LAHORE (0nline) While gangs of land-grabbers and mafias have tried to exploit the breakdown of law and order in Karachi, they do not appear to be the main directors of the horrible game of death and destruction; that distinction belongs to more powerful political groups and it is they who hold the key to peace. According to the interim observations of a fact-finding mission of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) issued on Monday, Karachi is in the grip of a multi-sided wave of insecurity-driven political, ethnic and sectarian polarisation that has greatly undermined its tradition of tolerance and good-neighbourliness. Nearly all political parties agree that it is necessary for all to respect each others position and legitimate interests and desist from attempts to capture political heights through violence. It seems that Karachis expansion as an industrial and commercial mega city have not been tackled imaginatively or even properly appreciated. The problems of employment, housing, transport, education, health, supply of water, electricity and gas need to be sorted out with the help of civil societys pool of talent and knowledge. Practically everybody, the HRCP mission talked to, called for de-weaponisation of Karachi and offered to join efforts in this direction. There is no reason why an all-party campaign to recover weapons, including the licensed ones, should not be launched. HRCP acknowledges the fact that various elements and factors have contributed to weakening of the states capacity to keep order, yet the ultimate responsibility for the present situation and for meeting it lies with the state. The complaints against law-enforcing agencies received by the HRCP mission range from dereliction of duty, abandonment of post, and long delays in responding to distress calls to downright collusion with criminals. Unless these shortcomings are removed the people of Karachi can have little hope of peace and security. A few people interviewed by HRCP expressed complete disappointment with democratic governance and looked up to extra-constitutional forces for deliverance. HRCP cannot approve of this tiny minoritys penchant for jumping out of the frying pan into fire. The testimonies gathered by the mission are being compiled and analysed. The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) completed the fact-finding mission in Karachi from July 29-31 to ascertain the causes of the current wave of violence in the countrys largest metropolis in which heavy losses of life and property have been recorded. In view of the importance of the task, the mission was headed by the HRCP chairperson and included the commissions vice-chairpersons for Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh and senior members of the governing body. The members of the mission held detailed discussions with representatives of political parties, lawyers, media persons, police officials, businessmen, teachers and intellectuals, hospital and medico-legal authorities and development experts. They also visited some of the worst affected areas, such as Katti Pahari, interviewed a number of affected families, and held a public hearing open to all citizens. Despite its best efforts the mission could not meet more than a few officials. We regret that the chief minister had no time for the HRCP mission and are constrained to point out that the insensitivity of political authorities and their denial of access to civil society organisations are amongst the major causes of the collapse of administration in Karachi, says HRCP.