July 15, 2022

Staff report

LAHORE: Ethnic tensions between Sindhis and Pashtuns are at a high in Sindh following the murder of a Sindhi youth, allegedly by a group of attackers of Pashtun origin on the second day of Eid.

Bilal Kaka, who worked as a security supervisor at a private college and was affiliated with the nationalist party Jiye Sindh Qaumi Mahaz, was killed by a hotel owner on July 11 in Hyderabad after the two got into an argument over a staffer’s alleged rude behaviour toward Bilal.

Per an autopsy, Bilal died of wounds inflicted by a “sharp-edged object”.

Police however state that the victim was wanted for various crimes, including attempted murder, and had also been charged for terrorism in a separate case.

The incident ignited ethnic strife between the Sindhis and the Pashtuns in Hyderabad, which spread to other parts of Sindh, including Karachi. Violent protests erupted in Karachi’s Sohrab Goth on Thursday, an area with a major Pashtun population, in which one man was shot dead and several vehicles were set on fire.

As per reports, businesses owned by the Pashtun, especially restaurants, have been closed for the last four days.

Protesters claim that Bilal’s killer is an Afghan immigrant, and have called for the immediate deportation of all “illegal” Afghans and the arrest of Bilal’s murderers.

Sindhi and Pashtun nationalist leaders however have urged supporters to maintain peace and carry out their protests without incident. They have requested both communities to thwart attempts to create differences between the two.

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan on Friday also called for an end to ethnic tension in Sindh, and urged authorities to probe Bilal’s murder in a fair and transparent manner.


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