Of PIA, Karachi situation, crime and cultural activities
Karachi has often been portrayed in wrong colours, its face painted black for being the most violent city in Pakistan. TV anchors, mostly from Islamabad, most of them completely unaware of facts, seem more concerned about security position in the countryís mega polis, forgetting wittingly or unwittingly that crime rate has gone up almost everywhere. Heinous crimes, such as humiliating women folks, beating and even murdering them, have been reported in Lahore and other cities of the Punjab province also. In Khyber Pukhtoon Khawa, law and order situation is far more worse. There is no denying the fact that Karachi has been through turmoil for long, but killings, have reduced drastically now, and incidents of dacoities have been in considerably control.
However a new menace, for the last few years, of extortion from businessmen and shop keepers have been a worrying factor, even for the local administration. The point is as to who is doing that. Stories going around city do point towards links between hirelings and professional criminals and some highly place influential. These handful of people have recently made Karachi their permant abode, and patronizing these gangs. A demand slip is sent to shopkeepers and industrialists for Rs 5 lakh to Rs 25 lakh. Their refusal to heed to such unwarranted demands, have led to kidnapping of their owners or their next of kins, sons, relatives etc, or even shooting them dead. There are glaring instance of that, but the police, highly politicized now, and looking for favours, avoid taking action against those involved. The failure of the police can be gauged from the fact that the IG, Sindh had to create a special cell to take care of extortion cases.
Whether the cell too would yield desired results, remains to be seen. Some unconfirmed stories relate these incidents to the Tehrik-e-Taliban also, who insist that they need money to fight their war against the Pakistan army in northern areas. Annalysts must accept the fact that all major cities in the world have high crime rates. New York can be cited as a major example. Mugging in London, is yet another instance, for a comparable study. The administration in these two cities, remain engaged in combating the crime. So does the governor of Sindh, and the Karachi administration, both very keen and passing sleepless nights, to ensure safety and security of residents. The less said about Africa, the better it would be. A number of Asian countries, too fall in that category. In Karachi and Sindh, political compromises, often turn things bad. If this is take care of,the problem can be solved to a great extent.
Having said that, attention needs to be drawn towards cultural and social activities, which too have been flourishing in abundance despite these acts of violence or organized cimes. The Arts Council recently held a number of cultural activities of repute, including international literary conferencs, with guests from India and a couple of other countries, a musical festival, which was high appreciated. Other organizations are also doing the same in various faculties of arts and culture. A series of Indo-Pak mushaira with six Indian poets , are slated for the end of this month.
A flower show was organized by the Horticultural society in Clifton, which saw businessman Kaleem Farooqi winning a prize. He celebrated that with a garden party at his house in defence. Elite of the city had gathered there. They included former federal minister Haleem Siddiqi, former high commissioner and well known businessman Kader Jaffer, The British Deputy High Commissioner in Karachi, Francis Campbell, former chairman of the board of investment and also of Trade Development Authority of Pakistan, Mohibullah Shah, the consul general of Japan, Sato, a former Japanese consul Nakano, fluent in urdu, was back here on holidays to find himself amongst old friends, Ghulam Mohammad, the honorary consul general of South Africa, Indonesian Consul General Rossali and many more. Kaleeem Farooqi is an ardent flower lover, and has a beautiful garden at his sprawling lawn, and also on walkways.
The city is bubbling with life, with enthusiasm, and has all the hum ,drum of an advanced city. Shopping centres are closed till 1100 p.m. despite order to the contrary from the government, shoppers crowding the streets and thoroughfares, and traffic jams are visible at most places. The city of Karachi has its own charm and crime could be controlled with little bit of effort, provided some organizations and political groups, with roots outside the city, are made to understand that they are involved in wrong doings.