KARACHI - “Issue in megacities is not of absence of governance rather it is the violent governance which is the main cause behind lawlessness and corrupt practices.” These views were expressed by Nazia Hussain, PhD scholar in School of Public Policy, George Mason University, United States while addressing a seminar organised by Department of International Relations, University of Karachi on Thursday.

Seminar was on the issue of “Megacities: The nexus between conflict and governance”. She further said that growing urbanisation is a major issue these days as many developing countries are facing this challenge.

She referred a report by UN-Habitat which observes that current century is the century of cities as every year 5 million people are migrating towards cities. She suggested a co-relation between increasing crime ratio and this huge influx of population in the urban areas. She further mentioned the nexus between mafias and political actors. She shared her observations about megacities in Latin America that different gangs there enjoy patronage of law enforcement agencies. She drew comparison between Karachi and different megacities of developing world and identified common patterns of violence and maladministration in these cities. She proposed that ultimate solution of such situation remains political. “There is a need of political will to resolve this conflict by detaching political forces from criminal elements in the cities. She stressed upon the significance of creating awareness among masses to make them play a positive role in bringing stability.   Dr Moonis Ahmar, Professor, Department of International Relations in his address said that there is a need of empowering people by changing their mindset. He said that this can only be done when sense of ownership is inculcated among masses.  He mentioned megacities like Tokyo that how well such cities are managed and one cannot find such socio-political malaise there.

He asserted that we should stop wasting our energies on conspiracy theories and blaming our colonial past for our current circumstances. Every common individual has to realise its role in the betterment of their country and that’s how we can hope for a stable and secured future for our next generations, he concluded.