Tuesday, August 23, 2011

110,000+ Armed Security in a city of 18,000,000.

Credit to Najam Sethi who gave two vital pieces of information that were necessary at 5:11 and 8:14, at what ails the PPP-MQM relation, and the breakdown of armed forces in Karachi, respectively.

In this city: There are 20,000 Rangers based inside Karachi, 35,000 police for Karachi, plus 55-56,000 private security guards.

That's an armed force of ~ 110,000+ armed men for a city of 18,000,000.

They can be deployed and within 15 days hunt down and capture the men doing this.

However from there it gets complicated.

Many will be released back into the streets due to an obsolete jail system and an overloaded judiciary. But that's not even the real hindrance that is stopping the government from starting an op against these men.

The real issue is that government relies on the MQM for seats. Much of the MQM's cadre will be swept up if an impartial sweep is started throughout the city. The MQM cannot afford to have large numbers of its men thrown into prison.

Also in the sweep many ANP men, and possibly members of the People's Aman Committee will see its men tossed in the cooler. But their criminals are joined through alliances, not party membership. MQM has party people who are in trouble. And the government needs the MQM. There is a way out; if the pol's can negotiate with each other and decide how much of their cadre its acceptable must face prison time for crimes committed. Also if they negotiate down from the angry maximalist positions each has taken regarding local administration systems & unresolved power sharing agreements in Sindh and Karachi/Hyderabad, that might help.

The census is abut to start, and in relation to that there is something regarding the demarcation of electoral constituencies, and the politicians are antsy about that. Most And a final compromise on the negotiated end of the commisionerate system, the Musharraf era elected Nazim (mayor) system and what version a democratically elected government would want.

A final solution....my God....here's an outline. The politicians from the PPP, ANP & MQM, and I have to stress, it must be *THE* leading politicians of these parties, must sit down and find where they can agree on the Venn diagram of what kind of local government Karachi & Hyderabad (and in contrast the rest of Sindh) must have, what common minimum principles/numbers they can accept on the demarcation of electoral constituencies and most importantly, what proportion of their cadres are completely criminalised and need to be taken off the streets.

It is entirely up to our politicians to work this out. There is no Uncle Sam or General Kayani to hold their hands. They must realise that they cannot completely wipe any of the other two of the board, and for better or worse, everybody will have to live with each other. A path out of this bloody deadlock we are in, may appear if they can reach some sort of binding decision on how Karachi/Hyderabad should be governed and simultaneously, with the criminals taken off the streets.


karachikhatmal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
karachikhatmal said...

it's a lofty solution, but i wonder if the decisions taken at the top can be relayed and implemented given that two of the parties have little control over the alleged cadres, while the third suffers from a leadership crisis as it is (given that there is no no.2 to altaf bhai)

TLW said...

Well, at this point we are sort of part of the situation, seeing as it is in Karachi itself.
I guess I am trying to point out that the state could use legitimate instruments that it possesses to try and stop the bllodshed and those who cause it. For those instruments to be unleashed (not necessarily the army, just Rangers/FC/Police would be enough if applied sincerely), it would require that they have the full political legitimacy to do so. For that, the parties would have to set their parameters someone together, over what seems to still be a controversial idea to some people: that murder is wrong.
The relation between the PPP/ANP and their gangs is one of plausible deniability. So I don't think the PPP/ANP ever could reel those guys in and they would have to be left to the police. Which would be the right and civilised thing to do.
As for the MQM, signs indicate that it is the one that has in a way been targetted by the chaos in Karachi and it is scared and may make a deal. In terms of its leadeship, what would you say if I said that I kind of felt that Imran Farooq looked suspiciously like he'ld been ordered done in by the dude in London?
Remember last year when we were discussing succession to the MQM? It was just a handful of bloggers who were talking about it on Five Rupees in the comments section? The creepy thing is that within six months of that discussion, two of the four people we discussed ended up deaad under mysterious circumstances. So I think Altaf bhai's current confused state, may be enough to get concessions fron him (maybe), because commentators and his own speech, seem to indicate a man confused and befuddled.

This is all very down and dirty as politics, but I don't really see any way forward beyond flexinng and using the state's authority.