Sometimes I wonder what that one thing is that identifies Karachi. New York City is known for the skyline, Chicago is known for the architecture, Paris is known for the Eiffel Tower, and so on. So, what is the first thing that comes in mind when you think about Karachi? Is it the people, the food, the weather? Or is it violence?

What is the biggest problem Karachi is facing today? I ponder over this at times. If I could solve one problem in Karachi, what would that be? Is it going to be electricity, traffic, or cleanliness? Or is it violence?

15 Comments so far

  1. hafsa (unregistered) on June 1st, 2005 @ 1:52 am

    if you had asked this question 2-3 years back i would’ve said “the food, the lights, the life that’s running through the diverse population” but now, sadly, it’s the violence. this beautiful city is bleeding again.

  2. Jon (unregistered) on June 1st, 2005 @ 3:37 am

    I wouldn’t say its violence. Karachi was at its endless violence worst during mid-nineties.

    Right now we’re thinking violence just b’coz of recent attacks, but I’m hoping we’d be done with those now in a day or two & Karachi would spring back up.

  3. Jon (unregistered) on June 1st, 2005 @ 3:52 am

    And also, there’s 2 different perspectives :

    A city identified by some signature architecture – e.g. Statue of Liberty, Eifel Tower, Opera House, Burj al-Arab etc. There are a handful of cities that can lay claim to this.

    But otherwise, almost every other large metropolitan city, from New York to Karachi, is known for its high crime rates, dirt & trash, bad traffic etc. Of course, in New York’s case the traffic & crime is not as bad as Karachi in absolute terms, but to non-NY Americans, even New York is scary :).

  4. Samarkand (unregistered) on June 1st, 2005 @ 7:36 am

    Well to speak metaphorically, symbols are simply a man made construction to satisfy some need. The Eiffel tower is a symbol of ??? the statue of liberty is a symbol of many things that adhere to the american values, and friendship, also it greeted new immigrants when they sailed into NY. But Pakistan is a man made country, it was created for the sole purpose of refuge for the brutalities that were taking place between Muslims and Hindus. It is only ironic that more bloodshed is continuing.

    It makes me sick to my stomach that now we have muslims killing muslims when they claim that so and so is against them. Well then, why don’t you unite and work towards a peaceful resolution to opression? You think killing each other then burning KFC and chanting death to America is actually going to improve anything?

    You know what i feel our symbol is? I have no idea. 3 talwar? Schon circle? Oh please…one is in a filthy state and the other has been make with powder money… we have no symbols, becuase nobody cares except the artists and poets who are sitting in their little rooms creating something that will go unseen and unheard. We need the educated force of Pakistan to return – they have all left including me – and work to unproving our country together, without religion. We need a socialist democracy, not a symbol becuase symbols improve nothing, they only provide photo-ops. And instead of holding a symbol to out hearts we should hold a beleif.


    Samarkand ( A broken hearted Pakistani)

  5. Ali (unregistered) on June 1st, 2005 @ 9:46 am

    S – U go grrl!!

    Violence begets more violence. Y cant there B peace?

    Create Peace.

    – Ali

  6. zubair (unregistered) on June 1st, 2005 @ 6:27 pm

    What is the biggest problem Karachi is facing today?

    IMHO: there isnt any ‘biggest problem’, yet there are many big problems. the big problems i see are:

    law & order. with car snatching, mobile snatchings, thefts, broad day-light armed robberies, etc., one cant feel safe. i’m always thinking twice before getting buying anything new in karachi.

    infrastructure. erratic power supply, poor transportation system, lack of sewerage system, pathetic health care facilities, non-existent recreational places, low-quality educational system etc. make this city’s life miserable.

    corruption. even the best places here are plagued by corruption. take example of Karachi University, it should be the land mark of Karachi. the foundations have been set, but KU is unable to make impact as LUMS, GIKI have made. all government institutions are tattered.

    distribution of wealth: uneven distribution of wealth. we have to accept it. not the whole karachi is like defence or KDA. the poor people are pretty depressed and unhappy in this ‘great’ city.

    attitude: the educated mass still lacks basic decency and attitude towards group prosperity. there is extreme selfishness in personal lives, communities, business and everywhere. ‘to hell with karachi’ is not a very uncommon statement. I bet we wouldnt even pay our income taxes if they werent deducted from our pay already.

    what can be done to solve these problems, requires a very studied solution. but for now, all we can do is change our attitudes from thinking selfish towards thinking for our city.

  7. Ali (unregistered) on June 1st, 2005 @ 7:42 pm

    U ppl can make a difference! Believe it or not! U R young enough to start a positive trend where U reside. Esp, since you are doing a remarkable job in bringing the issues 2 light and discussing them. Its pretty kool that U R doing this….this is a gr8 blog.

    Create Peace!

