Where law enforcers fear to tread: The entry fee for these spots of Karachi may be your life

Published: March 23, 2013
Red areas are completely no-go areas, while Orange are only for a
particular ethnicity in times
of ethnic violence.

Red areas are completely no-go areas, while Orange are only for a particular ethnicity in times of ethnic violence.


Shortly after the armed forces launched the Kalosha II operation in South Waziristan back in 2004, the crocodiles lazing in the murky natural pond in Manghopir got new neighbours. Suddenly, they weren’t the most dangerous residents of the area.

Embedded in the increased influx of Mehsud tribesmen coming to Karachi were militants who settled in Pakhtun-dominated areas of the city, attempting to blend in unnoticed. They would soon go on to disrupt the life of the city’s residents – including the crocodiles at Hazrat Khawaja Hassan’s shrine, which was closed for over a month following the bomb attack in 2010 on Abdullah Shah Ghazi’s shrine.

“First, the hunters – the law enforcers – used to only get hurt when they dared to put their hands in the den of the lions, the militants. Now it seems as if the lions have come out of the den and are stalking the hunters themselves,” DSP Qamar Ahmed told The Express Tribune.

The militants, including Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) members, now have an iron grip over parts of the city, including Sohrab Goth, Manghopir and Ittehad Town. Over the years, they made increasingly brazen attacks, including one on Sohrab Goth police station on January 29 this year.

SHO Ashfaq Baloch of the Manghopir police station admits that it is difficult to impose the writ of the state in his jurisdiction and that standard operating procedures followed by law enforcers elsewhere in the city have to be bent – very drastically.

“When a killing occurs somewhere else in the city, a lone constable usually hops onto a motorcycle and speeds off to the scene of the crime. Here, we can’t think of doing that unless we have a death wish,” he said. “We have to make sure our weapons are loaded. Then an entire team, headed by me, gets into a police mobile. Only when we pacify the criminals that we haven’t come to apprehend them can we advance safely to retrieve the body.”

SHO Baloch added that he prefers not to send the officers on duty to pick up a body. “We often wait for a body to turn up at one of the hospitals and then head there to question the family and any eyewitnesses.” What about raids and patrols in the area? SHO Baloch shakes his head.

DSP Ahmed’s statement seems to suggest that no-go areas in the city will grow organically like cancer. Should we fear that criminals want all-out anarchy where the law of the jungle is followed all over the city? SSP Amir Farooqi, who heads the police’s Orangi division, doesn’t think so. “They don’t want to turn Karachi into a war zone.

“They’re here to recruit people and generate funds to send back to their comrades along the tribal belt. Setting the economic hot spot of Pakistan ablaze wouldn’t exactly be conducive for this purpose.”

No-go areas only for a particular ethnicity in times of ethnic violence (Orange)

1.      Safoora Goth

2.      Area near Micassa apartment

3.      Area around Old Sabzi Mandi

4.      Shireen Jinnah Colony

5.      Shah Rasool Colony

6.      Hijrat Colony and Sultanabad

7.      Memon Goth

8.      Sharifabad

9.      Kati Pahari

10.    Quaidabad

11.    Bilawal Shah Noorani Goth

12.    Pehlwan Goth

13.    Hazara Goth

14.    Sherpao Basti

15.    Natha Khan Goth

16.    Bizerta Lines

17.    Delhi Colony

18.    Chanesar Goth

19.    Ilyas Goth

20.    PIB Colony

21.    Parts of New Karachi

22.    Azizabad

23.    Jamali Goth

24.    Areas along Drigh Road

25.    Jackson and docks

26.    Khokrapar

27.    Mehran Town

28.    Parts of Landhi

29.    Shershah

Complete no-go areas because of the presence of militants or gangsters (Red)

A.     Pakhtunabad

B.     Sultanabad

C.     Ittehad Town

D.     New Mianwali Colony

E.     Parts of Lyari

F.     Macchar Colony

G.    Settlements in Sohrab Goth

H.    Shanti Nagar & Dalmia

I.      Qayyummabad

J.      Afghan Basti

K.     Kunwari Colony

L.     Chota Plaza

M.    Supermarket area of Sohrab Goth

Published in The Express Tribune, March 23rd, 2013.

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Reader Comments (7)

  • PiS
    Mar 23, 2013 - 6:01AM

    We need to do an aggressive chemotherapy to wipe out this cancer. Change is around the corner. All we need to do is to reach out and grab this window of opportunity! #PTI


  • ABCD
    Mar 23, 2013 - 6:21AM

    I appeal to the CJ of Supreme Court of Pakistan to please deport all illegal Afghans. Terrorism will go down by at least 50% and target killing by 75%.


  • Ammar Khan
    Mar 23, 2013 - 11:05AM

    This should be issued with Karachi tourist map.


  • Sajid
    Mar 23, 2013 - 2:30PM

    Karachi tourist map, I havent heard of it has anybody seen it?


  • Karachiwala
    Mar 24, 2013 - 12:27AM

    It clearly tells, that all these area has nothing to do with MQM.
    anybody who has lived in karachi, already know who these areas belong too.

    its not MQM, but all the others who are trying to snatch the mandate.


  • Observer
    Mar 24, 2013 - 6:38AM

    Hey isn’t Karachi the same city where they sell meat of dead animals and make cooking oil out of rotting corpses? Don’t need to answer this question but think about what the answer means.

    Of course your cities would become diseased with these sort of cancers of society. The minds are diseased because the bodies are diseased.

    In the end the world will realize that there is no need for this country to exist and it will exterminate the whole lot. The time is near for that to happen.


  • Max
    Apr 4, 2013 - 3:27PM

    @Observer: Our law enforcers are clearing up these areas fast so quickly decide the topic of your next idiotic rant.Recommend

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