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Taliban 'ultimate beneficiaries' if Karachi bloodbath continues: Analyst

August 20, 2011 - Islamabad

The ongoing bloodbath in Karachi may benefit the Taliban and adversely affect NATO efforts in Afghanistan, according to an analyst.

Pakistan's largest city is once again paralysed by ethnic and political violence that has killed at least 65 people over the past three days, while an estimated 1,300 people died in the fighting last year, The Christian Science Monitor reports.

As the saying goes, "If you control Karachi, you control Pakistan," the port city has immense economic and strategic importance nationally and internationally, and its worsening situation raises concerns that the safety of NATO supplies will become vulnerable.

"If the bloodshed continues, the ultimate beneficiaries will be Taliban," says Tauseef Ahmed, an analyst.

"The anarchy and chaos [is] deepening ethnic division in the troubled areas, which will become no-go areas and help the Taliban secure their hideouts and strengthen their bonds with the criminal mafia," he explains.

Convoys in Pakistan, carrying supplies for NATO forces in Afghanistan, are regularly targeted with arson attacks blamed on insurgents attempting to disrupt the two key supply lines, which cross western Pakistan bound for foreign troops fighting in neighbouring Afghanistan.

"There are fears that if the extremist elements get stronger, then it might jeopardise the safe supplies of NATO and give space for Islamic militants in Karachi," Professor Tauseef says.


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