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Friday, March 25, 2011

KARACHI families fraught by firing

“For the last two days, my family and I have become prisoners in our own home,” said Liaquatabad resident Fareed Hussain. Firing could be heard as he spoke.
As the death toll in target killings rises every day, residents of Baloch Para, near Teen Hatti, find themselves in a war-like situation.
The trigger was a raid on Tuesday by the Rangers in which one alleged drug peddler was killed. The gambling and drug-peddling gangs have been firing in retaliation since then.
The Rangers began the raid after receiving a tip-off and were looking for a drug peddler named Majeed alias Chota Baloch. However, Amjad alias Bara Baloch was killed.

“The children want to play outside which of course they cannot and they refuse to sit inside because of the rolling blackouts,” said another resident. But Liaquatabad police insisted there was “calm after Tuesday” because when the law-enforcement agencies are called, the firing stops. When they leave, the firing starts again.
“Never-ending load-shedding and the aggravated law and order situation is making us mad with worry. It’s a good thing that these people (the gangs) are getting caught,” said Zarina Baloch, another resident. Meanwhile, Rozina Baloch had sympathies for Amjad’s family. “He was a good man in comparison to his brother,” she said, but quickly added, “But we have families too.”
Unfortunately, most of the people of Liaquatabad have no hope of the situation improving. “The police or the Rangers just come and tell us to stay inside. After a short lull, it’s back to square one,” said a despondent Fareed.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 27th, 2011.

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