“Enemies of development”

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power” – Abraham Lincolnhttp://karachi.metblogs.com/archives/images/2007/04/aprilmb/sahilbachao2-thumb.jpg

It’s July/August 2005. I arrived late in an inaugural session of a training program at SF. Lucky for me that I was asked to sit on a chair reserved for guest as other portions were occupied already. Few minutes later the chief guest arrived. At my left are two teachers. After that sits a young smart Chief guest, a man unknown to me. The oval sitting brings him almost in front of me. Without wasting any time he is invited. He starts an impressive speech. He tells his listeners (professionals mostly) that he recently arrived from USA. He talks humbly, objectively & to the point. I remember his reference to Ataturk on few occasions. He refers his tough experience of using public transport & expresses his concern. He wants to resolve city issues & want to include all sections of society because its his city & he had his early memories with it. For a moment it felt as if Karachi has a new leader in him if he means what he said.

I never knew he would be Mustafa Kamal (honorable Mayor of Khi). MK has issued a statement today that his critics are “enemies of development” referring to KEE.

It is so unlike him. Does he think he has acquired enough technical knowledge on these complex & difficult issues & need not to listen to opposite voices e.g. people like Arif Hassan, whose experience may equal his age?

If I remember correctly wasn’t that rally against forcing ones own will on others & tolerating difference & resolving issue by dialouge & not by dundabardar methods even if one has the means.

Why do people change when they get into power?

The paper continues :

Little wonder that the nazim says he does not care what people say about his grand vision. ”They need to understand the dynamics of this city, which is not like any other city of Pakistan.”

But then that is exactly what his critics are talking about. ”Understanding dynamics entails knowing what kind of a city its people want, the needs of the people, designing a city for people not cars …and to learn from errors made by some advanced countries and not make the same mistakes,” says Arif Hasan, eminent urban planner and architect

“We are doing what the rest of the world is undoing,” said Mr Hasan citing the examples of Asian cities such as Manila, Bangkok and Seoul where the traffic situation is far worse. ”City administrations everywhere are trying to limit or ban heavy traffic on their inner city expressways. San Francisco, New York, Boston, Seoul and Paris have actually demolished their expressways and turned them into public space or housing.”

Continue reading this interesting news story . . .

(Image credit : Abro)

41 Comments so far

  1. d0ct0r (unregistered) on April 27th, 2007 @ 1:02 pm

    Mustafa Kamal was imported from USA? governor Ishrat imported from UK (where he was receiving govt support even after being inducted as governor) … MQM seems to have filled every post with imported officials(including imported Prime Minister)… who are directly reporting to a brit(Altaf bai) …

    naturally these imported crop of politicians have no interest in this city or country coz their secure base and future is somewhere else.. they just have been sent to plunder and loot and create havoc here without thinking about the future consequences… just loot and plunder as long as you can and when things get out of hand simply packup and return to base…

  2. Concerned (unregistered) on April 27th, 2007 @ 3:41 pm

    These imported crops care abt this city. With the exception of KEE they have done alot for this city.

    Also finding out MK came from USA, explains alot abt why he wants KEE. I agree its not the wisest things to do.

    Itni nashukri bhi achi nahi hoti Doctor. Khi is home for all of us no matter where in the world we live or come from, and this counts for MK too.

  3. Kashif (unregistered) on April 27th, 2007 @ 4:04 pm

    IMHO he hasn’t changed. Do you think angels transcend from USA? He is one of those bhagoras who ran away during Karachi operation and returned all glorified.

  4. Salman A. (unregistered) on April 27th, 2007 @ 7:03 pm

    I don’t care where you came from as long as you are doing good to my city and country. Judge people by their actions.

  5. Petarian_88 (unregistered) on April 27th, 2007 @ 7:41 pm

    the bristish should have stayed till 1987 and not 1947!

    we have PM and other ministers/officials who have foreign citizinships…i.e they have sworn loyalties to ther nations!

    we should have kept our original masters.

    look now what we are doing?? we are importing Desi Goras in the 21st century!

    i don’t know what will happen to this country…everthing is fake. if you buy medicines they are fake…etc now we have fake goras ruling us! at least we should have imported a genuine gora!

