Growing Nexus of Crime and Politics in Karachi

Former Sindh Home Minister Zulfiqar Mirza's dramatic August 28 press conference with a copy of the Holy Quran in his hand has become the center of news media attention in recent days.



Following this highly emotion-charged press conference which was carried live by almost all of the mainstream TV channels, Mirza has been hailed as a hero by some of the most  popular TV talking heads for railing against MQM's top leadership, and for singling out Pakistan Peoples Party leader and Federal Home Minister Rehman Malik for his harshest accusations.

To assess the extent of Mirza's credibility, it is important to understand the following:

1. What triggered the latest of Mirza's outbursts? Was it Malik's decision to send the Rangers in to the Lyari neighborhood of Karachi?

2. When Mirza used a copy of the Holy Quran in the month of Ramadan to convey his sincerity, did he really tell the whole truth? or did he leave out the ugly truths about the horrific crimes committed by Karachi's armed gangs controlled by him and his ANP political allies?

The answer to both of the above questions can be found in the fact that Mirza's press conference occurred soon after he learned about the Pakistan Rangers' operation to clean out gang-infested Lyari. This operation was authorized by Rehman Malik over the objections of Mirza and without Mirza's prior knowledge to prevent him tipping off his gangster allies in Lyari.

During the Lyari operation, the Rangers discovered the horror chambers that were used to torture and kill people in recent weeks. The badly mutilated bodies of these torture victims were stuffed in bags and dumped in various parts of the city to create widespread fear. The perpetrators were none other than Mirza's allies who falsely labeled their gangs as "People's Amn (Peace) Committee" or PAC.

The Rangers also arrested 133 suspects and seized automatic weapons and ammunition that were concealed in a ditch inside a house. They also found rockets, grenades, nine sub-machine guns and hundreds of bullet rounds once they dug out the makeshift arsenal, according to the Express Tribune newspaper report.

The torture cells were found in the Nayyabad area of Lyari. One was underground while the other was on the first floor. Both were outfitted with chains, chairs, tape for gagging victims, ropes, and power tools to dismember bodies. Jackets, sacks and documents were strewn on the floor along with the uniform an indicating the identity of the victims as members of the MQM's Khimat-e-Khalq Foundation.

The TV news-anchors, talk-show hosts, and the print media reporters must not give Zulfikar Mirza a free pass when he tells the truth only selectively to hide his own misdeeds and the crimes of his political allies in patronizing criminal gangs. Nor should other politicians be spared the tough questions about their culpability in destroying Karachi's peace, and for seriously undermining Pakistan's economy. Pakistan's media must play their crucial role in exposing the growing nexus between crime and politics in Karachi, and the rest of Pakistan.

We must not forget that sunlight is the best disinfectant.

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Comment by Riaz Haq on March 18, 2013 at 10:33am

Here's an Express Tribune analysis of Lyari gang warfare by journalist Mazhar Abbas:

It started with Kala Nag and Shero Dada decades ago. Rehman Dakait was killed in 2009. Arshad Pappu was bumped off Saturday night. With this death also came the demise of Nabeel Gabol’s political career in Lyari. The political game in this gangland will never be the same.

One of the clearest indications that the outcome of the elections in Lyari will be different this time around came from Gabol. The five-time winner of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) ticket here announced he was joining the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) just a day after the PPP rule ended. With Gabol’s departure comes to an end his family’s political dynasty in Lyari. Nabil’s grandfather defeated Sir Abdullah Haroon in 1937. Nabil’s uncle Abdus Sattar Gabol defeated Mahmood Haroon in 1970 on the PPP ticket.

Till the 1970s Lyari was politically controlled by the Haroons but the chain of their popularity was broken by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto when he launched the PPP in 1967. He challenged Haroon in the 1970 elections and awarded the party ticket to the local sardar Abdul Sattar Gabol. Since then, the PPP has never looked back and has swept all elections. Its weakness has, however, been an inability to end the bloodletting in the neighbourhood and murder became part of the politics. Anyone who wanted a piece of Lyari had to take sides.

Nabeel has become a victim of this bloody feud as he once sided with Rehman Dakait, who became his polling agent in the last elections. However, after the emergence of the People’s Amn Committee (PAC) after the last elections, this new group accused Gabol of favouring his men and ignoring party workers.

