Scared of Karachi – Part 2

I spent few years of this decade in the US. Whenever someone found out that I was from Karachi, most of the times they looked at me from head to toe as if I am an alien, and then asked funny questions like, did you carry a gun with you at all times in Karachi, or, howcome you speak English so well, or the funniest of all, do you travel in tanks (I was really asked these questions, believe it or not)?

It’s one thing when locals avoid going to a city, when people from other parts of the world build up such wierd impression about a city, then that’s something to be worried about, or maybe not, who cares whatever those goras think about our city.

Part 1

42 Comments so far

  1. asa (unregistered) on August 12th, 2007 @ 1:40 pm

    i have spent whole of life in Karachi and not a single day whenever i do come late at home my whole family would worried is everything alright?couple of times my mobile was snatched?

    yes Umar you are absolutely right we all are responsible for that image ..enough is enough no more bloodshed in the streets of Karachi condemn any killing,robbery done by any one regardless of any political affiliation..yes raise the voice for injustice but not the way these terrorist MQM are doing.


  2. madman (unregistered) on August 12th, 2007 @ 1:47 pm

    to asa who r u to judge MQM as “terrorist MQM”???????.


  3. Imran (unregistered) on August 12th, 2007 @ 2:04 pm

    I am glad in a sense to see part2 of the post; bcz the goras i knew in USA (Michigan, Pensylvania, Minneapolis) last year, did not know WHERE Pakistan is, let alone Karachi : )

    The Americans seem to be catching up on their geography i suppose bcz just a couple of years ago they referred to the US as “The World”.

    You are right, KARACHI does have a problem as far as safety is concerened – but it is not as nearly as acute as some neighbouring regions; Afghanistan, Iran, even India. But for some strange reason, this City gets more negative publicity by international (as well as local press). Be it the unrest following the Women’s Bill or hoopla folowing Mohamad’s cracatures in some Danish Newspaper – WE ALWAYS GIVE COVERAGE TO BAD NEWS (THAN GOOD NEWS) JUST BCZ BAD NEWS TRAVELS FASTER AND SEELS MORE. GOOD NEWS DOES NOT SELL.

    How come the media does not cover formation of IBP (Institute of Behavioral Psychology) in Karachi, the first of its kind for special children OR formation of the film institute, the first of its kind in the Country to advance film and meidia studies in the city/ Country?

    It’s always VIOLENCE and BLOODSHED that (our) media covers; the International media has their own agendas ofcourse to keep the region depressed.

    I was mobbed, burgaled and assaulted in NYC in 2004, but i DONT think CNN will ever cover or mention that.


  4. ALAM (unregistered) on August 12th, 2007 @ 2:11 pm

    Remember some US politician said about some militant leader “He is SOB, but he is our SOBs”

    The same is true about MQM. Ther are terrorists but they r our terrorists. If they leave the scene, Jamatis will take over, and force every woman to wear shuttle cocks, and atheists like me to catsrated in public chowk.

    I hate Altaf Hussain, I think he is psycho on pure clinical terms. But I love MQM and its militants.


  5. Imran (unregistered) on August 12th, 2007 @ 2:12 pm

    And ever wonder that the only image The World caries of India is BOLLYWOOD, AISHWARYA RAI, TAJ MAHAL and DIWALI FESTIVAL.

    I suppose there is NO VIOLENCE IN INDIA.

    The World percieves as as you perceive yourself – that’s applies to your office, your city, your Country AND the World you live in.

    SUMMARY:
    Yes there is a lot of shit happeneing in the City BUT THEE IS ALSO A LOT OF GOOD (IBP, SIUT, TFI etc) HAPPENING IN KARACHI. IT ALL DEPENDS ON WHAT YOU CHOOSE TO LOOK AT.


  6. asa (unregistered) on August 12th, 2007 @ 3:05 pm

    @Madman
    some at the forum or blogs i got impression that MQM followers think that we are blaming MQM because of media. Pal, I born &lived in Karachi for more than 2 decade. And to decide what MQM really meant for I don’t need any media . I know it for sure that MQM is a less of political party and more of Mafia and Gangsters.

