Although every one is shocked by the daring attack by Taliban on a Naval Air base in Karachi, an article in DAWN titled “Armed gangs outnumber police in Karachi” provides eye-opening statistics about other armed groups (http://www.dawn.com/2011/05/23/armed-gangs-outnumber-police-in-karachi.html in the same city. According to the newspaper this assessment is by an American official. The article The following are some key data quoted in the article:
1. Sunni Tehreek (ST), organized itself on the lines of MQM and created a very strong armed group that is organized in small teams with commanders in many parts of Karachi. The article says that “it is disproportionately powerful because of the influx of MQM-H gunmen.”
2. There are several areas in Karachi where police would not enter and ISI folks show reluctance to go to those areas.
3. MQM is the largest such armed group with 10,000 active armed personnel and another 25,000 organized as a reserve force.
4. MQM-H has very strong armed presence in Landhi and Korangi.
5. The report says that although traditional PPP has avoided having any armed wing in Karachi, a significant number of licensed and unlicensed licenses are being being obtained by PPP workers and its armed presence in Karachi will soon rival to that of MQM.
6. The Awami National Party (ANP) has a large cache of personal weapons and soon Karachi will become the “the largest Pashtun city in the world.” The report further says that the “hard-line’ Pashtuns in the Sohrab Goth neighborhood.”
It is a very dark assessment that if true does not bode well for the future of Sindh and it’s capital city of Karachi.