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Ramzan is supposed to be a blessed month; in a wave of violence, however, this Ramazan has been particularly ‘bloody’ for the people of Karachi. As I write this, over 50 people have been killed in less than two days, and many are still missing. The morgues are running out of space to keep dead bodies in, while at the same time blood banks are running out of blood samples for those injured in this violent spree.

The area of Lyari is now under the spotlight owing to the killing spree there that has left numerous people dead. But what a spotlight that is, which fails to attract the attention of concerned authorities. And while people continue to die, an average citizen wonders who to blame for not doing anything regarding this unrest – the police, the rangers, the government as a whole? But blame game will neither stop this violence nor bring back the dead. People of the affected areas will be shown countless times on television blaming the government, asking for help or crying their eyes out. Thousands of people flee their homes to escape this bloodshed. But – just to reiterate – the concerned authorities have pretty much of a deaf ear to this plight.

Lyari is sometimes looked upon as one of the underdeveloped areas of Karachi, but that does not justify the neglect that this area faces. Residents of the area complain (which is a very mild word) about how the government is not taking any action against the killing spree that has gripped the area, owing to the fact that the government is too caught up in its ‘luxuries’ to give much thought to the plight of the people. Luxuries or not, we cannot say, but what we can truly say is that, yes, this wave of violence is not being given the attention it demands.

Although, perhaps we may say that it is being given a bit too much attention. Television channels show continuous footage of the injured and deceased, footage of their family members and reports of how sacks full of dead bodies are being found (a disturbing image, to say the least). But then again, what good is this kind of attention for a government that has a deaf ear? What becomes of the mother whose child is missing or dead? The government wouldn’t care; a spokesman would once again come on television (I refrain from taking names), citing how in a city like Karachi, people die every day. No big deal, right?

It is now being said that either a martial law needs to come into play, or Karachi is fast moving towards a civil war. One cannot perhaps even imagine the kind of violence that would lead to; criminal groups may go trigger-happy (as if they aren’t already) and the death toll would be enormous. Perhaps we can hope that saying a prayer for peace in the blessed month of Ramazan might help bring it to the city. Then again, our police officers will be more interested in putting people behind bars for not fasting as opposed to putting people behind bars for killing.

This article was edited and republished here

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