Strike paralyses life in Karachi

August 23rd, 2011 - 2:53 pm ICT by IANS  

Yousuf Raza Gilani Islamabad, Aug 23 (IANS) A strike called by a political party Tuesday brought life in violence-hit Karachi city to a standstill.

The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) strike paralysed life in Karachi, where all major markets, petrol and CNG stations and most private offices remain closed and traffic was off the roads.

Major organisations of traders and transporters supported the MQM call and said they cannot do business in an uncertain environment.

The toll from ethnic and target attacks reached up to 100 over the past week, Xinhua quoted police and hospital sources as saying.

Nearly 300 people were killed in July alone.

The MQM, which mainly represents the Urdu-speaking people in Karachi, called for a strike in Karachi to condemn the violence and mourn the deaths.

Senior MQM leader Farooq Sattar said Monday that miscreants have targeted ethnic Urdu-speaking people during the fresh wave of violence in Karachi.

There has been sharp increase in violence after last week’s killing of a former parliamentarian Waja Karim Dad in a hand grenade attack in the Lyari area of Karachi.

The slain former lawmaker belonged to the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party.

Security officials said that criminal gangs are mostly involved in the recent violence in Karachi, a multi-ethnic city of around 18 million people.

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani flew to Karachi Monday in a move to personally review the fast deteriorating law and order situation in the city and discuss with local authorities as how to check the violence.

He ordered tough action.

The government is under mounting pressure to deploy army in Karachi as the police and paramilitary force have failed to quell violence.

Army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani Saturday said the army is ready to help in restoring peace if the government asks for it. But Gilani ruled out deployment of army and said the police and paramilitary force will succeed in restoring normalcy in Karachi.

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