THE killing of Muhammad Aurangzeb 'Babu', a local ANP leader, in Karachi, is no doubt a tragedy in itself, by indiscriminate firing on the rickshaw carrying him, but what makes it more horrific is that it is not the first murder in Karachi of its kind, and there is a concerted effort to give such killings an ethnic colouring. This would be an attempted conspiracy against Pakistan under any circumstances, but when all of the parties representing the various ethnicities which go to make up Karachi are represented in the ruling coalition, and while representing ethnic groups claim to be national parties, there is no reason why such killings should provoke any outburst of ethnic chauvinism. Such chauvinism is particularly dangerous in Karachi, which apart from being a magnet for the entire country because of its employment opportunities, is the nation's only port, and its financial capital and industrial and trading hub. These killings seem to be an attempt to place the city at the mercy of the kind of ethnic tensions that have afflicted it in the past, and though the murder of Aurangzeb 'Babu', a target killing according to the local DSP, was almost surely political in nature, to allow it to inflame ethnic sentiment is unfortunate and a negation of whatever 'Babu' stood for. His own ANP, despite its name, represents in Karachi the Pashtoon community, with Karachi being described as the largest Pashtoon city in the world, though Pashtoons are not at all in a majority here. Since all the parties with any presence, let alone representation, in the megapolis, are in the ruling coalition, there should speedily be an end put to these killings, and especially to the ethnic sentiment they are used to inflame. That should not be beyond the powers of these parties to manage. Unless they keep Karachi calm following not just the murder of 'Babu' and others, they may be suspected of playing with ethnic flames for petty political motives.