11 killed in Karachi violence after minister's comments

July 14, 2011 11:27


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KARACHI - Fresh political violence gripped Pakistan's commercial capital, Karachi, on Thursday, leaving 11 people dead in fighting sparked by a senior ruling party leader's criticism of the city's dominant political group.

Angry mobs went on a rampage and burnt vehicles after Zulfiqar Mirza, a minister in the Sindh provincial assembly and senior member of President Asif Ali Zardari's Pakistan People's Party (PPP), urged the people of Karachi and Hyderabad, the second-largest city of Sindh, to "rise and rid themselves" of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM).

"I appeal to the people of Karachi especially, and of Hyderabad, to stand up for yourselves, for Pakistan, for Karachi and for your innocent children, and rid yourselves of these cursed ones," he said while talking to reporters, referring to senior MQM leaders.

In comments broadcast repeatedly by local television stations, he also criticised Mohajirs -- the descendants of Urdu-speakers who migrated from India -- for being ungrateful for the home they were given after the creation of Pakistan in 1947.

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