Karachi : Solution Or Compromise


By: Hamid Waheed

Karachi is the business hub of Pakistan but it has a long history of ethnic conflict, sectarian violence, land mafias and intra- and inter-party tensions. During the past 20 years, Karachi has seen many instances of violence and the disruption of civic life. Sectarian strife and easy availability of weapons were two factors that play a key role in this regard.  After 9/11 Karachi has been one of the main target of the Al-Qaeda as it is the major and important transit point used by US military during War On Terror. The presence of terrorist groups in Karachi in the grab of Afghan refugees have also been reported. Among these terrorist groups Sunni-shia groups have been alleged of Sunni Shia violence in Karachi. Rehman Malik also said that the terrorism activities in Karachi especially the ashura blast were conducted by LJ. Sunni-Shia sectarian violence has killed as many as 4,000 people in the past 15 years in Pakistan. Present Karachi situation is also a product of the past ethnic violence between Pathan, Sindhi and Mohajar which has now converged to rogue groups within political parties. Some political parties are now also involved in sabotaging the situation and taking the benefit of the situation. Foreign secret agencies and Raw were also actively involved in  Karachi carnage and ongoing wave of terrorism in Pakistan. If Karachi descends into violence, or becomes a centre for militants to regroup, the cost to the country can be immense. After analyzing the above circumstances the painful conclusion is that all internal as well as external  elements have successfully penetrated the rouge elements within the political parties which are main stakeholders in Karachi. The first step required to handle this situation now revolves around purging out these mafias from political parties  before we move to chop-off the foreign hand.


Most of the politicians, media and intellectual suggest political solution to problems in Karachi but their blanket suggestions do not specify who will do it and how it will be done?  We must understand that for whatever reasons Pakistan’s present politics does not fit anywhere near to the definition of politics “government of the people, for the people and by the people”  the essence of true politics lie in the popular leadership having public confidence making popular decision  in public interest. Interestingly the institution blamed the most for not letting politics grow due to long spells of dictatorship presently seem totally in supporting role of the government. A portion of media and politicians attribute all wrongs including electricity short fall on dictatorship. They may be right to some extend but now they have the opportunity and the Turkish model to rectify wrongs of the past. In Turkey the political setup proved that they can bring more strength and prosperity in institutions than was possible under military influence in past decades. The way forward for the political set up lie in crossing the limits of standard achieved previously and tell that they have the ability to manage institutions better. There is a need to strengthen and depoliticize the interior law enforcers. In these difficult times public is interested in present and their tomorrow.  A road map which leads to somewhere .Most of the directions shown to public lack implementation and the will of leadership. Each day they see  minor promises like load shedding schedules during Ramadan being flouted. There has been number of attempts to control law and order of Karachi through political means and each time it has ended into compromise. A compromise acts as a catalyst for the mafia involved in Karachi killing. This breather gives them more physical and psychological ascendency over the poor victims of Karachi. In such environment can there be a political solution is the question touching every heart.

The reality has shown that political stakes do not allow neat and clean arrangements for use of law enforcing instrument. Demand for use of army to solve Karachi problem does not indicate army’s expertise or resources to handle the situation but it’s their non-political inclination towards any political party. Despite wide criticism on army it still holds the public confidence to deliver at the time of crisis without favoritism to a particular class, creed and group of society.

Having said above there are two main solutions. The priority still remains with political solution having true political setup .A setup where leadership does not coerce but derives strength from public sentiments. The second option lies in administrative solution through  security apparatus (police, ranger or army) but without any political interference / preference. The government needs to move fast to handle Karachi otherwise the power to choose any of the above solution under present circumstances will have to come through popular public demand. The public will not only have to take decision but also stand behind the implementers of their decision.



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  • khan saheb  On August 23, 2011 at 4:28 am

    Has the leadership taken an overdose of sleeping pills or is it deliberately pretending that it does not hear wake-up calls ?


  • Faisal  On August 23, 2011 at 6:28 am

    Political mafias in the city are hellbent on bringing army to the metropolis (all parties agree to call in the army), y? so that they could unite against pak army and start shouting propaganda style that pak army is being cruel and torturing “innocent” people.

