Pakistan: `740 killed in Karachi in five months`

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan last year said that a total of 1,715 people were killed in Karachi in violence.

Karachi: Pakistan`s leading human rights body on Tuesday said that ethnic, politically-linked and sectarian violence in the country`s financial capital Karachi has killed at least 740 people so far this year.

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) said many parts of the city had become breeding grounds for criminals and militants.

Much of the violence in Karachi that appears to have no end is blamed on activists of political parties representing rival ethnic groups namely the Urdu speaking mohajirs, Pushtuns, Sindhis and Baluch, it said.

Zohra Yousuf, who heads the HRCP, confirmed that at least 740 people had been killed in the city until now this year.

"Many of these killings have been due to violence target killings and shootings," she said.

But Inspector General of Police in Sindh Mushtaq Shah said that not all killings in the city were target killings.

"Not all killings are necessarily target killings. Some are even due to personal enmity and is portrayed as ethnic, sectarian or political violence," Shah said.

The HRCP last year said that a total of 1,715 people were killed in Karachi in violence.

The city has seen non-stop violence since the last 10 days with another five people including four activists of the MQM killed on Monday in target killings and shootings.

Five more killings were reported on Tuesday. Last week, around 35 people were killed in the city in different incidents.

"People are being killed by various ethnic groups while the authorities are unable to control the situation and quell the violence," Yousuf said.

The HRCP said 107 political activists have been killed this year.

Shah said that the police are trying their best to curb incidents of violence in the city.

"Look at last year`s figures, there was a period when target killings had risen, but we controlled it. This year, too, the target killings increased in this month and a half, but we are trying to control it."