June Issue 2012

By | News & Politics | Published 12 years ago

May 3, 2012…two Shia shop-owners are sprayed with bullets as they arrive to open their shop in Karachi’s Mominabad area… tortured, bullet-riddled bodies of two employees of the Sindh Education Department are found with notes saying, “Jo mohajir subay ka talabgaar hai, woh ghaddar hai” pinned to their bodies… a 32-year-old MQM activist (formerly of the Sunni Tehrik) is gunned down in Shah Faisal Colony and an SSP activist is shot dead in Orangi Town… a doctor is shot through the neck and a well-known neurosurgeon, who was kidnapped for ransom from his clinic in Karachi on May 12, dies in a botched-up rescue attempt in Hyderabad…

A day, or rather most days, in the life of Karachi where life, it appears, has virtually no value.

Nameless, faceless, trigger-happy thugs roam the streets, and strike at will. They rob, they encroach, they extort, they kidnap, they murder — and then they vanish into thin air, without leaving any trace.

The city suffers from all manner of scourges — sectarian, ethnic, political, economic — you name it. Interior Minister Rehman Malik appears not to be unduly concerned as he likens Karachi’s crime rate with that of any big city in the world — New York City for instance.

Yes, but the situation differs on one score — the law generally takes its course. Here the law is helpless, hopeless. As are the country’s legislators.

President, prime minister and cabinet ministers fly in to fix Karachi. They ask the stakeholders — ANP, MQM, PPP — to bury the hatchet. But the minute they step out of the Bilawal House door, the hatchets are out and it’s murder and mayhem as usual.

Operations have yielded no results — Lyari being the latest example of how each side protects its own mafias.

The Supreme Court’s 10-day suo moto hearings in Karachi last September have not brought any succour — the city continues to bleed and bleed.

Doctors, lawyers, teachers, the ordinary citizen — all are being targeted. The law enforcers are not spared either…

All those policemen who were involved in the Karachi operation against the MQM are being bumped off, one by one. And not one of the murderers has been convicted.

So who does one turn to? No one seems to be in charge here.


Look out for the June 2012 issue of Newsline at newsstands across Pakistan.

Rehana Hakim is one of the core team of journalists that helped start Newsline. She has been the editor-in-chief since 1996.

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