‘Let’s Beat Crime Together’: Corporate Mobilizations for Security in Karachi


The Citizens-Police Liaison Committee (CPLC) was launched in 1990 by a group of Karachi-based industrialists, with the aim of improving police performance and restoring public order in Pakistan’s major business hub. Over the years, CPLC members developed a unique informational capital as well as analytical and operational skills, which were recognized as a form of expertise by law enforcement agencies and contributed to the entrenchment of the organization into the security state. This corporate mobilization for security, understood as a form of collective action organized by entrepreneurs for the protection of their lives, properties and economic activities, imposed its writ in the city’s industrial zones. The expert system of the organization was then repurposed toward the surveillance of factory workers, the defense of industrial order and the regulation of circulatory flows across the estates. By engaging with the growing body of work on the new military urbanism through the lens of the risk-theory literature on policing, the article aims to contribute to ongoing debates about the transformations of labor relations and urban citizenship under a new regime of securitization fed by ever-thicker chains of interdependence between capital and coercion.