In the wake of the recent wave of sectarian killings in Karachi the Sindh government has yet again imposed a ban on pillion riding from Sept 11 to Sept 19. This ban has been imposed time and again in order to improve the law and order situation but the state of affairs in Karachi has gone from bad to worse. People are still being mugged and killed despite the ban, hence indicating that the ban on pillion riding does not serve as a solution. It is true that the majority of street crimes and target killings are perpetrated by men riding motorcycles but the ban is not the right solution.

A large number of Karachites use motorcycles to go to work and to visit friends and relatives. There are over 1.2 million registered motorcycles, which carry over two million commuters daily. This ban overlooks the major inconvenience caused to a sizeable chunk of Karachi’s commuting and working population who use motorcycles. Taking advantage of the situation, the drivers of taxis and rickshaws overcharge commuters with increased fares.

I would like to ask the authorities why ordinary people are being punished for a problem that should be resolved by better policing and law enforcement. Both the police and rangers have failed this city and it seems the government’s writ in this city has reduced to almost zero. I doubt that even equipping, police and Rangers with new technology and sophisticated weapons to combat terrorists would assist in restoring peace in the city. In short, let us just punish those, tens of thousands of ordinary citizens, who share rides out of necessity because the government is unable to nab the real culprits through proper law enforcement.


Karachi, September 11.