What Ails Karachi?
By Farrukh Saleem, The News, Jan 18, 2011
ISLAMABAD: Karachi is crying for de-weaponization, something that only the Pak Army can do. But the Army has no solution to problems, purely political in nature. Our largest city has become a triangular political minefield - PPP, MQM and ANP. Political problems can only be solved by politicians, not by generals.
Karachi has a bhatta mafia, land mafia, weapons mafia and drug mafia. So do Beijing, Bogota, Buenos Aires, Cairo, Delhi, Dhaka and Jakarta. But, Karachiites are killing an average of 100 of their own fellow citizens per month every single month of the year. That doesn't happen in Beijing, Bogota, Buenos Aires, Cairo, Delhi, Dhaka or Jakarta.
The weaponized bhatta mafia, land mafia and drug mafia are all symptoms of a disease, but not the disease. The disease is purely political - lack of political will and lack of political capacity. The Pak Army can suppress the symptoms but can never cure the disease. The Pak Army can de-weaponize the bhatta mafia, land mafia and the drug mafia, but if the politicians don't gather the political will and build political capacity, the real disease will linger on, and all the symptoms will come back sooner rather than later.
Over the past 12 years, Karachi's Group Population Ratios have undergone a drastic change. As per 1998 census, close to 50 per cent of Karachi's population affiliated itself with Urdu. By 2010, close to 25 per cent of Karachi's 18 million inhabitants called themselves 'Pakhtun'. Population dynamics is a very powerful science and any city that ignores it does that at the risk of being burnt down to ashes.
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Pakistan moves to quell Karachi clashes - Financial Times
Karachi: Target killings leave 90 dead in 16 days - SAMAA TV
Deweaponising the country - Express Tribune