Fear travels fast in turbulent times. A few weeks ago, a friend in Karachi wrote to me about women around her feeling afraid of harassment by pro-Taliban men when they went out in public. She quoted incidents she had heard of occurring in shopping markets frequented by the elite of the city. As residents of the bustling, diverse economic capitol of Pakistan brace themselves for more political turmoil and violence coming from the Taliban-military conflict, they are increasingly afraid of the conflict reaching their own neighborhoods. While an extremist religious revolution has never exactly found favor in the larger Pakistan (the extremist Jama'at-e-Islami has never been a nationally representative party), lately, fear has taken over political justifications.
This article sheds some light on the streak of paranoia, or well-founded fear the Taliban have provoked in the women of Karachi.