Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

REPORTERS

Libya in search of unity

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Burundi's presidential election: our team follow incumbent Nkurunziza's campaign trail

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Vote "No" for dignity and democracy ≠OXI

Read more

THE DEBATE

Turkey's Border Bother: Ankara wary of emboldened Kurds (part 2)

Read more

THE DEBATE

Turkey's Border Bother: Ankara wary of emboldened Kurds (part 1)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Tunisia Attack: UK ponders airstrike in Syria; Uber Popped: service suspended after French taxi revolt

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Greece's Choice: Europe holds its breath over Sunday's referendum

Read more

#TECH 24

Testing robots to play, snuggle and learn

Read more

#THE 51%

Jordan: Where a rapist can marry his victim

Read more

Our Focus programme brings you exclusive reports from around the world. From Monday to Friday at 7.45 am Paris time.

FOCUS

FOCUS

Latest update : 2010-02-26

Karachi, Taliban haven

Several senior militants from Afghanistan have been captured in Karachi in recent weeks, including the Afghan Taliban's second-in-command, Mullah Baradar. The arrests show the city has become a refuge for Afghan Taliban leaders. Yet at the same time, observers suggest Pakistan is becoming more willing to crack down on Karachi's growing militant population.

The recent arrests of several Afghan and Pakistani Taliban leaders show yet again that the militants are omnipresent in Pakistan’s largest city.

"My name is Abdullah, they call me Abu Waqas". The man is chained and his face concealed in front of Pakistani television cameras. He was arrested a few days ago by the Karachi police, who present him as a Taliban commander responsible for recruiting and training female suicide bombers.

There’s no way of knowing exactly where and how "commander Abdullah" was captured; that’s not the point of this media "show" from the Pakistani authorities. But this arrest comes a week after that of Mullah Baradar, the Afghan Taliban number two, also in Karachi: new evidence of the presence of militants in Pakistan’s largest city.

According to Professor Ahmed Mutahir of the University of Karachi, the Taliban presence is explained by both the size - 20 million inhabitants and only 30,000 police officers - and ethnic make-up of the city: "Some Karachi neighbourhoods are dominated by the Pashtun community, to which almost all Taliban fighters belong; and it is very easy for the fighters to hide in these safe havens".

Havens like Sohrab Goth, the historic stronghold of Pashtuns in Karachi, a neighbourhood said to be so dangerous that even the police are reluctant to venture there. Some say that Mullah Omar himself stayed here several times. But in Sohrab Goth, the law of silence reigns, and no-one dares talk about the presence of the Taliban.

The residents of neighbouring Baldia Town district, however, can no longer deny the facts. On January 8th, many were woken up at 8 am by a powerful explosion. The house blown up by the blast was a weapons cache, and the victims, Taliban from the north-west of the country, were killed by the explosive belts they were busy making...

By Cédric MOLLE LAURENCON

COMMENT(S)

Archives

2015-07-03 China

Discovering China's answer to Silicon Valley

China is aiming to reduce its reliance on manufacturing and become a world leader in technological innovation. In less than five years, the Beijing district of Zhongguancun has...

Read more

2015-07-02 Nigeria

Millions affected by Boko Haram's mass violence

Today we meet some of the women left on their own after their husbands and sons were killed by Boko Haram in Nigeria. It's estimated that the insurgency there has killed at least...

Read more

2015-07-01 Israel

Golan Heights' Druze minority urges action across border in Syria

A nightmare scenario is unfolding before the eyes of the Golan Heights' Druze community. Just across the border, in Syria, Islamists from the al-Nusra front are advancing towards...

Read more

2015-06-30 Turkey

Bodrum, an illegal gateway into Europe

The Turkish seaside resort of Bodrum is located on the Aegean coast, just 10 kilometres from the Greek island of Kos. It's become one of the most popular illegal gateways into...

Read more

2015-06-29 environment

Chimpanzees suffer collateral damage from increased poaching

In Uganda's Kibale National Park, a French team from the National Museum of Natural History is studying primates. But its remit also extends to protection, as the endangered...

Read more