Karachi Under Siege

Karachi Under Siege

Killings in Karachi is being carried out since the period of the first Martial Law of Ayub Khan. It intensified gradually from one period to the other. Now, it is the time to evaluate and to be reckoned with the recent killings in the city of Karachi. For the last three to four years the intensity of killings in Karachi has been multiplied manifold. 18 to 24 persons are being killed by rival groups daily. But the most baffling and worrisome questions are: why these killings are being carried out systematically in this city? Who are responsible for these killings? Why the Law and Order Agencies are incapable to control the situation? Why the electronic media is only guessing on different aspects of killings and fail to speak openly about the reasons of this antagonism among different sections of people? They only infuriate the tensions. Unfortunately, the central and provincial Governments remain inactive and dumb on the subject and could not give the correct evaluation of the crime. Public is kept to remain ignorant of happenings against them.



If the figures of killings are scrutinized then one has to reach at the conclusion that 90 percent of the victims are from the poorest segment of the society, living in slum-localities 30 to 40 km away from the centre of the city. They are usually laborers, vendors, rickshaw-drivers, coolies, cyclists and day to day bread earners. But our intellectuals, ministers, statesmen, anchors and known journalists are not tired of repeating by giving some funny reasons of killings in Karachi. The citizens are blamed for it. In short they pin-point and give the following reasons :-



1)      Political parties have encouraged their armed factions to carry out this kind of  carnage against the rival parties. The other parties, too  react fiercely against it and thus a chain of killing is continued.



2)      the Pakistani society is divided in different religious sects. Each one desires to control the city religiously so as to make maximum benefit out of it.



3)      Muslims are already divided in two major school of thoughts, i,e. Shia and Sunni, who have their allegiances with respective religious factions of other foreign countries to get aid and political support. Such loopholes only exist where the state’s functionaries themselves become the part of the crime and involve in corruptions.



4) According to our political pundits, it is the ethnic hatred that was sowed gradually among the citizens of Karachi by our leaders for their personal gains. Actually, our religious and political scholars have failed to define and also to clarify the amalgamation of religion with politics. Legislation and jurisprudence have to be balanced religiously with Islamic Canons. The role of the Ulema is to find out the exact need of the day through their scholarly research from the Holy Quran and Sunnah. Alas! instead, they form political parties like other power-grabbing groups and find pleasure in fighting elections in order to gain political power.  They are, in fact, after destroying the very concept of the harmony of spirituality with politics that the Islamic teachings give us to follow.



5) Favoritism, Nepotism, Provincialism and all sorts of corruptions have made people’s life more uncomfortable and intolerable.  These social vices have detracted one group of men from the other communities on flimsy grounds created for. Karachi is now segregated city in different groups. Each one is attempting to hold the political and financial sectors of the city under his control.



6) Karachi is the main political centre from where the political parties get monetary help  and human resources. Each one is desirous to have its influence in the city. Besides the political parties, the charitable organizations and the NGOs make their best efforts to establish their bases in this mega city. It guarantees their success.



7)     The military defeat of 1971 caused the emergence of Independent Bangladesh. It was an unpleasant event that had blown up the ideology on which the whole edifice was erected. Pakistan, in fact, lost its integrity as a state when it was disintegrated into two. The Western part of the country also badly affected. The demography of the city of Karachi dramatically changed since then. The Bengali population left the city while people from Sri Lanka, Philippines and Maldives tried to fill the vacuum. On the other hand a large number of people from KPK, Chitral, Dir, Northern areas, Azad Kashmir and the other three provinces started pouring into Karachi. They were supported by their respective provinces and the central Government as well. They were allowed to settle in different localities of the city in bulk.



8)  Pakistan had not yet been politically settled after 1971 when another jolt at its foundations shattered the very axis of the country’s existence in the shape of US-Russian War in Afghanistan. Pakistan Army allied with the Americans to mend its damaged prestige during the Bangladesh episode. Pakistan also wanted to strengthen its economy. It’s   entanglements in Afghanistan put the army into the state of war. Government’s functionaries were more akin to the external affairs rather than to think about internal problems. Pakistan Army might have gained experiences in warfare but lost its position as a role model that it enjoyed the country’s savior in the past. Army is not in a position to interfere in the country’s internal affairs any more. It was not only Karachi but the whole country seemed to be under siege with Pakistan’s participation in this long  American war. Law and Order situation gradually collapsed. Weapons were sold every where like the toys in Pakistani markets. Thus a culture of guns was introduced. Human life became the cheapest object of the ” game of blood and death” in each and every corner of the country.



If the systematic spree of killings in Karachi is analyzed then only one criteria comes to light that all the victims belong to the same class of the poorest segment of the society who do not think in terms of  differences of mankind on the basis of languages, sects and ethnicities. They are simple and loving people.But they are put under the pressure of hatred against each other by some other persons with vested interests so as to form antagonistic groups and live apart under fear. The vicious circle of the society which is involved in these crimes do not like to see poor people to unite. They are afraid of the masses that their citadel of power  could be toppled if the poor is united under the guidance of the educated and sincere people. Because the other class of the targeted victims is educated professionals like Doctors, Engineers, Lawyers, Journalists and petty businessmen. They are usually from lower middle class. They are the people who understand the reasons of the systematic killings and are also capable enough to recognize the killers. Being the educated people they know the system of democratic government, ins and outs of the democratic values. They can make a dramatic changes over all to establish a welfare state. The aristocracy of Pakistan does not like these people.



General elections are expected to be held next year. The aristocracy of the country has started nefarious campaign to hold over the metropolitan city of Karachi for obvious reasons. They want the voters to be divided on ethnic, linguistic, religious and regional basis. In fact, it is the first time in Pakistan that the aristocracy is afraid of the unity of the masses. They will do all sorts of mischiefs to malign the tranquility and peaceful atmosphere of the country. Even, they can plant the seeds of civil war to retain their power on the thousands of dead bodies of their own country-men in the name of racial, ethnicity, linguistic and sectarian differences that they have been candidly propagating for years.


Sami Qureshi

Author of 'History on Trial', ex-deputy controller Radio Pakistan and a renowned artist

  • ali ahmed

    and now judiciary has become part of the same game plan,which aristocracy of the country is playing…the recend verdict on karachi and remarks given by one of the judge……more has to come from judiciary LB petition for which hearing is going on..judgement will be similar to the previos one..anti karachi decision

  • karachi

    yes……. excellent

  • Vicky