Karachi, Taliban's new conquest?
Karachi, May 7 (ANI): With the military action against the Taliban getting intense in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP), fears of the extremists shifting their base to the southern part of the country and taking Karachi under their grip have also gained momentum.
The growing ethnic Pashtun population on the outskirts of Karachi has raised fears among residents that the Taliban is slowly expanding its reach in the region.
Political parties such as the secular MQM have also expressed concerns over the issue.
"I don't know if the fight is going to be happening in the North [of Pakistan] or down here," a Member of Parliament with the MQM Haider Abbas Rizvi said.
The ethnic divides in Karachi could also probably help the Taliban to exploit the situation to bolster its position in the region, a report in the CSM said.
"If the Taliban wanted to destabilize Karachi, ethnic riots would be one of the first things they would do.By taking charge of the political leadership of that political movement, they could start taking over large chunks of Karachi," the report quoted the author of 'Descent into Chaos' Ahmed Rashid, as saying.
Rashid said that the 3,500 madrasas in and around Karachi are full of Taliban, but asserted that almost all of them were 'moderates' who did not support the extremist Taliban.
However, senior police officials have denied presence of the Taliban in Karachi or in its nearby areas.
"It is not true that militants have infiltrated this area.People think that all the refugees who have come from FATA are Taliban. But most of them are villagers who had family in Karachi and came here because they knew they would find a place to stay and help finding a job," a senior police official Irfan Bahadur said . (ANI)