A house in disorder

The fact that it has reached this sorry position is the fault of nobody but the Sindh government itself

Editorial July 09, 2015
A clash of institutions is never desirable, and the Rangers cannot be a permanent fixture, but the Sindh government cannot have its cake and eat it too. PHOTO: ONLINE

Much as it may peeve some, principally politicians, the general population of Karachi are likely to be much heartened by the decision to grant a 30-day extension to the policing powers of the Rangers. The extension comes on the bidding of the co-chairman of the Pakistan People’s Party, Asif Ali Zardari. He said that “In the present situation the relation between military and civilian governments are praiseworthy for betterment of the country” — and it is difficult to disagree with this position.

The provincial government had previously protested the actions of the Rangers deployment in Sindh; likewise it had objected to the actions of the Federal Investigation Agency and the National Accountability Bureau. In an ideal world the Sindh government would have every right to object, but we are not in an ideal world and the situation in Karachi regarding law and order had long gone beyond the pale. The fact that it had reached that sorry position is the fault of nobody but the Sindh government itself, and if it is unable to get its own house in order, it can hardly object if the federal government steps in, and the Rangers deployment, heavy-handed as it sometimes is, has done much to restore order.


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Read: Performance review: Rangers claim Karachi operation helped curb crime

A clash of institutions is never desirable, and the Rangers cannot be a permanent fixture, but the Sindh government cannot have its cake and eat it too. Either it reforms policing, and that means taking some hard political decisions, or it can expect to find itself sidelined in the future.

Karachi is the financial heart of the country, our principal wealth generator. It cannot be allowed to become the personal fiefdom of a bunch of bandits, and corrupt police and bureaucrats. If the Rangers sometimes go in hard and crack a few heads, then in the short term that has to be lived with. If, in recent times, there have been actions taken against political parties, it is because there is the strong possibility of criminal elements having ensconced themselves in some of these parties, and in an ideal world such elements would have been purged out by the parties themselves, which has not happened. Cleaning up Karachi was never going to be pretty or painless, was it?

Published in The Express Tribune, July 10th,  2015.

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Mahira Ali | 8 years ago | Reply I don't feel we need to panic regarding the only 30 day extension by Sindh government for clean up operation in Karachi. After-all its a mere formality which I'm almost sure the next extension will not be requested but decided by federal alone.
nk | 8 years ago | Reply The arrogance of our politicians and their shameless when it comes to defending their bad policies speaks to who we are as a nation - blind followers of whichever party is promising short term fixes. In the history of pakistan, with all the military interventions, this might be the first time that i actually agree a military intervention is for the betterment of this country. The rangers need to go in and clean up karachi. Not a political intervention hardly - but rather one to fi the system. And yet, the PPP has the gall to only grant a 30 day extension to the rangers. Plus it demanded that NAB be called off, and that they would not stand for any intervention in changing how the police or the beauracracy works. I think this situation in itself speaks to the intention of raheel sharif. if this was any other arrogant general like musharraf, we would have already had a coup. But clearly sharif is not interested in tht. which is why PPP can get away with defending its horrible governance. and this speaks to the self serving nature of the ppp. yet as a nation e are so brainwashed and selfish, that instead of holding this party accountable, instead of the people dying of hunger and starvation in interior sindh rising up against their feudal lords, we vote for the same people again and again and again. and to clarify, the answer is not pti. he is like the rest of them. The answer is that if these parties know we will no longer vote for bad performance, and only vote in good performers, they will improve their performance.
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