Rangers’ Operation in Karachi and Govt.’s will for the peace


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Here’s a summary update of Law & Order situation in Karachi, from a citizen’s perspective.

Cause of mismanagement:
Karachi has an age old problem of lack of empowerment. It never had any voice in the power corridors, even if its citizen vote 100% to any party. That is a fundamental flaw in the system of governance in place in Pakistan. Take an example of operation in Karachi. Federal govt. through Ministry of Interior, recommends operation in Karachi, in Sept 2013. Sindh govt approves special powers to Rangers and Armed Forces assigns head of Rangers (Sindh) to carry out the operation. No where, the elected representatives of Karachi’s opinion taken into consideration, let alone their powers to approve or disapprove it. The democratic countries of the world had evolved decades ago, empowering people to make decisions about their day-to-day matters autonomously.

Due to the hold of rich (industrialists) and powerful (landlords) on the power corridors (commonly known as feudalism in Pakistan), we are still using archaic system of central government.

Where most of the authority on resources to run administration of the cities, remains in the control of central (here we call Federal) government. It does have a ‘federal’ title, but the authority majorly is not devolved down to the localities. This had serious repercussion on the government performance, creating imbalance of power and sense of deprivation.  Karachi being significant, in terms of both population and its economic contribution, had noticed serious incompetency from provincial and federal level and imbalance of resource distribution, resulting in distrust and lack of ownership, which lead to disorder, to an otherwise extremely vibrant city. It did grew exponentially nevertheless, by accommodating all ethnicities from across Pakistan, making it country’s most diverse city. One of the factors of growth, despite government’s willful neglect, is that Pakistanis have innate survival instinct, who finds a way to live under minimal of resources.

Authority on Karachi’s resources, are largely shared between Federal govt and Provincial govt., where the elected representatives of Karachi has minority say, thus non-empowerment in the matters of their respective constituencies.

Take an example of electricity, where KE is begging for continuation of 650 mega watt of supply from national grid, and all (Federal and provincial members) but representatives from Karachi are making the decision on the fate of electricity for Karachi, who are the ones suffering from it, day-in and day-out, and the ones making the decision (in the center) has no clue, what are the resulting problems on ground. Take eg Crime in Karachi, which is the topic of this post, where lack of govt interest and the resulting incompetency of Sindh Police, created an uncontrollable problem of crime and later terrorists finds Karachi a safe heaven. What we are seeing today, is the outcome of 4-5 decades of government neglect in the area of Law & Order, through LEA (Law Enforcement Agencies).

Rangers role:
Rangers had been in Karachi with different powers, for over 2 decades, through special provision of law (amendment to the  constitutional). They report to Army (corps commander in GHQ) and gets approval and funding from Sindh Govt. and takes direction from Ministry of Interior (Federal). Rangers have launched operation in Karachi under the auspices of Nawaz Sharif direction and Raheel Shareef authority (background), since the past 2 years. This is following the army’s resolve in eliminating terrorists in northern areas. They managed to find terrorists (826) and huge repositories of weapons  (7312) and overpowered many hideouts, which resulted in reduced acts of terrorism in the city – bomb blasts, mass murders, abductions, ransom, etc.  I won’t say Rangers operation in Karachi is wrong altogether. Rangers core job is to protect borders (international) from terrorists.

It’s their job which they were supposed to do on a regular basis, for the past 27 years, that’s what they’re paid for (Rs. 1.4 billion/year/2013), which they were negligent/incompetent at frankly, remember bus shooting, attack at the airport, PNS attack, numerous bomb blasts, etc.

Now doing it as a special operation (and portraying it as some kind of ‘ahsaan’ – service), when the city is destroyed/infested with terrorists from around the world, is a service too late, costing thousands of innocent lives in Karachi already. Further, their unbiased operation, turning blind eye towards PPP and other political criminals, while sparing no stone unturned against MQM workers is objectionable, specially the disappearances and extra-judicial killings (called as encounters), some 300+ instances of encounters since Jan 2015 alone. MQM claimed 50 of their political workers are missing, probably dead. According to another news report (again without details):

Rangers claimed to have killed 364 so-called ‘criminals’ and arrested 200 others in the encounters.  Rangers has conducted some 5,795 operations and apprehended 10,353 suspects that ranged from street criminals to terrorists.

