Settling scores: Taliban on a killing spree in Karachi

Published: August 16, 2012
RIVALRY: 65 people hailing from Swat
have been killed in Karachi in
target killings, mostly at the
hands of the TTP-Swat. PHOTO: FILE.

RIVALRY: 65 people hailing from Swat have been killed in Karachi in target killings, mostly at the hands of the TTP-Swat. PHOTO: FILE.


Karachi, it seems, didn’t turn out to be a safe retreat for pro-government Pashtun leaders seeking to escape the vengeful Taliban in Swat and tribal areas – refugee-militants have begun targeting Awami National Party workers in the metropolis.

The most recent attack was on ANP Sindh central working committee member Amir Sardar, who hailed from Thana, Malakand.

Sardar, 55, who was associated with the ANP for over 30 years, was shot dead, along with two other ANP Sindh activists, near his home in SITE Town, Karachi, on Monday.

The Malakand chapter of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the killings, claiming Sardar was punished for his assistance to the police in arresting TTP men.

Sher Shah Khan, an elected representative from Swat in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Assembly, told The Express Tribune that over 65 people hailing from Swat have been killed in Karachi in target killings, mostly at the hands of the TTP.

According to Sher Shah, militants fled to Karachi when the Pakistan Army and paramilitary forces launched an operation in Swat against the Maulana Fazalullah-led militants in 2009.

“For a year, they abandoned their activities and remained underground, but later, they started killing pro-government leaders and those who were associated with peace committees in Swat or supported security forces,” he said.

People from the Kabal Tehsil of Swat were mostly targeted as the tehsil was the birthplace of TTP-Swat.

“Since the military offensive in Swat, 36 people from Kabal Tehsil have been killed in Karachi, mostly by militants from TTP-Swat,” Sher Shah added.

He also raised the issue in the K-P Assembly. “If a military operation can be conducted in Swat, then why not in Karachi?” he said.

‘Settling scores’

Saifullah Khan, chairman of the Nekpikhel Aman Jirga in Swat, told The Express Tribune that militants began targeting influential people from Swat in May 2010, and have, so far, killed over 60 people in Karachi.

Former ANP Sindh District West president Saeed Ahmed Khan was killed in SITE Town on January 5, 2012. One of the attackers, identified as Aminullah, was killed on the spot by retaliatory fire by the police.

“Aminullah was a member of the Fazalullah group in Swat and was hiding in Karachi since the military offensive,” Saifullah said.

On June 18, Sher Ali Khan, head of Swat Quami Ittehad and Chairman Pakistan Seamen’s Union, was also killed in SITE.

“The militants have killed mainly those people who were associated with peace committees or those who supported the military operation,” Saifullah said, adding that there was no doubt that they are killing people from Swat ‘to settle score’.

‘Taliban not the only killers’

ANP Sindh General Secretary Bashir Jan, however, says the Taliban are not the only ones behind the killing of Pashtuns.

“Blaming the Taliban for every killing is not correct. There are a multiple factors involved in the target killings of Pashtuns in Karachi,” Jan told The Express Tribune.

“The Taliban have killed some of our people in Karachi but they are not responsible for all the killings,” he added.

Jan said his party has asked law enforcement agencies to provide security to its leaders in Sindh, numbering between 30 and 40. However, he added, their request is yet to be fulfilled.

Meanwhile, Chief of the Anti-Extremist Cell of the Crime Investigation Department SSP Chaudhry Muhammad Aslam Khan told The Express Tribune: “We have arrested a number of militants hailing from Swat in Karachi, who are wanted in various cases back home,” Khan said.

While admitting that militants from Swat are involved in target killings, he stressed that militants from tribal regions are far more active in Karachi.

West Zone SSP Amer Farooqi suspected that most of the target killings are preplanned and militants had come to Karachi with specific instructions and plans.

“A new trend has emerged,” he said. “They have started killing policemen to increase their personal influence, and I also think they kill each other because they support different groups.”

Published in The Express Tribune, August 16th, 2012. 

