Islamabad: After initially pointing fingers at the Taliban, Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik has come out with a bizarre theory on the raging violence in Karachi, blaming "wives and girlfriends" for 70 percent of the killings in the city where ethnic and political rivalries have claimed scores of lives.
In comments that were ridiculed all over the media, Malik told reporters during an interaction in Quetta yesterday that more people had been killed by those who wanted to get rid of their wives, girlfriends and boyfriends than those responsible for "target killings" in Karachi.
He was responding to a question on the killing of more than 150 people in recent clashes in the port city.
"According to my personal experience in Karachi, if, let`s say, it is said that 100 people have died in target killings, when I did the investigation, I found that there were only 30 target killings," Malik said.
"Seventy percent were those people who wanted to be rid of their wives and girlfriends or girlfriends who wanted to be rid of their boyfriends. All the figures are with me, they killed them," he added.
The interior minister`s comments invited ridicule of TV talk show hosts and users of popular micro-blogging website Twitter, who posted the video footage in which Malik was seen making the remarks.
Dunya News channel, in a report posted on its website, said: "However, one fails to understand if the Interior Minister knows this much, what is stopping him from taking meaningful action".
After a recent terror assault on a naval airbase in Karachi that killed 10 security personnel and destroyed two maritime surveillance aircraft, Malik had claimed that the attackers were like "Star Wars characters".
Tensions between the ruling PPP and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, which controls most parts of Karachi, has triggered violent clashes in the port city that left over 150 people dead in recent weeks.
Fresh clashes erupted last night after senior PPP leader made derogatory remarks about Sindh`s `mohajirs` or Urdu-speaking residents, who mostly support the MQM.
Incidentally on Sunday, Malik had blamed the Taliban for the wave of violence that has hit the country`s financial hub for the past five days.