Karachi: Target killing spree took 160 lives during March
KARACHI: Target killing spree claimed the lives of 160 people in March 2011, as the law enforcement agencies (LEAs) remained toothless to maintain law and order situation. The target killings started on the strike day announced by the ruling party against the dismissal of a high up on the directives of the Supreme Court of Pakistan.
According to the statistics of reported incidents, some 160 people were killed and scores of others wounded in uncontrolled target killings in the metropolis during the month of March while properties worth millions of rupees were also gutted in different arson incidents.
The areas where tension remained up were Orangi Town, Lyari’s adjacent areas, including Kharadar, Ranchore Line, Mithadar, Maripur; Gulistan-e-Jauhar, Sachal Goth, Qasba Colony and several other localities of the city.
Some 50 political activists and sympathisers were among the 160 target killings and many of them were targeted on ethnic grounds. The Muttahida Qaumi Movement, Awami National Party, Pakistan People’s Party, Ahle-e-Sunnat Wal Jamaat, Jamaat-e-Ahle Sunnat, Jamaat-e-Islami, Mohajir Qaumi Movement–Haqiqi and others also lost their workers in the uncontrolled target killings that have created panic among the citizens and badly affected social and business life.
It is pertinent to mention here that relevant authorities, including President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani and Interior Minister Rehman Malik tried to resolve the issue but could not succeed. However, interior minister resolved dispute between the coalition partners and vowed several times to launch operation against the criminal elements but could not take any stern action against the gangsters.
The political ties between the coalition partners also caused hurdles for law enforcers in curbing the menace of target killings. However, police have claimed arresting three alleged target killers of Muddasir Chief Group and a former activist of political party and accused them of involving in some 130 murder cases during last 10 years.
The culprits had earlier been arrested and detained three years in jail for killing around 50 people but police became unable to prove them guilty in any case.
Similarly, the Chief Group formed in the present government tenure was operating openly. The chief of the group was arrested while his younger brother and number of operatives were killed. This move by interior ministry led to considerable decline in the ratio of target killings in the city but the law enforcement agencies have stopped to continue such move with the best reason known to them.
Fact is that the March month has become a nightmare for Karachiites owing to non-stop target killings, violence and arson incidents.