Karachi tense following Islamabad clashes


KARACHI: With the ‘revolution’ leaving Islamabad’s Red Zone a battlefield, Karachi remained tense, but largely operational on Sunday.

There were no reports of violence in the metropolis, although traffic on the roads remained sparse, due in large part to the Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s (MQM) announced ‘day of mourning’ over the clashes in Islamabad. There were however reports of tyres being burnt in several areas of the city.

The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) also announced a nation-wide strike late last night, and numerous protests and sit-ins were witnessed till the early hours of Sunday. The protests were led by PTI, MQM and the Majlis-i-Wahdatul Muslimeen (MWM).

The city’s main artery, Sharah-e-Faisal, was blocked for more than eight hours before it was opened again for traffic in the morning. Numaish chowrangi also remained closed till late in night, but was opened for traffic after protesters left the venue.

“At midnight, the situation seemed normal but all the petrol pumps were closed,” said Asaad, a resident of North Karachi, who had been working overnight near Karachi’s Sindhi Hotel.

Asif, a rickshaw driver and a resident of Surjani Town, said the city had returned to normal in the morning and petrol pumps in Gulistan-i-Johar, Shahrah-i-Faisal and North Nazimabad were open.