Archive for the ‘Karachi’ Category

Pakistan’s Government Surrounded by Terrorists, U.S., Indian and Internal Pressure

November 30, 2008

The Pakistan government of President Zardari and Prime Minister Gilani today acutely feels the heat of terrorists as well as international pressure from a tradional friend, the U.S., and a traditional enemy, India.

This television frame grab shows Pakistani President Asif Ali ... 
President Zardari of Pakistan (AFP)

In the tribal areas of Pakistan, the U.S. wants the assistance of Pakistan’s army in controlling the Taliban and al-Qaeda that surge into Afghanistan to kill U.S. and NATO troops.  Pakistan wants to keep the U.S. out of the tribal areas so the U.S. hammers terrorists from unmanned drones with missiles when the intelligence says results will be favorable.  But the people of Pakistan have protested these air assaults from the U.S. upon Pakistan and the government has expressed extreme displeasure at almost losing control of Pakistan’s sovereignity in the northwest tribal areas.

An unmanned Predator drone. A militant Taliban group warned ... 
The U.S. has been using unmanned Predator drones like this one, armed with missiles, to attack militant Taliban terror groups inside Pakistan. The government of pakistan has condemned the missile strikes in its territory.(AFP/USAF/File)

Now, because of tensions from the terrorism in Mumbai, India, Pakistan is saying it will withdraw troops from the tribal areas to move to the border with India; a nation that seems to already be blaming Pakistan for the bloodshed in Mumbai.

India even says the only terrorist to survive the Mumbai attack, Ajmal Qasab, is a Pakistani trained by the terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba in Pakistan.

Troops from Pakistan's army secure an area in the troubled ...
Troops from Pakistan’s army secure an area in the troubled Kabal Khas district on the outskirts of Swat valley November 26, 2008.  The U.S. wants the Pakistani troops facing Afghanistan and not India.
Finally, in Pakistan’s largest city, Karachi, at least 13 people were killed and more than 70 injured when activists from rival political parties clashed this weekend.
Firefighters attempt to extinguish a fire after rioters set ... 
Firefighters attempt to extinguish a fire after rioters set ablaze several shops at a timber market in Pakistan’s largest city Karachi. At least 13 people were killed and more than 70 injured when activists from rival political parties clashed in Karachi, officials said Sunday.(AFP/Asif Hassan)

Last week’s terror violence in Mumbai and india’s subsequent investigation and likely blame, which will likely be supported by the U.S., putes extreme pressure on a Pakistani government the Times of India rightly calls “dodgy” due to its own undermining terrorist influences and actors. 

 By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom


Lure of Pakistan banks overcomes riot fears

January 7, 2008
By Farhan Bokhari in Islamabad 
Financial Times
Jamuary 7, 2008

Pakistan‘s political turmoil has failed to deter investors from pursuing the country’s fast-growing banking sector.

“We may have had turbulence recently but as you can see investors are coming to buy out or establish banks in Pakistan
“The growth in the banking sector appears to have still outpaced political uncertainty,” said Muhammad Suhail, of Karachi‘s Jehangir Siddiqui Brokerage house.

In the latest development, Saudi Pak Commercial Bank (SPCB) is due to be bought in a $200m deal….

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Bhutto’s homeland smolders with rage

December 30, 2007
By ASHRAF KHAN, Associated Press Writer

ALONG THE LARKANA-KARACHI HIGHWAY – Three days after Benazir Bhutto‘s killing, driving through her home province is a perilous experience. Charred vehicles, felled trees and rocks litter the highway, and nervous travelers paste her portrait to their cars to appease prowling mobs.

Bhutto’s killing in a gun and suicide bomb attack on Thursday plunged Pakistan deeper into political crisis and triggered an orgy of violence that has killed more than 40 people and left hundreds of banks, shops, gasoline stations, railway stations and offices torched.

Sindh, an agricultural region in the south of the country where Bhutto grew up, has seen the worst of the unrest.

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Pakistan says to hold election by January

November 5, 2007

By Kamran Haider and Augustine Anthony
(This article appeared on page 1 of The Washington Times on November 6, 2007, under the optimistic headline “Pakistan Elections Restored.”  On page 1 of The Washington Post, a picture taken just seconds apart from the photo here appeared with a much more circumspect report.)

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Pakistan said it would hold a national election by mid-January and President Pervez Musharraf pledged to quit the military after criticism from the United States for imposing emergency rule.

Musharraf has detained hundreds of lawyers and opposition politicians since taking emergency powers on Saturday, a move seen as designed to pre-empt a Supreme Court ruling on his re-election as president last month.

U.S. President George W. Bush, who values Musharraf as an ally in his battle against al Qaeda and the Taliban, urged Pakistan’s president to lift the state of emergency, hold elections and quit his military post.

