Why does MQM deserve Sindh home ministry?
Karachi is at top amongst the most important cities of Pakistan. With a population of more than 25 million spread across more than 3500 sq. km area, the city, being the hub of economic activities, plays a vital role in economic health of Pakistan. It is the major contributor to Pakistan’s economy, employs the largest section of population in the manufacturing, retail and service sectors and has the highest literacy rate with some areas enjoying literacy rate as high as around 90 percent.
According to the official statistics, Karachi accounts for 25 percent of Pakistan’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), 65 percent of national income tax revenue, 54 percent of central government tax revenues, and 30 percent of industrial output.
For the past few years, however, Karachi has been the target of unrest, violence and a host of other issues. Though the city has a history of violence and unrest spread over three decades, mainly because of unplanned migration , free float of arms, lack of law enforcement, weak judicial system and socio economic disparities, the year 2013 was the worst in terms of adverse law and order situation. Criminal, ethno-political, sectarian and militant violence have claimed thousands of lives and rendered the metropolis nearly paralyzed. During the last three years death toll rose to an alarmingly high level more than 2300 deaths in 2011, more than 3000 in 2012 and 3200 plus in 2013.
It’s an undeniable fact that consider economic stability of a country is important and essential for national cohesion, progress and prosperity and only a ‘Peaceful Karachi’ can provide the country with a guarantee for the needed safety and security for a stable Pakistan.
The violence in Karachi is the result of several factors including, besides others, ethno-political tensions and demographic pressures that provide a favorable environment for militants and the members of terrorist organizations Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) to seek sanctuaries and hideouts here. A peaceful city that Karachi used to be in the past has been turned into a battleground of political parties as all major political parties hold their influence in different ethnically segregated constituencies. Thus, clashes among these diverse groups create chaos and law and order problem in the city. Violence also influences decision-making at provincial and national level. Because of the mounting unrest, demands were made from time to time to hand over control of the city to Pakistan Army – A measure generally taken as a last resort.
Keeping the above mentioned scenario in mind the recent statement of Pakistan Nuclear scientist Dr. Abdul Qadeer is worth discussing, While talking to the Media about the future of Karachi, Dr. Khan clearly said that ‘The government of PM Nawaz Sharif has disappointed the nation as all the promises they have made during their election campaign have turned out to nothing but mere tall claims.’
Dr. AQ Khan have also said that the law and order situation in Karachi has only deteriorated further since the start of Karachi operation, to go with targeted killings, extortions and robberies, the ongoing operation has added extra judicial killings to the miseries of poor Karachiites. Dr. AQ khan has categorically said that he doesn’t see any political party more concerned and more serious about the Karachi other than the city’s largest stakeholder MQM. Dr AQ Khan has also appealed to ruling party in Sindh to handover the interior ministry to MQM as he feels that the MQM is the only party which can control the law & order.
If we reflect on the statement of Dr AQ Khan it seems to be quite workable and carries weight too, considering the tenure of Sindh’s last interior minister who belonged to MQM, Mr. Waseem Akhter didn’t only succeeded in controlling the law and order situation in Karachi but also introduced various schemes to boast the system of surveillance throughout the city, the S.H.O’s and other Police officers were posted and promoted on the basis of pure merit as well as there were no political appointments in the Police Department, which plays a pivotal role in keeping a check on anti-social and criminal elements. That is why almost all of the Karachiites refer to the period between 2003-2007 as the most peaceful era in the history of Karachi. Which could comeback if the rulers take the city’s largest stake-holder (MQM) on board and handover the responsibility of restoring Peace in the ‘city of lights’