The DG Sindh Rangers’ bold admittance of the existence of organised mafia and a black economy of Rs 230 billion per year before the apex committee benefiting politicians, bureaucrats and terrorists in Karachi, was not a surprise for anyone having an insight into the dynamics of administering the huge metropolis during the last forty years.

Karachi was always destined to reap the fruits of the criminal tendencies of those who have been running this ever-expanding port city of Pakistan since the late seventies. The presence of multi ethnic groups of all hues from all over Pakistan and abroad in their attempt to avail the economic opportunities was required to be handled in a very professional manner by the bureaucracy and the politicians. They unfortunately failed. The well thought out overtures of ethnic and sectarian overtones in the political narratives has further helped to facilitate the extortionists in all the political parties including mainly the MQM and Jamaat-e-Islami. The PPP and ANP also did not remain behind in establishing gangs in areas of their respective influence. The corrupt public officials compliantly developed a symbiotic relationship with these mafias overtime. They have been patronising and involved in corruption, land grabbing, smuggling of drugs, currency and Iranian oil, unlawful collection of Zakat, Fitra, sacrificial hides and protection money, targeted killings, illegal marriage halls and parking spaces, match fixing and cyber crimes (as stated by the DG Rangers). Basically every crime of every nature is going unpunished.

The absence of the local governments played a major role in strengthening these gangs, which are acting in tandem with the sectarian terrorists. The rot of Karachi is an international problem, with oil being smuggled in from Iran and drug from Afghanistan. This is the hub of trafficking, and all prominent parties have a stake in deals. Iran is not out friend, yet, and with insurgency in Balochistan reportedly being instigated by Iran, we have a complex situation on our hands. We don’t want any anti-Shia sentiments stoked by pro-Arab elements on our soil. We don’t want Iran to pinpoint us as a trouble-maker with our illegal trading in oil and drugs. And we certainly don’t want Balochistan to become grounds for a proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia. Karachi is going to be the thread that unravels Pakistan, and the political party kingpins will be to blame. Iran will soon be a nuclear power and has clear designs on the Middle East to expand its influence. We do not want them to expand westward. We have enough on our plate with keeping Saudi patronage and Chinese investment intact.