The Straits Times
Published on Feb 08, 2013

Karachi schools and businesseson strike, court raps government


KARACHI (AFP) - Schools and businesses went on strike in Pakistan's financial capital Karachi on Friday as the country's top court accused the government of failing to prevent record levels of unrest.

Security and human rights officials estimate that around 300 people have died in the city of 18 million since January 1, many of them as a result of political, ethnic and sectarian tensions plaguing the country's business hub.

Security officials confirmed six more deaths overnight, bringing to 16 the toll from shootings and a bombing in the last 36 hours.

The unrest comes with general elections due by mid-May. The polls are due to mark the first democratic transition of power in Pakistani history.