Karachi situation: What is lacking?
The federal Interior Minister’s announcement for siege and search operation was a welcome step. It could not, however, be implemented because the Rangers, and police were supposed to carry it out jointly. The police was ignored completely. Rangers took command of the whole operation, and arrested over 600 people. No arms or ammunition, no drug bags were recovered from the locality where the operation was carried out. Arrests were mostly for pillion riding, which the Sindh government on its own had imposed in Karachi for one month. Secondly, Rangers were not vested with prosecution authority. They were to hand over those in custody to police for further action. Naturally police reputation is known to every one. They would fill their pockets and let off the people. The whole thing looked funny from the beginning. The operation lacked purpose. It naturally could not yield the desired results and a follow up of that never was to be seen again.
Sindh Home Minister Zulfiqar Mirza questioned the authority of the Rangers to carry out operation on their own, reminding the para military force that although he had signed the operation to vest certain authority in them, the Rangers continued to be under provincial government disposal, implying that their action to carry out operation, either lacked the authority or clearly over stepped the powers given to them. His statement on Thursday, was a clear pointer to the tragic state of affairs, that coordination and understanding have been missing from the two most important organs of the government. Rehman Malik in fact was never liked by the Sindh government. He is even being detested by the Awami National Party Chief for Sindh, Shahi Syed. The ANP leader whose credentials are open to question, came to Karachi in chappals and tattered clothes some years ago. Accusations are that he started land grabbing mafia and became rich overnight, owning property and petrol pumps. He has reportedly sold them now and allegedly repatriated money to foreign accounts. There are also accusation, wild these may appear, but questions are asked as to why these killings started after the arrival of Shahi Syed in Karachi? Personally I would avoid indulging in rhetoric’s .It is the job of courts and law experts to find solutions to these important issues.
The ANP has asked for army to carry out operations. Both PPP and MQM, coalition partners in the Sindh government, and yet poles apart, have accused each other of being behind these killings. Irrespective of their correctness, the fact remains that land grabbing and drug trafficking have been a major issue in Karachi and have caused these killings because government lands were and are still being illegally occupied. MQM resists these. To say that Karachi is not the sole property of MQM is a bit too harsh a statement. MQM never claimed its propriety rights, not in Karachi, not in Hyderabad, the two major cities from where it has been sweeping elections from lowest tiers of democratic institutions to the highest. Above all, it has shown to the world that given the resources and the time, it can do wonders, which it has. Karachi and Hyderabad stand completely changed because of the hard labour from their city and tehsil nazims. All that MQM wants is peaceful conditions and an atmosphere to develop the city which is vital for people’s welfare.
Altaf Hussain has appealed to people and all political parties to sit together and find a solution to Karachi problems. The city’s streets have turned into killing fields. The phenomenon developed over the last one and a half year, need to be checked now. Such killings can not be allowed to to go on. Some on has to call a halt.
The problem is that PPP never believed in transferring power to lowest strata of democratic institutions. The 1988, and the 1994 Benazir government had in its manifesto to develop local body institutions and appoint their nazims as governors. It never implemented that part of the manifesto. Even today it wishes to revert to the system of commissionerate in Karachi and Hyderabad and the rest of the province, MQM does not want that and believes in pursuing the system of nazims and town nazims. That question has remained unresolved till date, The Prime Minister visited 90, the nerve centre of MQM, begging for votes to save him, but avoided promising to restore the nazimeen system.He merely dodged the issue by saying that the bill to restore commissioners in Sindh stood deferred.
If Killings have to be stopped in Karachi, the blame game must end first, and then all those, including PPP, MQM, ANP, Sunni Tehrik, and others have to sit together and find an amicable solution to a highly ticklish issue. But then illegal activities like land grabbing and drug mafia have to banish.