  6. TEE BEE (unregistered) on April 27th, 2007 @ 8:50 pm

    MB is not about abusing the power or anything……as Mr Noman Ahmed, chairman of the department of architecture @ NED put it…that the project was conceived in isolation…..MK needs to invite more experts on architecture/urban planning and environmental agencies rather than just being stubborn and sticking up to his vision…..

    It is a good thing that he has done a lot to change the conditions of the city and has potenital to do more…but he needs to involve the citizens to discuss ins and outs of the projects being carried out in the metropolitan and most importantly these mega projects which would make a huge impact…..citizens’ voices must be heard….

    Karachi Rox…!!!!!!

  7. Salman A. (unregistered) on April 27th, 2007 @ 8:54 pm

    remember the hadith, ‘seek knowledge even if it comes from China’, so what’s wrong with these folks who are coming back to their roots after acquiring knowledge and skills from a foreign country? does it make them a traitor? NO absolutely not.

    it is perfectly normal and happens everywhere in the world where cabinet member(s), PM or the president of the country is a US or UK graduate and/or have lived and worked there. why UK and US mostly? its because these 2 countries have one of the best educational and democratic institutions in the world and thats why wise people send their kids there.

    MA Jinnah, Allama Iqbal, Liaqat Ali Khan, Maulana Johar, they all went abroad.. look at shaukat aziz, he makes a much better PM.. he has at least an economic policy, he doesn’t go around freezing people’s FC accounts and later return their money at a much subsidized rate. his english is also excellent unlike the other plain paindoo that we have tried so far.. no offense to anyone.. :)

    i am glad to hear that Mustafa Kamal has seen the world beyond Karachi and wish him all the best……

    Live and let live in Peace……

  8. BitterTruth (unregistered) on April 27th, 2007 @ 8:58 pm

    Its a joke in today’s column in jang Aamir Liaqat is mourning the state of Karachi city :D, being ruled by his party and being himself minister in federal government..MK should read it and laugh (or weep)

  9. XYZ (unregistered) on April 27th, 2007 @ 9:56 pm


    Please review the website at the URL above on world’s first elevated expressway.


  10. ash (unregistered) on April 27th, 2007 @ 10:55 pm

    Its worth pointing out that the governer of california is an austrian, a real austrian (not like the way you call people who have lived abroad for 5 years brits and ameiricans) When will pakistani;s learn to stop using redundant arguments to discredit people? There are numerous legitimate criticisms you could have made. Please try again.

  11. ash (unregistered) on April 27th, 2007 @ 10:57 pm

    i wasnt talking about your post mb i was talking about the responses.

  12. Salman A. (unregistered) on April 28th, 2007 @ 12:27 am

    There you go… well said ASH.. the governor of California Arnold Sch. (of T series movies, one of ’em i saw in nishat, years ago) is an Austrian and the pretty woman Sonia Gandhi, chairperson of the ruling party in India is an Italian (dont argue that she is old, beauty lies in the eyes o……….)
    and my folks are fighting over what? mustafa kamal?

    mere bhaiyo aur behno, get out of your shells and look from the window, the world IS getting flat..

    …………………………………………..(Salman A. on KMB, 27th April, 2007)

  13. d0ct0r (unregistered) on April 28th, 2007 @ 12:28 am

    that austrian is now an american.. a loyal american i.e. .. whereas our desi goras have a secure future in west and they just come here just to plunder and assault our nation…

  14. Faraz (unregistered) on April 28th, 2007 @ 1:02 am

    Doctor, you chose to ignore the 10 other examples and focused on one particular example, and at the same said something that’s entirely your opinion without a shred of proof (i.e. “they just come here just to plunder and assault our nation”).

