The ongoing extortion war is the one of the main causes of lawlessness in Karachi, as the extortion collection is the easiest way of making money. Karachi traders pay up to Rs15 million to the extortionists, who belong to different mafias every day. Karachi has become a killing field and more than 600 people have been killed during the last six months. Targeted killings and extortion collection in Karachi are not isolated crimes but closely interlinked, aimed to discourage local and foreign investment in Karachi, and deal a fatal blow to trade and industry of Pakistan, by creating fear and disturbance in its financial and industrial hub.
Extortion collection has become a part of Karachi culture now. The tragic incident of Shershah Market, where more than two hundred died, was the outcome of the tensions among the extortion collecting organizations. Extortion collection has become a thriving business of political parties, police, law enforcing agencies, administrative govt. organizations, religious parties, journalists, media, etc. one thing is for sure it is the work of people with strong connections and backing.
The latest method is telephoning with reference to some top level political leaders of interior Sindh, and then demanding donations. Callers who use this method telephone businessmen with threatening voice and demand donations. If the staff members of an office refuse to connect the callers with their bosses, then threats are hurled at them. Karachi should be handed over to the Army for a year at least. All routes should be sealed and one week should be given to the criminals to surrender their weapons to their local police station or Edhi centers and then a door to door search should be carried out. Businesses men should be encouraged to provide the names of people who had asked them extortion money. People involved in kidnapping should be awarded capital punishment in speedy punishment through summary courts. Police is the biggest extortionists; they have the power of the uniform and the law behind them, to give them immunity.
FAHAD ANWAR,
Karachi, May 12.