Karachi Violence An Ominous Sign For Pakistan

ejazr

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http://www.rferl.org/content/Karachi_Violence_An_Ominous_Sign_For_Pakistan/2202630.html


On October 14, 33 people were killed, sparking a spate of targeted killings that claimed 90 victims in six days. The death toll from the violence in Karachi in the first 10 months of this year could be as high as 1,300, although no official figures have been released.

Yet as this bloodbath continues and even accelerates, the central government seems paralyzed, in part because the key stakeholders in that multiethnic city are part of an uneasy political alliance on both the local and national levels.

In the most densely populated parts of the megacity, the Urdu-speaking community (also called "mohajirs," refugees, because they migrated to the newly created Pakistan after the division of India in 1947) are represented by the Muttahidda Qaumi Movement (MQM). The Pashtuns, who have flocked to Karachi over the years in search of economic opportunity, largely support the Awami National Party (ANP).

At Arm's Length

The ruling Pakistan People's Party (PPP) is powerful in the rural parts of Sindh Province, but it has comparatively little influence in metropolitan Karachi compared to the other two parties.

While considerations of political expediency -- mostly on the part of the PPP -- have kept the three parties as uneasy allies in the central and provincial governments for the past three years, their rivalries prevent them from developing a real partnership. In fact, that competition is proving an increasingly strong centrifugal force, especially in the case of the junior partners, the MQM and the ANP.

The MQM is feeling increasing political pressure from the ANP, which represents the growing Pashtun population of Karachi, currently estimated at 3.5 million of the city's 18 million inhabitants. The MQM has been accused of nurturing armed gangs to terrorize its political opponents and strengthen its grip on urban Karachi.

But the MQM controls 25 seats in Pakistan's National Assembly (the lower house of parliament), and the PPP needs its support to ward off the threat of a no-confidence motion from the Punjab-dominated Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N), headed by former Prime Minister Nawaz Shahrif. For this reason, the national government has been loath to launch a major security operation to bring order to Karachi.

It should be recalled that an army security operation was conducted in Karachi in the early 1990s, following another period of intense lawlessness. Security forces claimed to have seized caches of illegal arms and exposed torture chambers. Hundreds of suspects were arrested and scores of people were killed. During this period, MQM leader Altaf Hussain and several of his allies fled to India, ending up receiving political asylum in Great Britain.

On top of all the city's other troubles, parts of it have become safe havens for drug traffickers and arms smugglers that are dominated by extortion gangs tied to various power structures and political parties. Vendors, laborers, and businesspeople who refuse to pay protection money are often victimized, says Karachi-based analyst Fawad Ali Shah.

Ripe For Extremism?

Like other parts of Pakistan, Karachi is riven by Shi'a-Sunni and Deobandi-Barelvi tension, and this -- on top of the political and ethnic rivalries -- makes the city vulnerable to inflamed religious bigotry and Talibanization. In January, security agencies claimed they had arrested Afghan Taliban leader Mulah Abdul Ghani Biradar in Karachi. Because the Afghan Taliban are considered allies of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), the reasoning behind Biradar's arrest is still a mystery.

But Biradar's presence in Karachi is just one indication of the Taliban's growing influence there. There have been numerous suicide bombings in the city, responsibility for which has been claimed by Al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or their affiliates. On October 8, at least 12 people were killed by two suicide bombers at the shrine of the 8th-century saint Abdullah Shah Ghazi. The mausoleum is not far from the residence of President Asif Ali Zardari.

Going back further, 140 people were killed in a multiple-bomb attack at a rally of the late former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto in October 2007. The U.S. consulate in the city was attacked in June 2002 and again in March 2006. In May 2002, 12 French naval engineers were kidnapped and in January-February 2002, U.S. reporter Daniel Pearl was kidnapped and beheaded. All this shows a powerful Taliban presence in Karachi.

Although the recent bloodshed in Karachi can't be blamed on the Taliban or other extremists, it is safe to assume that those groups will be the ultimate beneficiaries if the killing and terror continue.

The central government in Pakistan is already coping with myriad problems, from corruption to the recent flooding to the row with the judiciary and so on. Now the unrest in Karachi threatens to become a new front for the Taliban, diverting attention from the tribal areas where security operations and U.S. drone strikes have done much to restrict the militants.

Karachi is the main port of Pakistan. Sixty-eight percent of government revenues and 25 percent of the Pakistan's GDP stem from Karachi. Much of the supplies for the coalition forces fighting in Afghanistan pass through the city.

The central government and the world can hardly afford to let the lawlessness there continue any longer
 

ajtr

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MQM vs Pukhtoon..with PPP at helm as clever manipulator.
 

Singh

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You are forgetting Sunni extremists as well...
 

