THE killing of PML-N leader Tariq Khan in Karachi by unknown assassins on Friday is to be condemned. According to reports, two men on motorcycles chased him while he was on his way home and fired bullets on his vehicle point-blank. PML-N Sindh's president is right in terming the attack as cowardly. This high-profile killing, on the one hand, could have severe repercussions for the overall stability of the country's metropolitan capital, which has experienced a lot of politically motivated violence over the past many years. It would without doubt inflame passions in political circles, besides fuelling a new wave of insecurity among the people. The incident should bring into limelight the fact that the country in general, and Karachi in particular, have turned into a place where the safety of citizens, even the politicians for that matter, can no longer be assured. It comes as a rude shock when one views the pace with which the security situation across the country has deteriorated. It is worth pointing out that the murder of Benazir Bhutto was termed a symptom of the worsening law and order in the country, by Advisor to the Prime Minister on Interior, Rehman Malik. Apart from that, recent incidents of mobs burning criminals on the spot is an indication of the frustration of the general public at the failure of law enforcement agencies to check the rise in incidents of crime. The menace of street crime has become so common that, in most cases, the police simply refuse to register a case. It is a pity that because of such callousness, a view seems to prevail among the criminals that they could get away with their crimes. Tariq Khan's murder must be taken as a clarion call. The government would have to address the problem in totality. Makeshift arrangements, like making a few appointments of trained personnel in the security agencies, are going to run out of steam in the long run. Institutional reforms, where quick and inexpensive justice is dispensed, could help matters a great deal.