Can you argue with this description?

“In 2007, it is paradoxically Pakistan’s richest city and the poorest and most violent. The civil-military bureaucratic
elite and other wealthy sections of society live in the six cantonment areas and old South district.19 Much of the
rest of the city is divided into clusters of residential colonies and slums, some of which are ethnically homogenous and have distinct ethnic titles. Unplanned squatter dwellings, katchi abadis, have spread uncontrollably. Almost half
the population lives in these unplanned settlements, which often lack electricity, sewers and running water.21 An
estimated 350,000 persons still move to Karachi every year, further straining its already inadequate infrastructure.
The state’s failure to provide basic public amenities, combined with widespread unemployment, leads to struggles over resources, jobs, and educational opportunities, which at times explode into violence,” according to the International Crisis Group’s report on Karachi’s madressah problem.

The report itself contains many unsettling facts about Karachi, but what struck me was the description of Karachi. I am often accused of churlish pessimism and the harbinger of bad news here, but I am just as puzzled by the detractors: do we really need to re-jig reality just to make ourselves feel better about this city?

48 Comments so far

  1. MB (unregistered) on April 9th, 2007 @ 8:20 pm

    Hey CY you stole my idea dude. Mine was almost a similar one but from other angle.

    Good one. Well the best thing about Karachi is its potential & the worst thing is, its not utilized fully/properly.

    But a lot of activity is going on which is itself a big achievement considering the bad old days. A lot of good & bad is happening at the same time right now. The good things is its gonna benefit a lot in the long run. The bad things is its happening for already good-in-shape.

    Projects & planning for masses is required on a large scale if any change in ground realities is to be achieved.

  2. Hasan Zuberi (unregistered) on April 9th, 2007 @ 8:22 pm

    Most of the facts cited in the report are close to reality.

    The joint-politics by Military & Religious elements is nothing new.

    All Pakistani military rulers, installed by Republicans to fulfill their NWO agenda, had kept close ties & working relationships with the Clergy.

    Although, I consider ICG as the script-writers for all major Crisis across the globe.

    Indeed, we live in a dangerous world surrounded by all sort of vice.

    May Allah save us & guide us to teh right path.

  3. MB (unregistered) on April 9th, 2007 @ 8:57 pm

    The report has valid suggestions.

    Its ironic that when you cannot control your kids & they start disturbing the neighborhood then someone powerful form the mohalla has to teach you on how to control them.

    Thats what the WEST is doing. Our military should have his kids controlled instead of producing fanatics. They were first fooled by WEST in the name of religion in Afghan war which i personally feel we lost which made us pay more then what we got.

    Second we invented/created/designed a germ called taliban who are no way near the word’s meaning itself.

    So we gonna pay the price now & someone from the mohallah is teaching us how to do it.

  4. Salman A. (unregistered) on April 9th, 2007 @ 9:53 pm

    Most part of the report is a piece of crap. These biased western reporters are being paid for distorting the images of our cities and our educational institutions. neither they have an idea nor they wanna know as to why parents send their kids to these madrassas in Pakistan. well, the reason is simple, instead of sending kids to a public school where they are more likely to become gangsters and eventually become a mafia agent, these poor parents opt for madrassas which is a better option for them. the western media sort of tries to give an impression that all the students attending these madrassas get into extremism and become violent.. the truth is ONLY some do, and that is absolutely normal and happens everywhere in the world with US being #1 where teenagers shooting and killing teachers and students is an everyday story.

    so why is the west after our madrassas only?
    a) they are afraid since we produce the best world class Islamic scholars.
    b) they are afraid of Islam since it is fastest growing religion in the world.
    c) they don’t want the world to learn what true Islam is.

  5. Kamran (unregistered) on April 9th, 2007 @ 10:10 pm

    @ SALMAN

    I am enlightened by your optimism, sadly the madrasas are indeed breeding grounds.

    what was written in the report is nearly correct and as a karachitte I can idetify with a lot of problems mentioned, even though i live in one of those cantonment areas

  6. original-anon (unregistered) on April 9th, 2007 @ 10:13 pm

    Salman A. You wrote:
    they are afraid since we produce the best world class Islamic scholars.

