Finally, President Zardari has shown some anxiety over lawlessness in Karachi. Though quite late, one still hopes he means business. Bloodshed is showing no sign of abating; it has gone so much endemic, so menacing that it has prompted the Supreme Court to launch a broadside against the Sindh home department for running a parallel judicial system.
Mr Zardari too has come down heavily on security agencies for palming him off with customary security briefings and demanded instead that they take practical steps. The ‘operation’ that he ordered included good measures such as a crackdown on illegal sale of SIMs, a sound witness protection programme as well as removal of incapable officers and recruitment of forthright ones by the provincial government. The SC’s directions to the authorities one of which was to warn the Rangers that they could be ordered back to the barracks and the duty handed over to the police vindicated the general frustration with them. So it now needs to be ensured that the police play its part judiciously and bravely. Having said that the mess also is an indictment of the political parties, who stand guilty of taking things for granted and worse patronising turf war. It is a challenge for the President as well to see to it that his ‘operation’ does not fizzle out in words alone.