Though Interior Minister Rehman Malik has announced the pacification of Karachi, through its deweaponisation, and by an increase in the number of policemen in it, the bloodshed is not showing any sign of letting up. With 11 more people the victims of target killings, the three-day death toll reached 52 on Tuesday morning. The continuation of the fatal spree concerned the entire country because the killings were making it increasingly impossible for the countrys largest city, financial and industrial hub, and sole port, to function normally. Because of the Ministers orders, which have been flagrantly violated, the central government has been drawn into the unrest, which is primarily the responsibility of the provincial government, a PPP-MQM-ANP coalition replicated at the Centre. The violence has reached a stage where the MQM has seriously contemplated leaving the governments, supposedly because the Sindh government, through Peoples Aman Committees, was behind the massacres. At the same time, the Sindh government, the only one where the Home Department is not supervised by the Chief Minister, but has a separate minister with the portfolio, cannot escape responsibility for the unrest, and should not interpret the federal intervention as in any way absolving it. Those killed have not just been political workers, but workers of the parties making up the ruling coalition. The MQM had initially accused the ANP of being behind the killings, but with the new allegations about the Peoples Aman Committees, has changed its line of attack. While the ANP has accused the MQM of being behind the violence, the PPP so far, through Mr Malik, has denied any backing to the Aman Committees. The first test of the government will come when it deals with the 80-plus suspects arrested so far in connection with the killings, according to the Minister, who also said they showed connections with political parties. Though this might not be very easy for a party which has not only disobeyed the Supreme Court but also engaged in confrontation with it, it is essential to end the violence in Karachi and bring the perpetrators to justice without regard to party affiliation. Criminals who think that political affiliation is a form of protection will have to be disabused of this notion. The arrests did not stop the killings, indicating that the arrests were either wrongful or that the masterminds who are behind the killings have no shortage of killers. Only an iron hand and efficient policing will bring a semblance of normalcy to the city, not meetings and tours.