Karachi, Pakistan, turmoil

This item appears on page 20 of the November 2011 issue.
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Due to its huge population and location, Karachi is the main port, financial hub and economic powerhouse for Pakistan. Ethnic, religious, separatist and terrorist groups have been staging attacks and bombings in Karachi for many years. In the past few years, as the city has seen enormous growth (to 18 million people in 2010), the pressures and violent attacks have increased.

From January through July 2011, more than 800 people were killed in ethnic and political violence between the Pashtun, Baloch, Sindhi and Urdu-speaking populations. The ethnic divisions are reflected in political parties, and alliances made with paramilitary groups and criminal gangs have complicated matters. Adding to the pressures are Islamic extremists aligned with the Taliban who agitate against Pakistan’s involvement in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.

Tensions against foreigners run high in the city, and travelers are advised to avoid processions and demonstrations and remain alert.

Please login or subscribe to ITN to read the entire post.

Due to its huge population and location, Karachi is the main port, financial hub and economic powerhouse for Pakistan. Ethnic, religious, separatist and terrorist groups have been staging attacks and bombings in Karachi for many years. In the past few years, as the city has seen enormous growth (to 18 million people in 2010), the pressures and violent attacks have increased.

From January through July 2011, more than 800 people were killed in ethnic and political violence between the Pashtun, Baloch, Sindhi and Urdu-speaking populations. The ethnic divisions are reflected in political parties, and alliances made with paramilitary groups and criminal gangs have complicated matters. Adding to the pressures are Islamic extremists aligned with the Taliban who agitate against Pakistan’s involvement in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.

Tensions against foreigners run high in the city, and travelers are advised to avoid processions and demonstrations and remain alert.