At least 740 people killed in Karachi in 2012: HR group
“About 740 people have been the victims of violent shootings in the last five months,” Zohra Yusuf, chair of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) said on Tuesday.
The port city has experienced a tug of war between members of political parties who represent rival ethnic groups, while the authorities have failed to stop violence.
“People are being killed with impunity by various ethnic groups while the government, it seems, has little control to put an end to it,” Yusuf complained.
Pakistan has suffered financial losses due to the deep hostilities in Karachi, where residents flee the violence and shops and markets have to close in large swathes of the economic hub.
According to the rights group, a total of 1,715 people were killed in violent incidents which broke out in 2011 in Pakistan’s biggest city, home to an estimated population of 17 million.
The victims include 107 political activists assassinated by members of rival groups, while the rest are people with no political affiliations, HRCP said.
Much of the violence has been blamed on tensions between supporters of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, representing the Urdu-speaking majority, and the Awami National Party, which represents ethnic Pashtun migrants.
Karachi has also been used by the US-led military alliance to ship supplies to their forces in neighboring Afghanistan.
Islamabad shut down the border crossing after US air strikes killed 24 Pakistani soldiers on the Afghan border in November 2011.