Scared of Karachi

I spent most of the week in Punjab visiting friends and family. When I invited them to come to Karachi, their first reaction was, is it safe to come to Karachi, we hear so many things, do you think we should really visit you in Karachi?

They still didn’t believe when I told them it’s perfectly all right to visit Karachi and you don’t have to worry about anything, after all, I also live a normal life in Karachi.

So, is that what people from other parts of the country think about Karachi? Are they too scared to come here? I know we have security issues, but has that come to an extent that people should avoid visiting this place?

30 Comments so far

  1. Farah (unregistered) on August 11th, 2007 @ 2:33 pm

    It’s not really their fault actually. The only way they probably hear about karachi is through the news and the news usually shows electricity problems, vans being set on fire, water shortages and all. It’s like saying that Islamabad isn’t safe for anyone to visit anymore.

  2. dictator (unregistered) on August 11th, 2007 @ 2:50 pm

    media buddy media

  3. Jamal Shamsi (unregistered) on August 11th, 2007 @ 2:50 pm

    It is media which is biased –

    read rawlpindi, lahore, multan, faisalabad, sialkot newspapers and you will find them more juicy thrilling and colored with news of violance, rape, theft, fone ~ cell ~ car snatching.

    The only place SAFE is NWFP reason being everyone is GUN Totting hot headed, when agression reaches there personal limits.

    Pakistan is of course SAFE, IF our Mental State is balanced.

    – cheers ! Pakistan Zindabaad

  4. Syed Johny (unregistered) on August 11th, 2007 @ 2:53 pm

    well its not their fault!!

    its our own ! when we ourself act like this ! then who is to blame!?
    check the comments on this

  5. bananafish (unregistered) on August 11th, 2007 @ 3:03 pm

    Hah. Once my friends were going to come and visit me from Lahore. This is about 4 years ago maybe. They bought air tickets. In the end 4 hours before the flight one of the friend’s mother freaked out about Karachi because there had been a bomb blast or something, and she convinced the other parents not to let their kids go as well. They canceled 4 hours before their flight. That was a proper joy-kill.

    So yeah people are kind of scared about Karachi.

  6. Imran (unregistered) on August 11th, 2007 @ 4:20 pm

    KARACHI is given the step-brotherly treatment by PUNJABistan.

    The movement of the capital, the engineered unrests, the over-blown media coverage, the dis-proportionate development .. are all evidence.

    Just let it be. Anyone can see.

    NB: One can only hope the future generations are less poisoned.

  7. pkhan (unregistered) on August 11th, 2007 @ 4:55 pm

    Scared of Karachi for what? These are big cities Norms, so Do not be afraid? That means people are afraid of dying? Moat ka aik Din muqarar hay jahaan aani hae wahaan ki miti bulaigi?

  8. muhammed ansari (unregistered) on August 11th, 2007 @ 6:44 pm

    i would say karachi is as dangerous as london or newyork, people dont really hestitate before going to either of the two places because of security concerns do they now,
    come to think off it karachi is dangerous, its just that we r living in deniyal and fail to accept whats going on around us

  9. ALAM (unregistered) on August 11th, 2007 @ 6:56 pm

    These panjabis behave like martial race, and act like white ppl.

    Half of KHI is full of Army cantonments and panjabi settlers. If they r OK, the whole panjab would be OK too.

  10. Cy (unregistered) on August 11th, 2007 @ 8:28 pm

    Umar, think of this way: as a Karachiite, how often do you visit areas that are outside your immediate sphere of work, office and friends? I think most Karachiites would hesitate before heading over to Orangi, Sohrab Goth, Lyari, Korangi.

  11. Jamal Shamsi (unregistered) on August 11th, 2007 @ 9:14 pm

    Umar u are holding my post – or u trashed it ??

  12. Concerned (unregistered) on August 11th, 2007 @ 9:49 pm

    There is nothing wrong with khi, PIND SE CHEHAR annay mein kuch tu dar lagay ga na.

    Wht ever you might say abt lahore, i still consider it a pind compared to khi,

    Nothing wrong with the city I luv and yeah some one said it right khi is not tht much different from london as far a security goes, u just have to know where to go and how to go about your business.

