Karachi, arguably the city with the largest Pashtun population in the world, looks set to slide into another round of ethnic/political violence. Imran Farooq, a Karachi native and leader of the Muhajir MQM (Muttahida Quami Movement) party living in exile in London, was stabbed to death last night by unknown assailants (prompting some to wonder if London’s days as a refuge for South Asian politicians were at an end). Almost immediately, Karachi went into lockdown, and not for the first time this summer. President Zardari, PM Gilani, and the ANP (the Awami National Party – the main party of Pashtuns in the city) have been quick to condemn the murder and appeal for calm (Nation), although that seems unlikely. The MQM and the ANP have traditionally been the heavyweights in that city of 15 (?) million, and often at odds.
Last month another MQM leader, Raza Haider, was killed, as was an ANP honcho, Obaidullah Yousafzai. Predictably, riots erupted across Karachi, and scores were killed and hundreds injured (ToI). The violence looks set to continue (WaPo). Coupled with the perceived poor government response to the flooding in Pakistan, this could be just the destabilization Musharraf needs when he announces his new part in two weeks in, no surprise, London (CSM).