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Karachi

December 31, 2007

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Anger, mourning grips Gulistan-e-Jauhar

Anger, mourning grips Gulistan-e-Jauhar
Karachi

Gulistan-e-Jauhar is among the most affected localities in the wake of the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, Chairperson, Pakistan People Party (PPP), and twice-elected premier of the nation. The main arteries of the area remained totally inaccessible and a very thin presence of private transport was witnessed during the three-day mourning period.

Life remained suspended for a fourth consecutive day in the locality on Sunday and many pharmacies and private hospitals remained helplessly non-operative. Simultaneously, due to the law and order situation, bakeries and other shops which deal in essential edible commodities were also observed as inactive.

The dearth of general items created lot of trouble for families and, due to massive street violence, the constant burning of tyres on roads and the pelting of stones at vehicular traffic, restricted people from venturing to near-by localities in search of food and medicine.

Even the Gulistan-e-Jauhar police station was set on fire during attacks by the miscreants. Several mini-buses, buses and loading carriers were torched by mobs within the limits of Gulistan-e-Jauhar, Sachal and Sharea Faisal Police Stations.

These police stations completely failed to protect local residents and their properties as many commercial markets, especially cellular and computer shops, were looted and then set ablaze by the opportunists. Some transporters attempted to bring their vehicles on to the roads but were soon set alight by mobs. After such incidents, which occurred repeatedly, people preferred to stay indoors.

A branch of a local bank in the vicinity was also looted and set on fire along with several shops in Block-7. In other cases, shops situated at main University Road, Jauhar Road, Jauhar Mor, Safari Mor, Phelwan Goth, and Safoora Goth were also reportedly threatened by the mobs.

According to the inhabitants, the fact that Jauhar was surrounded by various legal and illegal Goths, which were used by certain elements to disturb the law and order situation, along with some other factors added to the spreading of fear among the public.

Even makeshift shops, including newspapers and Paan stalls, were not allowed to open for business by the mobs and some elements, under the garb of demonstrators, beat up people who attempted to open up.

As life remained suspended, people spent their time watching television, reading newspapers, if available, and using the internet.

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