Wave of death

THE deadly cycle of targeted killings, ethnic and sectarian violence has once again been set in motion in Karachi. The trigger was the assassination of an MQM worker, whose severed head was found in Lyari. The reprisal killings that followed in a matter of minutes plunged the entire metropolis into violence, claiming 9 lives. Suddenly armed men emerged and started shooting down their targets in execution-style killings, some of which happened to be PPP members. Simultaneously, in what appeared as angry mobs, lawless elements were setting hotels, private property, houses and vehicles on fire, a practice that had occurred in the aftermath of the Ashura blast as well. The countrys commercial capital has seen this kind of violence before. It is a pity that the powerful perpetrators of such heinous acts are never exposed, thanks to the preference that is always attached to political expediency. Likewise, there is little sign that the police would actually be able to bring peace to the city. It is a crying shame that while the thugs were doing their dirty deeds in broad daylight, the state's writ was nowhere to be seen. The question here is: are we looking at mob rule now? The SC had talked of Gestapo-like tactics of the state in the context of missing people, the mob violence is also akin to Nazi mob terror. The latter analogy describes the prevalent restlessness, be it in Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad or any corner of the country. It is quite apt because in the present scheme of things, we are witnessing an era in which the fundamental rights of the citizens have been suppressed through one way or another. While the state appears at risk of taking on a fascist character owing to its continuing intolerance bred partially by its own confusion; the non-state actors are in full swing of violence, hitting as hard as they can. Consequently, it is the hapless ordinary citizens who are the victims of this catch-22 situation. The turmoil in Karachi is proof of that.

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt