Karachi, Hyderabad shut down as MQM lawmaker burie
Karachi: Pakistan`s commercial hub shut down on Friday to mark the funeral of an MQM lawmaker who was killed along with three of his bodyguards in a Taliban attack that triggered protests and raised a threat of more violence in the unrest-hit city.
Businesses, markets, shops, petrol pumps, and educational institutions remained shut and traffic was thin on the roads as a complete shutdown was observed in the twin cities of Karachi and Hyderabad.
There were no reports of violence, however, and the city remained largely calm even as emotional scenes were witnessed at the burial of the slain leader.
Manzar Imam, a member of the Sindh Assembly, was killed yesterday after gunmen attacked him in a restive area of the city. His bodyguard and two other policemen assigned to protect him also died in the attack.
Imam was buried after the Friday prayers as top leaders of the MQM and other parties including the PPP, PML-N and Awami National Party attended the funeral.
Hundreds of people turned out for the funeral prayers at Jinnah ground close to the MQM headquarters today amidst tight security to prevent any violence or unrest.
With the killing flaying sentiments, Karachites had braced themselves for a day of unrest and violence. However, they heaved a sigh of relief today after the funeral ended peacefully.
Soon after the attack yesterday, firing and violence was reported from some parts of the city where protesters also set buses and cars on fire and four people were reportedly killed.
The outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban accepted responsibility for the attack with their spokesman, Ehsanullah Ehsan warning of more attacks on MQM leaders.
"This is the first of our gifts to the people of Karachi to free them from the clutches of the MQM. We are against this party as it believes in secularism," Ehsan told television channels in a message.
The city bore a deserted look as people preferred to stay indoors. Public transport was largely absent and attendance in offices remained very thin.
"Given the history of violence our city has seen, people now prefer to take precautionary measures and stay indoors on such days," social worker, Sairam Burney said.
Karachi has witnessed some of the worst ethnic, sectarian and political violence in the last two years and unofficial reports say around 2,000 people were killed last year in target killings and related violence.
The MQM called for a three-day mourning period and their call has been supported by Awami national Party, which represents the big Pushtun speaking population in the city.
Imam is the second MQM lawmaker assassinated in the city in two years after Raza Haider was gunned down in August, 2010.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- I eat beef, can somebody stop me?: Kiren Rijiju hits back at Naqvi
- Delhi: Visually impaired boy scores 91.4% in CBSE 12th Board exams
- MP: 14-year-old boy works as bonded labour since 2009
- UP: Man chops off wife's nose, hair for dowry
- Zee Media Exclusive: The plight of yoga expert Tejaswi Sharma
- Woman denied flat in Mumbai for being a Muslim
- 4 Indians in Forbes' 100 most powerful women list
- Heat ave continues in India, death toll climbs to over 1,400
- Gujjar stir: HC asks Rajasthan govt to clear rail track, roads
- Megastar Amitabh Bachchan slapped with Rs 1 crore notice
- Kenyan lawyer offers to marry Barack Obama's daughter Malia
- Gujjar stir: HC asks Rajasthan govt to clear rail track, roads- Part II
- AIB: The 'Third Gender's right to dignity'
- Salman Khan accident files burnt in Mantralaya fire
- Maggi likely to face ban in India!
- CBSE Class 10 Board Result 2015 to be announced today
- Check mahresult.nic.in for MSBSHSE Maharashtra Class 12 HSC Result 2015
- CBSE Class 10 Board Result 2015 (cbse.nic.in, cbseresults.nic.in) postponed?
- Maharashtra MSBSHSE HSC Result 2015 on mahresult.nic.in
- I was misquoted, says Kiren Rijiju on 'beef' remark
- First look: Salman Khan steals thunder in `Bajrangi Bhaijaan`
- Check cbse.nic.in, cbseresults.nic.in for CBSE Class 10 Result 2015
- mahresult.nic.in updated with MSBSHSE Maharashtra HSC Class XII Result 2015
- Manmohan Singh defends himself on 2G charge, slams Modi govt for 'carbon copy' schemes
- Sonia Gandhi 'unconstitutional authority' during UPA: PM Narendra Modi
- CBSE Class 10 (Class X Board) Result 2015 on cbse.nic.in, cbseresults.nic.in at 2 pm
- Hours after attacking NDA govt, Manmohan Singh meets PM Narendra Modi
- Reservation stir: Five percent job quota to Gujjars unlikely, hints Rajasthan govt
- PMO website revamped, now send e-mail to PM Modi directly
- Death toll climbs to over 1400 as intense heatwave continues in India