Sitting on a ticking time bomb!
In the last few days, there had been reports of Pakhtuns being targetted in various parts of the city. Needless to say ethnic violence had to follow as seen last night. MQM cites Talibanisation as reason enough to evict Pakhtuns from Karachi. However, a sudden realization of the threat the Pakhtun community poses is suspicious.
Karachi is the trade hub of the country, and as any economist will tell you, when an urban centre is developed without enough attention to rural or even semi urban areas, rural-urban migration is only natural. Karachi thus attracts a number of migrants from not only the N.W.F.P, but all over the country. This migrant population then assimilates into the workforce and over the years has become an integral economic force in the city.
The Pakhtuns too have become an indispensable part of Karachi. Not only do they control most of the public transportation system, but a majority of cobblers, tea hotel owners, construction labourers happen to be Pakhtuns.
No matter what political reasons are given for any conflict, the underlying reason is always economic. Talibanisation, thus, is only an excuse. The faultline for the current conflict are all Pakhtun majority areas specially the adjoining areas to the Pahar Ganj. The land has appreciated in value, but remains the stronghold of Pakhtuns, a thorn in the side of the land mafia that controls the rest of the city- or that is what the unbiased residents of North Nazimabad, Block A, C and Q claim who find themselves in the middle of the bloodshed. They claim that violence erupted in the area last night when the Pakhtun flag on the hill was replaced by a ‘Muhajir’ flag.
The residents of the area fear that over the next few days, the violence will escalate, unless the power struggle between the two ethnic parties is resolved.