A larger bench of the Supreme Court has taken up the Karachi unrest case. Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry had taken suo motu notice of targeted killings in Karachi last year. He took some steps and issued orders which resulted in the arrest of a number of criminals but the matter was soon forgotten. Though justice delayed is justice denied, the new development is a ray of hope for the people of Karachi and it is expected that this time around the SC would make sure that the government follows its directives and take effective measures to control law and order. Currently, six to ten people die daily in Karachi on average as a result of targeted killing and other violence-related incidents. Thus, at least 150 people are killed in a month. July 2011 saw the highest death toll – 300 people – making it one of the deadliest months in almost two decades.
Unfortunately, the grave situation has failed to draw the attention of the departments concerned, the government and its coalition partners. All keep mum and even the parties outside the government haven’t taken up the issue actively. In my view, the issue of the Karachi killings is no less serious than drone and suicide attacks. It deserves similar level of seriousness and importance on the part of the government and political parties as well as civil society. However, to0date no political party has come up with a comprehensive plan to deal with it.