Riots in Karachi After Opposition Figure’s Slaying in London

MQM Claims Farooq's Killing Revenge for Leader's Call for Military Coup

Torn apart last month by a number of political riots, the city of Karachi had just started to get back to normal in recent days. But the rioters are back out in force today following the stabbing death of top Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) figure Imran Farooq.

Farooq’s apparent assassination in London has sparked renewed outrage among the rank and file MQM members, and claims from the party itself that the killing was revenge for MQM leader Atlaf Hussain’s recent calls for the military to oust corrupt politicians and seize power on its own.

Pakistan’s ruling Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) has made a point of condemning Hussain’s comments in recent days, and the party’s ally the ANP has openly clashed with the MQM, making Karachi’s local politics a study in tit-for-tat political assassinations.

Which is perhaps why everyone is so eager to embrace the theory that this too is an assassination, even though no arrests have yet been made. Lacking any alternative explanation, it seems the clashes will continue to rise and Karachi will remain unstable.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.