South Asians for Human Rights

Promoting Democracy, Upholding Human Rights

Ammar Shahbazi

There was not a single sectarian killing in Karachi in August, September and October. This was attributed to the law enforcement agencies’ crackdown in the city. But come November and the scourge of sectarian violence reared its ugly head again.

Data gathered by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan shows that 14 people were murdered in the city over their sectarian affiliation during the month.

It also shows that despite the law enforcement agencies’ claims of success, the situation in one of Karachi’s oldest neighbourhoods, Lyari, remained restive throughout last month.

At least 21 people were killed there in November compared to 14 in the month earlier.

The number of policemen killed in November was also higher than the previous month. Nine policemen were killed in October and the number rose to 15 last month.

Bodies found

The statistics show that the number of people found murdered in the city declined

There were 25 bodies found in November, compared to 33 in October and 28 in September. Apparently the crackdown had a positive effect in this area as the months before that were bloodier – 52 bodies found in August, 48 in June and 48 in July.


With the crackdown against criminals under way, there were bound to be encounters.

Twenty-six people were killed in shootouts between the law enforcement agencies and criminals in November.

In September and October, the numbers were 16 and 17 respectively.

Rangers alone killed seven suspected criminals in November compared to three each in September and October.

Stray bullets

There was also a rise in incidents of stray bullet deaths. Seventeen people, including three children, lost their lives in this manner. Overall, 103 people, including four members of banned outfits, were killed in political and sectarian attacks in November.

Through their crackdown against criminals that is under way since September, the law enforcement agencies have managed to bring about a marked reduction in target killings and other crimes. Hundreds of suspected criminals, including those believed to be involved in target killings, extortion cases and kidnappings, have been arrested and many also killed in encounters. The surge in sectarian killings in Karachi during November was triggered by the sectarian clashes in Rawalpindi on Ashura.

Source: The News – 19.12.2013 –