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Pakistan political party calls off Karachi strike

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March 6, 2013 11:29 AM EST | AP

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KARACHI, Pakistan — A powerful political party in Pakistan's largest city is backing down from calls for a city-wide strike intended to pressure the government to arrest militants behind a bombing in a Shiite Muslim neighborhood that killed 48 people on Sunday.

Raza Haroon, a lawmaker from the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, on Wednesday appealed to the city's business community to observe an indefinite strike. Then hours later he told reporters they were withdrawing the strike after the city's business community lobbied against it.

The MQM is the dominant political party in Karachi, which is Pakistan's economic hub.

An extended strike could have negatively affected the rest of Pakistan.

No one has claimed responsibility for Sunday's attack. Sunni militant groups who don't believe Shiites are true Muslims have claimed responsibility for similar incidents.