If they are foreign terrorists and out of control, killing the in encounters can be acceptable (exceptionally), but killing known MQM workers without trial is unacceptable, specially looking at the level of competence and intelligence of our LEAs and their masters. Extra-judicial killings have severe repercussions. Would make hero out of MQM again, as all except MQM had been ignored. Such extra-judicial killings if challenged in the court of law, could bring severe trouble to the LEA leadership responsible in this misadventure. Further, the return of MQM (haqiqi) leaders in Karachi and erupting clashes between MQM and MQM (H) workers, does not speak good about the intentions of Army/Rangers here.

There couldn’t have been bigger embarrassment for Rangers, but during their raid at nine zero, finding nothing substantial, that was always hyped. Following news media, even I started to believe that nine zero is some kind of no-go area, where there is a secret army with truck loads of artillery and sophisticated weapons, that could over power armed forces. Remember, how many Rangers contingent were deployed during that raid ? But it turned out to be a measly amount of weapons, many of which were said to be licensed and the abducted people  (without warrant), have to be eventually released (again embarrassingly), due to lack of evidence. It again proved their incompetency and lack of intelligence, to solve the issues of city. If they are not smart enough to reprimand criminals and convict them to justice (following the law of the land), they shouldn’t indulge in operations in the first place. Obviously, that’s what they’re not skilled in, as they don’t have civic sense or demographic intelligence or criminal investigation skills. They have combat skills to kill the enemy at the border, so they did kill some terrorists, albeit without warrant and extra-judicially, so effectively nobody knows, who they killed. Further, Karachi is not a war zone, where the constitution has been suspended, so you can kill people at sight, without trial. Lastly, except just MQM HQ, all actually (dreadful) no-go areas should be cleansed from illegal weapons and criminals.

Nobody can think about going into ‘kati pahari’, ‘layari’ or ‘sohrab goth’ today, like they can ‘nine zero’ now. These kinds of acts, created doubts in the minds of residents of Karachi, about the intent of the government to enforce peace.

Sindh Government:
Regarding govt. interest to enforce peace in Karachi, we’ve to ponder on what are the root causes of crime generally. Crime in Karachi depends on many factors:

  • Incompetent bureaucracy hired on quota system,
  • Same is true for police (major factor),
  • Lack of border control (inflow of terrorists),
  • Easy availability and affordable weapons,
  • Gangs/mafia (eg land, drugs, beggars, tankers, political parties, etc.),
  • Extreme economic disparity, extreme poverty and disrespect (social injustice among indigenous and immigrants),
  • Significant unemployment,
  • Education rate (high illiteracy),
  • Illegal/’kachi abadi’ (safe heavens for terrorists and criminals alike), c
  • Corrupt judicial system (lower courts),

These are the root causes of crime in Karachi. If anyone is sincere, they will address these issues. But since the intent is not to bring peace and prosperity in Karachi, none of these aspects are even talked about, let alone addressed. One institution created to control crime in any city, that’s police.

Since, Sindh Police is based on quota, just like rest of the govt. bodies and similar institutions, which makes them  incompetent, highly uneducated, unskilled, underpaid and underpowered, there’s no way to achieve sustainable peace in Karachi.

Nobody has ever talked about reforming Sindh Police, so this also confirms the lack of intent of Sindh govt. to establish peace in the city. Nothing obviously goes without being noticed by Sindh Police in Karachi, so everyone knows, they’ve cut in virtually every crime, eg beggary, encroachments, land mafia, transport mafia, etc. Naturally, the operation did not help with the crime. All actions (conducted by rangers) will naturally be fruitless for the average citizen, as it can be noticed on ‘Halaat Updates’ facebook forum, for the past 1 year.  I’ve written another piece on the reasons of L&O woes in Karachi here.

Problems cannot be solved through force, it’s proven in the history. Problems are solved, when you resolve it’s root cause. When all the causes remain, which I enlisted above, specially the incompetent police, you simply cannot reduce crime.

MQM’s Responsibility:
First party responsible for everything about Karachi is obviously MQM, since they won 95% of the seats from Karachi (19 out of 20 MNA seats in 2013). But, like I said before, they aren’t empowered enough. They are as powerless as ever. Prime example of their lack of authority is this operation itself, where they can’t stop Rangers from killing their workers extra-judicially in Karachi. Note, Sindh Govt can call off Rangers policing authority in Karachi, btw.

