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اتوار، 16 جنوری، 2011

Save Karachi from becoming Beirut

IN yet another wave of target killings 25 people lost their lives in two days as armed men continued their assaults in different localities of Karachi. The fresh killings came after Police and Rangers conducted a search operation in Pehlwan Goth against criminals and arrested six suspects.

It is sad to watch the largest city of Pakistan, one that generates the largest chunk of revenue and provides jobs and shelter to Pakistanis from every nook and corner is entangled in a bloody mess called “target killings”. When someone is assassinated due to his/her affiliation with any political, religious, ethnic or other group, the killing is called targeted but it is also the common man who becomes target as well. It depicts a nerve chilling scenario where the society has lost its cool and where individuals and groups, believe that killing someone is the solution of a problem. Generally it is believed that all political parties are showing their muscles to grab more and more areas under their influence so as to bag more seats in the elections. But there could be other reasons for the senseless killings. There are swamps of drug-pushers and arms-dealers, dense bushes full of thugs and street criminals representing mafias, political, and ethnic and terrorists of all sorts. While they indulge in illegal criminal activities, they never tolerate operations from the law enforcement agencies who go after them. In this situation, the political leadership and the law enforcement agencies need to go deeper to find out the reasons behind this state of affairs. For some days there is calm when the Police and Rangers are out in full strength and statements are issued by the political leaders to control the situation and then all of a sudden a new wave of killings starts. For how long these target killings would haunt Karachiites, no one has the answer for sure. There is no doubt that illegal arms are in abundance everywhere in the country in general and in Karachi in particular and demands are being made by certain parties for an operation by the Army to recover these weapons. We believe that instead of indulging in blame game it is time that all the political and religious parties should sit together, have a thorough discussion and devise a strategy which should be implemented without any fear or favour and those behind these killings be punished as that is the only solution to save Karachi from becoming another Beirut.

 The toll of ongoing killings row in Karachi rose to 35 within 48 hours and yet it was feared that the toll could mount further.

During latest killings’ incidents in the city, a rickshaw driver was shot dead by unknown attackers in Pak Colony, a sixty-year old persons was killed in Bukhari Colony, Orangi town, 35-year old Barkat lost his life near Qasba Mor, a 40-year old unidentified person perished near Qatar Hospital and 35-year old Rustam Jan was targeted near Metro Cinema in Banaras Colony.

Furthermore, an activist of a political party Muhammad Zafar, 55 was shot dead on Jamia Milia Road in Malir, Zubair Rahim was killed in North Karachi and another activist of a political party Naveed Noori was targeted in north Nazimabad.

Former Naib Nazim SITE Town was gunned and several others were injured by unknown miscreants in the ongoing wave of target killings on Saturday. Unidentified armed motorcyclists fired shots on Badshah Khan, 50, killing him on the spot. In another incident, an activist of a political party was injured in North Karachi. In a separate firing incident in SITE a man and his son sustained serious injuries.

Meanwhile, police and Rangers, in a search operation, arrested 50 suspects of target killings and shifted them to undisclosed location for investigation.

The funeral prayers of Badshah Khan offered in M.C. ground. Shops and other businesses were closed in the locality after the incident. Police and Rangers in a joint search operation in Katti Pahari, Qasba More and Bukhari Colony areas of Orangi Town arrested more than 50 persons and captured arms from their possession.

The most targeted killing incidents were reported in Orangi Town area within last two days which led to joint police and rangers operation on the tip-off regarding presence of miscreants in the area.

The information attained from two arrested targeted killers caused crackdown from LEAs’ in Bukhari Colony. Many suspects of target killing were nabbed during crackdown. Police said that six of them were involved in serious criminal activities.

Capital City Police Officer (CCPO), Fayaz Leghari said police had arrested at least four criminal involved in target killing spree going on in Karachi. He said two of the arrested criminals had been nabbed red-handed, adding more operations would be conducted tonight with high expectations of success.

Police began snap checking in Gulistan-e-Johar, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Metroville, Malir and other tense areas.

Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani called MQM Chief Altaf Hussain and ANP leader Asfandyar Wali Khan and discussed the law and order situation.

The Prime Minister also directed Interior Minister Rehman Malik to visit the city and make efforts to diffuse the tension.

Speaking to media representatives in Karachi, Interior Minister Rehman Malik on Saturday said a “third” power behind the ongoing violence in Karachi.

Malik further said that the government would not allow anyone to destroy the city’s peace and that motives behind these killings were being evaluated.

Malik had arrived in Karachi to help efforts to end the unrest.
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