Karachi grapples with Taliban recruitment

Pakistan's largest city combats what some refer to as growing Talibanisation of ethnic Pashtun areas.

    Though US drone strikes on Taliban targets in northwest Pakistan have become routine, the group continues to have a presence in the country's south.

    Several members of the Pakistani Taliban have been arrested in the southern port city of Karachi.

    However, despite the crackdowns, the Taliban continues to use the city as a hub for funding and recruitment.

    Amir Latif, from the Online News Network in Karachi, told Al Jazeera that the Taliban are hiding in Karachi.

    "It's very true they are in here. Karachi is the commercial hub of Pakistan. They can get finance from many resources; direct funding from their supporters here as well as through illegal funding from outside," he said.

    "However, it is impossible for the Taliban to capture land here or establish their own government in line with the tribal regions [like Waziristan and Swat Valley]."

    But there are those who disagree - the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) party, which represents Urdu-speakers, allege the Taliban have set up base in the mountains round the city.

    Pashtuns who live there deny that - for them such allegations are aimed at countering the mass migration of Pashtuns who have been escaping the violence in northwest tribal regions.

    Al Jazeera's Zeina Khodr reports from Karachi.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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