    Few of the TV channels are supporting MQM. So, should we not listen to them also? Media reported that 1 out of 500 terrorist attacks in Europe in the span on 2006 was done by a muslim. Should we not accept this too? The fact is you will get both true and false, you will listen both what you want to listen and what you don’t. Its a personal understanding which would work. In case of Iraq, Iraqis don’t have to rely on media, they whats happening better. And in case of Karachi, Karachitese don’t have to rely on media, We have seen what happened in karachi.

    Comeon guys we all knw who is behind the 5/12 massacre,hakeen saeed assassination,all this bhatta,mobile snatching,MQM killed more mohajir than Army operation in 1992,time to think above ethnic background & no more blood of any Muslim Pakistani to be spilled on the streets of Karachi, else we shall witness a day that will be more devastating(God forbid) than the 8th of October, 2005.

    May Allah (SWT) protect us from idiot politican & greedy and corrupt Army generals.Ameen


  7. asa (unregistered) on August 12th, 2007 @ 3:12 pm

    whenever someone criticize MQM terrorist all of sudden ppl labeled him Mullah,Jamati ….im not a jamati nor mullah just middle class normal Karachitese who just want to live peacefully.Am i asking a lot ??


  8. Rukun (unregistered) on August 12th, 2007 @ 4:30 pm

    thing is that mqm is a bloody parasite for karachi, theres no sound alternative either. the army is as corrupt as any one else, and change in govt seems to only involve the same old hags who fucked our country before the army. looking at this situations, we sure do need some thing worse that 8/05. we need a younger generation to take over the govt, but sadly the exodus of talent to all over the world means that these old fuckers get to keep on ruling with a corrupt voter base. so is every one corrupt?, will we never get pure minded leaders? should all of us leave the country too?


  9. BiiterTruth (unregistered) on August 12th, 2007 @ 5:14 pm

    “But I love MQM and its militants” how ironic…and then expect Karachi to be a peaceful city. Why is the fear that some other party will takeover and will do worst than MQM? forcing burqas and castration? afraid of something never happened in past and unlikely in future but love the killings happening in front of you. Even if there is no alternate we should condemn the killers and stop voting them.


  10. Syed Johny (unregistered) on August 12th, 2007 @ 5:50 pm

    hmm! as far I am concerned !
    MQM itslef is just the reaction of the actions performed by others on Karachiites!

    People say that Ethnic tensions started due to MQM!
    Wrong! My elders were attacked by Sindhi militants at their home multiple times, in Karachi,

    Qoutas were imposed on Govt sector Jobs, and Education, which systematically eliminated urdu speaking from here!

    Jamat-e-Islami Students wing Jamiat, had complete control over institutions in Pakistan ! when Zia-Ul-Haque banned politics in institutes! and there is dispute that they had weapons !

    Point to be noted! If JI’s students wing had weapons ! than just guess JI had it or not.

    MQM came waay late into politics!
    I agree MQM is a Mafia ! but so are all the other political organizations,

    I agree with people above! I like MQM, just because the others are the worst!

    JI: Corrupt, Political, Militant organization, in short (moon kay fire)

    JUI: Same as above

    ST and other of MMA: same as above

    PPP: The first party to officially divide sindh on ethnic bases and destroying peace of KArachi ( Durin Bhutto sahab Rules, Bhutoo offically banned the use of Urdu in Sindh , which sparked protests and voilence all over sind! and more than thousand people (both Urdu Speaking and Sindhi speaking died)

    PML (xyz etc etc) : The parties of Lotas, Most corrupt people of Pakistan!! nuthin more can be said !

    MQM is better in this way that ! they are accessible all the time! and their leaders ( Except the GOD FATHER) live among the people, and believe it or not! If u have complain against any Unit member ! u can do it at Unit!! there is high chance your complain will be entertained!


  11. Rukun (unregistered) on August 12th, 2007 @ 7:15 pm

    andhon main kana raja


  12. Karachiite_in_Toronto (unregistered) on August 12th, 2007 @ 8:10 pm

    @BrittledBrunette

    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.

