Karachi: Oasis of harmony or fetid swamp?

Fact really can be stranger than fiction. The weekend that SA was in Karachi, being driven in his enormous cavalcade to inaugurate yet another ‘soft image‘ show, the rain gods were conspiring to cut him down to size. I wish he had stuck around to watch the show: a mere 2-3 inches of rain across the city wreaked havoc.

I pin the blame squarely on the shoulders of Musharraf and his coterie of dirty politicians. 7 years on and we’ve seen that it doesn’t matter who is in charge: misery is all that we can expect. So what difference whether it’s PPP, MQM, PML (add whichever letters you like here) or the beards? The awful state of DHA belies any claims of army efficiency, the underpass swimming pool has exposed the work of the FWO, and having a ruler who is also the COAS has done nothing notable for this city.

18 Comments so far

  1. Destitute Rebel (unregistered) on August 1st, 2006 @ 7:03 pm

    Pakistanis have no foreign oppressor, only our very own politicians who we have elected through a “semi” democratic process or who have come into power by force with the support of the general public. Yet, this system has served only to oppress us, to deprive us of our basic rights and dignity and to severely retard the progress of our nation. Many able men and women of our country have shirked their duty, claiming that politics is corrupt and they want no part of it. These men and women are cowards and hypocrites, for politics is corrupt only because of their absence. Ultimately it is they who have failed their country, and not the criminals who have become our politicians and leaders.

  2. Hasan (unregistered) on August 1st, 2006 @ 7:48 pm

    Oasis of Harmony ??

    My wife smiled when she saw the big banners at the Expo center this morning on my way to Ashfaq Hospital (for treatment of our son affected with “common” high fever as the doctor termed it).

    She asked me “wether we Karachittes know what a “City” looks like?” … referring to an old joke, when i called Jakarta a village ’cause of simple lifestyle.

    “… No electricity (we were out of electricity for straight 20 hours), water shortage, roads still under construction since she arrived in Karachi (back in Dec 2004), medical, education, impatient people & how can i miss these pan-stained road”.

    Indonesia, still ranked as, one of the most corrupt nations of the world, but what i saw in Jakarta & Bandung, they have all the necessities of city life & basics. Jakarta itself has 6 highways (8 lanes either side) and competes in infrastructure with KL & Singapore.

    I just smiled back … I was answerless.

  3. Hasan (unregistered) on August 1st, 2006 @ 7:50 pm

    … guess i missed sharing that she is an Indonesian national from Jakarta.

  4. verysmart (unregistered) on August 1st, 2006 @ 9:19 pm

    Cy, such an depressing post, well I think that the fact that we are facing all this is due to the reason that the city is undergoing some huge infrastructure building, and this is what happens in these conditions.

    We shall be tahnkful to our COAS that he has introduced the system of City Goverments, placing nazims in each area, who are responsible and answerable, providing us with media and channels to report any disasters on a timely manner. Have you ever tried to book a meeting with a Deputy Commisioner in the 90s? they were monsters who never even wanted to know you, let alone solving your problems.

    Countries like China, Malaysia, Eqypt, Brazil, Taiwan, Singapore and even a rebounding Russia, all have autocracies, because the democracy becomes hostage in the hands of powerful few who drive the stupid and the poor billions in the names of religion, casts and subnationalities. Unless the majority becomes literate there is no tommorow for the democracy in our country.

    What made you believe that public projects in Europe and US are falwless, even after their developed status the BIG DIG (an underpass built with billions of dollars) in boston collapsed on top of a car killing a woman instantly, the new bridge opened in France a couple of days ago WOBBLES if you walk on it, the government is suggesting that its is safe and has no intentions of re-engineering it. The World Trade Centers top 4 floor used to swing in strong winds, even then the government took no measure to rebuild it, untill it was struck by some planes.

    The projects in Karachi and Pakistan generaly are very young, the designers are new and inexperienced, and yet they have built them and made operative 95% of the year. Things will mature as they make new projects, they will encompass all the failings in the past.

    The very reason that KPT underpass is submerged, is that KPT underpass exists now! a few years down the road maybe they will build a system that drives water out of it cleanly and swiftly.

    The Nazim is out on the streets trying to solve the issues, urging us to report more, this was not even heard of in the past decade of democratic governments.

    Just look around you and try and count the number of projects that are underprogress, ask yourself, when was the last time you saw all this activity? I tell you the answer.. NEVER BEFORE!

    They have pumped water out of the underpass within a day, itself this is a success.

