Tuesday, July 3, 2018

#Pakistan - Violence in #Lyari

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari is right to take the interim set-up to task over the violence that beset the PPP rally in the Karachi neighbourhood of Lyari over the weekend. In short, more must be done to ensure that electioneering across the political divide remains peaceful. Pakistan does not need to add to its security woes.

The PPP co-Chairman demonstrated his resolve by returning to the scene of unrest; despite the reported failure of the Rangers and local police to intervene the first time around. We trust that the caretaker regime has taken due notice of law enforcement agents not doing their job.
This disturbing display of unrest comes as Bilawal contests his first election. It is an historic moment for the PPP, as the third generation of Bhuttos enters electoral politics. And, despite all weaknesses, it remains entrenched in Sindh as well as boasting the credentials of a national party with roots across the country.
A good way for Bilawal to take the party forward is by building on the message of peace delivered in the aftermath of the weekend’s attack. Indeed, his courage was exemplary. That being said, he should now perhaps also use this campaign to interact with the people of Sindh to ascertain their woes and determine the kind of future they envisage. After all, Bilawal, as a youth leader, enjoys that special place of looking ahead. Moreover, he needs to get to grips with what this means for the PPP not only in Sindh but beyond, too.
Bilawal rightly chastised the media for referring to those armed with sticks and stones as “protestors”. The fourth estate and the PPP share a bitter history; with the former remaining a punching bag for the right-wing. But then as the media has been evolving so, too, has the PPP. That being said, however, it is rather convenient to shift the blame towards the media when it comes to the issues of Sindh.
The caretakers and law enforcement agencies must probe this incident and set a quick precedent that categorically underscores how no violence will be allowed during the election cycle. At the same time the PPP should also dig deeper into the state of Lyari and address how it remains an underdeveloped and violent place. Especially consdering that all indications signal that the PPP is in a strong position to form the next provincial government.
In the meantime, we urge the authorities to ensure that Bilawal Bhutto’s security remains a priority of the interim administration.  

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