Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Trump: Fake News And Unnamed Sources

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Trump Administration, Trukey Crackdown, French Presidential Race (part 1)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Trump Administration, Trukey Crackdown, French Presidential Race (part 2)

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Aux Champs-Elysées: The story behind France's most famous avenue

Read more

#TECH 24

Foosball gets its own social network

Read more

YOU ARE HERE

Inlays and veneers: The art of French cabinetmaking

Read more

PEOPLE & PROFIT

How should companies respond to a Trump Twitter attack?

Read more

#THE 51%

Trump abortion funding ban: Europe tries to fill the breach

Read more

REPORTERS

Video: India’s Kuki people, possible descendants of one of Israel's lost tribes

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

2017-02-24 France

France: Migrants offered financial incentives to return home

France is one of several countries in Europe that offer financial incentives to migrants who agree to go back home. The system is seen as one way of dealing with the migrant...

Read more

2017-02-23 Middle East

Arms race: Delegations eye lucrative deals at Abu Dhabi military fair

The world's largest military fair is wrapping up in the United Arab Emirates. The IDEX exhibition attracts mainly African, Arab and Asian officials who are shopping for weapons....

Read more

2017-02-22 Africa

#BringBackOurInternet: English-speaking Cameroon hit by digital blackout

Since mid-January, minority English-speaking regions of Cameroon have had their internet access cut off. These regions have seen anti-government protests in recent months, and...

Read more

2017-02-21 Europe

Migrant crisis: How Italy is training Libyan coast guards

In a bid to crack down on human trafficking in the Mediterranean, the European Union and Libya are working together. As part of the EU's operation Sophia, officers in the Libyan...

Read more

2017-02-20 Americas

North Dakota: Sioux tribe stands firm against pipeline project

In the US state of North Dakota, members of the Sioux tribe of Standing Rock have been defying oil companies and authorities for several months. They want them to scrap a plan...

Read more