Karachi has been smoldering for more than a week. On June 8 it burst into flames when the Pakistani Taliban laid siege to the city’s main airport, Jinnah International, killing at least 36 people. The firefight between the attackers and security forces was broadcast live on television, delivering images of carrier planes in flames and the sounds of gunfire and explosions. The megacity, with a population of 23.5 million, has been in a standstill since June 3, after the London arrest on money-laundering charges of Altaf Hussain, a prominent Pakistani politician and chief of the opposition Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM). All transportation, businesses, schools and offices remain closed. Leery of violence from MQM activists protesting Hussain’s arrest, the city’s residents have been effectively confined to their homes. When he was released on bail last week, it seemed as though calm would finally return to Karachi.