  13. d0ct0r (unregistered) on August 11th, 2007 @ 10:44 pm

    during rain storm in last week of June-07 in which almost 230+ people died, city Nazim and his terrorist from MQM were busy hijacking Edhi morgue and threatening Rizwan Edhi.. so that they could project a lower death toll, this time around Nazim and his team of terrorists are nowhere to be seen.. maybe they all drowned in gujar nalla sewer ..

    MQM and its terrorist are major reason for negative image of the city.. not just within Pakistan but all around the world…

    @Concerned i guess you haven’t been to Lahore recently ..

  14. Concerned (unregistered) on August 11th, 2007 @ 10:50 pm

    Oh shut up Doctor, I have had enough of ur BS.

    Lets blame MQM for the rains while we are at it. Its all MQMs fault. Who pays ur salary dude?

    And I went to Lahore last yeat, still a pind dude, still a pind. Living in a city is more abt mentality then anything else.

  15. KhiTorPit (unregistered) on August 11th, 2007 @ 11:04 pm

    Yah Umar you are right, just last night I met someone at masjid who was in jamat, he asked me “Their are soo many killings going on in Khi, how ppl lives their” ? I replied “its all politics”.

    I would say that Khi is more safe then any city of the world, dont get surprised I will give reasons too.

    We dont have any security ppl in any of the schools, do we ? no. As compared to west they have security ppl in most of the schools but still too many killings.

    We dont have any security camera anywhere, do we ? no. But still not too many robbery.
    As compared to other countries of the world despite the fact that they have soo many security cameras everywhere their crime rate is still high.

    Our cops are currupt they dont care much of the crime, what if they will get good money and then if they will be sincere with their job then think of it how less crime we would have.
    If we would have enough resources to put security cameras everywhere then we will not have that much crime.

    Mush is right to say that our media is acting too smart to show off everywhere on tv, which sometimes creates hoax.

    Crime is everywhere, but due to some reasons I dont know why, our city is more in the news.

    The main solution of the crime depends on economy, if the economy would be good, ppl will not be jobless, if they will not be jobless they will have enough money to survive, if they will have enough money then they will not think of doing suicide or any other crime.

  16. muhammed ansari (unregistered) on August 11th, 2007 @ 11:11 pm

    WAKE UP PEOPLE, WAKE UP, come to face with the reality

  17. Kashif (unregistered) on August 12th, 2007 @ 1:47 am

    Kuchh unj vi rava okhiya san,
    kuchh gal vich gam da toq vi si
    kucch shahar de log vi zalim san,
    kucch sanu maran da shauNk vi si

    More to do with propaganda. People in Punjab are made to fear coming to Karachi, especially since 90’s when bhai log were sending guinea bags full of bodies back home.

  18. Hasan Mubarak (unregistered) on August 12th, 2007 @ 2:01 am

    Oh please people, stop blaming Punjab for your city’s condition. Why just can’t we take the responsibility of our own deeds??

    We, in Lahore could, end up blaming the centre for focussing more on Faisalabad when they set up Pakistan’s biggest Industrial estate there…

    As for me, I’m as afraid of visiting Karachi as I am of walking on a street in Lahore around mid-night. We all are responsible for the deterioting secuirty situation in our country. Lahore, or Punjab for that matter, is not less than a victim itself.


  19. HelloPerson (unregistered) on August 12th, 2007 @ 2:14 am

    @ Imran:
    It is very unfortunate that you choose to shut yr eyes to reality, and try to blame others, in this case the Punjabis, for the ills of Karachi. Who is in power in Karachi ? Which party controls the Govt. of Sind > Which party controls the police ? Which party controls the finance portfolio ? Which party controls the major ministerial portfolios in Sindh ? If, in spite of knowing the answer, one chooses to shuts one’s eyes to reality, to ignore the facts, to pretend as if nothing is the matter, than all I can say is that such an individual is doomed to his fate, and, more relevantly, deserves such a fate.

    Pls note that by blaming Punjab, the CIA, the KGB, Mossad, RAW, SAVAK, KHAD, MI5, MI6, the sun, the moon, the oceans, the skies, the winds, and everything else BUT that which is actually at fault, will prove NOTHING other than one’s own absolute lack of reasoning powers.