    Thanks for making me laugh:)

  7. Tamed~. (unregistered) on April 9th, 2007 @ 10:29 pm

    Dear Writer can you please write something which is somehow not related to the religion.

    I think Karachi has many more problems that needs to be highligted (& solved) apart from religion.

  8. Salman A. (unregistered) on April 9th, 2007 @ 10:29 pm

    hey what makes you laugh, please elaborate. i know a toddler who laughs when his diaper gets wet? would you mind checking yours? hehehehe…

  9. MB (unregistered) on April 9th, 2007 @ 10:40 pm

    ” we produce the best world class Islamic scholars ”

    This is definitely not said in any degree of seriousness….am i right ?

    Interestingly those who would finally fall into “world class” category would be the ones who will testify that indeed they are the breeding ground.

  10. Salman A. (unregistered) on April 9th, 2007 @ 11:03 pm

    not necessarily through these madrassas but in general, yes, Pakistan produces the best and the most authentic Islamic scholars. my analogy is simple, watch the cricket of the 90’s and if you understand it well enough, you will know whether Waseem Akram was world class or not. hope you get it.

  11. MB (unregistered) on April 9th, 2007 @ 11:35 pm

    The “desired” scholars who could say the current mujahids are angels are not available but yes Pakistan produces great minds but fortunately their majority wont agree to those fanatic views.

  12. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on April 9th, 2007 @ 11:58 pm

    Orignal and MB, How many Pakistani Islamic scholars do you guys actually know? can you name few ? Just wondering!

    @Kamran: have you gone thru Madrassah syllabus personally that you are getting agreed with the point a that is:

    bars jihadi and violent sectarian teachings from madrasa syllabi;

  13. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on April 10th, 2007 @ 12:05 am

    Cy beyta it seems you have forgot newton’s 3rd law which you would have read in school days. Your uncle in D.C also forgot the 3rd law 7 years ago and started an organized propaganda against Madrassah but things happenning in reverse direction because in our Koran Allah challenges, they plan and Allah plans and Allah is the best of planners .

    @others: I second the three points,specially last two made by salman. Read the documents of neocons and freemasons that how much they are afraid of Islam. The first president of Israel was not afraid of Saudia rather Pakistan because their Rabis already warned them about a state which would be like Israel that is based on religious theory. A state which was created on 27th Ramadan and which is currently the biggest hub[rai Wind] of Islamic preaching in the world is not acceptable by “oponents”.

    Speaking of preaching, a news which would hurt cy and his buddies severely that several young chaps of posh areas like clifton,defence are getting inclined towards Islam and tableegh and this change refutes the claim that most of people who go for tableegh are those who suffer financially. I am lucky to meet one of such souls and he told me how young boys and girls got bored of their luxirious life and become drug addict now returning towards Islam. Though frequency is very slow but still very hopeful. Majority of credit goes to Cy like people who work hard to put forward a negative Image of Islamic things but things go in reserve direction because these idiots don’t know human nature that is, curiosity. More you oppose something, they would do it anyway, this is something which newton states in 3rd law. thankyou Cy, we definately need more people like you in Pakistan and around the world. As long as people like Cy,Mansoor or urooj exist among us, we are safe. After all people liek them are catalyst to spread Islam among others.

    P.S: Where is our ancient friend YoYo? How come he doesn’t join anymore?hey YoYo, are you angry at me??

  14. Bayl (unregistered) on April 10th, 2007 @ 12:28 am

    @TAMED and others:

    This post is not only about the Madressah problem guys. Although that is the title of the report, what CY has highlighted is also a very relevant problem: infrastructure, consequences of urbanization, squatter settlements and an overwhelming feeling of diminishing basic amenities. How about we discuss THAT as well?

  15. Zainub (unregistered) on April 10th, 2007 @ 12:44 am

    The term “jihad” has been misused in this report, much like it abused and misused pretty much every time it is used by the international media.

    Jihad is very extensive phenomena in Islam, and to restrict it to associate its meaning simply with terrorist activities is unfair on Islam, and ignorant above all. Jihad literally means to struggle, and there are numerous forms of it (jihad bis saif, jihad bin nafas, jihad bil ilm).

