The unrest starts up again – in many areas of the city the past few days there have been _disturbances_. Just today, going to Plaza the roads were partially blocked. Sirens screamed in the evening and roads were shut. There were police posted at every corner – very firmly posted indeed. As I passed by Abdullah Haroon road, the road was blocked off and apparently some not-very-pleasant things were going on. Saddar closed down as I passed through it – and this is a place where the lights never go off before midnight.
Perhaps it’s just a bad week – but the overall mood seems to be ugly. Things are far from bad – _compared to the 90’s_ – but once again you have to move around with caution. People stayed back late at work as they couldn’t get home – buses not running – *fear is in the air once again*.
The cause of all this? “Shamzai?”:http://www.dawn.com/2004/05/31/top3.htm Nothing is certain in this city. Is it the religious mafia showing their displeasure? Or is it just random nutjobs? Once again the usual prominent _Islamic leaders_ proclaimed that a fellow Muslim could do no such thing and it had to be the work of an outside agency (meaning: the Indians). Of course, by doing so they conveniently ignore 1400 odd years of historical precedent – but then they can’t really be expected to know of events dating so far back.
Whatever the causes, it’s definitely not business as usual:
* ‘Dawn: KARACHI: Book bazaar not held due to law, order situation’:http://www.dawn.com/2004/05/31/local3.htm
* “Dawn: KARACHI: Angry mob damages property, 20 vehicles – Mufti Shamzai’s killing”:http://www.dawn.com/2004/05/31/local1.htm
*Breaking News*: As I write this, yet one more bomb blast in the city:
bq. KARACHI: At least thirteen worshipers, including a child, were killed and 29 reportedly injured when a powerful blast went off in Imambargah Ali Raza at M.A. Jinnah road on Monday evening.
>> “At least thirteen killed, 29 hurt in another Karachi mosque blast”:http://jang-group.com/thenews/may2004-daily/31-05-2004/main/update.shtml
bq. Mosque Explosion in Karachi Leaves 15 Dead : KARACHI, May 31: A bomb explosion ripped through a Shiite Muslim mosque in Karachi today, killing at least 15 people and wounding more than 35, police said. Witnesses said a blast rocked the Imam Bargah Ali Raza mosque during evening prayers – the latest in a series of terrorist attacks to hit Karachi. A senior official said the attack was possible retaliation for the assassination of a senior Sunni Muslim cleric in the city on Sunday. Tariq Jamil, chief of operations of Karachi police, said it was a “high-intensity bomb” and at least 15 people were killed and more than 35 injured.
>> “Dawn: Breaking News May 31”:http://www.dawn.com/2004/05/31/welcome.htm
Many are worried now about the Shia response. This is yet one more of many Shia mosques blown up in this city…. things are going to get really ugly now.
*Update:* An outside view of Karachi:
bq. Karachi is starting to seem like Baghdad with ‘four major bombings’:http://www.paktribune.com/news/index.php?id=66569 in less than two weeks, ‘assassinations’:http://www.jihadwatch.org/archives/002083.php, and ‘major riots’:http://www.csmonitor.com/2004/0601/dailyUpdate.html. The US recently put out warnings, saying there would most likely be more attacks and it seems like Al Queda is behind the bombings trying to create instability in Karachi it can exploit. No matter who is to ‘blame’:http://www.hipakistan.com/en/detail.php?newsId=en66121&F_catID=&f_type=source Karachi is a ‘powder keg’:http://www.nirajweb.net/mt/niraj/archives/002537.html that needs very little to ignite.
>> ‘Robi’s S. Asia Briefing: 2004-06-02’:http://windsofchange.net/archives/005017.php