    So, I ask you, as well as all the rest: WHY has Karachi gone DOWN since 1985 onwards ? See where Lahore, Faisalabad, etc. where prior to 1985, and see where they are now. It is just a matter of time that the majority of taxes will soon be collected in Lahore + Faisalabad, etc., and no more in Karachi. You have to ask yourself, which party has been in power in Karachi since 1985 ? Why has their tenure spelt the death and destruction of Karachi ? Why has Karachi slipped ?

    What does this city produce anymore ? All industry is shifting elsewhere, and why ? Because there is virtually no infrastructure: electricity is short, so is water, road are a mess, bhatta is asked for at every stage, crime and kidnapping is rampant. In such a scenario, would YOU want to set up business here ? Or would you prefer to save yr capital and yr life by going elsewhere ?

    If someone cannot understand this most elementary of elementary facts, then such a person is living in a drug-induced stupor, and nothing, and no facts, can convince him otherwise.

    Pls realise yr responsibilities, and do not vote for criminals, robbers, bhatta-kings, murderers and robbers. After all, which Governor, in which province, has 32 (or is it 35) FIRS (inc 5 for murder) registered him ?Does that inspire confidence ? Do u feel safe knowing that yr Governor has so many FIRs against him ? Can you blame the Punjab, or anyone else, for that too ?

    So, please desist from cheap, silly and pointless arguments, blaming any and everyone else for your own faults. It never worked, is not working, and will not work. No one is fooled by it. The whole country knows who has caused this debacle in Karachi’s fortunes over the past 20 years.

    And so do you. Acceptance is the first step towards reform.

  20. Concerned (unregistered) on August 12th, 2007 @ 2:30 am

    @ Hasan

    Sorry bro, I admit we are all responsibile for our country and I havent once said the security situation in khi is very bad, but you have to understand the way ppl in khi feel abt punjab, in the name of developing the entire nation khi has been neglected in the past. All this development went to punjab, none went to interior sindh.

    Chaudaries in one form (army or politician) have ruled over the country in the past, except for the brief part with PPP, which has always ended bad.

    we dont have anything against you bro, its the establishment in punjab, the few ppl tht hold the fate of the entire nation in their hands.

  21. Hasan Mubarak (unregistered) on August 12th, 2007 @ 2:46 am

    Thanks for being so kind! :)

    However, I should mention here, just like the media has portrayed what is not true about Karachi’s secuirty condition, similarly, politicians from nationalist and minority parties have portrayed false picture of Punjab’s imperialism over other provinces just because they were too busy fighting their own wars for power and needed someone to blame for their provinces’ condition.

  22. d0ct0r (unregistered) on August 12th, 2007 @ 3:05 am

    @Concerned stop whining about establishment’s injustice, billions have been given to karachi’s administration , with all those billions at their disposal if they choose to turn the city into a puddle and not spend it wisely and misappropriate funds then thats their own fault, can’t blame pubjab or lahore or islamabad for your own mess…

  23. Karachiite_in_Toronto (unregistered) on August 12th, 2007 @ 9:53 am

    Hello Karachiites,

    This is an old issue, the current is, “Is it safe to visit Islamabad?”

    Dont you know two cricket matches are being shifted from Peshawar and Pindi, thats a first for Karachi. Despite an unfortunate incident in
    May, Karachi you have done very well in the past couple of years. There are no consulate bombings, no explosions outside hotels, no targeted murders of Shia professionals, no gun fights with Al-Qaeda terrorrists in Phase V, no attacks on rival mosques, no raiding of convoys you guys are doing good. My friends tell me that the arts council is active again, there are musical and cultural festivals and hell of a lot of development work going on.

    @DOCTOR – I can judge from your tone, where your allegiance lie. whatever you say about MQM guys, they are the sons of this city, they are not creatures from Mars or Saudia Arabia. When I was in University there were Jamati thunder squads, PSF goons headed by Tipu and then by Najeeb, PSA, Baloach, Pakthtoon, Jeay Sindh and what not. All had guns to show off and all used to beat up local parhakoo guys to establish their badmaashee. Then it so happened the victims got fed up and now nobody is a bigger badmaash then them.

