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In Karachi Guns are not the problem

November 16, 2010


Since 2009, different quarters have been calling for the de-weaponization of Karachi. But with minimal trust in law enforcement agencies, many would feel safe with a licensed weapon in their possession, ideally placed in hands reach and to be used for defense only.

Ironically the ones who call for de-weaponization are the same ones who wear weapons as traditional ‘jewelry for men’. But is this the only way to help curb target killing in Karachi? But why in Karachi?

Karachi has imported many cultures over the years. Traditions came with the migrants whether from across the border or from up the frontier and are all are free in this city to be whoever they are.

There is severe shortage of LEA’s for the city in comparison to other parts of Pakistan. Most of the police and rangers are not from Karachi. They hail from various villages and towns, and are sent here to keep a leash on the residents and maintain security half heartedly. Corruption is rampant from top to bottom within the whole system. Police stations are “sold” and power offering public seats are regularly bid upon. Regular bribes are traded and there is hardly any accountability or rule of law.

In a city like this who would want to be stripped of the only defense one has? The thing which allows you to feel empowered, secure and safe?

There was legislation passed by the Parliament asking for submission of licensed or illegal weapon to the same police station which gives you chills even when driving by it. How many would actually deposit their weapon knowing the morals and ethics our society possesses.

A decade ago only the rich, influential, sardar’s, industrialists, and feudal cum politicians living in Karachi were seen roaming around with guards openly displaying their weapons. Perhaps this has not changed much, except that some can afford private security guards with spiffy uniforms now.

Suppose we were to de-weaponize every part of the country? The campaign needs to start after from when the weapons are made, which is the North and move downwards to the South of Pakistan as this tradition of keeping weapons came very last in this city.

Therefore, as per the ethnic based political party, the “target killing” in Karachi will not end until the city has been de-weaponized. We can now understand that this menace is something which is not going to stop anytime soon, because they know it is impossible to strip the city of 20 million from house to house, and still be free of weapons.

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