Indeed, Habib Jan Baloch, who is close to Uzair and Zafar Baloch, had even demanded action against Nabil Gabol. Gabol’s fault was that he never reconciled with the PAC, unlike the other MNA from the same area, Qadir Patel. There is no turning back the clock now.
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Gabol now looks to the MQM to award him a ticket. But this also means that he will have to adjust to the MQM’s particular style of politics, which is quite different from that of the jiyalas. For all practical purposes, the PAC today controls Lyari. It has grown in strength since the tenure of former home minister Zulfiqar Mirza. But even he has been silent for a while. In an interesting move, the PAC had formed a buzurg committee of respected elders tasked with reconciling with the PPP. They are reportedly negotiating with Owais alias Tappi and Faryal Talpur, the president’s sister.

It is not clear who will contest from Nabeel and Rafiq Engineer’s seats but one thing is certain that it will be the PAC that will be vetting candidates though the PPP platform.

This seat may go to Bilawal in the end (through a by-election later on). For the time being, though, it could be Faryal, who may contest if all cases are withdrawn against PAC leaders and at least one of its prominent leaders get a party ticket.

And so, while the PPP is down in Lyari, it is not out. Despite the state of affairs there is not much chance of anti-PPP forces gaining ground. If the PAC and PPP do not reach any agreement, Uzair may, however, announce support for the PML-N, something which the PPP would never want.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/522443/analysis-a-funeral-and-the-end-o...

Comment by Riaz Haq on March 18, 2013 at 10:38am

Here's PakistanToday on Mehsuds and Kakakhels in Karachi:

KARACHI - The Taliban have occupied several areas in Karachi following a cold war between two Pakhtun tribes, Mehsud and Kakakhel, for ownership of Pakhtun strongholds in the city, Pakistan Today has learnt.
The Mehsud tribe has taken control of several Pakhtun strongholds where the banned outfit Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has established its network.
The fire at New Sabzi Mandi on Super Highway, one of the Asia’s largest fruits and vegetables market, was also a result of ownership dispute between the two tribes. Reportedly, the Taliban wanted the control of the vegetable market, which observes business of billion of rupees daily. There were reports of the Taliban uprising in the outskirts of the city, mainly the Super Highway. Earlier, both tribes were working under the political party – which claims to represent the Pakhtun living in Karachi. Later, the Mehsud tribe parted ways with the party and started occupying Pakhtun areas with the Taliban’s help.
“A cold war has been started between two Pakhtun tribes which has damaged the party structure,” said a party leader, requesting not to be named.
“From Sohrab Goth to Manghopir, Taliban have taken control of Pakhtun areas and established their system there which not only destroyed party structure, but also earned bad name for us,” he added.
“The war started after a clash of interest between the two tribes and later the Mehsud tribe abandoned the party and joined hands with the Taliban to establish a TTP network,” he claimed.
“From Sohrab Goth to Toll Plaza, Taliban have set their network and removed party flags from these areas, but we are still resisting against these elements in Al-Asif Square,” he said.
“We are in a fix because we have to secure the Pakhtun living in those areas which were occupied by Taliban with the help of Mehsud,” he noted.
“The [Sabzi Mandi] fire started from a hotel which is 200 yards away from my shop and there is open ground but how it captured the shop it is beyond my thinking,” Salahuddin, a crate maker, told Pakistan Today.
“The wind was also blowing from east to west of the market but how it engulfed the eastern part of the market it could be imagined,” Salahuddin added.
“The people belonging to different tribes of KP are working in the market but the Mehsud tribe dominates the market,” All Vegetable Tajir Biradari Alliance (AVTBA) Chairman Haji Syed Abdul Razzak Shah said.
“People of many tribes of KP are working in the market but Mehsud and Kakakhel have made their clear representation in the market so far,” he added.
“Apparently, there is no war going on between the two tribes in the market but one thing is sure that the market was set on fire as per plan, Shah said, adding that we do not have proves against anyone that’s why we cannot held anyone responsible for this blaze.”
“We can say that fire in the market was result of ownership dispute between Mehsud and Kakakhel tribe as the market is situated next to Faqeera Goth where both groups are undergoing in a cold war,” Rehman Khan, another leader of (AVTBA) said.
“I am resident of Faqeera Goth too and there were reports about some people who tried to close barber and computer shops,” Khan added.
“Few years back, some people started working for TTP in the area, but they were killed in police encounters,” Gadap Town SP Javed Iqbal Bhatti claimed...

http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2013/03/12/city/karachi/taliban-tak...