Police used teargas against stone-throwing lawyers in the eastern city of Lahore, and wielded batons to break up another protest by dozens outside the High Court in Karachi.

It had been unclear whether parliamentary elections would go ahead in January as scheduled.

But Attorney General Malik Abdul Qayyum told Reuters there would be no delay and national and provincial assemblies would be dissolved by November 15 ahead of the vote that is supposed to transform Pakistan into a civilian-led democracy.

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Pakistan’s Bhutto: Investigator Replaced Amid Death Threat

October 23, 2007

KARACHI (AFP & Katmandu Online) – The police officer heading the investigation team probing the devastating suicide blasts that targeted former Pakistan premier Benazir Bhutto is expected to be replaced, officials said.

The move is being considering after Bhutto said she had no confidence in the current chief, senior police officer Manzoor Mughal, whom she accuses of involvement in the torture of her husband.

A new police officer today took over the probe into the deadly suicide attack on former Pakistan premier Benazir Bhutto’s motorcade here after she alleged that the previous officer was involved in torturing her husband in 1999.

Deputy Inspector General Saud Mirza took over as the head of the special police team investigating the bomb blasts that killed nearly 140 people and injured hundreds others.

The Interior Ministry had yesterday said that DIG (Investigation) Manzoor Mughal, who was earlier heading the probe, would be replaced due to objections raised by Bhutto’s Pakistan People’s Party.

Bhutto had alleged that Mughal was present when her husband Asif Ali Zardari was tortured while in police custody in 1999 and was saved only due to the intervention of the judiciary and top diplomats.

While the Interior Ministry maintained that Mughal had gone on leave, officials in Karachi said the provincial government had no doubts about his professionalism but had decided to replace him so that there would be no accusations of impartiality regarding the investigation.

Sindh Chief Minister Arbab Ghulam Rahim has said the entire police team probing the blasts would be replaced in the interest of impartiality.

Former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto prays with Jamiat ... 

Bhutto Has Death Threat

Former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto said Tuesday she had received a new death threat but will start campaigning in Pakistani cities in the next couple days, avoiding mass rallies.

Five days after the suicide bombing that killed at least 136 at her homecoming procession in Karachi, Bhutto said her lawyer received a letter from an unidentified “friend of al-Qaida” threatening to slaughter her “like a goat.”

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Bhutto blames deadly attack on militants

October 19, 2007

By ASHRAF KHAN, Associated Press Writer

KARACHI, Pakistan – Former Prime Minister Benezir Bhutto, her return from exile shattered by a suicide attack that killed up to 136 people, blamed militants Friday for trying to kill her and said she would not “surrender our great nation” to them.

Bhutto said there were two attackers in the deadly bombing, and that her security guards found a third man armed with a pistol and another with a suicide vest. Ahead of her arrival, she said, she was warned suicide squads were dispatched to kill her.

“There was one suicide squad from the Taliban elements, one suicide squad from al-Qaida, one suicide squad from Pakistani Taliban and a fourth — a group — I believe from Karachi,” she said.

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Blasts near Bhutto kill 126 in Pakistan

October 19, 2007


KARACHI, Pakistan – A suicide bombing in a crowd welcoming former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto killed up to 126 people Thursday night, shattering her celebratory procession through Pakistan‘s biggest city after eight years in exile.

Two explosions — a grenade followed by a suicide blast — struck near a truck carrying Bhutto, but police and officials of her party said she was not injured and was hurried to her house. An Associated Press photo showed a dazed-looking Bhutto being helped away.

Officials at six hospitals reported 126 dead and 248 wounded. Police chief Azhar Farooqi put the death toll at 113, including 20 police, with 300 people wounded. It was not immediately possible to reconcile the differences. But it was believed to be the deadliest bomb attack in Pakistan’s history.

Bhutto flew home to lead her Pakistan People’s Party in January parliamentary elections, drawing cheers ….

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30 dead in blasts near Bhutto in Karachi

October 18, 2007

By Paisley Dodds, Associated Press Writer

KARACHI, Pakistan – Two explosions went off Thursday night near a truck carrying former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto on her celebratory return to Pakistan after eight years in exile. Police and party workers said Bhutto was unhurt, but an official said there were at least 30 people killed and 100 wounded.

An Associated Press photographer at the scene said he saw between 50 and 60 dead or badly wounded people. He said some of the bodies were ripped apart.

An initial small explosion was followed by a huge blast just feet from the front of the truck carrying Bhutto during a procession through Karachi. The blast shattered windows in her vehicle.
This is a frame from TV moments after an explosion went off near the vehicle carrying former premier of Pakistan Benazir Bhutto, during a parade in Karachi, Pakistan, Thursday, October 18, 2007.

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