LAHORE: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) on Tuesday expressed concern over the alarming rise of violence in Sindh highlighted by the latest spate of targeted killings in Karachi.
In a press statement, the commission said at a time when the nation’s attention was focused on the counter-insurgency operation in the NWFP and the massive humanitarian crisis stemming from the operation, a virtual breakdown of law or order in Sindh, particularly in Karachi, was a matter of concern for all law-abiding citizens.
“An environment of fear and insecurity that this situation has caused is generating lack of respect for basic human and democratic rights of the people,” the press statement says.
“Karachi has always had a potential for violence and disorder, a potential that has been expanded by poor governance and political expediencies.”
The present situation has been in the making for some time and it is disquieting to see that parties together in the ruling coalition have also been engaged in bitter rivalries that have exacerbated tensions and emboldened armed political and criminal factions.
The inability of the provincial administration to enforce rule of law and protect life and property of the citizens has raised the level of anxiety and uncertainty to an extent that the entire social equilibrium of the society is threatened, it says.
As for targeted killings in Karachi, apparently old rivalries and some new developments are involved. The complexity of this situation demands a combined effort on part of all political and ethnic and linguistic factions to protect peace and social harmony in the city.
One measure of the gravity of the law and order situation in Karachi is that the number of political activists killed in the first week of this month has exceeded 35. It is extremely worrying that killers, who tend to appear suddenly, riding motorbikes, in often congested localities, are not apprehended by law enforcement agencies. This failure calls for a new strategy to reverse the rising tide of violence, with the sincere involvement of the political as well as the administrative arms of the provincial government, says the HRCP.