    The ICG’s reccommendations suggests banning preaching of all kinds of jihad, both “internal” and “external” I do jihad at a personal level every day; even this comment is a jihad. That makes me a jehadi. And I haven’t even gone to a madrassa, will they then ban the secular schools I have attended too?

    Yes, hate preaching needs to be regulated, condemned, and stopped, since just as the media can easily take Jihad to mean simply holy war, the concept can be just as easily distorted and abused to justify and promote terrorism by factions of the religious community that know no other way of spreading Islam than by making it appear incompatible with modern values of right and wrong, which Islam is not. But by placing out right bans on portions of the curriculum dealing with jihad you’d also be banning preaching a very important aspect of Islam (and indeed, of any society) (which clearly not enough people know about), that of self-improvement, growth and correction. That’s why, what it is needed is awareness programs, at both ends of the spectrum.

    Madrassa Regulating Authorities also need to be established, yes, madrasas linked to banned organisations should be closed also, yes again, but if organisations like the International Crisis Group (which you’d expect to be less ignorant then they appear) show this level of knowledge that they imply and equate jihad with terrorism, then any revisions to the curriculum should be down completely without their interference, with the help of people who are less prone to mass generalized. That some percentage of madrassas are an idelogical and functional breeding ground for not just terrorism, but all sorts of un-Islamic and uncivilized activity (like Cy’s last post also highlighted) is a reality we have to accept, but what we must do to confront, and correct this situation, should be undertaken by those who have a better and more comprehensive understanding of Islam as a religious science and code of life.

  16. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on April 10th, 2007 @ 1:02 am

    Cy check your moderate box.

  17. d0ct0r (unregistered) on April 10th, 2007 @ 1:02 am

    west is madressaphobic and CY yet again is just busy googling “madressah + jihad + voilence”

  18. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on April 10th, 2007 @ 1:03 am

    Bayl, did you make an attempt to read the article first?

  19. Come on (unregistered) on April 10th, 2007 @ 1:10 am

    @ ALL.

    I browse through KMB every now and then and every single time I see you guys being the cry-baby-bunch.

    Yes, you do praise others who make efforts but why not do something yourself too.

    Instead of fighting over mullaism everytime, we should move on and do something about it.

    Baaton K sher hain sirf!

  20. Salman A. (unregistered) on April 10th, 2007 @ 1:13 am

    the original authors of KMB need to make a more mature judgement before giving a reference to such articles like “Karachi Madrassa problem” published on sites like International Crisis Group. Sorry, but you guys are just promoting their negative and biased thoughts against us. i went through their homepage,, tried to find just one story on the victims of Iraq, which is the center of crisis at the moment, but haven’t had any luck. that’s the height of hippocracy and double standards, no? and you guys are reading and endorsing their load of crap. shabash jawano jeetay raho………

  21. dil dil pakistan (unregistered) on April 10th, 2007 @ 2:24 am

    i am missing wasiq… kahan hai yaar.. aaajaaa…

    yeh log toh bus har waqt behes hi kartay rahaingay :)

  22. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on April 10th, 2007 @ 2:48 am

    west is madressaphobic and CY

    Cy ka Bus na chalay tu bachpan me apnay wet diapers ka blame bhe madarasah /mullah par lagaday. =)

  23. ash (unregistered) on April 10th, 2007 @ 3:12 am

    every time someone says madarssa someone else says western propaganda because ofcourse the west is full of terrorists so madarssa’s have no reason to not be terrorist themselves.
    O.k so how do you feel about this then?
    this isnt propaganda its madarssa followers saying they will suicide bomb other pakistani’s unless the govt cracks down on red light areas and VIDEO SHOPS IN ISLAMABAD!
    Now tell me there isnt a madarssa problem.

  24. ash (unregistered) on April 10th, 2007 @ 3:15 am

    Its worth remebering that a lot of kids who could not go to any other school due to access or finances go to madarssa’s …so the idea of having a madarssa is obviously not bad , ideally kids would be taught to be good muslims and learn to read and write for free, i’d completely support that idea. But reality plays out very differently from what we’d like , even if it is only 1% or 2 % (violent extremists)they are a threat, if 1% of karachi’s nonmuslim population started bombing mosques would people run around saying there is no problem because its only 1%? I dont think so.