    @DOCTOR
    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.


  13. asa (unregistered) on August 12th, 2007 @ 8:12 pm

    @syed John

    reaction is worst than action ,if i agreed ur all arguments then wat the difference btw MQM & others and worst in the sense we mohajirs are more sufferer than any other nationality by the MQM look how many mohajirs are killed at the period of MQM.

    1)All the 48 ppl killed in 12th may were mohajir
    2)Hakim saeed was mohajir.

    two of my cousin were affiliated with MQM killed by MQM just coz of difference.

    60 year has gone Karachi has given us everything time has come to give Karachi a peace Condemn any form of terrorism regardless of any political affiliation.


  14. HelloPerson (unregistered) on August 12th, 2007 @ 8:59 pm

    @ 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.


  15. silver (unregistered) on August 12th, 2007 @ 11:40 pm

    “Why is the fear that some other party will takeover and will do worst than MQM? forcing burqas and castration?”

    Wow! MQM’s fear of castration is giving it sleepless nights…


  16. Ahmed (unregistered) on August 13th, 2007 @ 12:25 am

    Our biggest problem is the “Attitude” and it can change the entire nation. We tend to blame everything on the politicians and law enforement agencies when we continously break the law ourselves. It is a vicious circle. If you want to solve the problem then support education, do the right thing when it is do able. It is all about your attitude!


  17. Reality_Check (unregistered) on August 13th, 2007 @ 1:24 am

    @BrittledBrunette

    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.

    @DOCTOR
    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.


  18. Shiraz (unregistered) on August 13th, 2007 @ 1:43 am

    @UMAR, nice story you have made up. I think your story is a bit exaggerated. I have been living here in the US most of my life, a lot longer then the time you say you spent in the US. I know many hundreds of Pakistani’s here in the US and in different states, but the questions you have listed don’t even come close. I don’t know what kind of people you were in contact with, but most people here don’t have a clue where Karachi is even after 9/11. Nice try, but make your story a little more realistic buddy. I know America and the American people like you will never know them by living here a few years. Maybe you told of such stories to them and projected yourself in a certain way that they might ask you these question. Maybe you should think about that. I hear these types of comments usually from people who come to the US for studies for a few years and when they go back to Pak they think they know it all. They think they are “Americans” and think everyone else in Pak is an idot and would beleive whatever stories they tell them, because they have been to US for a few years. Stop telling people lies. The one thing I do know for sure is that the people that hate US the most are the first one’s in line for the US visa. I can go on and on, but it’s no use so I shall stop. Just my thoughts.


  19. Hossp (unregistered) on August 13th, 2007 @ 3:43 am

    Shiraz is right. This is my 24th year in this country and never seen anyone looking at me strangely or heard anything nasty becasue I said I was from Karachi. I am from a generation that left Karachi a little before MQM took over. OTOH, Pakistan certainly gets a bad rap here for obvious reasons.

    I would not prefer JI to take over Karachi and I do hope that these Islamic parties don’t win elections in Karachi again.

    There is no doubt that MQM is fascist and sometimes people have to live with what they got!


  20. Kashif (unregistered) on August 13th, 2007 @ 3:48 am

    Scared of Karachi? I am scared to @#$* of Isb now.

    Guys, no place in world is safe. Believe me, Pakistan is still better than lots of countries in Africa, South America etc. I think its time we write off the old n corrupt generation of politicians etc and take over the reins.

    Let the age of neo-Pakistan begin.


  21. Ahmed (unregistered) on August 13th, 2007 @ 4:04 am

    To that, AMEN!


  22. Ahmed (unregistered) on August 13th, 2007 @ 4:10 am

    Believe it or not, MQM still has the support of Karachi and their vote is secure. Although their mafia like activity is a menace however, they have a very big contribution in getting the mohajir population of Karachi to where they are.

    I am not for MQM, but is there a better party? Simply based on that they will maintain their seats.


