Karachi tense after 34 killed in violence

Updated on May 13, 2007 03:39 PM IST
The city is tense, a day after at least 34 people were killed when pro-government and opposition activists clashed on issue of suspension of judge.
HT Image
HT Image
Reuters | By, Karachi

Pakistan's biggest city, Karachi was tense but quiet on Sunday, a day after at least 34 people were killed when pro-government and opposition activists clashed as the country's suspended top judge tried to meet supporters.

A judicial crisis over government attempts to remove Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry has escalated into the worst political street violence Pakistan has witnessed since the 1980s.

It is also become the most serious challenge to President Pervez Musharraf's authority since he seized power in 1999.

Provincial government spokesman Salahuddin Haider said the death toll from the clashes was at least 32. Two opposition activists were killed in an attack on a party office earlier, a spokesman said.

More than 130 people were wounded.

The fear in Karachi on Sunday was that the violence would spark bloody feuding between ethnic-based factions that plagued the city in the 1980s and 1990s.

Police, criticised by the opposition for failing to stop the bloodshed on Saturday, said security measures were in place.

"We definitely have a security plan. We have increased patrols, and will focus more on the areas worst affected yesterday," said Karachi police chief Azhar Farooqi.

Karachi's streets were largely deserted on Sunday although a group of young men burning tyres blocked a road in one neighbourhood, a witness said.

Funerals for those killed in the clashes were due to take place later on Sunday.
Musharraf, who is also army chief, condemned the violence in a speech at a rally of tens of thousands of his supporters in Islamabad late on Saturday.

But he ruled out declaring a state of emergency saying the people were with him. Elections due late this year would be held on time, he said.

He also said Chaudhry and his supporters had ignored warnings not to go to Karachi because of fears of violence in the volatile city.

The suspension of Chaudhry on unspecified accusations of misconduct on March 9 outraged the judiciary and the opposition and has turned into a campaign against Musharraf and his government.

Chaudhry denies wrongdoing and has refused to resign.

His visit to Karachi was meant to be the latest in a series of protests by the opposition and lawyers to press for his reinstatement.

Close Story

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • Children cool off in a water fountain during a heatwave, in London, Britain. (File)

    Europe's scorching heat to escalate pressure on power infrastructure

    Another scorching heat wave is set to hit northwest and central Europe this week, putting further pressure on the continent's strained power infrastructure. Sizzling temperatures are expected to hit the UK, Germany and France -- reaching almost 36 degrees Celsius (96.8 Fahrenheit) on Friday -- according to Maxar Technologies LLC. The heat will boost demand for cooling, aggravating already dry conditions that hurt crops and force limits on water use.

  • Chinese built Pakistani frigate PNS Taimur at a Cambodian Port. The ship is on a maiden voyage from Shanghai to Karachi.

    Colombo allows Pakistani frigate Taimur to dock, Dhaka says no

    Sri Lanka has allowed permission to the Chinese built-Pakistani guided missile frigate PNS Taimur to make a port call at Colombo while on its way to join the Pakistan Navy in Karachi.

  • United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. 

    UN chief demands international access to Ukraine nuclear plant after new attack

    U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on Monday for international inspectors to be given access to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant after Ukraine and Russia traded accusations over the shelling of Europe's largest atomic plant at the weekend. "Any attack (on) a nuclear plant is a suicidal thing," Guterres told a news conference in Japan, where he attended the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony on Saturday to commemorate the 77th anniversary of the world's first atomic bombing.

  • US President Joe Biden answers a shouted question from a reporter while walking to Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC, on August 7, 2022, as he travels to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. 

    US President Joe Biden tread out to find legacy-defining wins

    After the White House gave initial approval and then settled the final details with senators, that became the version that was shepherded into law. The president next tried to strike a deal on a social spending and climate package with Sen. Joe Manchin, going as far as inviting the West Virginia lawmaker to his home in Wilmington, Delaware, until the conservative Democrat abruptly pulled the plug on the talks in a Fox News interview.

  • Taiwan flags flutter outside the presidential palace in Taipei, Taiwan August 8, 2022. 

    Air traffic returning to normal, says Taiwan govt

    Air traffic around Taiwan is gradually returning to normal after airspace surrounding the island reopened, Taiwan's Ministry of Transportation and Communications said on Monday, although China later announced fresh military drills in the area. China last week deployed scores of planes and fired live missiles near during military exercises sparked by U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan.

Story Saved
Saved Articles
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Monday, August 08, 2022
Start 15 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now