Riots and mayhem broke out today between differing “lawyer groups”, in reality PPP lawyers vs. MQM lawyers. Five people were burnt to death trapped on the upper floor of a building, and a seven year old child was shot in the head.
This factional fighting goes back nearly to the founding of the state of Pakistan, and it takes only thin excuse for either side to act out. It’s a shame that it’s overwhelming goals of the new government. Party leads from both sides really need to get this under control.
KARACHI, Pakistan (AP) — A street fight between political rivals spiraled into rioting in Pakistan’s biggest city Wednesday, with armed men smashing cars and setting fires. Five people burned to death in one building and two were shot and killed.
It was the worst political violence Pakistan’s new government has faced since taking office last month, vowing to curtail the powers of U.S.-allied President Pervez Musharraf and cement democracy after eight years of military rule.
The trouble broke out when pro- and anti-government attorneys punched and beat each other with sticks near the main courts complex in Karachi. Soon after, armed men in began shooting and torching cars in several districts, witnesses said.
A nearby building was set ablaze, and five charred bodies were found on the sixth floor, said police officer Syed Sulaiman. Two other people died of gunshot wounds, including a paramedic whose ambulance came under fire while trying to the injured.
Salman Naguri, a 22-year-old shopkeeper, said he saw two men on a motorbike shoot at passing ambulance, which crashed into an electricity pylon.
“For 15 or 20 minutes an injured man was crying for help from inside the ambulance but nobody helped him,” Naguri said. When another ambulance crew arrived, the man was dead, he said.
Much more on the incidents that led up to today’s violence from Darwaish at All Things Pakistan.