Comment by Riaz Haq on March 30, 2013 at 5:42pm

Here's a Daily Beast Op Ed by former British PM Gordon Brown on TTP attacks against schoolgirls and teacher in Pakistan:

As pupils gathered early on Saturday to receive exam results, grenades were hurled into the Baldia town school in Karachi, causing carnage. Principal Abdur Rasheed died on the spot. The perpetrators are thought to be from TPP, a Taliban terrorist sect, as their campaign of violence against girls education moves from the tribal areas into Pakistan's largest city.

The latest attack follows the murder earlier this week in the Khyber tribal district of Shahnaz Nazli, a 41-year-old teacher gunned down in front of one of her children only 200 meters from the all-girls school where she taught. But this time the wave of terror attacks – orchestrated by opponents of girls' education – is provoking a domestic and international response, a groundswell of public revulsion similar to that which followed the attempted assassination of Malala Yousefvai, who was also shot simply for wanting girls to go to school.

Today, on top of a a petition now circulating on www.educationenvoy.org calling for a cessation of violence against teachers who are defending the right of girls to go to school, a scholarship fund in honor of the slain Shahnaz Nazli is being announced. Education International, the world teachers organization with 30 million members, has said that the scholarship memorial to Shahnaz will support Pakistan teachers and students victimized simply because of their support for girls' schooling.

The petition and the memorial signal a fight back against attempts to ban girls’ education, and come in the wake of the intervention of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who, in a special communique, has spoken out against the shooting of Shahnaz and given his personal support to teachers persecuted for their advocacy of girls’ education.

This week's attacks are, however, a stark reminder to the world of the persistence of threats, intimidation, shootings, arson attacks and sometimes even murder that are the Taliban’s weapons in a war against girls’ opportunity.

Last October, shocked by the attempted assassination of Malala Yousafzai and pressured by a petition signed by three million people, the Pakistani government agreed for the first time to legislate compulsory free education and provided stipends for three million children.

Now authorities in Pakistan are under international pressure to deploy their security services to ensure the safety and protection of teachers and girls trying to go to school.

Last October’s demonstrations were a spontaneous response from girls who identified with Malala’s cause as she fought for her life in Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Now these girls are being joined by a high-profile campaign by teachers themselves, determined, despite the threat to their lives, to stand up for girls' education and to take their campaign even to the most dangerous of places
--------

But as the forthcoming teachers’ initiative and the the UN Secretary General’s vocal support both demonstrate, the voices in favor of these basic rights for girls cannot any longer be silenced. And because this is a movement that is now being forged at the grassroots by girls demanding their human rights and by teachers organizing in support of them, 2013, which has started with so many violent attacks on girls schools, can still become the year when the cause of universal girls education becomes unstoppable.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/03/30/principal-murdered...

Comment by Riaz Haq on April 16, 2013 at 4:25pm

Here's a Dawn report about the observations of a Frenchman studying Karachi:

ISLAMABAD, Feb 20: Political violence, ethnic divide and militant organisations being patronised by political parties is turning Karachi into the new Beirut, according to a visiting French political scientist.

Laurent Gayer, a French political scientist, who is writing a book “Karachi: Ordered Disorder and the Struggle for the City,” that will be published by Hurst and Oxford University Press this year, made these observations during a lecture here on Wednesday.
------------
He said though the metropolitan city was facing multiple menaces in the form of lawlessness, targeted killings, sectarian strife for quite some time, de-regularisation of Bhatta mafias within political parties and entry of new competitors in the arena had made the life of the city’s industrial community simply hellish.

Quoting his interviews with some people belonging to the business community of Karachi, Mr Gayer said although they had been paying protection money for the last two decades, coercion for money from more than half a dozen entities had become simply unbearable.

Many of them (businessmen) are planning to shift their business either to Middle Eastern countries or Bangladesh, the researcher quoted them as saying.

In his findings, the researcher also likened Karachi with Mumbai in terms of social leadership, where local political parties had their fully armed militant wings.

But the nature of violence increased with the influx of arms from the Afghan war, he said.

Karachi city at the moment was awash with the most modern weaponry, which political parties across the board were using against each other, said the writer.