    While there may be cases where expressways have been torn down (to be replaced with a better alternate?) these cases are heavily outnumbered by cases where cities are buliding new ones. So the fact that a handful of cities decided to take down a highway or two doesn’t mean much. Not to mention, all these cities mentioned still have a lot of expressways. Lookup a map of New York. So that argument is very misleading.

  15. XYZ (unregistered) on April 28th, 2007 @ 1:23 am

    The issue is not whether to have highways or expressways, it is about ELEVATED expressways. The whole ground level stretch of Drigh Road will be destroyed. Anyone who has doubts is welcome to go under elevated expressways in other cities and find out for themselves.

    Also, if it is going to be a tolled road, where is the room for cars during rush hours to stand in line when they are waiting to pay toll? If the line of cars goes all the way to the bottom of entry/exit ramps, that will clog the traffic on exisiting roads…our Karachiites are pretty jahil drivers anyway… a mess will be created…so what does the elevated expressway really solve?

    They should consider building the highway along Malir Naddi.

    And isn’t the city council or city govt supposed to decide these things by a vote. Do all the town nazims agree with this plan? How about all the members of the city council, do they all agree

  16. d0ct0r (unregistered) on April 28th, 2007 @ 1:33 am

    @Faraz my words don’t matter much ,coz as a layman on this subject i would simply say that instead of elevated expressway,create a parallel road to SF or maybe build a new airport at PAF masroor base or PNS Mehran and shift them to some other place(coz after all this whole elevated expressway project is being planned to facilitate VVIP traffic from airport to governor house) plus on different levels that expressway issue has already been discussed by experts in the field and they’ve some serious reservations about it but all their concerns are just sidelined coz of million of $ worth of quick kickbacks that ruling party will get if this project gets approved soon before elections..

  17. Salman A. (unregistered) on April 28th, 2007 @ 1:34 am

    Dear Doctor Sahab,
    How do you know that these guys have a secure future in the west? Do you have the details of their immigration status, their bank accounts, their financial portfolios, etc etc….

    If not, then Sir, could you enlighten us what methodology did you use to come up to this conclusion that you mentioned in your comments? Thank you.

  18. d0ct0r (unregistered) on April 28th, 2007 @ 1:41 am

    i totally agree with XYZ’s idea.. a parallel road over Malir Naddi to ease off pressure from SF…

    something like this illustration


    on ground if its doable or not.. only experts can tell..

  19. d0ct0r (unregistered) on April 28th, 2007 @ 1:48 am

    @Salman do i really need to elaborate how secure Altaf & co’s future is in west?

  20. MB (unregistered) on April 28th, 2007 @ 1:57 am

    This is interesting. Can you come up with few similar ideas. It would be great if they contain technical points.

    @TEE BEE
    When i say “abuse of power” it implies the the mayor can decide at his own, he has that power but it would be good if he accept listening to opposite voices.

  21. XYZ (unregistered) on April 28th, 2007 @ 1:59 am

    Also, have we exhausted all that could be done with University Road. Wouldn’t fixing University Road from Malir to Purani Numaish and then Fixing Bander Road ease the pressure on Drigh Road.

    How about when Lyari Expressway is built and ready to use? Wouldn’t that remove some traffic from Drigh Road?

    Would optimizing the traffic flow on LaloKhet Road from Sohrab Goth to 3-Hatti and Gurumandir and then Bandar Road (again) help? Will that remove some of the traffic from Drigh Road.

    How about optimizing the flow from N. Nazimabad and Nazimabad to Gurumandir to Bandar Road to Kemari help ease of some pressure from Drig Road.

    And then what about Northern Bypass?

    The point is that Karachi already has enough parallel roads to remove most port bound traffic from Drigh Road.

    But, if rishwat and kick backs are the reason… I am even fine with that too.
    My message: Khaao, khoob khaao…but do it by building a new highway along Malir Naddi, not by destroying an exisiting road!