Zardari said to have strike a deal with the establishment, which resulted in PPP (through Sindh Govt), recently extending policing powers to Rangers, which were to expire in June 2015 (the power for this operation).

It’s been more than 60 years, since the independence of Pakistan, it’s about time, the mandate of Karachi be accepted. There’s no way this discriminate accountability of MQM alone will be accepted by the people, while every criminal leader in the govt., and their gang of absconders and their political parties are in full power (with 10 times bigger share in the govt. than MQM), with no remorse whatsoever or respect for the writ of Pakistan or mandate of the citizens. When from nobody like Ayyan Ali, to terrorist like Uzair Baloch (sought by Interpol), Tappi, Baba Ladla are spared and statements of Zulfiqar Mirza and AAZ against Pakistan and Army are ignored, Lahore police brutality never brought to justice, sold-out judges goes free making false judgements about election fraud, no one held accountable for Karachi airport attack, or APC attack, etc. just to name a few, are all instance of the high-handedness of the present govt, but since they were in connivance with the people in the power corridor, govt is silent about them. This is simply a double standard of government. With complete injustice in the country, nobody has any moral right to question MQM to become pious. Let’s accept the mandate of MQM, given by the votes of citizens of Karachi.

What should we Do about it ?
Empower citizens of Karachi to be able to make decision on their living – police, water, electricity, infrastructure, all aspects of govt, autonomously. There’s no dearth of intelligence and skills in Karachi, see the private sector. It’s just a matter of upholding merit in government, so that people in Karachi stop abhorring government jobs and take part in serving the nation.

Today, they either leave the country for good, or mind their own business (as furthest away from govt. as possible).

So, we need to correct the system, without which nothing can be resolved, let alone such a complex problem as crime. Empower police, hire on merit (education, skills), pay sufficiently (like we pay to Rangers), bring them to enough numbers that is proportionate to the population of Karachi (being the second biggest city of the world) and see how crime goes down automatically. Above all, accept MQM’s mandate in Karachi. Let’s voice for the equal rights for every citizen.
oppression
Empower citizens!

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Heatwave in Karachi & How we responded


This would have best context, for those living in Karachi. But, others would also get the main message. With the rising temperature in Karachi, in the recent past (June 2015), going as high as breaking record (45oC), which was exacerbated by the government’s water and electricity shortfall, that some 1000+ souls lost their lives in this big metropolis. Most of them were either chronically ill or drugged and rest lacked awareness about heat-stroke, but it was no less than a tragedy for the city, in recent times. I wrote another post on heat stroke and how to respond in such situation, here.

Women wets her burqa to cool off the head of this elderly man

Thanks to God, who has provided us with this government and KE, KWSB, KMC, WAPDA, Karachi Meteorological Department and Sindh Police, Civil/Jinnah Hospital and PIA, etc., without which we couldn’t have gained piety in this holy month of Ramazan. This is a sarcastic statement, but they really tested our patience. How could people (eg living in first world countries), in relative quiet time and peaceful living, get the chance to demonstrate patience and tolerance, when everything is easy for them. You know, many of those people (living abroad), run into a situation where they can’t find enough people eligible for ‘zakat’ (person living below poverty line), people under stress, and destitute families, that they have to turn to the third-world countries, to fulfill their obligation of zakat (giving alms).

Both the people with the means and luxuries of life are tested (‘Ibtilah’) and also those who are living in poverty. But, God tests more the pious people, so as to test the strength of their faith and to give them a chance to increase their level of ‘taqwa’ (piety).

{Do people think that they will be left alone because they say: “We believe,” and will not be tested. And We indeed tested those who were before them. And Allaah will certainly make (it) known (the truth of) those who are true, and will certainly make (it) known (the falsehood of) those who are liars, (although Allaah knows all that before putting them to test).}[al-Ankaboot 29:2-3] – Quran

Indeed, in order to earn such blessings, we have to observe patience and not get agitated, under any circumstance, like that which Karachiites (specially the poor) are enduring through lack of basic essentials like water and electricity, the trouble of getting CNG, increased beggary, raging traffic and the rising mercury level.

“Great reward comes with great trials. When Allah loves a people, He tests them, and whoever accepts it attains His pleasure, whereas whoever shows discontent with it incurs His wrath.” Narrated and classed as hasan by at-Tirmidhi (2396); classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in as-Silsilah as-Saheehah, no. 146 – Hadith

So, those who did observe patience and those who got martyred through the heat-wave, mugged, or endured heat or lost someone/something dear to them, and did not complain and observed ‘sabar’ (patience) and remained thankful to the blessings of Allah, must have gained His ultimate favor.