According to the French political scientist, violence in Karachi was not existential but instrumental.

Mr Gayer said the proliferation of political armed groups started in 2007, linking it with the involvement of Awami National Party (ANP) and Aman Committees of the PPP.
-------------
“The way how violence is transforming is very difficult for people to handle. Weapons are used indiscriminately in which civilians lose their lives, the last few years saw extremely important transformation of violence,” he remarked.

Karachi’s situation, he said, had become more violent after the involvement of Sunni Tehrik and Sipah-i-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP), which besides fighting for its own turf, were also pitched against each other.

The MQM, which was initially more focused against the ANP, was now facing a new challenge in the form of Taliban — found in various pockets of the city, said the writer.

The Taliban, according to the author had been using the city, not only for generation of money through kidnapping for ransom but also for recuperation of its injured and tired members.

Analysing the changing demography of the city, the French political scientist argued that the Sindhi population was increasing and the Urdu speaking community were no more in the majority.

“The pre-violence history of Karachi shows that clustering of Karachi happened after shifting of people from mixed areas but groupings started on the basis of ethnic, linguistic and sectarian basis. Hegemony of MQM is increasingly under threat which it is wrongly trying to project as Talibanisation of the city” he underlined.

During the question-answer session, Mr Gayer said that since the government machinery was directly involved in extortion, killings and other criminal acts, there was absolutely no chance of any improvement in governance of the city in the near future.

Mr Gayer has also collaborated with Mr Christophe Jaffrelot in two books, which include “Armed Militias of South Asia: Fundamentalists, Maoists, and Separatists” and “Muslims in Indian Cities: Trajectories of Marginalisation,” both published by Hurst/Columbia University Press..

http://dawn.com/2013/02/21/karachi-turning-into-a-new-beirut-says-f...

Comment by Riaz Haq on April 16, 2013 at 4:43pm

Here's The Economist on gangs of Lyari in Karachi:

CIVILIANS armed with rocket-propelled grenades and AK-47s firing at police in armoured personnel carriers are not images associated with the urban hearts of commercial capitals. But Karachi is no ordinary city. Earlier this month its crime-infested quarter of Lyari, a sprawling network of alleyways housing 1m people, saw battles that pitted police against a powerful local gang. In one scene locals flattened a carrier's tyres with gunfire. Then they kept firing at the stationary vehicle, killing an officer inside.

The 31 people who were killed, in addition to five policemen, were mainly innocents caught in the crossfire and included a seven-year-old. For a week residents were besieged. They had little access to food, water or power, as shops shut down and the battle had damaged infrastructure. Then a defeated government called the operation off. The police promised to return after 48 hours, but never showed up again. A senior police official was close to tears when he explained that the gangsters wielded weapons that law-enforcers did not know they possessed.

The Lyari violence highlights the complicated relationship between crime and politics in Karachi. Political parties are organised along ethnic or sectarian lines, and represent the city's Urdu-speakers, Sindhis, Baloch, Pashtuns and Barelvi Sunnis. In turf wars over neighbourhoods, they attack each other's activists and ordinary folk alike. (This week indiscriminate firing on a Sindhi rally killed 11 people.) When deaths exceed a handful a day, the commercial capital grinds to a halt. It is this violence, rather than Islamist extremism, that holds Karachi hostage.

Political parties coexist with criminal gangs, tacitly supporting some and actually controlling others. Lyari's dominant gangsters, the People's Aman Committee (PAC), have traditionally lent their support to the country's ruling Pakistan People's Party (PPP). Yet police appear to have launched the Lyari operation because some members of the ruling party had developed a rivalry with elements of the PAC. The rundown district has long been a bastion of the PPP, which had put up with or worked with Lyari gangsters for decades. But its neglect of the area has strengthened the PAC, especially once the gang started providing social services. “This operation was political victimisation,” claims Zafar Baloch, the racket's second-in-command. “The people of Lyari have supported the PPP for 40 years, but when we spoke out against the lack of development here we were targeted.”

Karachi politics plays out at the expense of civilian lives. It did not hurt that the police operation would have pleased the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), a coalition partner, at a time when opposition parties are campaigning for the resignation of the prime minister, Yousaf Raza Gilani. The MQM (also involved in extortion in Karachi) complained that the government was targeting its people while letting the PAC get away with crime.

