Monday, 11 February 2013

Growing Incidents of Violence in Karachi

According to media reports at least 15 more people lost their lives on Monday in the ongoing wave of violence in Karachi. These Killings have been reported from different parts of the metropolis having diversified ethnic and sectarian concentrations.

Indiscriminate killing in large numbers spread fear throughout the metropolis having a population of nearly 20 million or 10 percent of Pakistan’s total population. The city having two ports is termed the hub of industrial and commercial activities and shops and small businesses are shut down soon after the killing. Public transport also goes off-road.

On Monday the special investigation department of CID police has arrested three people including two alleged members of banned Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). According to police, those arrested were allegedly involved in several acts of extortions and targeted killings.

Those killed include four activists of the MQM and two policemen. A police official Syed Mukhtar Rizvi was killed apparently for sectarian reasons. He was posted in the headquarters of the security zone of the police organizational structure. A young man said to be a sympathizer of the Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat was shot dead. Bodies of two young men were found from a garbage dump in Abbas Town bearing torture marks and gunshot wounds. Police believe that the victims were killed somewhere else.

In the evening confusion surrounded an explosion near Qayyumabad Bridge near Karachi’s posh area when three different reports regarding nature of the blast surfaced. The explosion was heard from far distances and spread fear among residents of neighboring areas.

According to gas supplying company, Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) it was a cracker attack that affected walls of a sub-station but equipment installed there remained safe. As opposed to this, police sources said the explosion ripped through a gas pipeline near the Bridge injuring a policeman. Later, the bomb disposal squad of Karachi Police suggested that it was an act of terrorism. They said the planted bomb was detonated by a time device and around 200 kilos of explosive material was used in the blast.

The MQM, coalition partner at the federal and provincial levels has termed the increase in target killings and incidents of terrorism in Karachi part of a well-planned conspiracy and called upon the country’s leadership to take effective steps for protecting the life and property of citizens.

One can still recall that MQM chief Altaf Hussain had forewarned about the threats when terrorists started making Karachi a center of their activities. At that time, other political and religious parties denied the reality. They alleged that the MQM wanted to frighten the people and it was talking against a particular community. Now media reports highlight that many areas in Karachi had become places similar to Waziristan where even law-enforcement personnel could not enter.

The general perception in Karachi is that while leaders of political and religious parties have been criticizing the Sindh Government over the incidents of terrorism and target killings they are not ready to talk openly against elements responsible for violence, bloodshed and terrorism in Karachi.

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