To those living in the gang-war afflicted Lyari, the town feels like – and is treated as such – a mangled limb hanging from the rest of Karachi’s wounded body. A neglected and festering gash that neither the provincial government seems sincerely invested in treating nor the federal government. At least 55 people were injured and 17 people died recently in another bout of gang violence. Constituents of Lyari decided to take the never-ending nightmare in front of Karachi Press Club as well as DIG South office, pleading that their lives be accounted for. Residents brought along the keys of their locked residences to reinforce their demand: We are not living until life is peaceful in Lyari.

But is anyone listening? More importantly, is the Sindh government purposefully ignoring the damning evidence of political incitement and involvement in Lyari’s constant chaos? Is it not obvious that major political parties have used – and continue to, without fail – Lyari as a site for executing their own greed for power and domination? There is a reason behind the unchecked and amounting number of ammunition possessed by various gangs as witnessed in the recent clash; you cannot find loaded Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPGs) from just about anywhere. You need contacts and those contacts do not come cheap.

Lyari residents have said this before: The meddling rendered by several politicians allegedly in striking deals with gang leaders to compete for political power comes at the expense of the unarmed and incredibly impoverished Lyari resident – including youths and children. This becomes even more dangerous with the looming presence of TTP embedding itself in the Pashtun-majority areas of Lyari. The provincial government of Sindh along with MQM owe the people of Lyari a thorough and effective investigation of the incident in addition to purging the disease of organized crime in the town.