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Reader Comments (30)

  • junaid
    Aug 16, 2012 - 3:31AM

    why not the police do encounter all suspected militants of TTP


  • B+
    Aug 16, 2012 - 4:11AM

    when Altaf Hussain said taliban are coming to Karachi from Swat everyone make fun of him. Now it is evident that who is behind the unrest in Karachi.


  • Mir Agha
    Aug 16, 2012 - 4:25AM

    The ANP thought it could get away with supporting the murder of Pashtuns in the tribal areas by the army and US drones. Cheer-leading war while claiming non-violence and “pakhtun interests” will not work.


  • Aug 16, 2012 - 4:29AM

    Just gets worse and worse with these militants growing like a cancer…


  • Shan Nasir
    Aug 16, 2012 - 4:38AM

    Altaf Hussain was right when he warned about talibinisation in Karachi


  • Amirzada
    Aug 16, 2012 - 5:14AM

    I dnd know why ANP always try to set their political scores on bloods of innocent Pakhtuns. If ANP may have accepted this fact earlier these networks of Taliban can’t be florished tht much at least in Karachi. No they are not only killing ANP leaders and peace committee members of Swat, but are also are trying to make their hold strong in all Pakhtun dominated areas.
    If we the people who came here to save our lives from terrorism in Pakhtunkhwa are not save in Karachi, where we go ?


  • Aug 16, 2012 - 5:38AM

    “OMG – Taliban in Karachi? No can’t be – It has to be MQM behind the mess!” ET YOU ARE WRONG!


  • aysha
    Aug 16, 2012 - 5:56AM

    Karachi was a peaceful place inhabited by people who believed that progress can only be achieved through education, until hordes descended upon Karachi with a tribal mindset and then we saw spate of violence and unrest in the city. Those who came down to Karachi were provided entry without any screening or police check. They brought with them tribal culture of turf fights and unrestrained use of weapon and lack of confidence in the civilized form of conflict resolution. The city now portrays a war zone where loss of life is a regular feature.


  • Munner Bajji
    Aug 16, 2012 - 7:33AM

    The fact that the Taliban is even allowed to exist, carry out operations shows the poor security & conditions that the man & woman in the street have been forced to live. Pakistan needs to take this seriously by enacting a mandatory draft service for all young men between the ages of 25-30 who serve their country and are trained to be a second layer a brigade to insure protection for women & children. Young men have too much time on their hands, and this will strengthen the fight to get these Taliban elements destroyed from our society.


  • Imran A. Azeem
    Aug 16, 2012 - 7:39AM

    The same taliban are using 9mm pistols to shoot their opponents. the same taliban are extorting money from everyone and the same taliban are attacking the our bases like they do it now at Kamra.


  • Softimage
    Aug 16, 2012 - 7:44AM

    Yes we are a bunch of hulks had we listened to what mr. Altaf Hussain was pre warning we would never have been in the mess what Karachi is facing today. But is better late than never this alarming situation should be met with an iron hand forthwith..


  • Basit
    Aug 16, 2012 - 7:45AM

    MQM proved right again. Can ANP answer how did their areas become welcoming grounds for TTP in the first place? Does ANP not know who lives among their own people?

    Taliban are not aliens from outside, but they have tribal ties, brothers, sons and fathers among Pushtuns. Why can’t ANP identify the enemy within?


  • Aug 16, 2012 - 7:55AM

    @S. Ali Raza: My suggestion is to look, read, observe, understand and then comment. There will be some value in that. Just trumpeting away at the MQM will not get you anywhere. Salams


  • ahmed
    Aug 16, 2012 - 8:44AM

    MQM, ANP, and PPP were playing ludo, while taliban is doing all the killing


  • TightBanian
    Aug 16, 2012 - 10:23AM

    Its a heavy price Pakistan is paying for getting into bed with the terrorists. All it has done is devastated the nation to the extent that it seems there is no way back from here.


  • Enlightened
    Aug 16, 2012 - 10:24AM

    The situation is going out of hand in Karachi and many other parts of Pakistan. Karachi should be handed over to the military without further loss of time.