    – Ali

  8. Teeth Maestro (unregistered) on June 1st, 2005 @ 9:49 pm

    You talk to any pakistani and he/she has the perfect colution to solving the issues facing Pakistan. I would have to agree to many of the above mentioned points, but honestly can You change to the attitude of a working Pakistani nation. A Pakistani is known as a laid back, easy going worker who would love to rest and cringes away from hard work. (I dont mean to point a bad finger at many hard working indiduals, as I only mena to talk about the general public as a whole). I dont think we can change the basic fundamental appraoch of an entire nation.

    What do you do with a defective mentality, unfortunately not much, but change can indeed be nurtured into a progressive Pakistan. The only way, in my opinion, is to create a fun working environment is to introduce SPORTS into our normal daily life, have more cricket matches divert peoples attention from daily frustrations and have them support their teams. History has repeatedly shown our glorious nation come together emotionally and physically only during a cricket match and we all cherish that moement for days to come. This unity I feel is the cornerstone to a progressive nation. A good dose of yelling and supporting their teams does a lot good, it relieves the built-up adrenaline which continues to pile up on an easy going individual and will also divert their attention from their daily worries.

  9. ga (unregistered) on June 1st, 2005 @ 11:30 pm

    It’s really unfortunate that after coming back from Karachi last month and telling my friends that it is not really all that bad and a great place to visit, something like this happens (again). I almost even convinced a couple of them to visit Pakistan.

    As for sports, they are also known to cause riots. Instead of directing the population of a developing country towards sports, promoting education, equality, and acceptance of other religions and cultures etc would be a far better alternative.

    A bunch of cheering fans watching cricket to the delight of overpaid advertising executives, players, and sports franchises is not a solution. I for one am not ready to believe that the Pakistani population is so utterly ignorant and incapable that they must be distracted by sports rather than solving their issues.

  10. Teeth Maestro (unregistered) on June 2nd, 2005 @ 2:39 am

    Riots are now a thing of the past as I see our adminstration has slowly over the year have learnt to adopt a no bull-shit attitude – talking about an ignorant nation, that sadly gets fooled too easily.

    I give examples – MQM being elected into office for the past 15 years despite all what they have done to our city, Bhuttos and Sharifs coming back for a second term each despite all the evil seen in their first tenure, one might think the first term was enough for a nation not to re-elect them again. Today I stand here watching Mr. 10% welcomed back with open arms ready to dominate us again. Its sad but we have to face reality our nation get too easily fooled by ONLY the present circumstances and past events mean only a mere entry in the history books.

    I assure you I too remain very much concerned about ‘My’ city Karachi, but sadly thats what we have to live with, despite all what I see, I still remain a proud Paksitani with ‘only’ a Pakistani Passport.

    Sports might seem too innocent but I feel its a perfect excuse for a young pakistani man to escape from his turbulent life, unfortunately he has no parks or other activites to do apart from sitting around and maybe accidently mingle with the wrong crowd. In sports he actually vents all his stress induced adrenaline built over the past few days and hopefully resume a few stress-free days. I am sure you have seen the nation literally gel together in an India Pakistan match, those are actually a few romantic days of unity I only see. This sensation of unity can motivate even the worst of a crumbling society to achieve the impossible. I might be proposing an awkward idea where other learned wirters above me want to get rid of corruption, theft and create law n order, those are deep issues which sadly even the military could not tame, we now have to look for subtle yet effective changes and I see sports as the only outlet to start getting the nation on track, I might agree that it only won’t be a cure for all issues facing our country but its a positive step hopefully in the right direction

  11. Teeth Maestro (unregistered) on June 2nd, 2005 @ 2:43 am

    Just to add a bit more – I would have to agree promoting education and basic medical facilities can also relieve a lot of our problems. Despite a booming economy as claimed by our rulers its sad to see a major hospital like Mideast fade away into the history books, sadly we are closing down hospital than opening new ones.

  12. ayesha Naveed (unregistered) on June 2nd, 2005 @ 4:34 pm

    Well hello bloggers,interested in finding out what are all of you in your capacity doing about the reality that all pakistanis face day in day out and has been expressed in your comments???

  13. John Mac (unregistered) on June 5th, 2005 @ 12:17 am

    Hello, all. I am an international teacher due to take a job in Karachi shortly. Given what I have read on the blog, violence and all, what advice would you give me?

  14. Saba (unregistered) on June 5th, 2005 @ 12:42 am

    I’d advise you to stay indoors during days of strikes (which, believe me, are infrequent) and religious holidays (which are usually public holidays). Karachi doesn’t have much to offer in terms of entertainment, but then again, that depends on your interests and the people you know.

  15. Pakistani Think Tank (unregistered) on June 21st, 2005 @ 1:24 am

    Well, if you start back-tracking any violence phenomena then it always end on one of the two things. 1 – A (naam nihad) Religious Party 2 – A Political Party. We are the promotors of volence , because we believe that politician are the fellow of the Nation, my opinion is that Politcians are the Fellow of Violence. I have made a good group for this and similiar activities. Hope so you may find the good facts of Who are the enemies of the Nation. Join the Yahoo -group named “Pakistani_think_tank” It’s time to Act!!!!

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