Tshering22

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Pakistan will die Taliban's death at this rate. Without any issue, they create an issue and land themselves into chaos, terrorism, massacres, murder etc.
 

maomao

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Pakistan will die Taliban's death at this rate. Without any issue, they create an issue and land themselves into chaos, terrorism, massacres, murder etc.
pakistan Died in 1971 completely after 1947 debacle. The pakistan which we see today is only a nation of mercenaries and logistic providers, running on life suppport of US Dollars, kept alive till Master US needs it.
 

nitesh

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What is wrong here? Isn't Pakistan is land of pure, where only purest have right to live? Non pure have to be purified. This process has to be more fast. Slowness is boring
 

Agantrope

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pakistan Died in 1971 completely after 1947 debacle. The pakistan which we see today is only a nation of mercenaries and logistic providers, running on life suppport of US Dollars, kept alive till Master US needs it.
Except alone for their staregic position, Pak would have been faced Unkil's wrath. Also India is in the east for them
 

The Messiah

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What is wrong here? Isn't Pakistan is land of pure, where only purest have right to live? Non pure have to be purified. This process has to be more fast. Slowness is boring
How can they wash there sins and become pure when we block pure kashmiri water ? :happy_2:
 

SHASH2K2

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How can they wash there sins and become pure when we block pure kashmiri water ? :happy_2:
so open all the dams and let there be flood . Their all sins will be washed away once again.
 

Rage

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Just to put this in perspective for you, Karachi provides about 72% of federal revenues. If Karachi burns, business is on fire, foreign investments don't trickle in, heck local investments suffer! and revenue sources become ever more scarce. Coupled with the greater financial burden of a fifth of the country's territory under water, this is not good. What's more, the local expropriation and thuggery going on by rival goons of the ANP and MQM means that a greater proportion of tax revenues is lost to exaction. And while the economy reels under an energy crisis, private sector entrepreneurs are already threatening to default on bills. With such drying up in the sources of revenue, it seems like the only way for Pakistan to maintain itself is for the United States to hold it up.
 

SHASH2K2

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Just to put this in perspective for you, Karachi provides about 72% of federal revenues. If Karachi burns, business is on fire, foreign investments don't trickle in, heck local investments suffer! and revenue sources become ever more scarce. Coupled with the greater financial burden of a fifth of the country's territory under water, this is not good. What's more, the local expropriation and thuggery going on by rival goons of the ANP and MQM means that a greater proportion of tax revenues is lost to exaction. And while the economy reels under an energy crisis, private sector entrepreneurs are already threatening to default on bills. With such drying up in the sources of revenue, it seems like the only way for Pakistan to maintain itself is for the United States to hold it up.
Problem with Idiots in army and Civilian government is that they are still living in some kind of wonderland and think like "ALL IZZZZ WELLLLLL" . Truth is that "ALL IZZZZZZ HELLLLLLLLL" .
 

ajtr

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Just to put this in perspective for you, Karachi provides about 72% of federal revenues. If Karachi burns, business is on fire, foreign investments don't trickle in, heck local investments suffer! and revenue sources become ever more scarce. Coupled with the greater financial burden of a fifth of the country's territory under water, this is not good. What's more, the local expropriation and thuggery going on by rival goons of the ANP and MQM means that a greater proportion of tax revenues is lost to exaction. And while the economy reels under an energy crisis, private sector entrepreneurs are already threatening to default on bills. With such drying up in the sources of revenue, it seems like the only way for Pakistan to maintain itself is for the United States to hold it up.
No you are wrong its not karachi but the usa which provides 90% of the revenue with its perfidious business like in past B.C.C.I
 

ajtr

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What is wrong here? Isn't Pakistan is land of pure, where only purest have right to live? Non pure have to be purified. This process has to be more fast. Slowness is boring
dont wish for that !!!!your wish can unravel india fast.
 

ajtr

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Except alone for their staregic position, Pak would have been faced Unkil's wrath. Also India is in the east for them
you are in wonderland....its not india +usa against pakistan but its pakistan + usa against india.it was so all 63 years and will remain same in near future too.
 

ajtr

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How can they wash there sins and become pure when we block pure kashmiri water ? :happy_2:
they cant wash their sins without ganga.and to have ganga either india has to diver it west or pakistan has to capture india.both are herculean tasks :)
 

ajtr

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Problem with Idiots in army and Civilian government is that they are still living in some kind of wonderland and think like "ALL IZZZZ WELLLLLL" . Truth is that "ALL IZZZZZZ HELLLLLLLLL" .
No pakistani army generals think more strategically then indians ever did.If its going to be hell for them then india wont be far from that hell.
 

SHASH2K2

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No pakistani army generals think more strategically then indians ever did.If its going to be hell for them then india wont be far from that hell.
I agree but for those stooges army and its control over the country is everything. They don't give shit about common people or law and order situation in the country. Thats something that has weakened Pakistan internally . Army has to become weak in order to make Pakistan a prosperous country.
 

ajtr

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I agree but for those stooges army and its control over the country is everything. They don't give shit about common people or law and order situation in the country. Thats something that has weakened Pakistan internally . Army has to become weak in order to make Pakistan a prosperous country.
see i told you that indians dont think strategically.IF you wish for prosperous pakistan then india will be in chaos.best option for india is to keep pakistani army strong and hope it always rule the country directly or indirectly.pakistan with constant perpetual loggerhead with itself is the best case scenario fo india.
 

The Messiah

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Lets hope then pak army and isi has strong grip on them in future also.
 

ajtr

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oh they do ve strong grip only thing india has to do just allow its generals to make public statements and then see those effect across the wagha till Amu darya :)
 
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