  25. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on April 10th, 2007 @ 3:18 am

    cracks down on red light areas and VIDEO SHOPS I

    DO you have issue with it? is it something bad?

    aying they will suicide bomb other

    Your military dictator musharraf use similar language for the people of balochistan and Waziristan. Why do you get irked when he’s criticized? Hafsa people are just following their country president who also speak language of danda.

  26. Come on (unregistered) on April 10th, 2007 @ 3:27 am

    talk talk talk talk…get no where!

  27. d0ct0r (unregistered) on April 10th, 2007 @ 4:03 am

    on that Jamia Hafsa issue my personal opinion is that military govt it self giving them sort of free hand to make it a issue and to stay in spotlight …. actually its more sinister plan… that maulana is playing in the hands of military janta… religious minister’s dad alloted him the land.. and now same religious minister is involved in infuriating these maulanas to help the current military janta…(how you might ask?), Mush wants to supress the CJ issue and to take media’s spot light from that issue he has to create another issue and for that Ijazulhaq comes to the rescue…secondly lately US administration has openly started saying that Mush isn’t doing enough(even after he has killed his own people to keep them happy) and they’re openly discussing scenario in Pakistan minus Mush … so to save his neck and stay in uniform he has to show the west that if i am removed molvis might take over so you still need me in uniform as incharge, if i am gone the extremist will take over or it could be a stage managed tactic to impose emergency and/or delay elections….

  28. Tamed~. (unregistered) on April 10th, 2007 @ 4:05 am


    Bibi Dont be Devils advocate.

    If it is coming from her pen, one can predict the intentions behind.

    After being to KMB for about 6 moinths, I may have a fair idea about each particular writer

  29. ash (unregistered) on April 10th, 2007 @ 5:11 am

    The truth is doctor what you have said could well be true, but so far there is no evidence.
    Adnan red light districts are a soft targets but even you cant support blowing up video stores – have you never watched a movie?
    Sorry but logically you cant use the waziristan issue as an excuse either, this particular incident happened in islamabad.
    Who thought the day would come when you couldnt blame everything on mush eh ;)

  30. ash (unregistered) on April 10th, 2007 @ 5:35 am

    are a soft target

  31. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on April 10th, 2007 @ 10:46 am

    Ash darling, show me the instance where I support sucide bombing? I have condemn this act on every public forum including my own blog but what I experienced that you didn’t even condemn the violent tactics of your military dictator against CJ and lawyers who were beaten by his men. Bring some courage to call spade a spade. try once as it might make you a bit credible infront of others.

  32. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on April 10th, 2007 @ 10:48 am

    ash read again, Your military dictator is not different than these hafsa students. Mush also use danda in name of Islam, hafsa people also use it. Mush claims he’s more Muslim than others, they people also claim same. Mush claims he’s the only one who can deal with filth of society,they also claim same. In reality both are at wrong end and give a reason to laugh to others. .

  33. Jamal Shamsi (unregistered) on April 10th, 2007 @ 11:42 am

    The topic has gone in back ground and the debate of who is doing what has taken the lead seat.

    That report is brushing with the ground reality. There are some exaggerated comments in it, but close to reality.

    Am shocked to read about Great learned Islamic scholars are Breed in Pakistan ??? I hope that was not a SIR-CAST-IRK comment, Wow wow, put four of them together from same school of thought same batch of same maderssah and everyone will see their attitude and disagreement within for the single point debated.

    Like for example –

    12 Rabi Ul Awwal – some SUNNIs’ Celeberate it as B’day of Holy Porphet MOHAMMED (PBUH) some observe it as the death anniversary.

    come on people take a break.

    Our Mullah are worst of their kind, but alas we cannot live without as we need them for Nikah & Namaz Ey Janaza. Which cannot be conducted by the person who is the Object of both events.

    Military conquer the country whenever the exchequer goes below the cash line and their salaries, perks and benefits comes under public discussion.