    But its not that the guys in MQM are proud of this reputation, they are trying to reach out and do some good. In the past couple of years they have done in Karachi what was not done for the past 30 years. There councillors and ministers live within the people are the most accessible, you can reach them in the middle of the night, nobody else offers such service.

    Ofcourse the rains are coming down hard but I see your mayor hard at work, nobody is calling the army for help, just dont loose the momentum. Keep the pressure on the MQM but dont vote them out, they are the only ones who can deliver for this city because they are from this city. I remember when I was there in the nineties, a very rich politician in exile wanted to take every thing out from the city including The head offices of Banks and PIA. He even took one source of income for the municipality that was octroi. Then KMC did not have funds to even pay the sweepers, and now it has an impressive roaster of projects.

    So keep it up Karachi you are doing good!!

  24. BrittledBrunette (unregistered) on August 12th, 2007 @ 5:03 pm

    Karachi is now nomore familier, to my childhood memories…its an alien place,it losts its feel…All because of so many people other than karachiites crowding every nook n corner..there should be a city census,and for once we should send these other nationalities back to where they belong..

  25. d0ct0r (unregistered) on August 12th, 2007 @ 5:26 pm

    problem with MQM supporters is that when ever some one exposes their terrorist party they just start accusing others of being a jamati.. you need to grow up.. MQM is a menace and it should be dealt accordingly…

    p.s. peace loving urdu speaking peple have nothing to do with MQM ,when i talk about MQM am talking about a fascist party involved in brutalities & terrorism …

  26. Karachiite_in_Toronto (unregistered) on August 12th, 2007 @ 8:03 pm


    I disagree, the beauty of every great metropolitan city is its multiculturalism because people flock from all over to contribute to its greatness. The city becomes rich both culturally and in material terms. The problem with Karachi “was” it had/has all the dynamics of a great metroplolis but it was forcefully deprived of the resources needed to sustain its growth, hence the frustration and conflict. If people have work to do then they have no time for nonsense. Write now I see that spirit coming back to Karachi, thanks to Musharraf its not short on cash and its resources are finally being spent on it. If peace is not broken then it will continue to provide opportunitis to all.


    I am not a blind supporter of MQM or any political party in Pakistan. What I am against is the liberal use of the word “terrorrist” against MQM guys, when I know that others have more certified terrorist credentials than them. MQM started out as a reactionary students organization, it was not a political party with mature and corrupt leadership. Its membership was hundreds of thousands youth who wanted change, they were angry, confused and frustrated. At the same time truck loads fo lethal weapons from Afghanistan flodded the Karachi streets, under the noose of the then govt, and then Karachi went to war. it was a war with status quo and itself. Many of MQM guys can be termed as goons or badmaash but many are dynamic and forward looking. It has a membership of millions and its an insult to label them all as a “menace”, when we know who the real looters, plunderers and terrorist are.

    While people like me choose the easier option and left the country to seek carirers abroad, and blame this and that for the coutries woes, there were those who stayed to contribute practically and risked their lives to do that. Many lives were lost to internal conflict, conflict with Jamaat, extra judicial killings and raids by drug mafia squads, but now when I see a young mayor with his sleeves up and his feet in water doing his job, I see that the worse is over and the future is looking good. The war is now over and so the MQM has to change to a peace time role, the sooner they realize it the better.

    @DOCTOR simply taking a rosarry bead (tasbih) and saying MQM terrorist, MQM terrorist, MQM terrorist…. thousand time a day is neither wise nor it will get you any sawaab. The simple fact is the MQM has changed and it is changing, the 20 year olds are now 40 years in age, they are reaching out and trying to do good, my advice dont snub them, reach out but keep them in check, its easy now when media is so powerful. Ofcourse, you wont do that if you are a Jamaatee? You must be missing raiding musical concerts, beating up boys who talk to girls in campus, breaking up new year functions, recruiting Karachi kids to be sent on some screwed up Jihaad and bombing the 5-star hotels. Ahhh…. life of a Jamaati in Karachi is pretty boring nowadays.