{Only those who are patient shall receive their reward in full, without reckoning.}[Az-Zumar 39:10] – Quran

Although, it wasn’t wise to observe ‘fast’, during those extreme heat-wave period, specially for the weak (who are exempt anyways) and impoverished (who risk their lives), and specially when the government was adding to their misery, failing to provide electricity and water. I have written another post on how to avoid, identify and recover from heatstroke. But, I am sure, who did fast naively and with the sole ‘neeyat’ (intention) of gaining Allah’s favor, would definitely get their reward. During Friday sermons/prayers, I noticed lots of people, under open scorching sun, stood perspiring from head-to-toe, saying prayers.

That’s indeed a great sight, of the level of faith in the society, under such tough circumstances.

{And certainly, We shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits, but give glad tidings to As-Saabiroon (the patient). Who, when afflicted with calamity, say: “Truly, to Allaah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return.” They are those on whom are the Salawaat (i.e. who are blessed and will be forgiven) from their Lord, and (they are those who) receive His Mercy, and it is they who are the guided ones.} [Al-Baqarah 2:155–157] – Quran

Such, calamity also provides us the opportunity to perform those acts of kindness that I noticed many people of Karachi demonstrated, by volunteering to provide drinking water with ORS (necessary salt) to hundreds of thousands of people in shantytown and hospitals, across the city. The noble acts of planting trees (Neem tree) followed, which is a ‘sadqa –e- jareeha’ (eternal reward).

Neem tree plantation, by volunteers

Allah’s Messenger (sa) said: “There is none amongst the Muslims, who plants a tree or sows a seed, and then a bird, or a person or an animal eats from it, but it is regarded as a charitable gift from him.” (Bukhari) – Hadith

Everyone volunteered either with their money, or time, effort, awareness or encouragements, in whatever manner they could, to serve their fellow Karachiites. Acts of kindness and sacrifice, when you have plenty to share or when you are trouble-free, is obviously easy. One of the reasons for fasting in the month of Ramazan, apart from giving a break to your body, is to feel for the poor, who are hungry and thirsty and learn to observe control without any discontent. If we are awake all night, eating or just hanging around with friends and sleeping next day in AC, or remain in AC anyways, you’ll still fulfill the obligation, but you will miss to observe hunger or thirst and a feeling for the poor. Similarly, in the middle-east, it’s common these days to see temperatures has high as 40-50oC. But still, you don’t get such opportunity of giving and sharing with the impoverished, that you get in Karachi.

11705471_10155757487850072_2188371522267574757_o Food given to a child11536507_1137088642987883_3840152461339580152_oWater distribution - hospitals

So, the real metal is proven, when under such dire circumstances, Karachiites showing their heart for such immense level of brotherhood, is a pleasant sight, something we must be thankful for.

Umar ibn Hazm reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “There is no believer who consoles his brother at the time of a calamity but that Allah the Exalted will clothe him with noble garments on the Day of Resurrection.” – Hadith

Pakistan is known for its philanthropy and the month of ramazan sees its phenomenal rise, where you see hundreds of thousands of people giving charity, by providing free ‘iftaar’ (food boxes), arrange places for ‘taraweeh’ (evening prayers), give free ration to the hungry, give cash to the poor (‘zakat’) and donations to hospitals and charity organizations, was overwhelming to observe in this Ramazan. Somehow, such information is never highlighted in the news. The reason, I almost stopped turning TV on.

Water streetsmedicinesPoor man receiving waterIftaar box

Last but not the least, such acts of nobility aren’t complete, without the mention of Abdul Sattar Edhi’s Edhi Foundation, who provided funeral services to the sudden death of hundreds of people during the peak heat-wave, which no one was able to handle, government, least bit. Our leaders (in the government) should understand their job is to serve and to protect, and not to rule us. There is a painful hellfire waiting for them, if they neglect their duties and let such a magnitude of people suffer like that. But, anyhow, it turns out to be a blessing in disguise, where it provided us the opportunity to expiate our sins and reminded us of the true path.

