Human Rights Commission of Pakistan condemns killings in Karachi

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012 7:33:26 by

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan condemns killings in Karachi

Karachi, April 4: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) is extremely concerned at the latest cycle of violence and the utter breakdown of law and order in Karachi yet again, which has claimed scores of
lives already. HRCP has called upon the government and the main political parties to work together to urgently find a way out.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, the Commission said: “HRCP is alarmed and dismayed at the latest bout of bloodletting that has taken a stranglehold on Karachi. Frequent calls for strikes and the violence they entail have led
to loss of lives, as well as considerable financial loss. More than 300 people have been killed in violence in the city in 2012 already. Countless others have been unable to go to work or leave their homes because of fears for their safety. Nearly 1,800 people
were killed in violence in 2011.

“There is a consensus that much of the violence in Karachi is part of an increasingly deadly turf war in which the main political parties in Karachi have enthusiastically participated. As in the past, the latest cycle of violence
in Karachi will also subside when the killers have had their fill, at least for the time being. This state of affairs is completely unacceptable. The fact that the government has failed to apprehend those responsible for the killings every time violence has
peaked in the city has also not helped. Besides armed gangs, particularly in Lyari, affiliated with political parties who have been blamed for much of the killings and violence, common criminals have also benefited from the breakdown in the law and order.
Instead of restoring the writ of the state and apprehending and trying the mischief-makers the government has relied on appeasement of political allies. That has not worked. It is high time that all of the main political parties in Karachi sit down together
and find a way to put an end to the intermittent cycles of killing in the city. They must also agree to refrain from calls for the city’s shutdown as that affects the daily wage earners who are already struggling to make ends meet.

“If the government is serious about its latest vow of ‘indiscriminate action’ in Karachi then that must start with an across-the-board de-weaponisation drive in the city. That would only be the first step, but one that is imperative
to stem the rot. However, much of what is needed to heal the wounds of a deeply fractured Karachi simply can be done not by police or the paramilitary forces, but by the political parties. Failure to end polarization, xenophobia and to promote communal harmony
is precisely what regularly takes the city to the brink. Urgent attention must be given to these matters. The government should also adequately compensate the families of all those killed in the violence.”

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