Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FOCUS

Spain's Tagus river is drying up

Read more

ENCORE!

Paris, the capital of street art?

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

What is green finance?

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Is This Bear a Victim of Climate Change? Maybe, But Maybe Not

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

One Planet Summit: Hop on that green bike, Emmanuel!

Read more

YOU ARE HERE

France's Cathar region: Relics of the Middle Ages in the Pyrenees

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

AU warns 6,000 jihadists could return to Africa

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Trump's accusers say #MeToo... again

Read more

THE DEBATE

Game changer? Middle East diplomacy after Trump's Jerusalem move

Read more

FOCUS

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

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

2017-12-11 Americas

USA: Voters speak out ahead of high-stakes Alabama Senate race

On Tuesday December 12, an election for a US Senate seat will take place in the state of Alabama. Despite credible claims of sexual misconduct from at least a dozen accusers, the...

Read more

2017-12-08 Senegal

Marine pollution around Dakar reaches critical levels

In Senegal, despite the country's hundreds of kilometers of coastline, a recent report on marine pollution is likely to put you off going for a swim. The ocean around the Dakar...

Read more

2017-12-07 Tunisia

Franco-Tunisian leads efforts to combat desertification

Like many other countries, Tunisia is faced with increasing desertification. Yet public awareness remains limited. Sarah Toumi is a young Franco-Tunisian who's been on Emmanuel...

Read more

2017-12-06 sex abuse

Miami's camp for convicted sex offenders

In Miami, a local law prohibits convicted sex offenders of living within 800 metres of anywhere where children congregate, such as schools, libraries and parks. As construction...

Read more

2017-12-05 mental health

Mental health deteriorates for isolated refugees

Endless waiting, harsh living conditions, and dreadful weather: This is the situation for asylum seekers currently stuck on Greek islands and many of them say they're actually...

Read more