which has so badly disrupted life, creating a constant sense of uncertainty.
In this regard, the visit by Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan to the Sindh capital and his call for both the provincial and federal governments to do more to calm the fires in the city is welcome. Perhaps Chaudhry Nisar’s initiative can act as an impetus for Syed Qaim Ali Shah and his team to do more. So far, despite the many promises made, the Sindh government has failed completely in doing anything to remedy the situation or work effectively towards this end. The deployment of more police and Rangers has served limited purpose, if any at all, while the three cases in which Rangers personnel shot innocent people to death can do little to instil confidence in their abilities amongst people.
Given the situation in Karachi, Chaudhry Nisar Ali is quite right when he says we need to move away from traditional thinking when it comes to tackling Karachi. Clearly, radical solutions are needed. But they need to be carefully thought out and planned. All stakeholders, including the governments in the province and at the centre, need to work together to come up with a means to bring Karachi under control, for the sake of its people and the country as a whole.
It is good to see the interior minister demonstrate a definite desire to do something for this purpose. We must hope and pray he succeeds in this. But this can be possible only if true teamwork is demonstrated, cutting across party lines and other differences so that new hope can be introduced to Karachi and the rule of law which has collapsed within it restored one step at a time.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 25th, 2013.
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