    As US says, if operation in Waziristan is not possible, then let pak army be busy elsewhere, and where is better than the economical hub full of populace?

    these political orphans are playing in the hands of the foreigners, torturing innocent people. yet the government sleeps, cuz they too don’t want peace in the city.

    akhir mufahimat (read munafiqat)bhe koi cheez hai!

    • S U Turkman  On August 24, 2011 at 1:10 am

      Faisal, when did US said, “… if operation in Waziristan is not possible, then let pak army be busy elsewhere, and where is better than the economical hub full of populace” …?
      Is this what Islam is all about now-a-days?
      Gen. Keyani has been causing all the killings in Pakistan for the last 2 years to prove Zardari is incompetent since Obama had refused permission to overthrow him.
      Pak Army is 600,000 strong. 50,000 can take care of Waziristan and arrest the few thousand Taliban there in less than two weeks. Would half a million of Pak Soldiers be needed in Karachi to stop a few hundred Balochis, Pathans and a few Sindhis to stop killing Mohajirs?
      You must be kidding. If Police was not all Punjabi, Mohajir Police would have arrested all of the Culprits within 2 days. Police can’t take care of them because of ISI’s orders to protect the Culprits and arrest Mohajirs only.

  • M.Naeemuddin. Khalid  On August 23, 2011 at 7:47 am

    Yasmeen Ali Daughter of Ex-Khalifa Maj Gen (forcibly Retired) Tajammal Hussain is an American Green Card holder. She had long ago rejected constitution of Pakistan to become third class American citizon.

    • S U Turkman  On August 24, 2011 at 1:16 am

      Sorry to inform you but even all Moslim Immigrants are First Class citizens equal to US Born Americans in USA. USA is not Pakistan, where only Punjabis are 1st Class citizens and the rest are 3rd Class people of Punjab Occupied Territories called Sindh, PakhToon Khwah, Baluchistan, southern Punjab, Northern Territories and Azad Kashmir.
      4 Foreign Born Moslims have served as Ambassadors of USA so far and son of a Moslim Black from Africa is President and C-in-C of USA. How many Non Punjabi or Non Moslims Ambassadors Pakistan has?

  • Shahbaz  On August 23, 2011 at 11:56 am

    nice paper;but I still feel solution lies in what I wrote three weeks ago

  • Faisal Malik  On August 23, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    Political mafias in the city are hellbent on bringing army to the metropolis (all parties agree to call in the army), y? so that they could unite against pak army and start shouting propaganda style that pak army is being cruel and torturin…

    • S U Turkman  On August 24, 2011 at 1:21 am

      Oh sorry, this would be a Sin to defame pious servants of Allah in Pak Army, who have never killed a Pakistani before and have only killed Non Punjabi Traitors of Pakistan. Could you tell us, why has been Pak Army causing killings of Pakistanis all around Pakistan except in Punjab if it does not want to get rid of Zardari as Keyani had told Obama two years ago and take over?

  • S. Cadri  On August 24, 2011 at 1:46 am

    Height of ignorance. The writer does not have any understanding of Karachi. Sorry. Extremely poor analysis and views.

  • Syed  On August 28, 2011 at 2:15 am

    It is always said it is the business hub. Yes it is but that is not is in news for. It is the indiscriminate killings and root cause of the conflict must be addressed to the entire satisfaction of the people living in Karachi. One must condemn the killings by whoever it is. You must also condemn those who openly issue statements from KPK Assembly to do this and that in Karachi as if it is part of their province. One must feel for the misery of those killed by the thugs who are never caught because of these pseudo intellectuals and third analysts who beat around the bush without touching on the real issues. They ignore the fact that there is a deliberate injection of people into Karachi whose infrastructure and resources do not support such a massive influx of people from KPK. They have a province why don’t the develop it and be there. They must change their tribal and jirga mindset.

  • S U Turkman  On August 28, 2011 at 3:42 am

    Mr. Syed, Tribal Mentality is the main problem of Moslims all over the world. Look at us in the West. Aren’t our lower class, which is majority of us in the West trying to impose Shriyah Law for all of us?
    This is a big problem for civilized people of the world. It looks like 7th Century Bedouin born again trying to conquer 21st Century using 21st Century Technology.

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