Saturday, November 29, 2008

Karachi on the brink

The biggest city in Pakistan is on the brink of violent conflagration. Karachi is a mixture of neighborhoods (slums) belonging to different ethnic groups including the local Sindhis, Pashtoons, and Muhajirs (refugees). The Muhajirs are descendants of people who migrated from India after the 1947 but still identify themselves as refugees. They are the dominant political class in the city and the goverment of the city is the MQM a thuggish group which counts the muhajirs as their base. However, there has been an increasing shift in power to Pashtun drug lords. The whole-hearted support the MQM gave to Musharraff - a fellow Muhajir - is probably not helping them now either. There is increasing tension between the Pashtun and the Muhajir bosses and this is being reflected in increasing violence between the ethnic groups.


The MQM representing the Muhajirs and the ANP representing the Pashtoons have called for calm. However, other reports say that they have not taken any steps beyond the call.

Sources said that, on Sunday, neither did the three parties’ leaders meet nor had the Coordination Committee constituted by Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad held its first formal meeting to review the city situation.

The committee was constituted to point out the problems and come up with proposals to improve the situation.

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