Chaos revisits Karachi

Lawlessness is back on the streets of Karachi. The new killing spree, ostensibly along ethnic lines, has claimed more than 80 lives in a span of 72 hours. As a section of Karachiites went to poll on Sunday, to elect a provincial parliamentarian, chaos and confusion reigned supreme.With a thin turnout, owing to security concerns, the city was in a state of inertia. To further complicate the situation is the war of words going on between two major political stakeholders of the city — the Urdu-speaking Muttahida Qaumi Movement and Pashtun settlers-backed Awami National Party. The city for long has been on tenterhooks as the prevailing uncertainty has badly affected business prospects in the city considered the country’s growth engine. Adding to the explosive complexity is the brewing political instability on account of executive-judiciary row at national level. This new wave of ethnic-sectarian violence could therefore take a more serious turn and expand to other areas in the country. Pakistan badly needs to resolve this crisis at the earliest. The first step in this process should be a reconciliation between the judiciary and an administration that sees a conspiracy in court’s interpretation of the constitution. The widening gulf between the government and the Opposition can be done away with to a great extent if the executive implements the court’s decisions that pertain to dealing with corruption and the corrupt. The government of Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani seems to be bogged down in administrative rows and litigation, thereby diverting its attention from the pressing issues of terrorism, poverty and economic chaos. The government, which had earlier made reconciliation its manifesto agenda, has no other option but to revert to it, and should not prolong this unnecessary and dangerous confrontation with the judiciary. It goes without saying that Pakistan is passing through one of the most difficult periods in its history whether it is domestic upheavals or international concerns. Islamabad has averted a serious confrontation with its western neighbour, Afghanistan, and the coalition forces-based there.The disturbing killings in Karachi could be a plot to not only weaken the federal government, but also to plunge the country in a renewed crisis. The war of nerves in Karachi between two ethnic groups has its roots in the alleged agenda of Talebanisation. The MQM blames the Pashtun for hosting pro-jehadi elements. This needs to be looked into and the best way to do is to ask both the ethnic groups’ representatives to put their heads together to resolve their differences. They must join hands and collectively work for the development of the cosmopolitan city. If history is any criterion, lawlessness in Pakistan’s port city has always been a precursor of a change in Islamabad. Let’s hope history does not repeat itself.
(Courtesy:Khaleej times)