Violence in Karachi: Death toll reaches 19

Published: July 23, 2011

IG Sindh says Karachi situation under control, army intervention not required. PHOTO: EXPRESS

IG Sindh says Karachi situation under control, army intervention not required. PHOTO: EXPRESS Pakistani policemen stand guard in a troubled neighbourhood after fresh wave of violence in Karachi.
 PHOTO: AFP Two groups exchanged fire in the Khokarpar area of Malir.
KARACHI: 

The death toll in Karachi reached 19 on Saturday as more people were killed after violence erupted in the Malir area on Friday.

Two people were killed in separate incidents near Urdu Nagar and Mai Kolachi Phatak this morning, while 25 other people were also injured in various incidents.

Amid hollow claims of police and rangers to restore peace in the city, the flailing security situation in the area has induced fear and terror among the people.

17 target killers arrested

Inspector General of Police (IG) Sindh Wajid Durrani has claimed 17 target killers have been arrested from Karachi during the last week, Express 24/7 reported.

Speaking at a gathering, Durrani said the situation in Karachi was under control and army intervention was not required. He said extremists were using names of political parties and disrupting peace in the city.

The IG said operational power of the police will increase when grants and increments worth a total of Rs5 billion will be given to the force.

Updated from print version (below)

Turf wars: 13 dead as another front opens in Karachi

In a city which has still not recovered from the last round of political violence that left over a 100 people dead, Friday marked the opening of a new turf war.

As many as 13 people were killed and over two dozen injured during armed clashes between supporters of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and its breakaway faction the Mohajir Qaumi Movement-Haqiqi (MQM-H) in various Malir district localities on Friday.

The violence prompted President Asif Ali Zardari to summon Sindh Home Minister Manzoor Wassan to Bilawal House for a briefing.

Speaking to the media later, Wasan said Friday’s violence was a ‘culmination of old hostilities,’ and the president has asked for indiscriminate action against ‘criminal elements.’

Violence ‘confined’

Panic spread in large parts of Malir district following rounds of intense firing, leaving markets shuttered and people confined to their homes.

Additional Inspector-General (AIG) Saud Mirza said the violence was triggered after activists of one political party tried to assert their control over an area, adding that this provoked clashes between the workers of the two parties.

He said the violence was confined to “a few areas”, while the remaining areas had been cleared and were under the control of law-enforcement agencies.

Mirza said the victims were mostly completely unconnected with either of the parties, adding that over half a dozen suspects were detained.

Locals say…

Dozens of armed gunmen, bearing sophisticated weapons and communication devices, barged into different areas of Malir and Landhi on motorcycles and twin-cabin luxury vehicles and resorted to indiscriminate firing in MQM-dominated localities, residents claimed.

They said the armed men entered Ghazi Town and Aleemabad around 6:30 am Friday morning. They subsequently moved to other areas of Malir, targeting MQM unit and sector offices and killing people indiscriminately, residents claimed.

Dead and injured

Police sources said that armed men attacked MQM unit offices in Malir and Landhi and exchanged heavy fire with their rivals.

MQM leader Qamar Mansoor told The Express Tribune that 10 party workers were killed in the clashes. Meanwhile, two Awami National Party workers were shot dead in Sherpao Colony and Landhi while an MQM-H activist was gunned down in Quaidabad.

Police Surgeon Sindh Dr Hamid Padhiar confirmed 13 killings and 26 injuries, adding that all of the deceased and wounded had firearm injuries.

Claiming back territory

MQM-H leader Khalid Hameed told The Express Tribune that six of his party’s workers were killed while nearly one dozen were injured.

The MQM-H temporary headquarters, Baitul Hamza, was attacked while party worker’s residence was set on fire in Model Colony, he said, adding that the MQM activists had police and Rangers’ support.

“For 9 years we’ve been waiting for the moment to go back to our homes,” he said. “And now that we tried for the first time after all these years, everyone witnessed the aftermath.”

He claimed that his party has no shortage of ‘men or weapons,’ but they do not wish to disturb the ‘peace’ of the city.

He refuted that their party had the government or any other political party’s backing or that the event was pre-planned.

MQM condemns violence

MQM chief Altaf Hussain condemned the violence in a statement issued on Friday.

“The criminal elements were bent upon spoiling MQM’s efforts to bring peace and stability,” he said.

