Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

Boko Haram crisis: Militants forced from north eastern Nigerian town

Read more

REPORTERS

Syria: Wresting control of Kobani from IS group

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

A who's who of the 'Bettencourt trial'

Read more

FOCUS

Golan Heights on edge...

Read more

THE BUSINESS INTERVIEW

Eugene Kaspersky: Cyber attacks on critical infrastructure 'just a question of time'

Read more

#THE 51%

Equality in the workplace: Bridging the gender pay gap

Read more

ENCORE!

The culture stars trying to save the world

Read more

#TECH 24

Technology helping visually impaired people

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Brands bet big on Super Bowl Sunday

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

2015-01-30 Israel

Golan Heights on edge...

Tension is running high along the border between Israel and its Northern neighbours. Wednesday's Hezbollah attack which killed two Israeli soldiers comes on the heels of a strike...

Read more

2015-01-29 Spain

35 Basque independence activists face trial in Spain

The trial of 35 members of the political party Batasuna, which was due to open this Thursday in Madrid after being postponed following the arrest of several defence lawyers, has...

Read more

2015-01-28 Germany

Pegida, the movement dividing Germany

Pegida, the broadly anti-immigration movement born in Germany's east, has gained a huge following in the space of just a few months and made headlines around the world. The...

Read more

2015-01-27 Holocaust

Auschwitz, the symbol of industrial-scale extermination

On January 27th 1945, Red Army troops discovered, almost by chance, the Third Reich's largest extermination camp, Auschwitz-Birkenau. Seventy years on, FRANCE 24 looks back at...

Read more

2015-01-26 Ukraine

Eastern Ukraine dragged deeper into war

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine have ripped up peace agreements and vowed to go on the offensive. The Ukrainian authorities have said they will fight back. But...

Read more