    Mullah Idiolise Military as Ismalic Fouj for their own interest & Military USE them as & when Unislamic forces drain the resources of country – They both Go hand in hand., or hand in Glove.

    The nation has a dilemma of being ruled either by Military Mullah coalition or Most corroupt party individuals.

    Irony of public – LACK of Central leadership figure. The coalitions are made on “black mailing” tactics focused for benefit of party leadership interest.

    Again I must say Religion shall be an individuals’ practice and it shall be in restricted privacy – Seperate without disturbing masses and from the Affairs of State – The law of state shall be based on Humanity, as yard stick for all.

    Follwing lines from the report is kind of Alarm for those who fall into catagory below.

    “The civil-military bureaucratic elite and other wealthy sections of society live in the six cantonment areas and old South district.”

  34. Ali Kabir (unregistered) on April 10th, 2007 @ 12:34 pm

    Good post CY. Its alarming to see so many educated, seemingly smart, people on this blog are happy living a life of delusional fantasies.

    @ Salman A: Wow! I mean I can’t really find words to explain how utterly ridiculous your posts are. However I can find enough words to tell you to stop for just one moment and think before you start claiming western propoganda, blah blah, innane diatribe. And innane diatribe exactle sums up your dumb statement that “International Crisis Group has just one story on the victims of Iraq”. The objective of ICG is to prevent and resolve conflicts and in this regard there are plenty of articles, so next time READ!

    Oh and Iraq “center of crisis”…really? Which crisis? The Iraqi crisis, well it would be stupid if Iraq wasn’t! If you meant that its the worst crisis around then I would have to again disagree.

    There’s a place called Sudan among its hallmarks -mass genocide, mass rape, mass mutilation – look it up. And you know what its the Arab Muslims doing the killing. Where’s the moral outrage, my righteous friends?

    There’s also a place called Congo (DRC) shares the same hallmarks as Sudan, though doesn’t like being in the shadows, so its gone one better – cannibalism as a spoil of war. How about freeing those souls from tyranny?

  35. Ali Kabir (unregistered) on April 10th, 2007 @ 12:45 pm

    @ Salman: I forgot to comment on your earlier post, you’re in need of a reality check…oh wait NOOOOO reality has been highjacked by the international zionist conspiracy, what ever will we do. Oh dear Salman won’t you rise up and guide us towards the true way and free our souls from the grasp of the devil incarnate! Pretty Please.

    @ Zainub: I can not bear even more skewed rationalism of religious terminology from ‘moderates’. There is absolutely no need to define Jihad in this post. If the Jamia Hafsa threatens people’s lives by violence in the name of Jihad, I really don’t want to hear people concerned about misrepresentation of the term Jihad. I want people to just come out and say that threatening people and damaging property, kidnapping people is against the law and mandates punishment. Nothing more need be said.

  36. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on April 10th, 2007 @ 1:39 pm

    some person named JantaMan made a relevent comment on Islamabad Metroblog about hypocrisy of these liberals:

    Second these liberal goons remind me of the Gucci revolutionists of Libnan. They sereved their masters well but then the mama washington severed the imbilical cord and started showering bombs on them. All these stupid goons were hiding behind the islamists.

    Dont worry these creatures dont even count when things start to heat up. The coming days are of great geopolitical significance. The coming days will dictate the future of this region. When time was right, they ignored and basked naked and did nothing.

  37. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on April 10th, 2007 @ 1:42 pm

    Just recieved from Asma Mirza of ISB-MB:

    The fascist Army

  38. d0ct0r (unregistered) on April 10th, 2007 @ 4:20 pm

    this particular site had been banned for quite some time….

  39. Jamal Shamsi (unregistered) on April 10th, 2007 @ 4:33 pm

    JIHAD – Controlling yourself against the DESIRES is form of JIHAD, – When we are fasting it is Jihad against Nafs, when we are in Namaz It is Jihad against the Ibless, Thats the lowest level of Jihad we all do many times a day and in ramzan as well.

    Mayree baytee karay Karay to Mujra – Mulla ke baytee karay to Aerobics

    wah wah moulvi tayree koyee kal na seedhee na oundhee.