    Also peace loving Urdu speaking people have every thing to do with MQM because they give it their votes and will continue to do so in the near future. Please dont try to insult and patronize in the same outburst.

    You said, “MQM is a menace and should be dealt accordingly”. My God you want blood and chaos, you dont believe in peaceful transition that is happening now. Ohh i forgot you are bored…sorry!

    How come when there is operation against known terrorists in Waziristan or in the capital itself then every body is talking about dialog and peacefull settlement,understanding, safe passage and what not. But when it comes to Karachi the solution is the crushing of the ants and Iron fists? boy some people are really frustrated.

  27. RockOnKarachi (unregistered) on August 12th, 2007 @ 11:37 pm

    Scared or not…
    One thing’s for sure that KARACHI ROCKS!!!!!!


  28. نعمان (unregistered) on August 21st, 2007 @ 8:14 pm

    In response to Karachiite_in_Toronto’s comment where he writes:

    whatever you say about MQM guys, they are the sons of this city, they are not creatures from Mars or Saudia Arabia. When I was in University there were Jamati thunder squads, PSF goons headed by Tipu and then by Najeeb, PSA, Baloach, Pakthtoon, Jeay Sindh and what not. All had guns to show off and all used to beat up local parhakoo guys to establish their badmaashee. Then it so happened the victims got fed up and now nobody is a bigger badmaash then them.

    But its not that the guys in MQM are proud of this reputation, they are trying to reach out and do some good. In the past couple of years they have done in Karachi what was not done for the past 30 years. There councillors and ministers live within the people are the most accessible, you can reach them in the middle of the night, nobody else offers such service.
    مجھے اس تبصرے سے مکمل اتفاق نہیں۔ اگر کراچی میں ترقی کے حالیہ بوم کی بات ہے تو کریڈٹ جنرل مشرف کو دیں۔ کیونکہ کراچی کو جس قدر ریسورسز آج دستیاب ہیں اتنی پہلے کبھی نہ تھیں۔ اگر یہ مالی فراوانی نہ ہوتی تو ایم کیو ایم کی شہری حکومت اتنی کھدائیاں نہ کرسکتی تھی۔ شہری حکومت نے کوئی ہزارہا منصوبے شروع کررکھے ہیں اور شہر کا کوئی علاقہ ان کی کدالوں کی زد سے نہیں بچا ہے۔ پورا شہر ایک وقت میں کھود کر انہوں نے شہریوں کو جس اذیت میں مبتلا کر رکھا ہے وہ اس خوشی سے کہییں زیادہ ہے جو شہریوں کو یہ نئے فلائی اوورز، فری ویز، ایلیویٹڈ ہائی ویز، وغیرہ جیسی سڑکیں دیکھ کر ہوگی۔ اگر اس اذیت کی قیمت لگانی ہے تو ان لوگوں کے گھر والوں سے پوچھیں جو ٹریفک جام میں ایمبولینسوں میں ہلاک ہوئے۔ یا دمے اور ایستھما کے ان مریضوں سے پوچھیں جن کا گھر سے نکلنا عذاب ہوگیا ہے۔ طوفانی بارشوں کا پانی ابھی تک شہر میں جا بجا کھڑا ہے۔ کے ای ایس سے نے ہمارے علاقے میں زیر زمین تاریں بچھانے کے لئے کھدائی کررکھی تھی سڑکوں کے ساتھ ساتھ جاری وہ گڑھے نہروں کا رخ دھار چکے ہیں۔ شہر میں صحت، صفائی، اور تعلیم کی حالت بہت خراب ہے۔

  29. Balma (unregistered) on August 21st, 2007 @ 9:03 pm

    Hey, how do you type in Urdu?
    Hate to sound like a burger, but I never learned Urdu typing. Is there any place I can download the softwarwe from? Do they sell Urdu templates for the keyboard?

  30. S M Nabeel Dibaji (unregistered) on August 21st, 2007 @ 10:17 pm

    I love Karachi..
    But abhi Baarish horahi hai… kike per Clifton se North Karachi jana hai kia karoooooon…?
    here’s the picture

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