31 dead in fresh Karachi violence; govt forms commission

Karachi, Jan 15 (PTI) Pakistan government formed ajudicial commission to probe into the murder of a prominentjournalist, even as the fresh wave of violence and targetkillings in the city claimed 31 lives.

Pakistan''s financial hub has been in the grip ofpolitical violence since Wednesday night and as many as 31persons have been killed so far, most of them activists of theMuttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and the Awami National Party(ANP).

Geo television channel reporter Wali Khan Babar wasamong those killed in the latest violence.

Interior Minister Rehman Malik had to come out of ameeting with some religious leaders today to pacify protestingjournalists who raised slogans against the government forfailing to arrest the culprits behind the killing of Babar.

Malik announced the formation of the judicialcommission and said it would look into violence against thejournalists.

He said they were some elements who were trying toscare and silence the media and the government will not allowthis to happen.

Wali Khan was gunned down in an apparent targetkilling in the Liaquatabad area of Karachi after the freshwave of violence hit the city since Wednesday night.

The violence which has seen 31 people killed so far inthe city has prompted calls from leading political parties andleaders for it to be discussed in the national assembly andfor the government to take concrete measures to stamp outthose involved in these target killings.

Main opposition PML-N party leader Nawaz Sharif at apress conference asked the government to convene a NationalAssembly meeting on the alarming situation in Karachi anddemanded severe punishment to the elements responsible for theunrest in the metropolis.

Rehman Malik also met Jamaat Ulema Islam-F ChiefMaulana Fazlur Rehman to discuss the increasingly tense lawand order situation in Karachi.

Fazl expressed his concern over incidents of targetkillings in Karachi and called for the immediate arrest ofthose involved in such crimes.

Both MQM and ANP, whose activists have been killed inthe violence, have come out strongly against the killings.

The ANP submitted an adjournment motion against theviolence in the Senate saying these killings are destabilisingthe city.

The MQM also denounced the violence, saying a stableKarachi is in the best interest of the country after one ofits former union councilors was shot dead in Orangi Towntoday.

Police said more than 30 suspects have been arrestedin late night operations in Karachi since Friday.

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