Thus calamities, trials and tests are signs of love from Allaah for the believers. They are comparable to a cure; although it may be bitter, you accept it because it is from the one whom you love; and to Allaah belongs the best example. As comes in the hadeeth, the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said: “The magnitude of the reward is proportional to the magnitude of the affliction. When Allaah سبحانه وتعالى loves some people, He tests them. He who is content (with Allaah’s decree) will receive the Pleasure (of Allaah سبحانه وتعالى); and he who is discontent will attain the wrath (of Allaah سبحانه وتعالى).”[10] Related by at-Tirmidhi and Sheikh al-Albaanee رحمه الله graded it Saheeh. – Hadith

So, we should observe patience under any circumstance and do good to others, in the best way you can. But that does not mean no accountability for the leaders (government officials), responsible for this debacle. Part of the ‘sabr’ (patience) is to stop them from committing this hardship on the people at large. It’s also our responsibility to protest. It’s indeed same as committing oppression, when you bear oppression and does not voice your concern or fight back.

May Allah, grant maximum reward to these people who served their fellow beings (‘huquooq ul ebad’) and give us ‘sabar’ (patience) and strengthen our faith during such difficult times and save us from actual calamity and give us ‘toufeeq’ (guidance) to make the most of this month, so that we get your ultimate favor, Aameen! May Allah, also give guidance to our leaders (in government) and save them from hellfire, Aameen!

Verily we belong to Allaah and to Him we shall return. O Allaah help me in my calamity and bring me something better in return, Aameen!

Two things define you: Your patience when you have nothing and your attitude when you have everything. – Unknown

* Many of the photos, I’ve taken myself and many I’ve gathered from volunteers on social media.

Quota System And the Law & Order woes in Karachi


Quota System:

Last year(2012), I read government has extended Quota system in Sindh for 20 more years, which was prevalent for the past 40 years, while there is no such quota system in Punjab or may be other provinces of Pakistan. Someone said that, we have to thank ZA Bhutto who brought this to the nation, pretty much divided the country. The quota system introduced in the 1973 Constitution to ensure that all areas of Pakistan were represented in government service was declared repugnant to Islamic injunctions by the Federal Shariat Court in 1992. However, this law still exists because the federal government and two provincial governments filed appeals against the Shariat Court decision. These appeals remain pending with the Appellate Bench. Quota system for the time being is ok for a greater education access, for the underprivileged, but not for any other case eg hiring/jobs, as it becomes discrimination, which you know is prohibited in Islam, may it be on the basis of race, color, family, land, or ethnicity. You cannot favor one over the other.

Example of Civil Services: 

According to the current recruitment policy listed at the Central Superior Service of Pakistan website, only 10% of posts are reserved for merit. FPSC (Federal Public Services Commission) allocates jobs in civil services institutions (every govt. organization, eg WAPDA, EOBI, Steel Mills, Railways, FBR, Excise & Taxation, Water board, Finance, SBP, including Sindh Police, etc) on the basis of merit and provincial or regional quotas. As per their rule, they are:

Merit                                                                                                 (only 7.5 %)

Punjab (including the Islamabad Capital Area)                   (50%),
Sindh (rural)                                                                                       (11.4%),
Sindh (urban)                                                                                     (7.6%),
Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa                                                                     (11.5%),
Balochistan                                                                                          (6%),
Gilgit-Baltistan and FATA                                                              (4%)
Azad Jammu and Kashmir                                                             (2%).

Police Strength in Pakistan – Comparison:

Now, ponder on further facts:

1. There’s no concept of bribery in Islamabad Traffic police.
2. There is no concept of mobile phones snatching in Lahore city, even during late hours.

Why they say that you cannot bribe almost any policeman of Islamabad Traffic police, while it is a everyday business to bribe Karachi Traffic Police and get away with the fine? Have Islamabad police recruited British policemen? How come they are educated, have moral values and are paid well ? Why can’t that be done in Karachi ?

