A few days back, I came across a video on YouTube about the target killing in Karachi, showing mutilated bodies bearing severe torture marks. It recalls the bitter memories of Taliban’s atrocities in Swat and tribal areas, where Pakistan army played an important role in restoring peace. Today, most of the people in Karachi and rest of Pakistan demand army to restore peace in Karachi, because they believe, the Karachi police have become political and Rangers toothless. It is a widespread belief that only Pakistan army can carry out successful and indiscriminate operation against militants/target killers in Karachi.
Because security situation is perilous and there is no security for the people of Karachi, so army can come forward and play its due role, because Pakistan cannot afford economic losses in Karachi. Businessmen of Karachi are also afraid of extortion mafia; they are compelled to quit their businesses and move abroad. The Price water house Coopers study released in 2009, which surveyed the 2008 GDP of the top cities in the world, calculated Karachi’s GDP to be $78 billion and projected to be $193 billion in 2025 at a growth rate of 5.5%. But due to fragile security environment Karachi’s economy may not achieve this milestone. Government must ensure peace in Karachi because if Karachi breaks down, whole country will break down.
Militants in Karachi have become more ferocious than militants in tribal areas or else where. They are murdering innocent civilians with extreme torture, butchering people, and dumping their mutilated bodies in deserted places. Even Director General of Rangers was compelled to declare, “Karachi situation is worse than Waziristan”. Now it is imperative for the government to save the country instead of minding its political interests.
Currently Rangers and police are carrying out surgical operation in selected areas, but if they fail to restore peace in Karachi, then there is no other option but to call army for the restoration of peace. Government must give full powers to Rangers to curb target killing, ethnic violence, sectarianism, extortion, land and drug mafia. There is a need for joint intelligence-based operation. All the intelligence agencies mainly ISI, IB, CID, and special branch of police must join hands and coordinate their information with each other and end this menace once for all.
The government must formulate a separate task force without political influence and investigate the cases related to the target killing etc., and come clean on this issue of high priority. Police force in Karachi should be freed from political influence and must be empowered with full authority to eliminate these gangs and save Karachi from further deterioration.
Political blame game must end and all political parties must join hands for peace in Karachi. Karachi does not belong to one or two parties; it is home to every Pakistani. It is imperative for the political parties to denounce violence in Karachi and end their backing or support (if any) to target killers, extortionists, land or drug mafia. We have to show unity at home -- only then can we face external challenges to our national security.