Karachi: The government may deploy the
army in Sindh`s provincial capital where at least 85 people
have been killed in the ethnic riots after a prominent MQM
lawmaker was gunned down, Interior Minister Rehman Malik said
The Sindh government has issued shoot-at-sight orders
in Karachi to quell bloody riots after Reza Haider, a senior
member of Sindh Provincial Assembly, was gunned down along
with his bodyguard by unidentified assailants when he had gone
to a mosque to attend the funeral of a relative.
Malik, who arrived in the port city to take stock of
the law and order situation, said the army could be called in
if required to control the law and order situation in Karachi.
"If required we can even call in the Army but I can
assure you that you will see visible improvement in the
situation in next 24 hours," Malik told reporters.
He said the government would use all methods to end
the spate of violence that has claimed some 85 lives since the
killing of Haider on Monday.
The minister said the government had already issued
shoot-at-sight orders to the para-military rangers in the wake
of the target killings and violence.
Since the assassination of the MQM lawmakers, besides
the high number of casualties, some 175 people have been
injured while arsonists and miscreants have burnt down dozens
of vehicles, petrol pumps, shops, tea stalls and vendor carts
in the last 48 hours despite heavy patrolling on the streets
of the country`s financial capital.
The MQM and the Awami National Party which represents
the Pakhtuns have been at loggerheads for the last few months
in the midst of the target killings despite being part of the
coalition government in the province.
Both blame each other for the target killings while
the MQM, which represents the Urdu speaking migrants from
India and controls the majority provincial and national
assembly seats from the city, blames the ANP for supporting
the land mafia and drug dealers.
On Wednesday, in a fresh outbreak of violence, 31
people were killed in different areas.
However, a semblance of normalcy appeared to be
returning to the city today, the last day of a three-day
mourning period announced by the MQM.
Malik said important decision are to be taken in the
coming hours and assured that the law and order situation in
Karachi will witness a visible improvement in the next 24