By Mahvish Akhtar, MMNS Pakistan Correspondent, Reporting from Karachi
Past week Karachi was once again burning with target killings. Reports say that over 36 people were murdered over the span of two days. The rangers have been given special powers to maintain law and order under the Anti terrorism act; they have also been given 3 months complete control of the city. This control started with one month and then when it seemed like things were not under control the time limit was increased to 3 months. The possession of arms and weapons unlicensed or licensed is now restricted as well.
The police have been completely unsuccessful in catching the culprits and bringing them to justice. The rangers were also given control because the police was not able to control the situation. The police claimed that they did catch the murderers, however every time they would catch someone orders from high places would free the culprits and put them right back on the streets. The government and other political parties claim that these accusations are unwarranted.
The target killings are a result of two parties not being able to get along and tolerate one another. The dispute is between ANP (Awami National Party) and MQM (Mutahida Quami Movement). However, the people who have been a target of these killings were not a part of any organization.
It all started when one MQM supporter was gunned down; in retaliation the MQM started to target all Pathaans and killing them ruthlessly. The Pathaans also retaliate from time to time and kill Mahajirs who may or may not be a part of MQM. This fight between two parties for power is hurting the innocent people who are afraid to leave their homes.
The law and order decisions were taken in a high level meeting which was chaired by Chief Minister Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah at Chief Minister House on Saturday. Also in the meeting all parties and organizations were urged to help in keeping peace in the city. People have been banned from putting up flags and banners of any organization in the city; this law also applies on private properties.
Both MQM and ANP have condemned these acts of violence and have agreed to not give statements against one another in order to curb the violence.
The meeting attendees included; Interior Minister Rehman Malik, Sindh Home Minister Dr Zulfiqar Mirza, Chief Secretary Sindh Fazalur Rehman, Inspector General Police Sindh Babar Khattak, Director General Rangers Sindh Major General M Aijaz Chaudhry, Home Secretary Sindh Arif Khan, CCPO Karachi Waseem Ahmed, all DIGâ€™s of Karachi and officers of law enforcement agencies.
People however are hopeless they feel like this will never end and Karachi will remain a hot zone for violence and criminal activities. They have decided that they will live their lives in as normal a fashion as they can. The people worry and get upset but they keep moving forward. This attitude has two different outcomes.
One outcome is that the people of Karachi have become bold and brave. They are ready to face anything and they are now the type of people who will not let events like these bring them down. This attitude can be an asset to the country because in tough times like these we need tough people who are willing to fight for what is theirs and try to keep the freedom.
On the other hand many people have become insensitive to the situation and this makes them a danger to themselves and others. While the violence was taking place young men left their homes to party and have fun. Even though the parents were worried sick and the situation was seriously bad they had their fun. When asked they said, this happens all the time we canâ€™t stop our lives for it.
These people are endangering their lives and also becoming a problem for the society when they become targets. Now they have gotten to the point where they donâ€™t care about the fact that there are people dying in the city. They are eager to keep living their lives and not worry about what happens to others. They say that things are not going to change but they have to keep living their lives.
The bottom line in both scenarios is the same but the attitudes and actions this scenario creates is very different. We can clearly see which one is the better attitude that can result in helpful course of action. What we donâ€™t realize is that in both cases there will be dead bodies and families that are torn apart. So no matter how you slice it this situation is extremely damaging.