KARACHI, Nov 11: As Karachi continued to bleed, the provincial government and parties claiming to be true representatives of the over 18 million citizens of the country’s commercial capital paid mere lip service on Sunday to the ongoing spate of violence, primarily on sectarian grounds, that claimed the lives of 31 persons in just two days.
Instead of taking any practical measure and neglecting the fact that 11 more persons were gunned down since morning, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah visited some relatively peaceful localities of the city and suspended the Traffic SP (Central) because of the absence of traffic police personnel on certain main roads.
The CM holds the additional portfolio of the home department as there is no home minister in the province.
Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad also did not appear disturbed over the ‘tit-for-tat killings’ when he told newsmen that the successful show of IDEAS-2012 ‘proved that Karachi is secure for foreign investors’.
The role of police and Rangers in curbing violence has also become questionable because the law-enforcers have so far failed to prove their utility in the sprawling metropolis, though they have been told to take effective steps to protect the life and property of the masses.
While the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Jamaat-i-Islami (JI), the Ahl-i-Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ), Majlis Wahdat-i-Muslimeen (MWM) and other parties, which are not part of the Pakistan People’s Party-led ruling coalition, slammed the government for failing to protect the life and property of citizens, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) also refused to share the responsibility of the city’s law and order with the PPP despite having its own governor and an army of ministers in the federal and provincial governments.
The MQM coordination committee said in a statement on Sunday that the “relentless killing of the Sunni and Shia people in the city gave to understand that the city is left at the mercy of terrorists and there is no one to safeguard the life and property of the people”.
Condemning the killing of Shia and Sunni people, the MQM viewed the violence as the outcome of a conspiracy and appealed to the Sindh governor and CM to take definite steps to end the killing of innocent people in the city.
However, an alleged telephone contact between the Sindh governor and Maulana Ahmed Ludhiyanvi of the ASWJ infuriated the MWM to an extent that it called upon President Asif Zardari and MQM chief Altaf Hussain ‘to dismiss Ishratul Ibad as Sindh governor for his connections with notorious outlawed terrorist organisation’.
MWM leaders condemned the ‘hypocrisy of the ruling coalition and the MQM’ and urged them to clarify their position on terrorism. They alleged that the governor was responsible ‘for genocide of Shias in Karachi’.
Maulana Aurangzeb Farooqi of the ASWJ told newsmen that violence in Karachi was part of an international conspiracy and the government had completely failed to stem violence and in arresting killers of more than 100 workers of his party.
He said he would not guarantee peace in the city if an ASWJ rally to be taken out on the first of Muharram to remember the martyrdom day of Hazrat Omar Farooq was stopped.
JI chief Syed Munawar Hasan also criticised the government for protecting killers, extortionists and drug mafia and said the administration and the agencies were unable to apprehend the killers because they enjoyed the protection of the people in power.“If the rulers themselves give protection to lawbreakers, how peace can be restored,” he said in a statement issued from Lahore.
PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif said in a statement that the parties who had got mandate from Karachi and were part of the federal and provincial governments had absolutely failed to maintain peace in the metropolis.
He called upon the government to use all resources to wipe out those involved in the killing of innocent people in Karachi.
Meanwhile, the Sindh CM came out of his palatial official residence in the city’s so-called red zone and visited Lasbella, Nazimabad, Hyderi, Sakhi Hassan, North Nazimabad, Nagin Chaurangi, Buffer Zone, North Karachi, Garden, M.A. Jinnah Road, Kati Pahari, Mithadar, Kharadar and Preedy Street areas.
According to a handout, the CM took serious note of a lack of patrolling by police and Rangers and directed the Karachi police chief to ensure a better patrolling and snap checking system because “it was the prime duty of the government to provide safety of life and property to the citizens”. He also took serious notice of the dilapidated condition of roads in many areas of the city and ordered the administrator of the Karachi Metr opolitan Corporation to get these roads repaired at the earliest.