  23. Obi Wan Kenobi (unregistered) on August 13th, 2007 @ 8:09 am

    Only “few” punjabies could ask those stupid questions from Umer while he was in US.


  24. Syed (unregistered) on August 13th, 2007 @ 5:48 pm

    Leaving a vacuum in the society will bring another chaos that will bring more fright to the people of Karachi. What I hope is that the MQM starts revolutionizing party’s approach towards the betterment of Karachi and may be for the whole of Pakistan and to get rid of the Mafia element from its structure which is quite disturbing not for the Karachites but to the rest of the nation. The time is right for such action because we lack such party in the entire nation.


  25. Erum (unregistered) on August 13th, 2007 @ 5:55 pm

    With Pakistan’s 60th birthday tomorrow, I feel sad to see Pakistanis judging eachother like this, based on people belonging to different parties, provinces, religions, languages, belifes, tribes etc have devided us so much that its scary! Why is it that it take us a second to judge a person based on unimportant factors and we struggle to do any good for our country? Why cant we start doing something constructive in our daily lives? It could be as small as stopping at he traffic light and not throwing garbage out of the car window. It will make a huge difference if we change our mindset to something constructive rather than just giving opinions and accusing eachother or making fun of eachother. My independence resolution is that I will make a greater difference to my country in any way even if I’m physically living outside Pakistan. God bless us all!


  26. Concerned (unregistered) on August 13th, 2007 @ 6:15 pm

    Some basics facts abt terrorism in Pakistan and how they relate to political parties;

    1. PPP, a terrorist organisation to the extent that its leader had her own brother killed, also tortured and killed countless opposition ppl and poor haris in interior sindh

    2. PML, the only terrorist organisation to attack a govt institution, the supreme court.

    3. JI & JUI, open supporters of Al-Qaida and other terrorists who kill in the name of islam

    4. MQM, has carried out some Mafia like activity in Khi, but has also lost many of their supporters in the operations, so much so that the entire party had to go into hiding. The best defence is a good offence.

    I am sure no one has doubts about where my loyalties lie.


  27. pkhan (unregistered) on August 13th, 2007 @ 9:32 pm

    @ Umar
    Do not Cook up the stories, you are the people who are spreading these BUKWASS. Half of the Telephone snatchings are Fake and just recently they discover that 36 of the stolen cars were actually reported Stolen because of the Insurance CLAIM? I do not know which part of USA you stayed in but general Public in USA do not EVEN care about Pakistan but Pakistani in Pakistan knows about USA more then they know about Pakistan.At least General Public in AMERICA do not Lie? where back home 95% of the general public lies and corrupt.lastly did you got KICKED out of USA because of illegal stay or was that your choice so you do not get kick out?


  28. Sohail (unregistered) on August 13th, 2007 @ 11:41 pm

    @Umer and Sheraz,
    Sheraz i am 100% agreed with you, i am living in New York since last 2 years and working in govt agency, i never feel anything, everybody likes me, they talk to me very nicely and with respect, they know i am from Pakistan.
    My neighbours are very good with me, even more then my neighbours in Pakistan.
    Umer, your story is wronge, i do not know which part of america you are talking about, but i believe people in New York City should be more anger then any other state or city, but every body is nice here, i do not have any such complain about these peoples against Pakistan.
    Your story do not make sense.


  29. NoWAY (unregistered) on August 14th, 2007 @ 4:36 am

    @Umer,
    I don’t believe, this every happened to you. I have been living here for last 30 years and never heard of such nonsense. Only explanation I can think of that YOU PROBABLY LOOK LIKE A THUG, GANGSTER, OR A COMPLETE CARTOON.
    Let assume that this every happened, you should not post this BS in the forum. Those three American do not represent entire United States…..
    I thought, you were a sensible person…but you are as dumb as most of the writers here.


  30. Obi Wan Kenobi (unregistered) on August 14th, 2007 @ 9:44 am

    Calm down every one. I am sure they were American Punjabis.


