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Karachi’s Lawlessness: A Poison That Needs an Antidote

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Faisal Siddique

Karachi, the bustling metropolis, is once again grappling with the ghosts of its violent past. The recent surge of targeted killings has sent shockwaves throughout the city, and it’s high time the authorities take action before the situation spirals out of control. On Sunday, three people from different parts of the city were ruthlessly gunned down, adding to the mounting toll of violence.

Tuesday morning brought yet another harrowing incident when a cleric associated with the Sunni Ulema Council was ambushed by two helmet-wearing motorcyclists who then proceeded to shoot him point-blank in the head. One can only imagine the terror and chaos that must have ensued in broad daylight on a bustling street. As if this wasn’t enough, Wednesday witnessed another horrific crime when a factory owner, who was known to be affiliated with the banned sectarian group Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat, was shot dead in the New Karachi area by four armed assailants who came on two motorbikes. It’s apparent that these targeted killings are not random acts of violence, and the situation demands the authorities’ immediate attention.

Karachi has a history of sectarian conflicts, and it’s not far-fetched to assume that these killings may be rooted in them. The city has seen its fair share of bloodshed due to these conflicts, which have political dimensions as well. The murders of two individuals affiliated with religious organizations demand a thorough investigation to ascertain if there is any connection to these conflicts. It’s also plausible that some elements are trying to create a law-and-order situation to further their agenda and sow panic.

While the police have yet to present any theories or motives behind these murders, it’s crucial that they act swiftly and get to the bottom of things. With street crime already on the rise in Karachi, the last thing the city needs is targeted killings, which only add to the growing sense of lawlessness. The city has witnessed a fluctuation in its crime rate over the past several years, with 2010 being the year with the highest number of targeted killings in the metropolis, more than the number of people who lost their lives to suicide bombings that year. However, the Karachi Operation led by the Rangers managed to curb the rate of major crimes, including targeted killings, kidnapping for ransom, and bank robberies, which were rampant during the city’s turbulent times of ethnic, political, and sectarian violence. In recent years, street crime has taken over as the most significant challenge for the city’s residents, with over 60,000 incidents reported in the first nine months of 2022 alone.

The recent killings are a stark reminder that Karachi’s issues are far from over. It’s imperative that the authorities take prompt and decisive action to identify the perpetrators and bring them to justice. The people of Karachi have endured enough pain and suffering, and it’s high time the authorities put an end to the cycle of violence. The city’s residents have the right to feel safe and secure in their homes and on the streets.

The recent spate of targeted killings in Karachi has brought back haunting memories of the city’s violent past, and it is high time for swift action to be taken to address this alarming trend. The police have yet to put forward any plausible explanation or link between the murders, leaving the citizens of Karachi in a state of fear and uncertainty.

However, it is essential to consider the possibility of the sectarian conflicts that have plagued the city in the past, and the political dimensions that may be contributing to this current crisis. The consecutive assassination of two individuals associated with religious organizations indicates that some elements may be trying to stoke panic and create a law-and-order situation to serve their own agenda.

It is crucial to acknowledge that Karachi has witnessed a fluctuating crime rate over the past several years. In 2010, the city was a hotbed of ethnic, political, and sectarian violence, with 1,233 targeted killings recorded that year, more than the total number of people who lost their lives in suicide bombings in the entire country. However, the Rangers-led Karachi Operation that began in late 2013 managed to bring down the rate of major crimes such as targeted killings, kidnapping for ransom, and bank robberies.

Unfortunately, in recent years, street crime has become the primary challenge faced by the residents of Karachi, with over 60,000 incidents reported in the first nine months of 2022. These figures may seem staggering, but it is worth noting that there were virtually no targeted killings during this period. Therefore, the recent spike in targeted killings is all the more alarming and demands immediate attention.

It is essential to note that Karachi’s lawlessness has been a longstanding issue that has defied easy solutions. It is a complex issue that requires a comprehensive strategy that addresses the root causes of the problem. Targeted killings are not only a threat to the safety and security of Karachi’s residents but also a grave challenge to the rule of law and the democratic process.

The police must launch an immediate investigation into these murders and explore all possible leads, including the involvement of sectarian and political groups. The perpetrators must be brought to justice swiftly and fairly to prevent further escalation of violence in the city. It is equally important for the government to take the necessary steps to address the underlying issues that contribute to the rise of lawlessness in the city.

The recent spate of targeted killings is a wake-up call for the authorities and the citizens of Karachi. It is a reminder that the city’s complex problems require a long-term solution that addresses the root causes of violence and unrest. Karachi has a long and proud history, and it is essential to restore its reputation as a safe and vibrant city.

The citizens of Karachi have suffered enough, and it is time for the government and law enforcement agencies to take decisive action to put an end to the ongoing violence. The people of Karachi deserve to live in peace and security, and it is the responsibility of the authorities to ensure that they can do so.

To sum up, the recent wave of assassinations in Karachi is a clear indication that the city is still grappling with daunting security threats. It is crucial to tackle the underlying reasons for unrest and aggression to guarantee a secure and tranquil atmosphere for the populace of Karachi. The law enforcement agencies should expedite their efforts to apprehend the culprits of these brutal offenses and strive to devise a permanent solution to the city’s chaos. Only then can Karachi reclaim its glory as a thriving and placid metropolis.

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