The very purpose of a modern state is to look after the welfare of its citizens, everything else is secondary. Safety of citizens and security of private property are primary obligations of a sovereign state and the very purpose for which its edifice is built, taxes levied and powers acquired by various organs. If the state is found lax in fulfilling these constitutional obligations, it becomes a dysfunctional state, which if not put back on track reduces it to a territory ruled mafias. What we have witnessed in Karachi is collective failure of our state to maintain law and order on pretext of law of necessity, that allow murder of citizens, collection of extortion, kidnapping for ransom etc to be ignored for the sake of political exigency.

For two decades, crime has become a roaring tax free business in Karachi, apart from being a tool for political domination through politics of violence. So lucrative has this business become, that it has lured criminals from all provinces to move in for a share of the pie and they are facing a tough turf war. The Criminal Economy has become a powerful tool and those desirous of political power have to have a share of this billion dollar industry, which existed in full knowledge of the state and has acquired a quasi legitimacy of sorts. When there is a bonanza of tax free billions, which could be illegitimately transferred to foreign bank accounts, than the stakes become high and we see more criminal influx under the guise of religious extremism, which surprisingly evoked protests, from politically sponsored criminals, who had been minting billions for years, now finding an adversary equally well versed in the business of violence, to which previously they alone laid claim to.

All these criminals have latest tools of weaponry, which were smuggled via known sea ports, passing coast guards, security,  and customs check points, with whole containers going missing courtesy the corruption within state controlled apparatus that was raised to prevent all this. If the Pakistani state wants to restore normalcy to its financial hub Karachi, than all criminal gangs, will have to be tackled, without any exception, otherwise the damage wrecked by this financial terrorism will destroy this country from within.

MALIK TARIQ ALI,

Lahore, July 23.