But perhaps what makes the Lyari operation typical of Karachi was how, just as it was escalating into a policing and humanitarian disaster, it suddenly came to a halt. Since then the PAC has not retaliated. Perhaps some unpublicised bargain has been struck. If so, that would be in line with the usual pattern of violence in the city. Karachi manages to hold together because bouts of brutal, though contained, violence are interspersed with dealmaking and calm. Imran Ayub, a journalist on the Karachi beat, thinks the PAC and the government will strike a bargain that preserves the PPP's Lyari constituency despite this disastrous operation. “This was no final showdown”, he says. In the context of Karachi's violence, it is sobering to think what a final showdown would look like.

http://www.economist.com/node/21555930

Comment by Riaz Haq on May 2, 2013 at 7:19pm

Here's a report on a PPP candidate seeking election from his jail cell in Karachi:

Pakistan's historic elections are just over a week away, but Shahjahan Baloch has still not hit the streets.

It is not that the 42-year-old official Pakistan Peoples party (PPP) candidate can't be bothered, on account of the fact that he is already certain to win in what is one of the party's most famous political strongholds – a Karachi slum called Lyari. Baloch's problem is that he has been in police custody for more than a year and faces two murder charges.

According to the police and his political enemies, Baloch is a gangland kingpin directly associated with a banned gang, the People's Amn Committee (PAC), which has supplanted the old order in a constituency formerly seen as the political backyard of the late prime minister Benazir Bhutto's family.

The police say Baloch's crimes have continued even while he has been behind bars. On Tuesday he was formally charged with ordering the murder of Arshad Pappu, a leading member of a rival gang, in March. A mob reportedly made up of well-known PAC men are said to have tortured Pappu, killed him, paraded his body around Lyari and played football with his head.

Even by Pakistani standards, where politicians are routinely accused of graft and corruption, the selection of an alleged gangster facing murder charges is a startling choice for such a safe seat.

It is particularly striking in Lyari, a seat the PPP had hoped would launch the parliamentary career of Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, the son of Benazir and the current president, Asif Ali Zardari, thereby sustaining one of south Asia's most famous political dynasties for a third generation.

But with the PPP likely to be clobbered after five tumultuous years in government, during which the country has suffered terrorist violence, a weak economy and acute energy shortages, the party has been forced to strike unsavoury deals to shore up support – even with a man sitting in Karachi's Central Prison, a place normally associated with overcrowding and appalling conditions. "Jail is a good place if you have money or clout," Baloch told the Guardian over soft drinks in a visiting room in the jail, his only interview of the campaign so far. "For those who don't have that, it's hell."

He is likely to be released in a few months' time, not least as witnesses have been gradually withdrawing their evidence – a common occurrence in cases involving the gangs of Karachi.

A local councillor and owner of a cable television business, he says the charges were trumped up by the Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM), a bitter rival party in Karachi. Even the city's anti-terror prosecutor thinks the evidence against him is flimsy.

But his detractors allege that the man certain to be Lyari's next MP is closely involved in the economy of Lyari's criminal underworld, including gun trading and gambling dens. "He is not a murderer, but he is involved in collecting the money, the extortion and drug money, from his area," said Nabil Gabol, the former PPP MP for the area who defected to the MQM, he says, because of "the criminals and gangs"......

http://m.guardiannews.com/world/2013/may/02/pakistan-rulers-power

Comment by Riaz Haq on May 20, 2013 at 11:06pm

Here's a Daily Times Op on MQM Ed by Dr. Arif Alvi:

I’m Urdu speaking, my grandparents made a lot of sacrifices and migrated to Karachi, Pakistan, from India.

Karachi was a city of lights until nearly 30 years back when MQM started showing its true face. I will tell you how MQM works and I have experienced all of this myself. This is a very well-managed organisation, which works under a tight command and control mechanism. They have divided Karachi into a number of sectors; each sector is divided into units. The first tier is called the unit. There are MQM units in every nook and corner of Karachi. Every apartment complex has one unit, and nearly one in every 500 houses there is a unit. The units report to a particular sector under which they come. Each unit has a unit in-charge and other proper posts. As these guys live among us, they know each and every house and shop that comes under their supervision. The unit in-charge literally controls whatever goes within the jurisdiction of his unit. From cable persons reporting to him to the SHO of that area; everyone obeys that unit in-charge.