  22. Salman A. (unregistered) on April 28th, 2007 @ 2:18 am

    doctor sahab, that’s NOT the answer to my question. the answer to a simple question CANNOT be another question. only politicians play these games..
    Good Bye :))))

  23. d0ct0r (unregistered) on April 28th, 2007 @ 2:19 am

    @xyz talked about city council …


    here ruling party’s nazim is in action hitting opposition lady councilors with his belt.. later on opposition councilors protested in front of city courts karachi…


  24. d0ct0r (unregistered) on April 28th, 2007 @ 2:23 am

    enlightened moderation isn’t it? and they protest about danda bardar and can’t control their own belt bardars …

  25. XYZ (unregistered) on April 28th, 2007 @ 2:32 am

    Is that Karachi’s nazim in that picture, because the caption says something else…

    I feel like writing some Umrao Jan style dialogue that ‘yaa Khudaa, kyaa yehee dikhaanay kay liyae mujhay zindah rakhaa huaa haee’ but then I thought it is a pretty nasty photo…even if it is not KArachi’s nazim….but anyone taking his belt out to hit anyone else at a meeting… I am wondering if it is already on CNN? Shaabaash!

  26. Salman A. (unregistered) on April 28th, 2007 @ 2:41 am

    altaf bhai, action lene ka hai, against this guy in the picute… LOL

    definitley a candidate for CNN/BBC.. would have been much better with an english caption..

  27. d0ct0r (unregistered) on April 28th, 2007 @ 3:05 am

    @XYZ thats town nazim of Union Council 8 Baldia town..

  28. Yasir (unregistered) on April 28th, 2007 @ 3:50 am

    Power corrupts all. If it doesn’t feel like hijacking the thread, I would humbly suggest watching ‘All the King’s Men’.

  29. wasiq (unregistered) on April 28th, 2007 @ 4:13 am

    i am definitely not the enemy of development…but i don’t want the innocent babies to be born in the illegal buildings and die in traffic jams listening to car FM radio…..

  30. JayJay (unregistered) on April 28th, 2007 @ 10:00 am

    Indian cities enjoy same demographic pressures, same traffic issues and have similar socio-politica setup, similar environment and issues, similar topography and geology but they have no qualms in finding solution in Elevated Expressways for thier traffic mess. Don’t bury you heads in sand. Look here.



  31. JayJay (unregistered) on April 28th, 2007 @ 10:03 am
  32. MB (unregistered) on April 28th, 2007 @ 11:53 am

    Good links JAYJAY. The more info from different sides the more help in decision making.

    But :

    Would you also like to find few links regarding any objections rose on those EE too or if Mumbai city officials had had taken others consensus already?

    Japan has a city with an airport over sea & it’s a great achievement/solution for it doesn’t mean we fancy it too. No one here is opposing this EE just for the sake of it. These rejections are not coming from MMA but top architects and technical experts.

    Sometimes hurrying up things also create doubts on your intentions. People think beyond the apparent and that’s what going on right now.

    Even a common man thinks 10 times before spending hundred bucks if others tell him that it’s not the right product. You hesitate and try to take as many opinions as possible before decision and this is related to Karachi’s future and 12+ million people here and decisions are being carried out by force and by few people.

    Also, San Francisco, New York, Boston Seoul and Paris are way ahead of Mumbai and they are demolishing their EE’s. What’s your view on it?

  33. d0ct0r (unregistered) on April 28th, 2007 @ 12:52 pm

    how wide is Shara-e-faisal? 240 feet?

  34. Pkhan (unregistered) on April 28th, 2007 @ 1:22 pm

    Who says San francisco, NY, Korea are demolishing there EE’s? They are Expanding and Expanding there Freeways/EE’s. There were no plans for future EXPANSIONS on any Existing Roads so what you do ? You come up with new ideas,Right> otherwise what to do just sit and listen to the illitrates?from Karachi? or take out processions?Mobs etc.Thats the reason Illitrates are so behind in all aspect of a big city.Why we are so much against developments? None of the writter has given any concrete reason who are against, why?People who can not get admission in a college are calling themself DOCTOR? We are first Pakistani then Desi GORA & if some one came back to serve the nation or the city SAY THANK YOU to them.How many Illitrate from karachi are the CEO of any Multinational?MOSt of the CEO have some linkage from overseas?SO WHATS WRONG IN IT.

