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And now it’s Karachi Airport

Tonight, as I write, the Pakistan army, Rangers and Sindh police is busy fighting terrorists at the Karachi airport. So far 18 lives have been lost, 4 that of the attackers for which little remorse would be felt. All night long TV channels have been ablaze like the airport itself with horrendous images of a country lost in the dark, there is confusion worse confounded. The clips show of harassed security personnel, a complete state of panic and loss of control. Karachites are rightly scared and confused, times are bad. Social media is recording for times to come the frustrations of a people who have no definite and strong leadership to look towards. People on FB and twitter are exchanging words to console themselves and share their horror. The army is what we all are looking towards to restore order and peace in a city afflicted and give us respite.

I have been a critic of the army and its failures on many occasions in the past. But, tonight I have had a rethink, a serious pondering on the role of our army in maintaining what is now Pakistan. In the present situation with the TTP breathing down our necks, Modi installed in India, MQM  and ANP playing havoc with Karachi, sheer lack of governance in Sindh, the army and its jawans take a new role and importance in the scheme of things. It is a fact that in today’s scenario political government and administrative departments of the government have failed miserably to maintain law and order, or perhaps, the ground reality is far beyond their level and they are not equipped to deal with it. If this is so then Karachi should be handed over to the army for now till the threat of terror is addressed. If it is the TTP that is now holding the reins of the city let the army take charge and conducts an operation against them.

I am sure the situation is not that simple. Karachi’s woes are not only the result of TTP; TTP is only one of the effects. Karachi has been sold out by its own sons of the soil, and the result is for everyone to see – on live TV. We begrudge Lahore and its development, we cry foul if ‘halat’ are better in other parts of the country while Karachi rots, but we fail to stop and look around us and see how we, the inhabitants of this city, have butchered it with our own hands. Mr. Altaf Hussain warned the government of the dangers to the state of Pakistan from TTP on TV tonight; interestingly he kept quiet on the danger he poses to the same city himself, a glimpse of it was seen in four days of complete shut-down in response to his arrest by UK police. Our information minister Mr.Sharjeel Memon found enough space and time to address the media at the airport tonight while intense fighting was going on inside.

It is time that people of Karachi understand that they have been taken for a long ride by their own leaders. And for once, before it’s too late, choose better ones.

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