Monday, July 07, 2008

Series of blasts rock Karachi

Series of blasts rock Karachi
Daily Times, July 8, 2008

KARACHI/LAHORE: Up to 50 people – including around seven children – were injured in a series of seven low-intensity explosions in two busy neighbouring areas of Karachi on Monday.

The blasts came within 90 minutes of each other, striking residential and commercial areas. No deaths have been reported. Two of the blasts occurred in Banaras, injuring 16 people. The third explosion, which injured five people, ripped through a mini-truck in North Nazimabad. Ambulance drivers said eight people were taken to hospital.

The fourth bomb was affixed to a motorcycle in Qasba Colony. A fifth explosion occurred near a children’s school in Hyderi. A policeman was injured in the sixth blast in Manghopir. The seventh and final blast occurred in Pak Colony, injuring seven people.

Ethnic strife: Sindh Police Inspector General (IG) Sallahuddin Babar Khattak said the blasts were fairly mild with investigation teams headed by Deputy IGs having been dispatched to all affected areas.

“Apparently the purpose was to create panic in the city. There is also a possibility that the people who planted the bombs wanted to fan ethnic tensions in the city,” Khattak told AFP. He said it appeared that 150-200 grammes of explosives were used in each blast.

Crime Investigation Department sources claimed that timed devices were used in the attacks, adding that this likely ruled out the involvement of jihadi elements. Khattak also noted that the areas struck have a predominantly large Pakhtoon population and the headquarters of the government’s coalition partner Awami National Party is located at Banaras Chowk.

Tension gripped several areas affected by the bombs, with enraged mobs pelting cars with stones, burning tyres and chanting anti-government slogans, an AFP reporter said. However, no major riots were reported.

Only 2 bombs: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah said that of the seven blasts, only two were bombings while the remaining five were hand grenade attacks, according to Aaj TV.

Suspension: Shah also suspended the TPOs, DPOs, SPOs and SHOs of the police precincts struck, reported Geo News. He announced compensation of Rs 50,000 for each of the injured. faraz khan/afp/daily times monitor.

Also see:
Multiple bombs kill one, wound 37 in Pakistan's Karachi - AFP


Anonymous said...

A prospective about these bomb blast in Karachi


A day after a suicide bombing in the Pakistani capital city of Islamabad, a series of explosions hit Pashtun-dominated areas of the port city of Karachi on July 7. While the Islamabad bombing indicates the growing jihadist problem in Pakistan, the Karachi blasts appear to be about strengthening Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf's hold on power.

A day after Pakistan's capital city Islamabad was rocked by a deadly suicide bombing, a series of small blasts struck the port city of Karachi on July 7. The attacks occurred within a span of one hour in Pashtun-dominated areas of north and central Karachi. The devices, which appear to have been crude, killed two people and injured around 50 others, prompting small-scale riots.

The Islamabad suicide bombing is yet another indicator of Pakistan's intensifying jihadist problem. By contrast, the Karachi attacks appear to be more about Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf's political survival than anything else.

Musharraf is still in the political hot seat, with his political opponents regularly calling for his removal either through an honorable exit or through an impeachment trial. Nonetheless, the beleaguered president still has staying power mainly due to severe political infighting in the newly elected civilian government and his success in packing Pakistan's Supreme Court with allies to block any legal attempts to remove him from power.

To further secure his political position, Musharraf can rely on his friends in the Mutahiddah Qaumi Movement (MQM), a Muhajir political party that long has been the kingmaker of Pakistan's main port city and closely allied with Musharraf. The MQM has no shortage of political thugs to serve Musharraf's political agenda. The group dominates the organized crime sector in Karachi's ports and has been known to instigate ethnic riots and organize large pro-Musharraf demonstrations in the past.

The July 7 attacks targeted the poor segment of Karachi's Pashtun population -- a popular target for the MQM's attempts to stir up ethnic unrest in Karachi. By playing the MQM card, Musharraf can demonstrate to his political opponents in the government that he remains the king of Karachi through his ties with the MQM, and without him, the country's largest trading hub could fall into chaos.

The MQM, meanwhile, has its own reason to play along with Musharraf's political maneuvers. The Feb. 18 general elections gave Musharraf's opponents -- the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz -- an overwhelming victory, putting the Musharraf-allied MQM in the opposition. With Musharraf in power, the MQM retains political clout in the government. But if Musharraf gets the boot, MQM leaders would have to start from scratch in buying political influence among the government's leading parties. Through intimidation tactics in Karachi, the MQM can signal that it is still a political force to be reckoned with.

While this political wrangling is certainly not atypical for Pakistan, it comes at a most precarious time. Pakistan is already approaching a crisis point as the jihadist insurgency continues to spiral out of control. Stoking ethnic unrest in Karachi for political reasons exacerbates the security dilemma confronting the state and provides a greater opportunity for the jihadists to strike.

Courtesty Whiznews

Anonymous said...

Send All Afganis back to Afganistan and Qabailis to Qabialistan.