HRCP concerned at Karachi killings
LAHORE: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) on Thursday expressed its concern at the loss of lives in the latest upsurge in violence in Karachi, criticised the government for its failure to ensure security for life and called for measures reflecting the urgency the situation demanded.
A statement issued by the Commission said: “Another cycle of the now familiar violence has erupted in Karachi. At least 32 people have been killed in the last three days alone. Karachi is no stranger to violence or the absence of law and order.
However, it is scandalous that the alarm and indignation that such a heavy toll on human lives should evoke is absent.
“This time too, it seems that killings would stop only when the perpetrators have had their fill. Such violence that used to occur in Pakistan’s financial capital once or twice a year has now become the norm. It is appalling that the culprits remain unidentified and unpunished. The provincial and federal governments have completely failed in restoring law and order.
“HRCP has deep concern at the continued loss of life caused by exploitation of ethnic differences by political parties. It is sadder still that the solution to the strife in Karachi is seen only in the context of retaining coalition partners, and not as a tragedy of human lives being lost every day. The people are justified in asking who is looking after their concerns. Their growing exasperation with the government over its abject failure to ensure security of life and its lack of concern at the killings is entirely understandable.
“Political appeasement and rhetoric have not worked in the past and will only encourage more violence in the future. The people will very much like to know if the government has a plan to deal with this violence. Does the government have the ability and commitment to stop the killings? If it attaches importance to the right to life then why has it failed to find a lasting solution to the bloodletting so far? Why have the killers enjoyed impunity and struck at will? Does the government have the will to ensure that no effort will be spared to identify, apprehend and bring to justice the killers without exception? Would the demands for across the board de-weaponisation in Karachi finally be heeded?
“Answers to these questions will determine what hope there is of restoration of law and order and respect for people’s rights and life in Karachi. HRCP calls upon the government to use every resource at its disposal to prevent denial of the right of life to the people and end impunity for the perpetrators.”