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July 8th, 2011

KARACHI, PAKISTAN – More than 80 people were killed on Karachi streets in the past four days by unknown assailants. Law enforcement has been granted the right to shoot aggressors on the spot in effort to control the latest upsurge of violence.

  • The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) posted a report on June 16, 2011 that condemned the violence. The HRCP identified the exploitation of ethnic differences by the political parties as the primary cause.
  • The violence is linked to the ongoing rivalry between the city’s two major political parties, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement and the Awami National Party.
  • Recent reports released by the HRCP estimates that 1,138 people were killed in the first half of 2011 due to conflict.
  • Shops, gas/petrol stations, and community centers have shut down this week as residents refuse to leave their homes for fear of personal safety.
  • Karachi has a long history of ethnic, religious, and sectarian violence.

Original sources: Reuters; Associated Press of Pakistan; The Nation, Pakistan; Los Angeles Times; Al Jazeera English; Daily India; Hindustan Times; BBC News.

Analysts available for comment:

Samina Ahmed, Ph.D. is the South Asia project director for International Crisis Group. She is a specialist on South Asian affairs, particularly the insurgencies in Pakistan and Afghanistan.


Location: South Asia

Languages: English; Urdu

Ambassador Akbar Ahmed is the Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies at American University in Washington, D.C., and the former High Commissioner of Pakistan to Great Britain.


Location: North America

Languages: English; French; Pashto; Urdu

Christophe Jaffrelot, Ph.D. is a French political scientist and expert on South Asia, particularly India and Pakistan. He is the former director of CERI at SciencesPo in Paris, France’s foremost center for research on international politics, and served in this role from 2002-8.


Location: West Europe

Languages: English; French

Hassan Abbas, Ph.D. is a former Pakistani government official who served in the administrations of Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto (1995-6) and President Pervez Musharraf (1999-2000). He is currently the Quaid-i-Azam chair and professor at Columbia University’s South Asia Institute.


Location: North America

Languages: English; Panjabi; Urdu

Naveed Ahmad is a journalist at Gulf News in Islamabad, Pakistan. He served as a Geo News Correspondent for many years and worked with multiple media agencies around the world. Ahmad specializes in investigative reporting on security affairs, civil-military relations, diplomacy, energy and religion.


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