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Turning a blind eye to Karachi... By Zafir

31 January, 2013

Why are those at the helm of affairs, whether the political elite or the civil/military establishment, suffering from the 'ostrich syndrome'? Karachi is bleeding profusely because people in the corridors of power have been sticking their heads in the sand for the last five years. Karachiites have been left at the mercy of killers, extortionists and land/drug mafias. No one, whether elected representatives, leaders of religious-political parties or the ordinary man, is safe. Thousands of people have lost their lives in Karachi during the last five years due to so-called reconciliation politics.

I find it difficult to understand why the ruling elite, who are intelligent enough to know that Karachi is the major contributor to the national exchequer, fail to do anything about the prevailing state of affairs, which has resulted in a flight of capital and business from Karachi. It is only a matter of time before the reign of terror unleashed on the city will also engulf the streets of DHA and other cantonments (where most of the ruling elite reside).

Why would any foreign country invest in Karachi, which is rated as one of the most dangerous cities in the world? The only reason why political parties want targeted operations and voter verification to be conducted by the army is because it is still believed that the army will deal with criminals even-handedly and will not succumb to any pressure. The distrust allotted to our police force is because it is not only incompetent but also politicised. Rangers stationed in Karachi for over two decades have also been a disappointment. Will someone ever be made accountable for the lives lost in the city?

It was rightly pointed out by a judge of the Supreme Court (SC) that due to the violence and unrest, 90 percent of the people living in Karachi are now victims of psychological stress. No one can imagine the psychological trauma citizens go through daily because of the law and order situation. Parents are worried for their children and businesses are suffering severely as the entire city has descended into a state of fear. People prefer staying indoors to avoid any untoward incident. It is quite appalling and incomprehensible as to why the military has turned a blind eye to the state of affairs in Karachi. Why do we invest a sizeable chunk of the budget on security and defence if the life and property of citizens is not safeguarded? Even the suo motu notice taken by the Chief Justice has failed to provide relief to the populace of Karachi. I wonder how many more lives it will take for the authorities to launch a full-fledged operation against the perpetrators.


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