The party’s coordination committee also denounced the attack on localities in Malir and Khokhrapar.

“The government has failed to act promptly which is highly reprehensible,” members of the committee said.

Meanwhile, Inspector General Sindh Wajid Durrani said that a search operation would be conducted in the affected areas later in the day but no activity was reported until the filing of this report.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 23rd, 2011.

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Reader Comments (39)

  • abbas
    Jul 22, 2011 - 3:28PM

    A new wave of killing and will cost uncountable innocent lives. Only good can understand what do they a few crazy pple get out of this killing. They meet the same end eventually :(

    Recommend

  • KHAWAJA UMER FAROOQ
    Jul 22, 2011 - 4:28PM

    Untill and unless government is not able to finish political influence of three parties in Police and lawinforcement agencies These parties are fighting each other to capture city resources and true reality is that without rule of law dream of peace cant come true.
    City has divied in ethinic and seterion bases every group has own malitias.
    These Malitias are controling diffrent parts of city and govenment is seeing every thing with blind eyes to save their own interest and ordinary people are paying high price of this selfishness.

    Recommend

  • Ray of Hope
    Jul 22, 2011 - 4:36PM

    I was first thinking that media has become independent, but still now the media doesnt heave courage to write which two groups are indulged in this terrorism, only two groups, three groups, they are also cowardice and cannot write which groups.

    Recommend

  • Ali Turk
    Jul 22, 2011 - 4:43PM

    Deja vu.

    De-weponize Karachi, invest in development of Karachi,provide social services and better infrastructure.

    This city is now at the verge of social and economic melt down. Watch out……

    Recommend

  • R S JOHAR
    Jul 22, 2011 - 5:48PM

    With federal and state govt unable to control the killings taking place on daily basis despite so many assurances given by them, the interior ministry should now put the entire blame on the foreign hand to save themselves from some blushes.

    Recommend

  • bhai
    Jul 22, 2011 - 6:11PM

    Gangs of Karachi….new movie after Gangs of New York!

    Recommend

  • Hatim
    Jul 22, 2011 - 7:19PM

    It only proves that the government is not serious about security. A few more deaths. Who cares as long as it’s not someone “important?”

    Recommend

  • Logical Professy!
    Jul 22, 2011 - 7:31PM

    Why didn’t Pakistan have this remorse when India was endlessly pointing out about all this being breed in this country. Now It has clearly come back to bite us.
    At the time the attitude was we will do what we want in Pakistan and It will face the consequences. See now what happens. Each one needs to overcome this attitude of hatred breed by political propaganda and see some remorse.

    Aapka Hamdard.Recommend

  • H.A. Khan
    Jul 22, 2011 - 7:38PM

    Some one ( I do not know who amongst the present in-competent rulers) need to get this whole Karachi mess into sharp focus and take steps to stop this madness of killings, blockages, power outages, in-security. Unless this is done quickly, there will be serious civil strife in this city.

    There is no water, 10 hours power outages, traffic grid-locks,law and order issues, crumbling infrastructure…. please look into this issue seriously

    Recommend

  • tapa hua
    Jul 22, 2011 - 7:48PM

    This condition states the clear picture of law & order situation in Karachi.
    Government must take serious action against these people who are leading these groups which caused for this condition… ;”(

    Recommend

  • john
    Jul 22, 2011 - 8:41PM

    Is there anyone in pakistan who smell the destabilizing forces are creeping in from all the fronts???

    Recommend

  • Kasim
    Jul 22, 2011 - 9:52PM

    Dear Pakistan Government,

    Please call US Army to control the situation in Karachi. Atleast all the groups will try to fight with US Army and get killed instead of killing among themselves.

    Recommend

  • Incredible
    Jul 22, 2011 - 10:45PM

    @hatim
    Pakistan seriously needs an ‘Arab Spring’ like revolt to come out of its dangerous situation.

    Recommend

  • Jamil Ahmed
    Jul 22, 2011 - 11:47PM

    Killing of innocent people in Karachi by miscreants has become order of the day. It seems that our government has no concern with the safety of common man, as no solid steps are being taken by it (govt) to restore peace in Karachi.