  • DevilHunterX
    Aug 16, 2012 - 10:36AM

    MQM Quaid Altaf Hussain congratulate engineer of Khairpur Agha Waqar on his success in designing water kit that can run engines of car, motorcycle and generator. Members of MQM Coordination Committee Raza Haroon and Saif Yar Khan convey congratulations of MQM Quaid Altaf Hussain to Engr Agha Waqar on Phone.


  • Nasir Mahmood
    Aug 16, 2012 - 10:38AM

    When the governance is bad all these things happen. When the coalition partners black-mail the Govt., the result is obvious.


  • aysha
    Aug 16, 2012 - 10:48AM

    Yeah all solutions lie with th Army. How about holding local government elections and handing over the responsibility to the occupants of the house to put it in order. Only those who have a true sense of belonging to the city can put matters right and nobody else. Those who live off Kachi and spend in Karachi and bury their dead in Karachi are interested in restoring peace in the city and should be empowered. All others look at Karachi as a gold mine but they must realize that it is fast depleting soon there will be very little left to devour.


  • Vikas
    Aug 16, 2012 - 11:28AM

    Good Job TTP. We need such kind of law and order in Pakistan so that all capital flows out from Pakistan to India. Thanks a lot.


  • hamid
    Aug 16, 2012 - 11:39AM

    Pakistan has become a failed state.. thanks to feudal and beradri culture..people elects rotten leaders and u can see the result.people will be left alone to suffer the misery while their elected moral corrupt leaders will leave Pakistan once Pakistan collapses. i am sad but it is a fact.


  • Buttsniff khan
    Aug 16, 2012 - 11:41AM

    happy independence day…..


  • critics
    Aug 16, 2012 - 12:02PM

    These are freedom fighters …..Don’t blame them. We need such forces as strategic assets.


  • Aug 16, 2012 - 1:27PM

    Even Voldemort rose like this. The people started disappearing or turning up dead. The general populace were in denial thinking it was some random acts.

    Here too the Taliban are doing the same, people are in denial thinkings its some US and Indian conspiracy.

    If you have a fatal disease and you keep taking medicines for common cold, fatality is guaranteed.


  • ather khan
    Aug 16, 2012 - 2:25PM

    mqm and anp should co-operate to uproot the evil terrorism from karachi. both of the parties are coalition partner. why can’t they work for the betterment of people???


  • Aug 16, 2012 - 2:59PM

    they should be killed in encounter other wise CJ will release them…


  • umer
    Aug 16, 2012 - 5:27PM

    @S. Ali Raza:
    how can u say? u should b provide evidenc.


  • Greater Pakistan
    Aug 16, 2012 - 8:14PM

    To all endians and foreign blockheads
    9 hours after this attack…………….MUJHAHIDEENS have shot down a nato helicopter in Afghanistan………… go and cheer that!!!!!!!!!!!Recommend

  • rafiq
    Aug 19, 2012 - 4:24AM

    when was the last time karachi called as a peasefull place definatly before ur birth ?????


  • YA
    Aug 30, 2012 - 3:16AM

    @ Rafiq,

    Karachi was a peaceful place at my birth atleast until discrimination against the city reached the extent that it became unbearable. People came for fortune and never saw the city as their own. The local people of this city were seen as outsiders and such ideas where endorsed by many. Until there was a blow-back, thats when it started, now its a whole new ball game.

    The demographic have changed in the city and while we were playing US versus THEM, the cancer of fundamentalism grew and took root in our city and I do not mean the TTP, I am referring to the mind set of the people. We are a people who would completely ignore humanity and common sense in the name of religion.

    And we will cry about and say, this is not Islamic; if Islam was practiced this would not happen, these people are not Muslims, these people do not know about Islam, we need to practice the sunnah.

    Please pay attention to what the fundamentalists are saying, their claim is exactly the same, there is minimal difference between people who say the above and fundamentalists, the only differences is that the fundamentalists are willing to take or give their life for their cause.

    In the end I can only say this for myself: If a religion is not compatible with compassion I will not follow it, if it does not show mercy to the weak I will not follow it, If it discriminates I will not follow it, if it takes pushes people away from humanity I will not follow it, if teaches dogma over logic and reason I will not follow it. If it incites hatred I will not follow it. I WILL NOT FOLLOW IT NO MATTER WHAT RELIGION IT IS……


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