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Fear grips Karachi, two other cities


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— File Photo

KARACHI: Tension and fear gripped Karachi, Hyderabad and Mirpurkhas as routine life came to a halt on Friday evening following intermittent firing by unidentified youths who wanted to ensure a complete closure.

While local administration and security institutions remained tight-lipped about the reason and the people behind the sudden closure, all business and commercial activities in Karachi and other urban centres of the province were shut and traffic disappeared from roads.

In Karachi, businessmen and shopkeepers pulled down their shutters a few minutes after 9pm and by 9:30pm the entire city became deserted. Streetlights were also switched off and darkness ruled the city’s five districts.

Parts of Karachi’s East and Central district reverberated with the sound of heavy gunfire, causing fear among residents. The upscale area in the city’s South district, where a number of eateries usually remain opened late in the night, were also shut and the same situation was seen outside the Cantt and City railway stations Authorities remained reluctant to share reasons behind the organised closure. Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Memon refused to comment when asked whether the recent closure of Sindh cities was linked with any particular political party.

However, he said that the Sindh chief minister had directed the police and Rangers to step up patrols in all sensitive areas.

Like the ruling Pakistan People’s Party, its key ally in the ruling coalition was also found clueless and distanced itself from the province-wide shutdown.

“The Muttahida Qaumi Movement has nothing to do with the closure. We condemn any form of violence," said an MQM spokesman.

HYDERABAD: All business and commercial activities in areas of Hyderabad and Latifabad were suspended on Friday evening following firing into the air by unidentified youths.

Gun-totting bike riders patrolled streets of Hyderabad, Latifabad, Phulleli, Pretabad, Hirabad, cloth market and other localities and fired into the air until all shops, petrol pumps, CNG stations, food outlets and other commercial concerns were shut down.

However, life in Qasimabad remained unaffected.

MIRPURKHAS: Armed youths riding on motorbikes patrolled different localities of the city and fired into the air forcing shopkeepers to shut their business. The firing and sudden closure of the whole city caused panic among residents.

The people also faced hardship due to the sudden closure of petrol pumps and CNG stations.

Comments (27) Closed

raw is war Dec 15, 2012 06:42am
Fear over the city.
P Setra Dec 15, 2012 05:58am
All motorcycles which are being used for all kinds of crimes must be impounded. Does anybody know that a Chinese city just did that, and it worked. Can the government dare to do that to save people?
Truthful Dec 15, 2012 07:42am
Aren't we trying to prove ourselves too simplistic? We all know which is the most prominent party in these three cities? We all are aware which party has been most impacted by recent Supreme Court rulings related to electoral constituencies? We also can't forget which party behaves like all-powerful pressure-group in these cities which even the law enforcing agencies can't dare to touch?
Adeel Dec 15, 2012 08:14am
May Allah give us the right people to help change our destiny, amen.
Dheebaj Dec 15, 2012 07:53am
This is insane - why can't the media tell the nation that Muthida is behind this shutdown, and the reason. Why are we afraid? Why our local Govt comes out and tell them to stop? Every single person in Khi knows WHO, WHY the mess started....but still no one wants to talk about it. Such a shame....
G.A. Dec 15, 2012 03:00pm
A nuclear power held hostage by a dozen bikers. Another first for this nation. God help us.
Indusonian Dec 15, 2012 06:36am
Everyone knows who is behind it and everyone knows nothing is going to happen and only innocent keep getting killed.
Naseer Dec 15, 2012 06:52am
Please do not insult Congo. Cities in that country are still much safer than the cities in Pakistan.
Khanm Dec 15, 2012 07:22am
including our so called goverment
Naveed Dec 15, 2012 07:19am
This is a response to SC notice to Altaf Hussain. Then MQM supporters insist that it is not a terror outfit. Why is it terrorizing the people of Karachi?
faisal khan Dec 15, 2012 07:09am
Here media have no courage to speak out and every kid knows who is behind the scene than what individual person will do.
Javid Dec 15, 2012 07:51am
who will tell you . the corrept police from PUNJAB
aman Dec 15, 2012 06:18am
everyone knows
pal Dec 15, 2012 04:56am
Don't be such an ignorant? Everybody knows who are these unidentified youths. Allah will ask you on the judgment day. Hiding crime is also sin and you will be punished for it InshaAlalh...
Haider Dec 15, 2012 04:41am
Would anyone like to tell who these 'unidentified youths' were? Where is the wretched state? It seems like we are living in Congo.
Cyrus Howell Dec 15, 2012 11:10am
Everyone also knows why nothing is going to happen. Pakistani women need to pick up the rifle and get out of the kitchen to join the fight.
Cyrus Howell Dec 15, 2012 11:07am
Oh. You are right. War begins as mass insanity. Something like attacking and burning down cinemas in the name of God.
Mashman Dec 15, 2012 06:09am
This beautiful country is taken hostage by a group of thugs. People are too afraid to stand up to them.
Cyrus Howell Dec 15, 2012 11:14am
The Japanese are going to be very upset.
Cyrus Howell Dec 15, 2012 11:13am
Young people enjoy a good war. No jobs? No money? No wives? Have a nice day.
Cyrus Howell Dec 15, 2012 11:13am
truth Dec 15, 2012 06:27am
we should connect the dots
salma hasan Dec 15, 2012 04:09am
there is no hope for karachi. period
Bin-Aftab Dec 15, 2012 04:04am
One can witness organized-criminology which is prevailing everywhere in karachi.
Practical Dec 15, 2012 10:00pm
What has happened to the people of Sindh Province? Are they incompetent to manage the security of their own province that they have to get security staff from other province i.e police, judges, beuracrats etc. Grow up people of Sindh Province and manage your own affairs on security to protect all people living in Sindh province.
aliya Dec 17, 2012 11:45am
We are born to live in fear and always criticize other countries......
Adnan Dec 16, 2012 06:48am
It is evident that MQM has some responsibility regarding the violence in Sindh. The people of Karachi are too blind to see this.