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Apocalypse Now

If posterity were to take events to pinpoint exactly when the clock struck midnight and Karachi ran out of time, the brutal assassination of Mohammad Salahuddin, outspoken Editor of Takbeer and the flight of renowned social worker Maulana Sattar Edhi to London, ostensibly in fear of his life, would serve as symbolic markers. Karachi is now a city filled with fear, full of apprehension of the known and the unknown. For years there has been no dearth of soothsayers predicting impending doom but they can have no satisfaction in being proved right, only contempt for those at the helm of affairs over the past decade who were so deaf and blind that it is not surprising that they acted dumb in the face of catastrophe.

Appoint an Administrator for the whole of Karachi NOW, for purposes of perception of authority let us call the person Lieutenant Governor (or some such title) and give him (or her) a sweeping mandate for an interim period of one year over all the law enforcement and civic agencies in the city, with extraordinary powers under Article 245 of the Constitution to rule over Karachi. The Lieutenant Governor will be directly responsible to the Federal Cabinet through the Governor and will effect such changes in the administrative control of the city as he thinks fit in keeping the city running, in supersession to all other Federal and Provincial entities that are working today. As a psychological stamp of authority, he must have an office in the Governor’s House where he could use the services of the Citizens Police Liaison Committee (CPLC), an outstanding example of citizen participation in solving urban problems.

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