“Karachi Battles” – Haris Gazdar in EPW, 2011

Karachi. Photo: Muhammad Arshad/IPS

Karachi. Photo: Muhammad Arshad/IPS


As Karachi once again reels under uncertainty, fear and economic shut-down, it may be worthwhile to re-visit this 2011 article by Haris Gazdar in EPW, “Karachi Battles”… Excerpt:
“The big picture still favours an accord between the PPP (and ANP) and the MQM. The PPP cannot allow the military to use Karachi to undermine its rule not just in Sindh but nationally. The MQM should know that a “neutral” army operation means a crackdown on the MQM, sooner rather than later. The ANP might also be aware that its hard-won position in its home region would collapse if the jihadists regain initiative with the break-up of the secular coalition. All three should know that the most powerful militant wing belongs to the military itself, which must not be tempted into seeing an opportunity where none exists.” Read the full article here: Karachi battles – Haris Gazdar in EPW Sept 2011

BOSTON, March 8, 6.30 pm: Vigil for peace, in solidarity with Shi’ite Muslims of Pakistan

Photos I printed out recently, thinking of those whom these Takfiri militants have attacked, include two teenage girls who survived murderous attacks: Malala Yusufzai (top right), attacked by the same forces, for speaking out rather than for her faith, and Mehzar Zahra (below, left), whose father was killed.

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow. The vigil is going ahead.

Friday, March 8
6.30 pm
Copley Square, Boston

Students and community organizations of the Boston area are organizing a vigil on Friday March 8, 2013 to show solidarity, commemorate, and protest the target-killing of Shia Muslims in Pakistan. The attackers are armed militants from Al Qaeda- and Taliban- linked organizations acting with impunity in the name of religion with the aim of destablizing the state and capturing political power.

Just a few recent incidents this year alone illustrate this trend:

  • March 3: a bomb explosion ripped through two apartment blocks in Abbas Town, a residential area populated largely by Shi’ite Muslims, in Pakistan’s business capital Karachi killed 45 people, including 20 children. Hundreds more were injured and made homeless.

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