  31. StopAdvertisingCrime (unregistered) on August 14th, 2007 @ 11:26 pm

    We need a favour from all newspapers,TV channels and other media please Stop advertising crime for example car jacking and mobile phone snatching and other crime news cuz its looks like bandits read everyday and tries to break record the next day. Media can be the biggest player in changing the way of life in our country, so For Allah sake stop advertising crime.


  32. Fahad Khan (unregistered) on August 15th, 2007 @ 10:29 pm

    I’ve lived in the US my entire life. First of all, it is common knowledge that most Americans have a very limited knowledge of world geography. If you asked them to point out Thailand, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan or any country, most would not be able to locate it on a map. I have been asked questions like “do you all have guns in Karachi” but those have all come from Punjabi Pakistanis living in the US.
    I think everyone has a right to criticize MQM, but I would look at these criticisms very suspiciously if these people who are criticizing MQM have never criticized the treatment of Muhajirs from 1947 to the present. If they have spoken out against the exploitation of and discrimination against Muhajirs in the past, and they have problems with MQM now, I think that is clearly legitimate. On the other hand, if they were quiet when Muhajirs were getting killed, when they weren’t able to get jobs with master’s degrees and uneducated people from other provinces were being brought to Karachi to work those same jobs, and when Karachi was generating 70% of Pakistan’s revenue and getting pennies in development funds, then they have no right to complain about MQM. Altaf Hussain does not have villas throughout Europe paid for by Pakistani taxpayers. If Hakim Saeed was killed by MQM, like Nawaz is now stating, why didn’t he do anything about it? After all, he was in power at the time. Why MQM would be behind phone robberies is beyond me. Why would they need to do it. Karachi is finally getting gov’t funds and is run by MQM. Every report I have read on Dawn has indicated cell phone thieves who have been caught have been primarily from outside provinces. If MQM has done or is doing something bad, lets help get rid of the bad elements, but surely we are not foolish enough to believe that the people who have exploited us for 60 years are looking out for us when they criticize MQM. In the end, we should look out for our neighborhoods and communities, and if every in Pakistan did that, who knows where we can be in the near future.


  33. Hunter (unregistered) on August 16th, 2007 @ 10:56 pm

    @Fahad Khan
    >>Every report I have read on Dawn has indicated cell phone thieves who have been caught have been primarily from outside provinces.

    OK, two questions:

    1/ Could you please provide the links to these dawn stories that you mention?

    2/ Do these guys come from “outside provinces” just to snatch phones? if not, How long do you have to live in Karachi not to be called “from outside province”?


  34. Imran (unregistered) on August 17th, 2007 @ 12:58 am

    @Hunter,
    yes they do come from outside province not only to snatch Cell phones but also to beg,pick pockets, and the list goes on..If live in karachi you know very well how the city gets flooded with beggers during Ramadan.Do you think they all go back after ramadan??? I am not saying that all cell phone snatchers are from outside but majority of them happen to be an outsider.

    TO answer your second question, To belong to Karachi you will have to make money in Karachi and keep it here/spend it here. As long as you are sending money to your loved ones back home and just living to make money no matter how long you have lived here, you are not considered to be a true karachiites.


  35. Balma (unregistered) on August 17th, 2007 @ 1:17 am

    These are all bullshit arguments. It is a free economy and everyone is free to make money and spend it or send-it anyway and anywhere he or she likes. We are talking about Karachi, not communist Libya or Russia.

    Having said that, the point is as long as people are ‘making’ money in a legal way. Police walas, beggers, cell phone thiefs,all other haram khores don’t fall in this category. they should all be stopped at Cantt station and shipped back. In my typical cynical way, I will like to specualte that no one cares about checking tickets of these fraud beggers in trains, because everyone encourages them to go to KArachi, and they show up in Karachi for free by train or by bus.

    All these beggers and cell phone thiefs should be rounded up and sent to their home towns. Edhi type centers for bhikaaris or social work centers for them in KArachi don’t serve the purpose….that only encourages more pir-faqeers from other parts of country to come to Karachi for dole.

    Instead of these thiefs, I rather have business people and software engineers and excellent architects ( and so on, you get the drift) come from all over Pakistan to Karachi. Whether they keep the money in Karachi or not is not very important.


