HRCP blames political parties for killings
Karachi: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has said that the latest cycle of violence and the utter breakdown of law and order in Karachi, which has claimed scores of lives already, is a result of an ongoing turf war in the city.
“There is a consensus that much of the violence in Karachi is part of an increasingly deadly turf war in which the main political parties in Karachi have enthusiastically participated. As in the past, the latest cycle of violence in Karachi will also subside when the killers have had their fill, at least for the time being. This state of affairs is completely unacceptable,” said the commission in a statement issued on Wednesday.
It also observed that the government had failed to apprehend those responsible for the killings every time violence peaked in the city.The HRCP called upon the government and the main political parties to work together to find a way out of the crisis.
The statement pointed out that more than 300 people had been killed in violent flare-ups so far in 2012, while countless others were unable to go to work and stayed trapped inside their homes due to security concerns.
“The frequent strike calls and the ensuing violence have resulted in huge financial losses as well.” The rights commission claimed that besides gangsters, particularly of Lyari, common criminals also benefited from the breakdown in the law and order.
“Instead of restoring the writ of the state and arresting the mischief-makers, the government has preferred appeasing political allies. It is high time that all of the main political parties in Karachi sit together and find a way to put an end to the intermittent cycles of killing in the city.
“If the government is serious about its latest vow of ‘indiscriminate action’ in Karachi then that must start with a de-weaponisation drive in the city. That would merely be the first step.”The reason why Karachi is always at the brink of breaking into violence was the failure to end polarisation and xenophobia, and the utter lack of interest in promoting communal harmony, the statement said.
“The government should also adequately compensate the families of all those killed in the flare-ups.”“About 300 people have been the victims of violent shootings in the last three months,” Zohra Yusuf, chairwoman of the HRCP, told AFP on Tuesday.
The HRCP previously said 1,715 people were killed last year in sudden flare-ups of violence in the city.“The figures compiled by our staff and the death toll for the last three months confirmed by the police shows the number of victims of violence was not less than 300,” Yusuf said.When contacted for comment, a leader of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement said that his party would react to the commission’s report later.