KARACHI, July 7: Karachi remained in grip of violence for the third consecutive day on Thursday and another 34 people, including a six-year-old girl, were killed in armed attacks on buses and houses.
The death toll in three days of violence rose to 63 with the security administration appearing to be completely paralysed and unable to quell violence.
City Police Chief Saud Mirza said that 18 people were killed in armed attacks in Qasba Colony and parts of Orangi Town, which remained the worst affected areas. At least 12 people were killed and over 30 injured in attacks on two passenger buses in the areas.
After keeping quiet for the whole day, the political administration came up with a late-night announcement that 1,000 personnel of the Frontier Constabulary had been deployed, but the authorities denied planning any ‘major operation’ in the strife-torn areas.
“Let me make it very clear that there is no operation planned,” Interior Minister Rehman Malik, who arrived here after midnight on instructions of the prime minister, told reporters at the Quaid-i-Azam International Airport.
“But definitely there will be targeted actions in the affected areas and I have ordered deployment of 1,000 FC troops to enforce law in the city.”
Answering a question, he did not blame any party for the worst cycle of ethnic violence in Karachi in many years, but called upon Muttahida Qaumi Movement chief Altaf Hussain and the Awami National Party to play their role to restore peace in the city.
“Karachi is in a sensitive situation, but we have all the information, we know where the planning was done to start violence, we know who are the elements behind it and we are determined to take action against them,” he added.
Earlier, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah presided over a meeting on the law and order situation. The meeting, attended by police and Sindh Rangers authorities, ended with shoot-at-sight orders to enforce the writ of the government. It also agreed to move against ‘armed miscreants’ on Friday.
“During the past two days we pointed out strife-torn areas and gathered intelligence,” City Police Chief Saud Mirza told Dawn. “Now we will definitely move against them (terrorists) with credible information in hand. I can assure you that the situation will start turning better from Friday.”
The bus attacks on Friday targeting mainly Urdu-speaking passengers appeared to be in retaliation of the killing of five Pakhtuns whose bullet-riddled bodies were found in a minibus on Thursday.