  36. Hunter (unregistered) on August 17th, 2007 @ 2:16 am

    @Imran

    You sound a little paranoid… I have not lived in Karachi so I don’t know how great it really is, but I am not ready to cut off relations with my family for the privilege.

    Also, just repeating something does not make it true… I would still ask for those dawn news reports that say that phone snatchers are from “other provinces”.

    @Balma

    I did not talk about the beggars, they are equally visible everywhere in Pakistan (Atleast Islamabad, Lahore, Peshawar, Faisalabad from my own experience). In India they are even more so, but no one talks about sending them back because that does not solve the problem.

    Looking at your mail, I think you would like to get every faqir, all the edhi centres, and all the haram khors out of the city and ask for a degree from anyone trying to get in. (How do you spot the haram khors at the railway station before they have done anything? except for the ones in uniform :) )

    Also, I don’t think there is a major conspiracy about filling Karachi with beggars collected from the all across the country.

    People go to a big city for opportunities. If they are twisted, they go with a bad intent. But most of the time they go to the city to make good and are thwarted by the ghundagardi and lack of merit and rule of law. Then they just do what they can. Again, this is true for all big cities, not just Karachi.

    I know they are a nuisance but they represent failure on our part as a society. Throwing them out (even if that is possible) and pretending everything is OK would be like burrowing our heads in the sand.

    Sorry for the long post.


  37. Fahad Khan (unregistered) on August 18th, 2007 @ 3:38 am

    Hunter,
    I am looking for the news reports on Dawn’s website. Unfortunately, they do not have a search function on their website, so I am looking manually through the old “Local” sections. So far, I have found a few articles, one regarding vehicle thefts in Karachi, but am still looking for anything related to cell phone theft busts.
    http://dawn.com/2007/04/10/local6.htm
    http://dawn.com/2007/03/25/local8.htm
    http://dawn.com/2007/03/25/local4.htm
    I think someone is “from” Karachi when they call Karachi their home or at the least care about the city. If you are coming to Karachi temporarily to make money and leave, obviously you don’t care about the city or people there at all, and have a bigger incentive to commit some crime since a)you will be leaving anyway b) your primary objective by coming to Karachi was to make money. Obviously, that doesn’t mean that everyone who comes to Karachi is a thief, but it explains why criminals are often from areas outside of Karachi.

    I read an article about two years ago, regarding the influx of “hijray” (cross-dressers) in Karachi. The article was stating that most of these people were actually “normal” people coming from Punjab, who would come here, ask/harass people for money, then after a few months go back to their hometowns as “normal” people. I’m sure some other people here would have read that article as well, because it became pretty popular at the time. I don’t know the truth behind it, but I wouldn’t be surprised. It seems that the number of hijray has grown in Karachi exponentially.

    I think its good to have people from all over Pakistan in Karachi, after all Karachi is the heart of Pakistan, but it seems that these same people are the first to accuse MQM of doing things in Karachi for no reason and with absolutely no proof. Simply because they don’t like MQM (or Muhajirs or both).


  38. Hunter (unregistered) on August 18th, 2007 @ 5:59 pm

    @Fahad

    Thank you for your response.

    1/ You have mentioned three stories. All the people mentioned there were from NWFP and Balochistan. The most backward of our provinces, which gives some credence to what I said before about the motivation of people coming to big cities and then not finding merit and rule of law. (for example: not finding jobs if you dont belong to a certain party. Not just MQM, this is widespread)

    2/ You say “I don’t know the truth behind it, but I wouldn’t be surprised”. This, my friend, is called a preconceived notion. You are really upset when people do that about MQM based on news, but are you (or any of us) really any different then?

    3/ About Hijras, please do not just hear something and assume that it is only happening in Karachi or it is some conspiracy. I have seen similar “surges” in (beggars|child car cleaners| hijras) etc in many different cities (Lahore, Islamabad for example). And it just happens on a bigger scale in a bigger city.

