KARACHI - The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan has noted with grave concern about the steep rise in Karachi violence in the first six months of this year.
Releasing the statistics to the media through a press statement, the HRCP reported that as many as 1,726 people had been killed in violence in the port city until the end of June in 2013. It highlighted that all the figures were based on newspaper reports.
Those killed included victims of sectarian violence, targeted killings, as well as over a hundred people whose dead bodies were found in the city and who appeared to have died in incidents of violence.
Over the same period last year, the HRCP had counted the killing of 1,215 citizens in violence in Karachi.
As many as 291 people were killed in January 2013 (compared to 153 in January 2012), 271 in February (149 in February 2012), 311 in March (182 in March 2012), 262 in April (258 in April 2012), 278 in May (244 in May 2012), and 313 in June (229 in June 2012).
Though the number of fatalities in violence was by no means small in the previous year, however, in 2013 the number never dipped below 250 in any month from January to June 2013. In 2012 - from April to June - the number of citizens killed was over 200. For the first six months of 2012, the number of people lost their lives in violence was highest (258) in June.
Over the six-month period in 2013, as many as 73 people were killed in sectarian attacks; 203 people were killed after being abducted; 545 people who did not have any overt political affiliations were killed in attacks; and 178 political activists (48 in June alone) were killed. The fatalities also included 92 policemen and 18 personnel of paramilitary forces. Dead bodies of 101 people were found in the city during the period under review. Bomb blasts claimed 92 lives and the Lyari gang war claimed another 41 while 49 people were killed by robbers and another 57 in police encounters.
The HRCP expressed concern that the fatalities were increasingly being seen as mere statistics rather than loss of human beings which reflected a failure of the state to protect human lives.