The Gateway to Pakistan: Karachi was a capital of Pakistan from 1947 till 1958. Karachi is the largest city, main seaport and financial center of Pakistan. The city has an estimated population of 21 million people as of April 2012, It is the most populous city in the country, the world’s 3rd largest city in terms of population by city proper and also the 11th largest urban agglomeration in the world. It is Pakistan’s centre of banking, industry, economic activity and trade and is home to Pakistan’s largest corporations, including those involved in textiles, shipping, automotive industry, entertainment, the arts, fashion, advertising, publishing, software development and medical research. The city is a hub of higher education in South Asia and the Muslim world. The city is ranked as a “Beta world City” means it plays an important role in the global economic structure.
The city with all his charm and elegance has not just attracted Businessmen engineers, Doctors Etc but unfortunately chaos too!!!
According to human rights commission of Pakistan 1,715 people died in 2012 alone, owing to Ethnic, Sectarian and Politically linked violence.
Ethnic killing dates back to the creation of Pakistan when a large number of Urdu speaking Muhajirs migrated to Pakistan from British India, and get settled in the city of Karachi, this sparked violence between local Sindhi habitants and migrated muhajirs, that continues till today. Ironically those who stood for the creation of a Homeland for Muslims are now themselves asking fellow migrated Muslims to leave only because they represents some other culture, speaks some other Language, Cook some other food, This defies the whole idea of “Pakistan for all”. The govt. representatives which could have stopped bloodshed used it for their own political goals earning their vote bank on the basis of ethnicity. Karachi burns and burns till today only because she has different ethnic communities in her womb.
The grievance of the city of lights doesn’t end here as there is another issue too and that is Sectarianism.
Sectarianism seems to be the part of Pakistan since her inception, whether killing Ahmadis in 60s and 70s or among Shia and Sunnis till today. Karachi is home to quite a number of Shia Muslim communities and majority Sunnis. The Iranian backed Shia militant organization and Saudis backed Sunni organization often kills each other’s members and leaders not realizing the fact that their financers are using Karachi and Pakistan in whole as a battle ground to score their religious differences and interpretations. Iranian Revolution in 1979 worsened the situation more as it provoked the desire of some individuals in Shia community to have more say in government policies. Backed financially and morally by Iran, organization like “tehreek-e-nifaz-e-fiqh-jafaria” (Shia-law implementation movement) came into existence. To counter the growing influence of Shi’ism and indirectly Iran in Pakistan, Saudis channeled their support through Sunni govt. under Zia-ul-haq in creation of Sunni Militant Organization Lashkar e-jhangvi. That to date kills each other in the name of Religion. Again the problem which could have been solved through dialog was let on itself resulting in hundreds of bodies from both sides. One can not in any circumstance justify the killing of another sect only because their beliefs are different from yours!!
The third category of killing is totally political; Karachi due to its diverse ethnicity represents different political parties too. MQM (Muttahida Qaumi Movement) the now ruling party in Karachi was founded to protect the rights of Urdu Speaking muhajirs, PPP ( Pakistan People Party ) on other hand enjoys support from Sindhi speaking community, there is one more party that claims to safeguard Pashtun community Rights named ANP (Awami National Party ). Now all of these parties are eyeing on Karachi to turn it into their stronghold and flush the support of other party.This category of killing is one can say a subset of ethnic killing but with a political motive behind. In order to achieve political upper hand these parties sometimes use local militant gangs to promote their ideology, which in the case of PPP doesn’t worked well as it is now fighting the group it created because the gang has withdrawn its support to PPP in lyari district.
There are incidents where target killings were neither politically, religiously or ethnically motivated rather the killer wants to settle his personal score with the victim. And a city where thousands got killed, personal revenges like these were counted among political or religious reasons. Letting a common person to settle his revenge and never got caught as police will not register a FIR under Political religious or ethnical reasons.
The killing and anarchy of this caliber requires a tough action. In my view the situation has gone beyond dialogue Intelligence agencies will have to play their part in stopping external and internal support and full military style operation is necessary to disarm the people first and then ask them to come for dialogue but disarm them first!! Otherwise asking heavily armed people for dialogue will get us nowhere.
Karachi is burning and will continue to burn until tough Decision were not taken. May Allah Bless us all with eternal peace. Amen!!