Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Pakistan violence: Sparked by Karachi's 300th assassination this year

300 Political Assassinations?


the CSM
The death of Raza Haider, a member of parliament and senior leader of the secular Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) party, is the latest and most high-profile in a series of political assassinations that have deepened ethnic tensions in Pakistan’s financial capital. Over 300 people have been assassinated for ethnic or political reasons in Karachi this year. But now, the government claims that militant groups are behind Haider's assassination.

That may be the case, but Pakistani society is seeing a growing degree of both religious and ethnic polarization. There have been attacks by militants on Sufi shrines in other parts of the country. And while retaliation has been limited so far, there were signs of further trouble in the overnight rioting. The MQM represents Karachi's majority Urdu-speaking population and are rivals for political leadership and land ownership with minority Pashtuns who have migrated from northwestern Pakistan seeking employment.

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