The blood flowing freely on the streets in Karachi is now authentic proof of how democracy has failed and coalition government been a disastrous experiment. The people of Karachi have nowhere to hide, nowhere to run and no one to ask for help from. The aim of the political gangsters is establishment of turfs and demarcation of areas of influence. One is reminded of animals like the big cats and wolves demarcating their territories in the jungle with their urine, so that the odour will warn intruders to keep away. Only in the case of Karachi the stuff is human blood. As in the jungle, there is no sharing, and there is no coalition worth the name. There is only raw power.

Karachi is no longer a city in the sense an urban centre is taken to be, to say nothing of the great place it used to be not too long ago. Despite its tattered urban trappings, it is increasingly becoming a battleground for turf wars. These turf wars are becoming increasingly ferocious because the conflict is now intended to determine which of the gangs will become most dominant. The booty is extortion money, properties, ransom money, drug, gambling, everything.

Big crime is always a part of large metropolitan cities anywhere in the world, whether it is New York, Bombay or Karachi. But it is amazing how the tug of war between the three political parties in power has enabled the underworld to operate in the streets of Karachi in clear view and in broad daylight. The criminals do not even find it necessary to hide from the law. They are running their business with complete brazenness. How did the criminals acquire this level of reassurance?

AIMAN SALAHUDDIN,

Karachi, April 13.