They snatch mobiles, get bhata from shops, get their students cheating in exams, confiscate hides on Eidul Azha and collect fitrana on Eidul Fitar, etc. The collections from units go into millions and collection from Karachi goes into billions. The units report and submit their loot to the sectors. Each unit in-charge has to sit in his sector on a frequent basis from where they get instructions. The sectors report to Nine Zero (90 is the address of the house of Altaf Hussain in Azizabad Karachi); this is the headquarters of the MQM. This is the reason why within minutes they can jam Karachi, as they just need to make one call from 90. The instructions go to sectors where they call units in-charge who have sufficient arms and ammunition. No Karachiite can stand in front of them, as they easily, and without mercy, kill. If they want to threaten someone, they write on their house wall “Jo Qaid ka ghaddaar hai woh mout ka haqdaar hai” (anyone who defies the ‘leader’ is liable to death).

Following in their footsteps, other parties, such as ANP, Aman committee of the PPP and Sunni Tehreek, now are doing the same. Sometime fighting starts over whose units will control the area. Karachi is a goldmine and everyone wants it. The people of Karachi, who are very patriotic, have to live in a constant fear. They cannot even carry a decent cell-phone in this city. They get looted at ATM machines and believe me that the people do not even decorate their houses nowadays during weddings, as they are afraid to come in the eyes of these bandits. Even now and then, there are strikes; children cry during the night due to gunfire, if a call is not for a strike, the call is for “Youm-e-Sog” (day of mourning), which in fact is another name for strike. One cannot imagine what Karachiites have to go through daily. One even gets afraid driving a car when a motorcycle passes nearby. The real disappointment is that everyone knows this, as this is so clear. ....

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2013%5C05%5C21%5Cstor...

Comment by Riaz Haq on May 21, 2013 at 10:01am

Take a look at this video showing Altaf Husain threatening to put a journalist in a "bori" (body bag).

http://www.geotauaisay.com/2013/05/kisi-channel-mein-himmat-hai-k-y...

Comment by Riaz Haq on July 1, 2013 at 7:59pm

Here's a Reuters' report on political parties running extortion rackets in Karachi:

One afternoon a stranger called at Muhammad Faizanullah's stationery shop in Karachi, Pakistan's commercial capital, and wordlessly handed the man behind the counter two items: a piece of paper with a phone number scrawled on it, and a bullet.

"The letter contained a demand for 200,000 Pakistani rupees ($2,000)," Faizanullah, 20, said. "The man said 'Just call this number and pay the amount, otherwise the bullet is meant for you.'"

Businesses in Karachi are facing a surge in extortion demands from criminal gangs, forcing many owners to delay new investment or to relocate their families to escape the sense of insecurity gripping the urban heart of Pakistan's economy.

---

---
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Karachi traders say paying extortion has long been part of the cost of doing business in Karachi.

The police say thugs working for the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), the dominant political party in Karachi, are the biggest extortion menace in the city.

The police have also linked other political parties to extortion, although the MQM and other parties in Karachi repeatedly deny any involvement.

In the past year, the rules of the game have changed as competing political parties, militant groups and criminal entrepreneurs intent on challenging MQM's grip on Karachi have expanded their extortion rackets to fund ever deadlier turf wars, police officials say.

The number of killings in Karachi jumped to more than 2,300 in 2012 from 1,700 the previous year. More than 1,400 murders have already been recorded since the start of this year. The increasing death toll has made it easier for gangs to coerce people into paying money, although there have been few reports of extortion-related killings.

"The extortion racket in Karachi has become an industry," said senior police officer Niaz Ahmed Khosa. "There are around 50 no-go areas in Karachi, which police can not enter. Most of the extortion rackets and other crime are being generated from these population pockets."

The police blame much of the increase in extortion on a criminal gang known as the People's Aman Committee (PAC), based in the district of Lyari, one of the police no-go areas, and which they say is expanding into new parts of the city. The gang, the police say, is linked to the Pakistan People's Party, which ruled Pakistan until its defeat at May general elections.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/07/01/us-pakistan-extortion-idU...

Comment by Riaz Haq on July 10, 2013 at 11:04pm

BBC2 Newsnight documentary on MQM and Altaf Hussain's money launderting and threats of violence against opponents and investigations into Imran Farooq murder

http://youtu.be/ftnjhCbDXwo

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