    @HASAN, please explain to your wife that Indonesia only had one corrupt family, Sohartu and Co. We are unlucky to have elected many families like them in succession, The Civil Marshall Law Administrator, the Islamist General, The daughter of Civil Marshal LAw Admisitrator (twice), The Bald Businessman (twice).

    The Least we can do is to be slightly Supportive.

  5. Poo Poo Head (unregistered) on August 1st, 2006 @ 10:14 pm

    CY: “Beards” should not be related to some particular political parties. Its sunnah so please refrain from passing such comments. Its over all the world differences. I do not have beard myself but I really don’t like that attitude. At least I try not to mock of beard.

  6. mansoor (unregistered) on August 2nd, 2006 @ 1:15 am

    very smart: well said! bravo! totally second you on this :)

  7. verysmart (unregistered) on August 2nd, 2006 @ 1:43 am

    @mansoor, Thanx bro,
    I guess we have plunged into the habbit of GOvernment BAshing no matter what the issue is.

    I see the original culprits among us, like my uncle in KWSB, who takes bribe for intiating connections to any new builders, my friend’s father who is a simple officer in Revenue Department and all his sons are studying abroad. My other uncle who is in police and have provided Police Mobiles as a convey and security cover to my aunts and my own family at times.

    So who to bash???… I gues we have to realize its just us and people we love who makes this government and who consitute our own problems.

    Lets start realizing.

  8. SWA (unregistered) on August 2nd, 2006 @ 1:46 am

    I think this post is very pessimistic. CY has totally ignored soo many acheivements of the Musharraf administration such as the freedom of media, the over 6% economic growth over the past few years, even the inititation of development in Karachi which had been lying in squalor over the past decade!
    Unfortunately, it is a Pakistani habit to overlook the good side and focus on the bad and be ungrateful. Sure, Musharraf hasnt yet turned Pakistan into Malaysia, but we shouldnt forget that Rome was not built in a day!

  9. Concerned (unregistered) on August 2nd, 2006 @ 3:05 am


    Love what you wrote in support of Musharraf. I agree with you. Also I think you should have a word with your family and friends about wht you wrote in your second session.

  10. verysmart (unregistered) on August 2nd, 2006 @ 4:44 am

    I have had pretty nasty sessions with my family and friends, and this is the reason my mom suggested that I shall go away for a while to cool off, guess what, I am in UK and more piping hot than ever before ;)

  11. verysmart (unregistered) on August 2nd, 2006 @ 5:05 am

    come on mate.. just kidding.. but really start comparing the level of luxuries your friends and family members enjoy with their legal sources of income and a harsh truth will dawn on you.

    The best thing we can do is to make sure that we wont repeat the atrocities and mistakes that these people have commited.

  12. Kashif Aziz (unregistered) on August 2nd, 2006 @ 9:45 am

    The blame game is on, as usual.

  13. mansoor (unregistered) on August 2nd, 2006 @ 10:58 am

    kashif: the blame game is on here.. but with a twist! this time, its us blaming ourselves.

    verysmart: i know what its like to have your own loved ones be the problem, and you cant do anything about it. My friends father is in KWSB, and one of the few ppl with ‘integrity’ left there i believe. The stories i hear about ppl enticing him to get various favours done are horrendous! It takes character, which is also a missing factor in a lot of us…

  14. Kashif Aziz (unregistered) on August 2nd, 2006 @ 4:14 pm

    self-bashing won’t take us anywhere, be realistic and do what you can, i try not to splash water on others when i drive, if 80% of us start doing this, for example, things would start getting better

  15. mansoor (unregistered) on August 2nd, 2006 @ 4:20 pm

    kashif: good going! thats going to be my new resolution for this weather. New because i’ll concentrate on this more… dont splash water on ppl

  16. verysmart (unregistered) on August 2nd, 2006 @ 4:22 pm

    Kashif: your resolution is an initial form of self-bashing. You can start from there, and move towards more complex issues. Keep it up.

  17. Concerned (unregistered) on August 2nd, 2006 @ 9:58 pm


    Good to know you are in the Uk too, this brings me to another note. I have been meaning ask some one if they are going to the rally on saturday in Hyde park against Israel. I missed the first one so I just wanted to know if this one was worth going to. and if some ppl could spread the word.

    I know this aint London Blog but I thought I would ask none the less.

  18. verysmart (unregistered) on August 3rd, 2006 @ 1:12 am

    Concerned: dear, I am based in Cardiff, unfortunately I just visited london already on 28th for the British Motor Show at Excel London.. it was fun

    I will try and spread thw rod among my friends in london though

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