I wish to offer my condolences to the parents, wife and children of Dr Imran Farooq who was murdered in London today. The MQM has been embroiled in controversies since its very inception. They say that along with some other regional parties, it was mid-wifed by General Zia with the sole purpose of nullifying the urban Sindh constituencies of mainstream political parties of eighties. Zias only objective was to prolong his illegal usurpation of power. But in the process, he ended up inflicting so permanent a damage to our national unity that no external enemy including India has been able to do. Since the eighties, a culture of violence has crept into our politics. That has to be curbed and dealt with an iron hand. Violence begets violence and those who live by the gun die with a bullet in the head. Political parties in Pakistan must overcome the temptation to patronize the thuggish hit-men within their folds. While it is true that it is corruption by a few controversial leaders that has brought our political parties into disrepute, the culture of violence has also harmed the cause of democracy a considerable bit. There should be tolerance for dissent in this country and those in power should allow other political parties to carry on with their legitimate political activities without any fear, even in the traditional strongholds of other parties. The concept of no-go areas is against the spirit of democratic politics. Pakistan today suffers because the politics of intrigues by its agencies in collaboration with the so-called political parties and the mercenaries infested in them are ruining Quaid-e-Azams vision of a democratic welfare state. The Quaid wanted all institutions and individuals to be accountable to the law and all citizens to have equal rights irrespective of their faith, sex or ethnicity. The state must come down hard upon all those who break the rule of law. -T. ALI, Lahore, September 17.