Instead of making Karachi into New York, it would be better to restore it to city of peace, where people moved around without fear before 1977. Till such time Zia took over, Karachi was a safe cosmopolitan city, where people of different faiths, creed and ethnicity lived together. Karachi had functional and safe public transport Tramway system run by KMC, which started operating in 1885. Instead of making improvements and restructuring it to cope with rise in population it was disbanded in 1975 after a series of accidents. 

Karachi roads used to be clean and there were no open garbage dumps. People moved around peacefully without any fear of target killers and street criminals, nor threats of kidnapping for ransom. Those involved in city management lived in this city and had a sense of ownership. There was no organized land grabbing mafia, which exists today, defiantly occupying state and private land, encroaching upon coastline, while government chooses to look other way, being partners or beneficiaries of criminal economy. 

There was visible rule of law in Karachi and educational institutions of credibility established after 1947 were functioning and giving quality education to students of pre 1978. Those who graduated and studied in these institutions passed exams on merit because there was no organized cheating that is visible today. 

Ruling elite of this country needs to be seen respecting laws instead of seeking immunity from prosecution. There were no allegations of massive corruption by city or provincial government till such time Zulfiqar Bhutto was in power. The rot started after his judicial murder and has gone from bad to worse. What both Karachi and Lahore needs is restoration of peace and rule of law that once existed. 


Lahore, May 4.