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Will Liyarians Ever See Peace?

According the media reports, DG Rangers Sindh in his briefing, informed the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif that there were some leaders in the ruling party who were backing the Liyari gangsters. He further said that it was the reason why law & order situation of Liyari could not been controlled. “Gangsters cannot be tackled till the removal of political umbrella”, he made it clear.

The gang war in Liyari has become a routine news piece for people now. Just after a gap of few days, gangsters start attacking each other by using not only sophisticated weapons, but also with the hand grenades and rocket launchers. The fierce resistance from the militants against the Police operation two years back had already made it clear to all that Liyari had turned into a gangsters` cantonment area. But, no one sincerely tried to restore the government`s writ there.

The recent violence in Liyari was definitely a big question mark on the performance as well as the direction of our law-enforcement agencies which were claiming to have arrested over 17,000 criminals in thousands of raids all over Karachi.

The common people were already of the view that the gang war in Liyari was the result of either poor performance or the unfair intention of the concerned authorities or, perhaps, a mix of both. Otherwise, the state writ could not remain violated for a so longer period of time.

Although different gangsters` groups had been previously operating in Liyari for decades, the situation got worse when in 2008 the PPP`s former Interior Minister Sindh Zulfiqar Mirza, with the silent support of PPP`s top leadership, started patronizing the strongest group headed by Uzair Jan Baloch. Zulfiqar Mirza used them against MQM in order to increase the PPP`s influence in Karachi. He crossed all the limits in defending the criminals when he said, “They (the gangsters) are my kids. I own them. If someone considers them criminals, then I am also criminal”. The question is, if the Interior Minister defends criminals in this way, how would the law-enforcement agencies even think of taking any action against them?

It was the worst time in Ramzan of 2011 when the dozens of brutally tortured and beheaded dead bodies were found from Liyari. The victims had been kidnapped from the public buses after identifying their ethnicity from the national identity cards. But, neither the provincial government nor the law-enforcement agencies took any concrete actions against the culprits.

Later on, on the protest of MQM, they recovered more than 30 abducted people from the custody of gangsters not after any targeted operation, but by way of negotiations with them. Furthermore, the gangsters` brutality did not get confined only to the Urdu speaking, but was also applied to the people belonging to the Kachhi community.

They too became the victims of PAC`s (People`s Amn Committee) oppression. They cried for help from the government authorities, but no one provided protection to them. Consequently, they had to migrate from Liyari to interior Sindh.

In the same context, Arshad Pappu case revealed many more things about how the Police officials facilitated the Liyari gangsters in their crimes. According to the media reports, Arshad Pappu along with his two companions was kidnapped from a house in Defence and taken to Liyari under the protection of the Police mobiles.

There, he was brutally tortured, cut into pieces, burnt and then dumped in the Liyari River. Later on, it was revealed that SHOs` of three police stations of Liyari had provided logistic support to the Uzair Baloch`s goons in the kidnap. When this is how the criminals are patronized and assisted by the political governments through the LEA`s, how would we have peace in the city? So, the eventual responsibility has to go to the PPP and its leadership.

However, the heads of law-enforcement agencies cannot save themselves from this responsibility so easily. It was their prime responsibility to provide protection to the people. They must have refused to abide by the government`s orders to spare their favorite gangsters.

Unfortunately, it was the same DG Rangers who had submitted a report to the Supreme Court in which he claimed that Liyari was the most peaceful area of the city. After the DG Rangers` revelation, can it be claimed anymore that the targeted operation have remained “indiscriminate” during the last 6 months? Now, will the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif ensure an indiscriminate operation in Karachi in the light of what the DG Rangers briefed him?

Very unfortunately, like PPP, PML-N too tried to play its game in the gangsters`-controlled politics of Liyari. During the period when Uzair Jan Baloch was having serious differences with the PPP leadership and he had announced to part his ways, it was the Nawaz Sharif`s PML-N which sent its senior member Syed Ghous Ali Shah to Liyari on a special mission.

Ghous Ali Shah met Uzair Jan Baloch and offered him to join PML-N. Needless to mention, through its offer to the king maker of Liyari, PML-N wanted to snatch PPP`s political fort. In other words, every party was playing its own game in Liyari. Now, taking into account all these bitter facts, can it be expected that PPP and PML-N would succeed in bringing peace in Karachi especially Liyari with the same law-enforcement agencies which have been following the politicized orders?

Frankly speaking, unless the political parties leading the provincial and federal governments leave their political interests a side, they can never do the needful in the right direction. Saving our party and targeting their political and ethnic rivals in the name of restoring peace will definitely deteriorate the situation.

In fact, for liyarians this was the cause of failure of all the previous operations in Karachi. Therefore, political governments as well as the heads of the LEA`s will have to neutralize themselves so that they lead the operation against the real criminals without making a discrimination of good gangsters and bad gangsters. Otherwise, the on-going targeted operation would also become an addition to the previously failed operations. 

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