Calls for peace after 200 deaths in Karachi

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Pakistan’s government on Wednesday launched a campaign to end bloody clashes in the city of Karachi after at least 200 people were killed since the beginning of the month.
Many parts of the port city have turned into battlegrounds in recent weeks with national authorities unable to prevent spiraling violence blamed on activists from political parties representing competing ethnic groups.
The campaign is erecting billboards to mobilise public opinion, covering government buildings in white flags and encouraging rival party leaders in the city to meet victims’ families.
“We have launched a campaign to bring about lasting peace in Karachi, which is economic engine of our country,” Sharjeel Memon, the information minister of Sindh, told AFP.
Supporters of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), based among the Urdu-speaking majority, have had a bitter relationship for years with the Awami National Party (ANP), which represents ethnic Pashtun migrants.
Officially the two parties said Wednesday that they backed the campaign, but analysts questioned whether they were willing to order their activists to stop fighting.
This month is reported to be the bloodiest in Karachi since 1995, with local media reporting at least 200 people have already been killed.

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