KARACHI is having tens of thousands of settlers from other provinces of Pakistan. There are a number of ethnic, religious, and sectarian groups, besides the band Jihadi outfits and indigenous criminal elements.
Criminal groups pronounce their affiliation with all political parties of Karachi, though the political parties, including the ruling parties, do not own them and have given in writing that legal action be taken against all criminals whoever is responsible.
It is also a ground reality that 80 per cent of Karachi’s mandate is owned by the MQM, which has maintained it in all the elections in the past 20 years, whether carried out under the army or the judiciary or both. Therefore, election should be honoured.
A possible solution to the problem of Karachi is as follows:
The mandate of Karachi should be honoured since the representatives are patriotic Pakistanis and sincere Sindhis.
The police must be recruited from among the local people. Ninety per cent of the police force does not belong to Karachi. In developed countries, the idea of community policing is gaining ground.
Trade unions of Karachi should be activated and trained to handle criminals. Traders of Karachi should be given not only arms and ammunition weapons but should also be allowed to shoot extortionists at sight. This exercise should be coordinated with police commandos and should have an extensive intelligence cover. It needs a strong political will, and a bill to this end be moved in the provincial assembly.
Foreign interference be identified and managed effectively through central intelligence services. Some steps have already been taken in this direction.
All the licensed weapons in Sindh be taken back for one year and computerised licence be issued after one year. The weapons of prohibited bore like Kalashnikovs and machineguns be confiscated from every citizen of Pakistan. Persons having illegal arms be apprehended effectively and strict punishment be awarded to them.
The route of supply of arms and ammunition from tribal areas be effectively blocked at the Punjab-Sindh border and Karachi-Balochistan checkposts.
DR FATEH M. KHAN (Ex) Director General Health Services Sindh, Hyderabad