  35. Sameer (unregistered) on April 28th, 2007 @ 3:01 pm

    pkhan da way u address illiterates show they are better than u. they at least give some respect 2 literates when they talk. so often they use words like “sir” nd “sahab”. its sad

    nd u mean people like arif hassan, cowasjee n arif bilgram r illiterates ? nd that they r lying regarding cities demolishing EE ? plz dont mind but honestly wht r ur sources of knowledge n info ?

    u need concrete reason ? spare sometime reading da report mentioned by someone earlier

    nd even today:

    doc why u wanna go dere n check it ?

  36. pkhan (unregistered) on April 28th, 2007 @ 3:55 pm

    @Sameer, idid not mentioned those respected people I am talking about the people who are writting in this Blog? there could be two different views about one thing but calling some one cheater, corrupt etc does work out and thats why i call those people illitrate who just oppose any thing without the reasoning.I read all the report. Sometime to survive you have to make some hard decision. like environment or sitting on road for three hours?to go 25 kilometers?You might be looking for the things for today but they r planning for future when 100000 more vehicle will be on roadevery every six months.

  37. Red_Munk!! (unregistered) on April 29th, 2007 @ 1:32 am

    Tutt tutt.

    Shame on all the doubters of the “haqparast” (doesnt that mean righteous?) party & its leaders.

    Not only are you lot insulting their integrity, but derailing the future of “enlightened moderation” & “development”.

    Oh, im being sarcastic.


    Btw PKKHAN. You “sir” continue to prove that you are, truely, an exceptionaly retarted sole.

    “Who says San francisco, NY, Korea are demolishing there EE’s? They are Expanding and Expanding there Freeways/EE’s”

    Since you seem to be living in your own little vacume, the freeways are usually outside city limits. NOT passing through city centers.

    “Mega-Projects” are not initiated ‘Half-Assed’ even in a autocratic country like China. Research is done, Architects/Planner/Contrators hired & designed with to last & serve for the next 100 years. Not as a stop-gap way to fill the current admins pockets.

    Before you come up with one of ure usually pathetic responses, Why has Khudai come out and proposed the EE to be shortened today??

    & with all the talk of a new Airport being constructed in the city, what good will the EE serve then?.

    Would it not be better if all the trucks & HLV could be routed Port to Port, without distubing the flow of city traffic?.

  38. d0ct0r (unregistered) on April 29th, 2007 @ 1:47 am

    @PKHAN coz i don’t wanna to sound like i am boasting,all i would say is that I went to THE best college in the city, whereas on the other hand i am pretty sure same can’t be said about you or your beloved Altaf bhai, or your Dr Amir Liaquat (of fake degree fame) ..

    @sameer i was just wondering about the width after looking at this pic of dubai metro being built.. just observe how wide the actual road is that it can easily accommodate the ramp for metro rail.. whereas the widest road i could think of in karachi is the one in North Nazimabad, i think its called Shara-e-Shershah suri(320 feet wide) whereas shara-e-faisal seems like 200~240 feet with highrise buildings on both sides


  39. d0ct0r (unregistered) on April 29th, 2007 @ 11:29 am

    *want to*

  40. XYZ (unregistered) on April 30th, 2007 @ 8:55 am



    Please visit the URLs above to read about recent tabaahee of an elevated highway in California. Of course, no one is saying that elevated highways will always have such accidents or all over passes are bad ideas. Also, many cities in the US that are inland and not on the coast do have highway(s) passing through them…sometimes elevated. But, Karachi has enough land (along Malir Naddi) and enough parallel roads to Drigh Road to make this idea of an elevated expressway on top of Drigh Road unnecessary.

  41. MB (unregistered) on April 30th, 2007 @ 11:50 am

    Great find XYZ
    Can i post this. Its really interesting.

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