The bloodbath in Karachi continues, with 19 people killed on Friday, the toll reaching 25 on Saturday. Perhaps the more painful aspect emerges from the common complaint that the law enforcing agencies, not just the police but also the Rangers, remained silent spectators to firing by people, who not only targeted people on public transport but also when they walked the street. It is because of this that claims are being made that the government is involved, and carrying out these killings as part of a grand design to obtain political benefits. The man supposed to be responsible for the security of the lives and properties of the citizens, Sindh Home Minister Dr Zulfiqar Mirza, has long before blamed his partys partner in the Sindh coalition, the MQM, for being behind the target killings. The MQM so much resented the accusation that it pulled out of the government, and only returned after the Prime Minister himself made the pilgrimage to party headquarters at Nine Zero, though it still stayed out of the Cabinet. How effective the Home Minister will be as head of the law enforcement apparatus will be seen from the joint Rangers-police operation on Saturday, which led to the arrest of 16 suspects. The initial accusation, combined with its failure, with its truth not considered important in view of the problems of the central government, had compromised Dr Mirza in ways that make it difficult for him to remain in the Cabinet along with the MQM. Be that as it may, the phenomenon of target killings has vitiated life in Karachi for decades now. This has in turn made it impossible for normal life to proceed in a city which is not just the countrys largest, which alone would give it a special value, but is also its financial and industrial capital, and its sole port. It is not just that the whole country is linked personally to Karachi, but its impact on national life makes it impossible for the rest of the country to ignore what might be happening there. Especially because the PPP is in power both at the central and Sindh levels, its responsibility to ensure the peace of the countrys greatest city redoubles. There should be no refuge sought in blame games, nor should there be undue placating of allies. What Karachi needs is for the culprits to be apprehended, and punished, without any fear or favour. That will give not only Karachi, but the rest of the country, understandably anxious, the reassurance that the peace of the city will not be sacrificed for any political exigency whatsoever. If criminals know that their impunity has ended, crime itself will cease.