Someone said, Quota System is only in Sindh because there was a wider divide between Urban and Rural Sindh population of Sindh. So, I did some more research and found following (from Pakistan Bureau of Statistics 1998 survey):

Proportion of Population:
Sindh urban 48%               Sindh Rural 51%
Punjab urban 31%            Punjab Rural 68%
http://www.pbs.gov.pk/content/area-population-density-and-urbanrural-proportion

So, this is certainly not the case as you can see there is a greater divide in Punjab than Sindh. I did more research and found:

Sindh Police vs Punjab Police:

Punjab Police: 180,000
Serving Population: 81 million
Police:Citizen Ratio 1:444

Sindh Police: 105,000
Serving Population: 46 million
Police:Citizen Ratio 1:438

So, they’re equal in size, but how about Karachi vs. Lahore. I could only find estimates from Dawn report (2008):

Karachi Police vs. Lahore Police:

Lahore Police: 30,946 for a population of ~9 million.
Ratio: 1: 287

Karachi Police: 34,155 for a population of ~16 million.
Ratio: 1: 571

Here we have a stark difference, almost half the ratio of police vs citizens in Karachi vs Lahore. Then they say in Lahore, there’s no concept of mobile theft in Lahore and no fear of staying late in the streets at night. Why wouldn’t there be. Also note, roughly 7000 personnel are deployed on VIP security, so this ratio would further deteriorate in Sindh.

Now compare that with other cities of the world:

London police:         1: 155 (Police considered best in the world)
Dehli police:             1: 241
Mumbai police:       1: 357 (most suitable match for Karachi)
Lahore police:          1 : 287
Karachi police:         1: 571

If I compute with actual population of Karachi, ie 30+ million and minus the fact, that personnel deployed on VIP security, the ratio would be worse then 1:1000.

Other Reasons of Sindh Police failure: 

When Karachi police strength is so low, most of them would feel overpowered by the criminals, so they might not even try to perform their duties. While their salaries are said to be very low, that makes another excuse for them to avoid duty and earn through bribes, to make both ends meet. The reputation of Sindh Police(Karachi) is so bad, it’s  synonymous to criminals. Most of the time, they are involved in the crime, eg residential robberies, mobile snatching (they’ve a cut, most of the time). Nobody hopes anymore that their stuff could ever be recovered through police. Many don’t even want to report the incident, as they fear further harassment by police, in terms of bribe for recovery. However, when there’s a will to investigate, they know very well about each and every incident (who committed, what, where and when). They don’t act because of various factors, eg low salary,  lack of skills and lack of proper weapons, lack of knowledge of the society and their customs, lack of education, as most of them are hired on the basis of quota system, in disregard of merit.

Also note , thanks to quota system, all of our provinces represent their respective races and the largest political parties represent their respective race. With that in practice, another element of corruption is political influence in the police.

Who comes into power (authority over Sindh Police), tends to exploit it to the fullest, supporting their party and targeting their opponent party or parties.

When the political party is not representative of the city resident, then injustice results into widespread hate against the police.

VIP Deputation:

As if their strength is already not low, around 7000 of the meager 34000 police force are deputed on VIP security and 3000 on investigation. While the rest of 15000 are deployed in 109 police stations to cover 3500 square km area of Karachi, out of which 19 stations run without any personnel.

So, that equates to roughly one police stations per 32 square km area. This VIP protocol culture is equally common in Lahore and other cities, where it eats up major portion of the police budget.

Rangers in the city: 

When we talk about L&O, we can’t omit the presence of Rangers in the Karachi. Well, that is a military force, trained fundamentally to fight with the enemy and deployed on the borders. This means, it certainly has no place in the city, controlling civics amenities. Because, they lack the education and skills for it. The city was shocked to know about this fact, when a video was leaked through a TV channel, showing the cold-blood, merciless and extra-judicial killing of a civilian at the hands of Rangers at Benazir Bhutto park in Clifton. They’re trained to combat against armed adversary, they lack civic skills.

If there was a lack of personnel in Police, ideal would be to inducted more in Police, increase its funding. If there’s a lack of equipment and advanced armors, Police should have been provided funds and such resources and trainings, instead of bringing in Rangers.

Since the city is the cash capital of the country, everyone can be accommodated and everyone gets their living, and so are Rangers, which is causing Karachi ‘s exchequer Rs. 1.4 billion every year(2012), while enjoying permanent residence in many areas, encroachments and occupation of land,  to water-tanker business, marriage halls and so on. It simply does not make any sense to have army(Rangers) of 18000 personnel deployed permanently in cities. Out of 24000 Rangers assigned for Sindh, which should be protecting our borders, 18000 are stationed inside the cities.

From jurisdiction point of view, I wonder how would two law enforcers (Police & Rangers) operate in one city. It’s like having two managers of one employee. That is evident from various reports, which says there is hardly any coordination between the two forces. How could that be, when one is given direction from Armed forces (HQ Corps commander), while other from Provincial Interior Ministry.  In fact, there are so many other secret agencies working in the city, with over-riding powers. So, effectively, with so many law enforcers, you’re not even sure if any incident is committed by a criminal or secret services, thus nobody can be held accountable and instead blame each others, while the criminals gets a free ride and the general public suffers, very common story of karachiites.

