Founding Editor: Shafqat Munir   

Killings in Karachi outrageous, must end: HRCP 

17 Junie 2011 02:26:56

Killings in Karachi outrageous, must end: HRCP

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has expressed deep concern over the loss of life in the latest upsurge of violence in Karachi, criticizing the government’s failure to ensure security for life and calling for measures that reflect the urgency the situation demands in order to find a lasting solution to the bloodletting in the port city.

A statement issued by the Commission on Thursday said: “Another cycle of the now familiar violence has erupted in Karachi. At least 32 people have been killed in the last three days alone. Karachi is no stranger to violence or the absence of law and order. However, it is scandalous that the alarm and indignation that such a heavy toll on human lives should evoke is absent. This time too, it seems that the killings would stop only when the perpetrators have had their fill. Such violence that used to occur in Pakistan’s financial capital once or twice a year has now become the norm. It is appalling that the culprits remain unidentified and unpunished. The provincial and federal governments have completely failed in restoring law and order.

HRCP has deep concern over the continued loss of life caused by exploitation of ethnic differences by the political parties. It is sadder still that the solution to the strife in Karachi is seen only in the context of retaining coalition partners, and not as a tragedy of human lives being lost every day. The people are justified in asking who is looking after their concerns. Their growing exasperation with the government over its abject failure to ensure security of life and its lack of concern over the killings is entirely understandable. Political appeasement and rhetoric have not worked in the past and would only encourage more violence in the future.

The people would very much like to know if the government has a plan to deal with this violence. Does the government have the ability and the commitment to stop the killings? If it attaches importance to the right to life then why has it failed to find a lasting solution to the bloodletting so far? Why have the killers enjoyed impunity and struck at will? Does the government have the will to ensure that no effort would be spared to identify, apprehend and bring to justice the killers without exception? Would the demands for across the board de-weaponization in Karachi finally be heeded? Answers to these questions would determine what hope there is of restoration of law and order and respect for people’s rights and life in Karachi. HRCP calls upon the government to use every resource at its disposal to prevent denial of the right of life to the people and end impunity for the perpetrators.