KARACHI- The political rally of Awami Tehreek, named as “Love Sindh Rally” was meant to address the controversial issues of creation of so-called Muhajir province in Sindh and to condemn the police operation in Lyari, turned into a mayhem in which 12 innocent persons were shot dead and invaluable properties were set on fire.The surprising aspect of the rally was its staring point in the congested Lyari. Political analysts are flabbergasted that Cheel Chowk was an area where a heavily armed police of thousands could not enter for eight days but Awami Tehreek, PML-N with the help of infamous People’s Amn Committee (PAC) had an easy access to the area, starting a rally which was ill timed. They felt that the Awami Tehreek by design selected Lyari’s insecure lanes to start a political agitation which had full backing of criminal elements of the neighbourhood and unseen forces.Other Sindhi nationalists like late Bashir Qureshi also held rally in Karachi but chose main MA Jinnah road near Tibet Centre as rallying point. Thousands of supporters were brought by buses to the city centre to organise the protest which was aimed at liberation of Sindh. The rally ended peacefully. However there were reports that some of the participants of the rally were involved in criminal activities. But it was nothing as compared to the Awami Tehreek rally, which turned Karachi into a killing zone in the old quarters of the city. Lyari has always been a peaceful neighbourhood since independence. Once it was the political fort of Haroons but after 1970 it became strong hold of the PPP. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto or Benazir Bhutto both won seats from the area, but they kept the criminal elements of the area at distance.However, in the fourth PPP government after 2008 elections, one of the provincial minister who held the portfolio of Home Ministry, reversed the policies of his leaders and brought into the PPP fold the hardened criminal elements of Lyari. He not only supported the Amn Committee but even called them as his sons and declared openly that he had distributed 30,000 armed licences in the area and most of them went to the criminal elements. When the criminals got free hand, the menace of extortion gained momentum and business community became their main target. Traders could not forget the horrible incident of Shershah scarp market on Oct 19, 2010 that left 12 people dead and several others wounded. The menace spread to other parts of the city when perpetrators of Shershah were let off due to lack of evidence. However, the former minister forgot that he is encouraging those elements, who would be out of control and became a major headache for the government itself.