    4/ If someone lives in my city ( I belong to at least 3 at last count and I love them all equally for different reasons) and pays taxes (I know hijras don’t do that) I don’t think I should care if he wants to settle or not. This would be in my city’s interest to keep the people that you guys mention (Engineers, architects etc.). These people today rarely settle in one place and specially not in a big, noisy city. They go where they get a good opportunity and they have safety for their family.

    So therefore, please look at people as people not as karachiites or some other ‘iites’. That is what the politicians exploit. and the biggest divide today in Pakistan is between Super rich and poor. The super rich, irrespective of where they come from, always stick together. The poor are always fighting among themselves over things that don’t really matter instead of working for their rights in a civilised way. The super rich won’t have it any other way.

    At the end, just consider this. You are born in some remote village in Balochistan/Sindh wherever. You grow up with out a school because people in big cities don’t care about your education. You grow up as a total xenophobe. You have to earn some money but you don’t have any land to work on. So you go to the big city and people hate you because you send money back or you are illiterate or any number of reasons that you cannot control. How would you feel about the big city then? or the people living there?

    Would you be willing to snatch a cell pohone?


  39. Fahad Khan (unregistered) on August 19th, 2007 @ 2:56 am

    When I said I dont know “the truth behind it”, I was referring only to the article regarding hijray coming from Punjab. Not the articles regarding thieves coming from other provinces, which are well documented.
    I have not read any news articles from respectable newspapers that have said MQM members were involved in cell phone snatching. Since I said that people behind street crimes many times have been from outside provinces, and you asked for a reference, which I provided, I am now asking you for some reference from a respectable newspaper which states that an MQM worker was arrested for stealing cell phones (or vehicles etc).

    The socio-economic conditions that cause people to move to Karachi are numerous. But that does not explain why for years and years (before MQM) people within Karachi would not be given jobs but people were being brought from other provinces for those jobs. This phenomenon may have been reduced, but is still going around. A lot of businesses in Karachi owned by people from other provinces will never hire anyone from Karachi, rather they bring people from their home provinces.
    The example you gave of the villager who got no schooling because people in big cities didn’t care about him is fine, but the thing is the people of Karachi have not been the masters of their own destinies for so long. This opportunity has come after 60 years (that Karachi is being ruled by people from Karachi). MQM is a very young political party, so we cannot blame the lack of quality educational facilities throughout the country on them. The majority of revenue has gone to Punjab, at the expense of the other provinces, this has been happening long before anyone ever came up with MQM and that is also the reason that today there is a Bangladesh. MQM has done a lot for Karachi, in my opinion, and I hope they keep it up. If every political party genuinely cared about their constituents, Pakistan will get somewhere, otherwise 40 years from now we will have the same discussions, that Pakistan as a whole has gotten no where in 100 years.


  40. Hunter (unregistered) on August 19th, 2007 @ 2:22 pm

    Dear Fahad,

    first of all, please note that in all my comments in this thread I have not said anything bad about MQM exclusively. I am no fan of MQM but I did not want to make this a political discussion.

    I have been trying to make you think about people living outside Karachi and people who see big cities as a ray of hope. But it seems that you are stuck with this narrow vision, you replace everything I say about ‘big cities’ with Karachi . Broaden your horizons and thinking. The world is much bigger than Karachi.

    Are you sure you will never have to move somewhere to work? Treat people as you would like to be treated yourself.

    You win the debate, I cannot answer your insecurities.


  41. Maaju (unregistered) on August 22nd, 2007 @ 9:19 pm

    you are talking about another country’s preceptions. When I moved to Lahore from Karachi, Lahoriz freaked out and were like “accha kia yehan aagaye, waha kuch nahi hai ab” bla bla bla. Each person who said that to me should have been slapped across the face. Ignorance is within…you can’t blame the goras, first we need to correct ourselves!
    you can decide who is to blame…media, people, ourselves??


  42. maaju (unregistered) on August 22nd, 2007 @ 9:20 pm

    baarood kay dhuen sey baadal to bana diye
    ab udaas kiu baithay ho, kay baarish nahi hoti?



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