- Title: PAKISTAN: Police told to shoot on sight in crackdown on Karachi violence
- Date: 9th July 2011
- Summary: PEOPLE READING NEWSPAPERS (SOUNDBITE) (Urdu) AKBAR ALI, EMPLOYEE OF LOCAL BANK, SAYING "It is the responsibility of the government to make some effort, and to take steps to safeguard the people." DESERTED STREET
- Embargoed: 24th July 2011 13:00
- Location: Pakistan, Pakistan
- Country: Pakistan
- Topics: Crime
- Reuters ID: LVAAK2XW9O7L9U18PSG1VOE9D4ZE
- Aspect Ratio:
- Story Text: Pakistani police and paramilitary troops were on Friday (July 8) ordered to shoot on sight in its largest city, Karachi, after the killings of at least 70 people during three days of ethnic and political violence.
Shops and fuel stations were shut and public transport was at a standstill after the city's dominant political party, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) announced a day of mourning over the latest surge in violence. It has threatened a city-wide strike if the government fails to quell the bloodshed.
Provincial Information Minister Sharjeel Memon told Reuters that another 1,000 Frontier Constabulary personnel had been drafted in to reinforce police and rangers already in the city to help curb the violence.
At least 37 people were killed in a single day on Thursday (July 7). In one of the worst attacks on Thursday armed men targeted three buses, killing 13 passengers and injuring 20 others.
Residents of the teeming city were shocked by the carnage.
"We are extremely worried. There is no work. Killings and violence has increased to such an extent that no one is safe anymore," a daily wage labourer Mohammad Naeem told Reuters Television.
Other residents called for an immediate solution to the violence.
"Everyone should sit down and try to find a solution to this problem, this suffering of the people. Creating an atmosphere of chaos and fear is not a solution to this problem," said Yar Mohammad.
"It is the responsibility of the government to make some efforts, and to take steps to safeguard the people," added local bank employee Said Akbar Ali.
According to a statement from the President's office, President Asif Ali Zardari has taken notice of the worsening law and order situation in the city and demanded a report on the situation.
He has also asked Interior Minister Rehman Malik to travel to Karachi and help formulate a strategy to bring peace to the port city, the statement said.
A report by Pakistan's Human Rights Commission said 1,138 people were killed in Karachi in the first six months of 2011, of which 490 were victims of political, ethnic and sectarian violence.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2011. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None