Pakistan: How Karachi's fatal gas leak exposes a deepening crisis

WION New Delhi, Delhi, India Feb 18, 2020, 01.46 AM(IST)

File photo Photograph:( Reuters )

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Why this leak is a significant challenge not just for Pakistan, but globally as well. Let's understand the developments

At least seven people died and more than 100 hospitalised after a gas leaked in Pakistan's port city of Karachi late on Sunday. It has been more than 24 hours and still, the cause of the leak remains unknown.

So why this leak is a significant challenge not just for Pakistan, but globally as well. Let's understand the developments. 

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Karachi, the capital of Sindh province, is Pakistan's largest city and one of the main commercial region.  

Also read: At least six dead in gas leak in Karachi; Pakistan navy launches investigation

The leak is extremely close to Pakistan's nuclear facility and occurred at Keamari, a major tourist spot. In 2011, a seven-hour emergency was declared at the nuclear power plant in Karachi after a gas leak, which triggered massive fears.    

Pakistan's nuclear installations also have a patchy track record, despite the country making contrary claims in an attempt to silence global concerns. In 2014, Pakistan's interior minister issued a policy paper, a classified document, that claimed that the terrorist network in the country is close to nuclear facilities in Pakistan's Punjab. 

Reports have also said that the Pakistan Army has full control over the country's nuclear arms. Also, the Pakistan Army's support to terror organisations is well-known. So, terrorists based in Pakistan getting access to nuclear weapons remain a threat.

And Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan's silence in this latest gas leak raises not just regional but global concerns.