    Destroy Televisions, destroy cable TV, destroy beauty saloon, destroy malls, destroy stores, destroy, destroy destruction is what their clerics teach them in meaning & explaination of JIHAD.

    For Masses this is Terrorism and masses shall be liberated from such facist explaination / defination of Jihad.

    If that is Jihad better be hung to death like Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and called Shaheed –

    JIHAD (in their facist meaning) MY A$$

  40. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on April 10th, 2007 @ 5:23 pm

    @doctor: yes I know, really bites.luckily it’s working at my end. One can always use Google’s proxy service to bypass the ban.

  41. Hush (unregistered) on April 10th, 2007 @ 7:48 pm


    Good work by posting the link. We should spread this kind of stuff as much as we can. Make people think.

  42. Salman A. (unregistered) on April 10th, 2007 @ 8:18 pm

    Dear Ali Kabir,
    Nice try, but you failed big time to get your point across. You called my posts ridiculous and asked me to stop, shame on you. Yo seem like a person of low …………

    Remember what your Amma told you when you were young (or might still be), “Mind your own business”. If you have lost the meaning of these words, I would say, try PROZAC, it has helped millions.

  43. ash (unregistered) on April 10th, 2007 @ 9:39 pm
    another interesting link, specially the last two para’s.
    Adnan so long as you dont approve of the violent (suicide bomb) tactics of this group you are actually in opposition to this group and groups like it whether you say so or not. You can still be opposed to liberals at the same time :) the world is a big place.

  44. pkhan (unregistered) on April 10th, 2007 @ 11:20 pm

    We call ourself Muslims but we are divided by these Madressah’s Color ful Head covering(Pugree). Madressah are Ok to teach Quran but they are molding thses young mind who go to madressah in to preaching there own type of Islam.Why not Jihad against Poverty?why not Jihad against feeding a poor? why not jihad against building some poor people house. why jihad on destruction?of what ever infrastucture we have to destroy them.

  45. Darthvader (unregistered) on April 11th, 2007 @ 3:11 am

    @ Ali kabir. errr you are gonna have a problem around here my friend. It seems like you have a habit of using common sense and kind of know what you are talking about. Most people around here like to pen lenghty responses which , in terms of quality and context ,might as well have come out of their asses .

    peace , love and rus malai
    to the revival of Dada
    vader, the Dark Sith

  46. wasiq (unregistered) on April 11th, 2007 @ 3:58 am

    @DDP….my very very emotional secret admirer this is not good….hum toh dono hee jaan leywa hain….you need to have angiography soon….or the world would never know…..hate that!

    Debate is a fundamental part of american democracy….i love debate…although some of these kids just show their frustration and anger over somethings that we are not aware of…that could be their parents,co-workers,police, mobile snatchers,inlaws…who knows…
    i try very hard to suppress my anger because anger weakens your teeth ask a professional if you don’t believe me…..

    ay merey dil tu rowna nahein
    teraa yehann koi nahein

  47. Ali Kabir (unregistered) on April 11th, 2007 @ 11:16 am

    @Salman – its a public forum so your calls for me to “mind my [own] business” seem inexplicable. I sincerely apologise for hurting your feelings, humble apologies for making you cry…or worse, think.

    @Darthvader – cheers for that. This site wasn’t always like this ages ago, what happened?

  48. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on April 11th, 2007 @ 12:55 pm

    Ash I am not liberal that’s why I can oppose the things. If I was a liberal then I was a slave like you who can’t even condemn the crap of her own people.

    BTW ,Ash darling, did you visit the link FascistArmy. It sure reveals lots of craps done by elders of your tribe. Pahla apna area ki gandagi saaf karo phir dosray ka sochna. Fascism breeds in your backyard and yes I repeat Bring courage to condemn the crap done by your own people. Unlike you I have courage to condemn suicide bombing act And it’s because you have lived in an environment[army “mess”] where people are not allowed to think freely.

    @Hush: the site is actually banned in most of pakistani ISP network. So called freedom lover dictator tries to hide the crap done by him and his elders. Shame on him!

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