Karachi is burning and this is not the first time. In last week alone around hundred have been slain and outlawed elements are walking free in the commercial heart of Pakistan without fear, retribution or reprisals. Pakistani infrastructure is showing its flaws where terrorists are walking free form courts as if none is available to give evidence against them. Acquittal of (Hijrat Ullah ) was an eye opener but no extreme level understanding is available befitting to the extra ordinary circumstances the country is in. No special legislation is forthcoming either to effectively try those criminals behind the terrorist activities who are caught red handed. Pre-emptive intelligence work is getting weaker and Raymond Davis shoot out, OBL debacle, and Karachi Navel base attack is an example of state insecurity. Political indecisiveness has created a panic in the rank and file and no law enforcement officer is willing to risk their lives to counter terrorists, gangs and criminals in Karachi as they have seen the fate of those who participated in two last operations. Terrorists are running loose distributing freely lists of officers on their hit list which is demoralising those in the line of duty. This cat and mouse game is costing tax payers, traders and the state for a smaller gain for the current regime.
Pakistan must quickly comes to terms with the situation and learn from the riots in UK where a few killings resulted in thousands of arrests and prosecutions, and later convictions are chunking out in wholesale befittingly. Enquiry is in the offing to pinpoint the cause and effect. London saw the night shifts of the magistrate court (s) and those behind riots and looting were arrested from their homes with the assistance of CCTV footage, they were processed, remanded and prosecuted day and night and none political or ethnic clans came to their rescue except defence lawyers to plead their cases ensuring due process.
State writ is being challenged in Pakistan and everyone is laughing. Nearly 100 dead in two days expose the weakness of the current Govt but no one is brave enough to come forward , accept responsibility and resign instead the province is running on a Home Minister working on his ‘dreams’. In Last few weeks , public is made to hear statements which are not only funny but make a mockery of the whole law enforcement set up. Karachi is burning and commoners are scared. No one is safe and there is no guarantee who will return home safe after day’s work. That is not proper governance on any civil standard, western or Islamic. If Govt does not move quickly and do not stop its jugglery, then we are likely to dip into a clash of titans a tribal civil war on the streets of Karachi amongst three groups with vested interests which will be an excuse enough to bring armed forces in the civil ring which they are avoiding so far. History tells that every new comer either does it better or the worst than his predecessor. The mullah like General Zia’s successor General Musharraf was quite opposite to his predecessor and claimed as an enlightened moderate, and rest assure the coming one will not be a saint either. Army rule has a totally different effect on Pakistan but politicians have left politicking in the arena either.
What disturbs me the most is as the governance is failing the people in Karachi, Parliament is fasting, opposition is on leave, armed forces are confined to lip service despite the deployment of rangers, and above all Chief Justice’s human right cell is quiet on the death of 100 people in Karachi. This apathy is killing the conscience of state apparatus. He is as quiet as he was on 5th April when lawyers were burnt in their chambers or 12th May massacre when containers blocked the Sindh High Court for public or series of killing in recent days, weeks and months. Either suo moto is for petty matters or these killings are not worth taking notice of as to me de weaponisation is one direction away. So far Chief Justice who does not let traffic jam, tomato prices in Karachi unnoticed has let Karachi slip through his attention. In the absence of it, Karachi is awaiting a bigger suo moto which is that of ‘public suo moto’ so that this indiscriminate killing may come to an end. De weaponisation of the economic hub of Pakistan is way forward where turf is held by the free will of people politically. Administratively effective and independent police and law and order infrastructure is the need of the hour where criminal gangs are investigated, probed, tried, convicted and punished effectively, impartially and indiscriminate to their affiliation. At the moment the inherent weakness & inability to try the worst criminals of state is exposing the state weakness in Karachi and poor people of Pakistan are paying the price for voting these thugs.
Barrister Amjad Malik is a chair of Association of Pakstani Laweyers (UK) and a life member of SCBA (Pakistan).