The joint Police-Rangers operation in Karachi is in full flow. Or, so the provincial government would have everyone believe. Confounded by the constantly deteriorating law and order situation in the metropolis, the ongoing operation has been presented as the ultimate solution to rid the city of all its ills. The initiative is not a result of a realisation on the part of the Sindh government, but of external pressures. The special interest of the SC in the Karachi law and order case, and the federal government’s willingness to interfere highlighted by PM Nawaz Sharif’s visit to Karachi, have majorly contributed in prompting the PPP Sindh government towards action.

A regular day in Karachi comprises of incidents of target killings, extortion, kidnappings, amongst other serious crimes that have assured the city’s spot in the list of 10 most dangerous cities in the world. The Sindh government has time and again extended assurances of ‘sparing no one’. Thousands of people have been arrested along with weapons and explosives during several raids across different areas of the metropolis. It has been claimed with pride that no political or non-political affiliation will prevent the authorities from taking miscreants to task. But apparently, that is not the case.

Much like the wider country, there is a club in Karachi whose members enjoy immunity against any efforts of decisive action and accountability: the TTP. During a court proceeding in Karachi, Custom officials informed the SC that the area of Sohrab Goth has become a den of drugs and ammunition. Chief Collector Custom, Yahya Khan, told the court that it is from this area that smuggled drugs, weapons and explosives are distributed throughout the city. Admirable intelligence gathering, but why have the custom authorities, or anyone else for that matter, failed to take action in the vicinity? Because, it is under the control of the Taliban. And everyone knows what that means; look the other way. Custom officials pleaded that they alone cannot conduct an operation in the area. Just another way of saying that no one has so far volunteered to assist, despite having informed the Sindh government of the dire situation.

In other encouraging news, Sindh Minister for Prisons, Anti-corruption and Mines, told the media that the 9,000 detainees of the Karachi operation are not in jails. Where they are exactly is for the minister to know and for the rest of us to figure out. Of course, there’s more. There are 41 ‘fake’ prisoners in Central Jail Karachi, allegedly serving sentences on behalf of ‘more important’ inmates. It is hoped that this circus comes to a halt soon enough. Forget about setting the bar high or low, just prevent it from getting kicked around and smashed into pieces.