    Recommend

  • Zafar
    Jul 22, 2011 - 11:53PM

    I always wonder why our Police need special orders to enter the troubled areas? Same excuse was given for Kati Pahari and Aligarh that Rangers and Police did not have orders to nab the criminals. Now we can understand why street crimes are so high in Karachi, the Police dont have orders (or courage????) to arrest the criminals. But they can kill any innocent Sarfaraz Shah in front of cameras and general public for which no one waited to get the special permission.

    Recommend

  • Cautious
    Jul 23, 2011 - 1:21AM

    You already ceded control of a major portion of Pakistan to the Taliban — now you can’t seem to control one of your largest cities — and you wonder why your ranked high on the list of potential failed states?
    ..
    Sometimes I wonder if the Pakistani govt does anything other than follow American diplomats around and make press conferences.

    Recommend

  • Syed A. Mateen
    Jul 23, 2011 - 1:47AM

    People of Karachi expect a lot from Mr. Manzoor Wasan

    The humble Home Minister should take into confidence all the stakeholders into confidence for restoration of peace and tranquility of the people living in Karachi.

    Killing one innocent person is equivalent to killing the whole humanity, then why people kill each other and what do they get out of it?

    If the killing of innocent people is not stopped forthwith, then people should wait for Azab-e-Elahi.

    Karachi is a Metropolitan City. Protect the lives of others and Al-Mighty Allah will protect you. Ameen.

    It is my humble request to all the killers that they should pray for Al-Mighty Allah’s to grant mercy to them.

    It is amazing that people kill their own brothers just for the sake of nothing.

    For God sake, please do not kill the innocent people like this. People living in Karachi are all brothers and sisters. Recommend

  • observer from UK
    Jul 23, 2011 - 2:30AM

    It is unfortunate the violence has returned to ill fated Karachi within days. MQM introduced gun culture in Karachi and now it has to face gun totting opponents as well. The result is that common man who is poor suffers at the hands of warring thugs. This particular episode is allegedly due to firing of MQM-H and their allies. But the credible reports are that the opposing factor is heavily armed MQM men which are now fighting for the turf. The MQM leaders are furious and blaming that the government is patronising their opponents. Why can’t MQM admit that their gunmen are defending their strongholds. That means their man are armed with guns and the reports are that they are armed with sophisticated weapons which the security forces can only dream off. It should be common sense to make an impression that those killed on both sides were gunmen. So the MQM should stop telling the world that their unarmed followers are being targeted. I am certain that there would be innocent bystanders who would have lost their lives as well.

    Recommend

  • themohajir
    Jul 23, 2011 - 3:56AM

    we need altaf hussain to come to karachi to bring lasting peace to karachi

    Recommend

  • My Name is Khan
    Jul 23, 2011 - 4:31AM

    While I am not from Karachi, it makes my heart sink to hear about how awful things there have become. Karachi is Pakistan’s financial center. Before we complain about our sovereignty being violated by the US how about we deal with the fact we don’t have sovereignty over our own country? We need to kick out all terrorists and shut down all criminals.

    Recommend

  • Jul 23, 2011 - 4:37AM

    The only solution of peace in Pakistan is the creation of more provinces, This is the the to promote brotherhood and mutual understading in the troubled areas. India has many social,cultural and caste system but after 1947 it got rid off of Jagirdari system and created more provinces for better administrative control.Even Bangladeh has created 19 more provinces. If we want to save Pakistan then create more provinces. Karachi recent killing is the failure of the administration and due to corrupt officials incharge of law and order situation. A policy of HATE HATE and LOVE LOVE will save Pakistan from further devivide and destruction. Establishment should learn a lesson from East Pakistan before it is too late in Baluchistan and elsewhere.

    Recommend

  • sumeet
    Jul 23, 2011 - 8:56AM

    i sometimes wonder if pakistan’s political parties are some sort of criminal or mafia gang more and political less?

    Recommend

  • Jul 23, 2011 - 9:21AM

    This Government need to gooooo
    & take Zulfiqar Mirza with them
    please.

    an Appeal from all the Tired Citizenssss of karachiRecommend

  • goggi
    Jul 23, 2011 - 9:53AM

    @john: i guess you have the best nose for Pakistan´s problems and some when they go to John(-:-)

    Recommend

  • Great Jaat
    Jul 23, 2011 - 11:04AM

    The only thing that can save Pakistan is a defense pact and no-war pact with India. All other solutions are just people following their own agendas. Remember my words.

