Karachi: Karachi, the largest city in Pakistan and the premier industrial and financial centre is a hotbed of lawlessness.

For over three decades, Karachi has been an epicentre of target killings for reasons ranging from ethno-political to sectarian disputes and from land mafia rivalries to personal vendetta and political outrage, reported Asian Lite International.

During the last couple of years, Karachi has seen frequent outbreaks of violence which have claimed hundreds of lives of innocent people. Over 56,500 cases of street crime have been reported in Karachi, the financial hub of Pakistan, during the current year.

Over 19,000 mobile phones were snatched from citizens, while 104 cars were forcefully taken and 1,383 bikes were stolen. Around 35,000 citizens were deprived of their motorbikes during various incidents in the city, reported Asian Lite International.

Moreover, due to such lawlessness, at least 56 people have lost their lives while resisting street criminals and 269 were injured as a result. Around 303 cases of house robberies have been reported in Karachi.

Interestingly, according to Sindh Police's Crime Statistics of 2022, there have been 54 cases of murder; 98 cases of rioting; 59 cases of assault on police; 221 cases of kidnapping/abduction; 173 cases of burglary in Karachi.

The recent history of violence in Karachi underlines one point clearly: the city is quickly falling victim to the temptations of 'power and influence' on the part of political players, reported Asian Lite International.

Besides, the ethnic factor is deeply entrenched in the ongoing criminal and political violence in the city. Pashtuns, who are estimated to constitute 20-25 per cent of Karachi's population have been politically marginalized in the city, but now they are asserting themselves and accordingly rearrangements in the political spectrum are causing violent episodes.

Furthermore, the flocking of suspected terrorists from tribal areas due to the ongoing military operations in the tribal regions further complicates the situation, reported Asian Lite International.

The political rioting and killings are to be blamed on violence, largely powered by antagonism between the local chapters of three political parties - the Pakistan People's Party (PPP), the mostly Pashtun Awami National Party (ANP) and the Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM).

Organised crime and gang wars have grown in Karachi over the past 35 years and now assume a major economic and political role in the city. Resultantly, Narco crime is also a commonplace activity in the city.

The impact of the Afghan drug trade was multi-faceted. As Karachi became a transit point in the international drug trade, local crime groups became connected to the international drug trade.

Sectarian violence is also ruining the city from within, divided into Shia-Sunni zones. The varied mix of the population has caused not only rampant violence but also fierce sectarian rioting and disruptions. Shia-dominated areas of Rizvia Society, Malir, Numaish, Ancholi and Jafar-e-Tayyar Society are the areas from where law enforcers expect a vehement response if and when a Shia is killed anywhere in the city. Sunni sectarian groups have strongholds in areas such as Patel Para, Banaras, Nagan Chowrangi, Tawheed Chowk and Quaidabad, reported Asian Lite International.