KARACHI: The shutter-down strike of Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) on Wednesday to protest the raid of rangers on their party headquarters, Nine Zero, at Azizabad, exposed the division of Karachi on ethnic and linguistic lines, as the areas where Sindhi, Pashtu and Balochi speaking people live in majority, were completely open, ignoring the strike call of MQM, once considered sole political power player of the mega city.
Many areas including Gulshan-e-Hadeed, Landhi, Lyari, Mauripur, Malir, Shanti Nagar, Sachal Goth, Suhrab Goth, Gadap and Pashtu-speaking localities of Baldia and Orangi remained open. Though Saddar area was overall closed but the shops around main Empress Market were open, Public transport was also available from Saddar Empress Market to Tower. The main bus stand of Saddar area remained closed. However, buses and vans were seen at the bus stand of Al-Asif Square in Suhrab Goth area. Petrol pumps were mostly closed; however, in some areas petrol pumps and gas stations worked normally, amidst heavy rush. One of such petrol pump was seen working near Teen Hati.
However, the city remained peaceful. On Shahra-e-Pakistan there were marks of burnt tyres between Water Pump and Kareemabad area, but this main artery like other roads was completely open for traffic. Presence of police and rangers was seen in almost all localities.
However, overall the city remained closed and its all main and wholesale markets fully shut. Saving some areas, public transport remained off roads; however, rickshaws, taxis and chingchies made a windfall.
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