THE wave of targeted murders, which periodically and suddenly rise in the unevenly sprawling metropolis of Karachi, cannot but fray the nerves of its residents. One must pity the peaceful lot, especially those living in the affected localities. It was obvious that if violence remained unchecked, there is bound to come a moment when politicians would start trading accusations between themselves in case they felt, rightly or wrongly, that the other party was responsible for spoiling the peace. And their restraint, grounded in consideration for keeping the coalition intact, would give way. That moment came on Tuesday, and the Sindh Assembly witnessed PPP Ministers severely criticising the role of MQM. Home Minister Dr Zulfiqar Mirza, who furiously pointed a finger at political rogues and hooligans, whom he wanted to hang in public on the charge of targeted killings, admitted that the law and order situation in the city was bad. He was preceded by Local Government Minister Agha Siraj Durrani, who went to the extent of counselling medical checkups to the nazims. Mr Durrani was blaming the Karachi city government for wrongly declaring illegal a building plan approved by the Karachi Building Control Authority. Failing to make their point on the floor of the House, the MQM leaders walked out and held a press conference to retaliate. They maintain that 125 MQM workers have been killed during the past six months. The Home Minister was directly charged with orchestrating the deadly blast at the Ashura procession. The politics of mutual recriminations continued, till the top leaders from both sides intervened. As the whole of Karachi goes into the charge of Rangers to bring sanity, the political climate in the city remains tense and tenuous, with both sides trying to exercise restraint. MQM continued its boycott of the Assembly session for the second day, as its MPA Faisal Sabzwari said that their reservations had not been addressed. There have been targeted killings, however, though only three were reported dead on Wednesday, raising the tally of the previous six days to 41, with Tuesday claiming as many as 13. At this critical phase, any political commotion in the country is viewed with alarm. On the Presidents instructions, the Prime Minister asked party men to stop making provocative speeches in order to defuse tension. His contacts with MQM leader Altaf Hussain, which elicited assurance for defusing tension and continued support to the PPP, with Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Sah and other leaders in this context, have raised the prospect that at least for the time being the coalition would survive, but smooth sailing would be hard to bet. One hopes that the Rangers succeed in their mission to eliminate the ugly drama of human slaughter and peace soon reigns supreme in the city.