News / Asia

Violence Cripples Pakistan's Economic Hub

Sharon Behn
Pakistan’s southern port city of Karachi is the country’s economic engine and home to some 20 million people. It is also the country’s most violent city, where gangs aligned with local political parties settle scores with shoot-outs. The violence is taking a toll on the country's commercial hub.
 
Political killings, honor killings, kidnappings and gang warfare are not uncommon in this city.

Violence taking a toll

According to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, more than 1,450 people including children were killed in Karachi in the first six months of this year. That’s an average of about 6 people a day.

Karachi produces more than 50 percent of Pakistan’s revenue. Businessmen like Naeem Ahmed, a member of the Karachi Chamber of Commerce, say the daily violence is impacting the country’s economy. “If Karachi is not working well, it does not just mean that Karachi is not working, it means Pakistan is not working,” he explained.

Police say they don’t have the manpower to secure such a large city, where there is high unemployment and poverty-driven crime.

Beyond law enforcement

Businessmen say political parties also are also using violence to gain economic power. Police chief Ahmed Farooqi says political violence is beyond law enforcement's ability to control.

“Police can stop them for a little while, [stop] this violence to happen, but for larger stability, and a larger improvement in the law and order situation, the political forces must come into play,” he said.

There is also a lot of wealth in Karachi. And people want protection. Despite strict licensing procedures, gun sales are up. And not only among men, says shop manager Mahmoud Salim.

“Besides hunting and paper target shooting at the range, people also buy guns for personal protection, and that also includes women, even young women," he added. "They come and they want to have a license, they want to have a weapon for their personal security.”
 
Businessmen say the only solution will come from political parties joining forces, and tackling the problems, rather than being a part of them.

You May Like

Disappointing Report on China's Economy Shakes Markets

In London and New York shares lost 3 percent, while Paris and Germany dropped around 2.4 percent More

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: john from: german
September 03, 2012 11:42 PM
Nobody can deny the fact that killings, kidnappings and gang warfare go together with Muslim, no economics will develope in those regions.
In Response

by: shamsherzada from: los angeles
September 11, 2012 1:42 PM
western society has a good way of blaming everything that ails muslim countries as somehow being the fault of islam. its like saying nazi germany represented all of christianity, or that american policy is the policy of all western countires(not that our policies are bad for us at least) so all this muslim hating wont get us anywhere but where we r now. so please lets move this conversation past blaming a religion and get to the root cause of it.(karachi) was swamped by imigrants once british raj gave independence to india and pakistan, the local populace never embraced the imigrants wholeheartedly and that exactly whats behind all this violence.so a little research will go a long way dont b like all those brainwashed people who keep repeating the same mantra............

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs