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Karachi tense as target killings' toll rises to 37

Karachi remained tense on Friday as the toll in three days of political—ethnic killings rose to 37 and at least eight vehicles were set ablaze overnight in various parts of the metropolis.

Shops in major markets as well as petrol pumps were closed and traffic suspended in the Nazimabad, North Nazimabad, Qasba, Pirabad, Orangi Town, Korangi, Landhi, Liaquatabad, Gulshan—e—Iqbal, Gulistan—e—Jauhar and Jackson neighbourhoods, Geo TV reported.

Late Thursday, armed men indulged in aerial firing in the Taimuria, North Nazimabad, Shahre Noorjahan, New Karachi, Khawaja Ajmer Nagri, Gulberg, Liaquatabad, Pirabad, Orangi Town, Manghopir, Mominabad, Korangi, Landhi, Saddar, Arambag, Sohrab Goth, Gulshan—e—Maymar, Sachal and Jackson neighbourhoods.

The violence, which began on Tuesday night, has targeted activists of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), the Awami National Party (ANP), the Muhajir Qaumi Movement—Pakistan (MQM—P) and the Jamaat—e—Islami (JI).

Ironically, the MQM is a junior partner in the Sindh and federal coalition governments, both of which are headed by the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP). The ANP is also part of the federal coalition.

Despite this, the MQM and the ANP have constantly been at loggerheads as they push the interests of their respective communities — the Mohajirs who migrated from India when the sub—continent was partitioned and the Pushtoon—origin residents of Karachi.

On Friday, the paramilitary Pakistan Rangers and police were patrolling various areas of the city and taking up positions in potential areas of conflict to keep an eye on the law and order situation.

The Rangers were called in Wednesday and given special powers for one month to restore normalcy in the city

Police said that they had arrested more than 100 miscreants from various parts of the city and recovered a large number of weapons from them.

On Thursday, Sindh Home Minister Zulfiqar Mirza was quoted as saying that 291 people had been arrested for the killings.

He also charged that some political parties were behind the killings, that were aimed at destabilising the provincial government.


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Printable version | Jun 15, 2021 12:28:33 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/Karachi-tense-as-target-killings-toll-rises-to-37/article16302355.ece

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