Here’s an update post on L&O in Karachi, special in reference to current Rangers’ operation.

Solution: 

Karachi is booming in every respect, specially in terms of economic growth. Almost everyone finds it’s fortune in the city, from hungry beggars to shopkeepers to billionaire industrialists or the vast hardworking educated middle-class. The biggest issue of Karachi is Law and Order. L&O is the responsibility of Police. That is not a rocket science. Some suggested, making Karachi as a separate province. Not sure, if making more provinces would solve the woes of the city. There just has to be a genuine “will”, if that is missing, there can never be peace. When there was a will to progress the city (in Musharraf’s era), both federal & provincial government and all of governmental institutions (like Police) worked in unison for the peace and progress of Karachi, things changed in the city never seen before in the history of Karachi (evident in graph below). And we have experienced it first hand ourselves, with booming business. I never saw in my lifetime, Pakistanis returning to Pakistan, to Karachi, in Musharraf era.

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So, it’s quite evident, where there is a will, setting peace in Karachi is not a big deal. It is commonly known,  that Karachi Police is not empowered (conflicts with Rangers), politicized, uneducated, lacks civic sense and most of their employees does not belong from the city – thanks to Quota system, thus having reduced tendency for lack of responsibility to serve their hometown. If we need peace and prosperity in Karachi, we have to revive Police, bring in resources on merit and remove all inefficient employees. I am not expert in Police or Law Enforcement, so I can’t say what measures within Police needs to be taken to improve it, but the obvious first step is to increase its strength (personnel, stations, arms) according to the international standard ration and the population of the city.

Eg Karachi Police force should be increased to 80,000 to cater for the current population of 24 million, if we go with the ratio of Lahore.  Else, 150,000 if we go with London’s standard.

Empower Karachi Police with autonomous power to deal with the crime. Karachi Police should fall under the control of local government or its equivalent (people’s representation), instead of Provincial Ministry or Armed Forces or Federal Ministry. Hiring should be made on 90% merit and 10% quota and obviously not the other way round. Independent justice system complements effective police system, one without the other, also cannot work. Virtually, all of the problems of Pakistan can be understood and solved by a 10 year old. It’s the disinformation or unaware population, that helps the leaders at the helm of power to exploit the rules with such impunity. I’ll reiterate, there just has to be a will, to bring prosperity in Karachi.

I have researched all these facts from various sources, and found very little facts and figures that I used above, as you might know, Karachi specific stats are hard to come by, specially when government is committing such misadventure. I wrote another blog on Quota System in general, some time ago, which you can read here: https://learnsharehelp.wordpress.com/2013/03/17/2013-still-quota-system/

Sources & Further Readings:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=story_10-10-2004_pg7_26

http://archives.dawn.com/archives/125808

http://tribune.com.pk/story/590798/overspending-sindh-pays-out-of-its-own-pockets-to-keep-the-rangers-in-town/

Snorkelling off the coast of Karachi, amidst blue waters of the Arabian Sea – Churna Island


Divers Reef Karachi, started of as an informal initiative of a group of young students of Iqra University – doctors, pro swimmers, campers, troubleshooters. Soon, it turned into a business offering snorkelling facility to the countries populace. In this photo, you can see Churna Island amidst the beautiful blue waters of the Arabian Sea off the coast of Karachi. It is a gifted marine park where you have all sorts of fishes from Dolphins, Sea urchins, Barracudas, Hound fish, Marlin, Angel fish, Turtles, Parrot fish, Sea Anemones, Jelly fish, Puffer fish and things that are just beyond the word “Beautiful”. I saw Dolphins myself twice during my trip and it was an exhilarating first-hand experience to see under-water marine life, in our own country, at such nominal cost. In this time of turmoil, these kinds of initiatives helps project the overwhelming beauty of Pakistan and specially shows the drive of our young generation who cannot be lead to despair, instead they strive to do wonders with minimal of resources and adverse conditions.

