Target killings in Karachi outnumber terror fatalities
January 07, 2011
They year 2010 has passed, leaving behind many of its sweet and bitter memories. The year proved to be not so good for Pakistan, as during the year, the country witnessed many a turmoil like terrorism, suicide attacks, bombings, political and judicial crisis, and calamities to name but a few.
Throughout the year, the economy of the country remained to be in tatters and the biggest challenge was to put the economy back on the track. During the year, the business and financial capital of the country, Karachi, was bedeviled by the unabated incidents of targeted killings on ethnic and political considerations.
After the short lull, the menace of targeted killings has once against hit the financial capital of the country with the commencement of Near Year on Monday night.
On Monday, a senior worker of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement and another of the Awami National Party were killed in what appeared to be the year’s first targeted attacks motivated by political considerations.
The killings followed by arson of vehicles and incidents of firing in different parts of the city on Monday night and on Tuesday morning, claiming eight lives.
Adil Akhtar Jafri, 35, of MQM was targeted when he was on the way to office in the Nazimabad area at the Inquiry Office bus stop. The victim was the Nazimabad-Gulbahar joint sector in-charge of the MQM. Following the killing, MQM coordination committee met and demanded that Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah and Home Minister Dr Zulfiqar Mirza should take notice of the party worker’s assassination and order immediate arrest of the killers.
The incident was followed by arson attacks, firing and targeted killings in many areas of the city. From Monday night till Tuesday afternoon (when this report was being filed), 10 people had been killed in different incidents of targeted killing, raising the apprehension of more trouble and law and order situation in the city.
Among the dead were ANP’s Aziz Khan, who was killed in the Malir area. “The victim was senior vice president of the ANP for Al-Falah Ward,” said an ANP spokesman. Only a month ago, a founding member of the Loya Jirga and activist of the Pakhtoon Action Committee, Pir Yasin Khan, was killed at the same place. but still his killers are at large.
It seemed the city will be grappling with the unabated spree of targeted killings in coming days. Analysts are linking the fresh wave of targeted killings with the ongoing political upheaval in the country. They said that as the political tension rises, there might be increase in the killings.
Though, it is generally believed that the militant linked violence and suicide attacks and bomb blast have taken a heavy toll in 2010, statistic narrate a completely different story. As per the data compiled by Weekly Pulse, more people were killed in targeted killings in Karachi than those killed in militants attacks, bombing and suicide attacks across the country.
According to statistics, while 49 sporadic suicide attacks during 2010 killed at least 1,138 people across the country, the number of politically-motivated target killings only in Karachi stood at 1,510.
Sources in the law-enforcement agencies told Weekly Pulse that Balochistan and Fata remained the hot-spots for suicide bombing as maximum number of blasts and the resultant casualties were reported from there.
The commercial hub of the country, Karachi, was also targeted by terrorists, who, in at least five suicide and planted bombings during the current year, killed as many as 57 people, wounding some 223 others.
However, the statistics unveil that casualties in target killings outnumbered the death toll of bomb blasts and suicide attack during 2010. Data compiled by Weekly Pulse shows that at least 1,510 people, most of them politically-affiliated, were killed only in the city of lights during 2010.
According to the data, some 122 people were killed in the city during the month of January, 133 in February, 130 in March, 130 in April, 144 in May, 122 in June, 135 in July, 176 in August, 71 in September, 173 in October, 91 in November and 84 in December. The figure shows the ill performance of law-enforcement agencies tasked to maintain the law and order in the metropolis.
Out of the total, 763 were political activists from whom 78 belonged to the MQM-H, 51 to MQM, 63 to ANP, 27 to PPP, six to Jamat-e-Islami, 46 to Ahle Sunnatwaljamat, five to Punjabi Pakhtoon Itehad, five to Sunni Tehreek and Jash-e-Muhammad lost two activists.
On the other hand, killings of government employees, including law-enforcement agencies personnel, is on the rise in the city. During the last three months, 29 government employees were gunned down from whom 17 belonged to Sindh police, four to Pakistan Rangers. Six doctors were also gunned down in target killing.
Sources in police said that the police department was helpless in controlling the increasing crime rate. Political and influential personalities are supporting the criminals, which is the main cause of increase in killings in the city, they said.