Karachi Bleeds Again: Will Sanity Prevail?

Posted on January 11, 2010
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Law & Justice, Politics
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Adil Najam

Civil society activists in Karachi had welcomed the new year in style: with rallies for peace. This was not an act of naivety. It was an act of hope. More than that it was an act of defiance. Defiance against the reality of violence that has become our daily fate. As Karachi spirals, again, into violence. That defiance is being tested, again. Today, more than ever before, those who stand against violence, must continue to stand against violence.

Violence has, once again, gripped the metropolis with gusto. Politicians are at pains to tell us that the nature of violence in Karachi today is not the same as it has been up North. They are correct. But blood on the streets is blood on the streets. He who dies of ‘political’ violence is no less dead than he who dies of extremist terrorism. The senselessness of the one is no less senseless than the other.

In each case, it is Pakistanis who die, Pakistanis who cry.

Karachi, of course, has never been a stranger to the curse of violence.

Just over a year ago, I had started a post with a similar headline with the sentence: “Karachi used to be called ‘the city that never sleeps.’ It may as well now be called ‘the city that forever bleeds.'” But the fact is that while Karachi is a city that lives always on the edge, it had been relatively less volatile than many other parts of the country. Given its size, composition, politics and history, it is a place where violence can unravel fast and spreads faster. That is exactly what has been happening this last week.

In horror and in pain, one has watched the legendary resilience of this great city being tested yet again by the forces of violence. The news today – with all major parties in the city talking about reconciliation and restraint – gives one some cautious hope. But more than on any statement from any political party, we must invest our hopes in the ordinary citizens of this glorious city. Sanity will flow not from the political calculations of the parties, it will flow forth from the same sentiments of defiance that had brought out civil society in the city on new year’s day.

18 responses to “Karachi Bleeds Again: Will Sanity Prevail?”

  1. Abdul Mateen says:

    Citizens of Karachi are become hostage to these Mafia groups ( MQM, PPP and other pressure/terror parties and groups) These groups had managed to hijack Pakistan’s most educated and talented citizens on GUN POINT or similar corrosive activities like jalaoo gheraoo.

    We must think that we (whole nation ) vote them in election under these pressure if not under threat then by being bias on racial issues no one vote on merit.

    We all love democracy but democracy will only help if voter vote with its true spirit not under any influence

  2. Hamza says:

    Karachi, the ity that never stops bleeding.. indeed.

    Nazar lag gaye mairey piyarey shehr ko.

  3. Hira Mir says:

    Extremism is one thing other than corruption that will not let the country thrive. It depends on us that how do we curb this problem. One thing is for sure that these militants must be stopped in time before they grow rapidly.

  4. Eraj Danish says:

    Inshalla it will prevail. We will see that day in our lifetimes when peace will be all around Pakistan. Ameen. We have to fight these militants till the last breath. This is our duty to this country who has given us everything and an identity.

  5. Rashid Ali says:

    People don’t realise that ethnic and linguistic violence in Karachi was ongoing in ’68 when Karachites supported Fatima Jinnah in the election against Ayub Khan. Then came the East Pakistan disastor which shocked Karachites no end and their support of displaced Biharis was viewed as treason against Sind. During the the first civilian Government of PPP arms started to creep into politics. Major conflicts were between socialists and conservatives. However, due to linguistic issues & political convineance unfortunately seeds of hatred were sown in local Sindhis which caused a severe of ethnic and linguistic violence all over Sind including Karachi. Governments changed, Zia ul haq came to power and Karachi deteriorated. It was in mid 80’s MQM was formed more as a reaction to the continued violence received by Karachi. Some say that MQM was created by Gen Zia. 90’s saw linguistic, political, ethnic violence in Karachi.. In late 90’s Karchi was turning into a dug out and burnt out ruin. Gen Musharraf’s regime brought out one reform and elected Nazim’s. Karachi developed remarkably well under the Nazim System but poiltical and religeous violence was always ready to raise its head. BB’s election campaign and her sad death caused another major turmoil. last year was relatively calm but alas no more.

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