    Recommend

  • ex-Karachiite
    Jul 23, 2011 - 11:24AM

    Why everything started going bad for Karachi since 2008!!! what changed!!

    Recommend

  • harry johal
    Jul 23, 2011 - 11:59AM

    you reep what uo sow.

    Recommend

  • Jahangir Siddiqui
    Jul 23, 2011 - 1:17PM

    The way that government is repeating the sentence that situation is under control, in the same manner in 1971, government was repeating the same sentence that situation is under control but finally we had seen that a country emerged on the World’s map called Bangladesh.

    Recommend

  • petriot from uk
    Jul 23, 2011 - 2:39PM

    @Kasim
    Dear Pakistan Government,
    Please call US Army to control the situation in Karachi. Atleast all the groups will try to fight with US Army and get killed instead of killing among themselves.

    why can’t pakistan govern its our own country. is it not capable ? why you expect someone else do your job.

    Recommend

  • themohajir
    Jul 23, 2011 - 3:32PM

    Karachi will be secured once Mohajirs are given a major stake in its administration and security.

    Recommend

  • Aamir
    Jul 23, 2011 - 5:22PM

    None of the armed men never caught red handed, yet authorities claim the condition is under control. The game is allowed by law enforcing agencies and this seems obvious day by day. They want to stay in Karachi to have picnic and cannot afford to settle city.Recommend

  • pardesi
    Jul 23, 2011 - 5:49PM

    Dear Pakistani friends,

    Kashmir has just a fraction of violence Karachi sees every day. Thanks a lot.

    Recommend

  • pardesi
    Jul 23, 2011 - 5:52PM

    @ Great Jaat

    be assured, India will never attack Pakistan. Never attacked anybody in its 5,000 year old history. If we sign a no-war pact with India, will Pakistan become totally peaceful? Will all your guns be gone?

    Recommend

  • Tanoli of karachi.
    Jul 23, 2011 - 6:09PM

    Angel of death got lot of work these days in pakistan he need some rest guys slow down.

    Recommend

  • Omer
    Jul 23, 2011 - 6:45PM

    land mafias and criminals given license to kill in Karachi. Time for people of Karachi to rise and get rid of these murderers! Recommend

  • Tanoli of karachi.
    Jul 23, 2011 - 7:24PM

    I Think MQM is atleast good in one thing when it says against the fuedal system no body
    else does in pakistan even i remember first nawaz shrif govt time when mqm interdused a
    tax bill against land lords both main party rejected all together same fate happend to sheria
    bill MQM just need to improved its image in the country.

    Recommend

  • Afsoos
    Jul 24, 2011 - 2:51AM

    Big question; Why are political parties and the govt authorities afraid of bringing in the Army to protect Karachi, Why? After all it will save innocent lives from being shot dead. It has been proved that police goes into hiding when there is target shooting going on, and comes out when it is all over, so sad, why are the authorities doing this to its own poeple? Their should be no room for arragance or political pride when people are being shot dead, among them many bread winners are dying leaving their families out in the cold! So many lives have already been lost by not bringing in the army – very sad, demoralising and sobering experience for the poor publi! By now, the army should have known better to come to the rescue of its citizens when police and rangers have repeatedly failed to act at the nick of the moment to protect lives. So many precious lives could have been saved – no excuse!

    Recommend

  • Zalimo
    Jul 24, 2011 - 11:17AM

    It appears to be ‘on the job training’ for the incompetency of the police while people are being shot dead. There seems to be no other explanation for this paralysis on the part of the law enforcement other than unethical politics. There should be no shame in calling in the army as this is about saving lives and not political ego. Forget all those political egos! Otherwise this will be written in history as Betrayal of the highest order by the leaders, law enforcement and even the army for staying silent while target shooting and massacre continues. So far, more than 100 precious human lives could have been saved. But nooo – - – Political egos are bigger than the lives of its citizens. Bringing in the army will simply hurt their egos. Words of condolence will not bring those precious lives back to their families. Lack of immediate effective life saving action so far is unbelievable, inhumane and criminal!

    Recommend

  • adi
    Aug 22, 2011 - 10:10PM

    There is only one solution for karachi. a big operation against terrorists across the board with the help of (PAK ARMY, PAK ARMY, PAK ARMY, PAK ARMY, PAK ARMY Please takeover salute to pak army.

    Recommend

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