The cost of this trip was a meagre Rs.2000 (US$20) per person and they usually take gathering of 20 persons per trip. You can visit following site for more information:

http://www.diversreefkarachi.com/

More photos: https://www.facebook.com/DiversReefKarachi/photos_stream

(1) some of this content were taken from following website: http://www.diversreefkarachi.com/?page_id=84

2013, and we still have Quota System


It’s been more than 60 years since Pakistan’s independence, yet we struggle with dealing (let alone resolving) some of the fundamental issues that hamper our progress, eg Feudalism, Quota system, racism, illiteracy, injustice, lack of healthy food and health facilities and shelter for living.

Quota system in Pakistani law is the root cause of Racism in the country, which has resulted in widespread economic disparity, thus hate.

I was startled to hear this, on SamaTV, earlier today (Mar 2013). I thought quota system was a thing of history, what we faced in college/university admissions, but the guest said that there has been hiring in the Police department, also referred KMC/KBCA, using quota system, denying deserving candidates on merit. I don’t know how many institutions are corrupted like that, but since it’s a law, it applies to every government institutions.

The original 1973 constitution had fixed a period of 10 years for the job quota for the provinces, but the governments in the 1980s and 1990s enhanced it to 40 years which were to expire on Aug 13, 2012. Check this, last year (2012) Law Ministry got approval for the extension of Quota System in Sindh for the next 20 years.

Take an example of CSS (Central Superior Service of Pakistan), where only 10% of posts are reserved on merit (1). I still can’t believe that! 90% of our bureaucrats are recruited through lowering the selection criteria, while other more intelligent Pakistanis are denied to serve the nation? And you wonder what’s wrong in our governance, why there’s so much inefficiency and corruption? We are doing irreparable damage, by putting Quota system in any institution.  

According to the current recruitment policy listed at the Central Superior Service of Pakistan website, only 10% of posts are reserved for merit.

FPSC (Federal Public Services Commission) allocates jobs in civil services institutions (every govt. organization, WAPDA, EOBI, Steel Mills, Railways, FBR, Excise & Taxation, Water board, Defence, Finance, SBP, including Police) on the basis of merit and provincial or regional quotas. As per their rule, they are:

Merit                                                                                                               7.5 %
Punjab (including the Islamabad Capital Area)                                           50%
Sindh Rural                                                                                                   11.4%
Sindh Urban                                                                                                  7.6%
Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa                                                                               11.5%
Balochistan                                                                                                    6%
Gilgit-Baltistan and FATA                                                                        4%
Azad Jammu and Kashmir                                                                      2%

The passing percentage of the candidates in the written examination of CSS was 30% in 2002. In 2013 that figure has plummeted to a barely believable 2.09%. If you amass inefficient people in bureaucracy, how would you attract bright minds in such places then ?

If we inject inefficiency into institutions, how can we expect efficiency as the outcome ?

Do we need a scholar to tell us, what happens, when merit is killed. Do we need someone else to explain, what’s going on around us today, as it breeds a whole lot of issues in our society, viz. injustice, economic disparity, nepotism, inefficiency, corruption, bribery, feelings of deprivation, unemployment for skilled resources, resulting in hatred, fighting, killing and chaos! Don’t you see how many people leave country, to get fairer chance in education, job, services, etc. So much so, these issues have become so complex, we consider them incorrigible.

Quota for a time being is ok for greater educational access for the underprivileged, but it shouldn’t be renewed for 20 more years after being used for past 60 years. But it’s effectively discrimination, if used for job/hiring and you know discrimination is prohibited in Islam, may it be on the basis of race, color, family, land, or ethnicity. You cannot favor one over other.

Quota system has been declared un-islamic by Federal Shariat Court and illegal by the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

If some sectors are underprivileged, it’s the Govt’s responsibility to provide sufficient opportunities for their services (eg education, jobs, health), instead of resorting to unfair means and compromising on quality, through giving advantage to someone less qualified, over the ones who’s worked hard to earn it. Imagine a doctor hired at a Govt. hospital on lesser grades (based on quota), how will he/she treats the patient ? And then we wonder why Doctors aren’t respected anymore, unlike the way our culture treats this profession sacredly.

Quota clearly deteriorate the quality of service and causes hatred among deprived parties. It’s time we abolish such policies and promote hard work and equal opportunity. And we can very well improve our society as a whole. You know, when a small Pakistani businessman understands it and never compromises on quality of service, why can’t we do it as a nation as well.

Quota system is unconstitutional, unethical, and unIslamic.

Let’s appreciate, share and demand ‘MERIT’ and bring back harmony and progress in our society.