Majyd Aziz


HOLY QURAN: 6:123 – And thus We have placed within every city the greatest of its criminals to conspire therein. But they conspire not except against themselves, and they perceive [it] not.


The escalating volatile situation in Karachi has exposed the law enforcing agencies’ lack of expertise in controlling crime. At the same time, the failure of the politicians to evolve a workable solution has also showed their lack of will and command in persuading the law enforcing agencies to put their house in order. Moreover, the protagonists in Karachi’s own version of Chicago of days of Al Capone have exhibited no desire to cool down nor have they displayed any serious and sincere remorse in the multitude of deaths and injuries.


Daikho Gay To Mil Jayen Gi Har Mor Pe Laashain

Dhoondo Gay To Is Shehr Mein Qatil Na Milay Ga


In the mayhem and anarchic condition of Karachi, the brunt of all these have been borne by the innocent 30 million denizens who have no say whatsoever in this whole sordid environment. The dead victims of this mindless war have been transformed from faces and names to just numbers. The media just highlights the number of killed and, except for the victims’ families and friends, no one knows who these victims really are. For everyone else, they are just numbers. Period.


However, the real stakeholders of Karachi cannot claim genuine concern if they show apathy or complacency. In fact, Karachi’s stakeholders are not just residents of Karachi or those who venture into the city looking for employment or earning opportunities. The stakeholders of Karachi are 250 million people known as Pakistanis living in this country or for that matter those who are the Pakistani Diaspora.


The crimes of Karachi have become an albatross around the neck of the business community since this explosive and dangerous situation has compelled foreign buyers to revisit their business relationship with Pakistani businessmen. The hardhearted apathy of political parties (including ethnic and religious oriented) has outshone whatever flicker of hope the businessmen had that better sense will prevail.


Today, the flight of capital in tandem with pull-out of investment is due to the criminalization of Karachi, the breakdown of the security apparatus, and the juvenile actions of political parties. The near collapse of infrastructure has been extremely detrimental. Foreign investment has dipped while domestic investment is on hold. Due to the lack of concern and nonchalant attitude of political parties towards Karachi, the City of Lights, is today the City of Blood, the City of Darkness, and the City of Chaos. So, can there be a U-turn in the attitude of the political parties to earnestly endeavor to usher peace?There have been de-weaponization campaigns and clarion calls for ridding this City of arms. It is easier said than done. The solution is, however, possible. Enact a Federal law making illegal arms a crime punishable by life imprisonment. The culprit must be sentenced and if there is political pressure, the politician’s name must be forwarded to the Prime Minister for punitive action. An amnesty be declared for those surrendering illegal arms. This is a tall order, but efforts must be continuously made.


The reason for the businessmen’s frustration and exasperation is that it is Karachi that is the prime contributor to the nation’s Treasury and is the major source of meaningful employment. Karachi is also a two-port city as well as having the most literate population among all cities of Pakistan. Moreover, Pakistan is known because of Karachi and thus, net-net, Pakistan suffers if Karachi breaks down.


Thus, the time has come for Karachi’s businessmen, spearheaded by Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, to initiate a campaign for peace. When the going was tough in Karachi two decades ago, KCCI, under the visionary leadership of late Siraj Kassam Teli, organized the My Karachi —an oasis of harmony Exhibition that has now become an iconic annual event. It is time to initiate another such campaign that should be called Our Karachi —citadel of peace.


The salient features of the campaign would be:

  1. Letter campaign. Millions of letters (in English or Urdu) addressed to COAS General Asim Munir and Chief Justice Supreme Court Justice Qazi Faez Isa.
  2. SMS/Whatsapp campaign. Millions of SMS/Whatsapp to one another, to Ministers, to Judges, to Media, to Uniformed Personnel, and to Politicians.
  3. Diaspora campaign: Pakistanis living in alien lands be encouraged to join the campaign and also bombard Pakistani Embassies, High Commissions, and Honorary Consulates with emails, Whatsapp, and letters.
  4. Disclosure campaign: Difficult but doable. People should come forward and relate to a central hotline, throughSMS, Whatsapp, emails, and letters, how much and to whom they paid graft.
  5. Media campaign: Concerned citizens, Chambers, Trade Associations, and NGOs must issue advertisements appealing for sanity and stability.
  6. Neighborhood campaign: Social activist residents must organize corner meetings and get-togethers where residents would assemble, discuss, and formulate concerns and consequences.


More importantly, KCCI should organize an All-Parties Conference and come heavy on the hierarchies of political parties that if they do not play their role to ensure peace and harmony in Karachi, these politicians might as well let non-democratic forces, with full support and cooperation of the business community, take over command for a real long time. Alternatively, all should agree on a Charter of Peace, guaranteed and monitored by the Armed Forces, Judiciary, and Business Community.

(The writer is former President of

                                Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry)


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