The Man Iftikhar Beat Up (Just Because He Could)

It’s Saturday, 415pm and I’m on my way back home when I slow down my car to let a man cross the road infront of me. As I do for most passing pedestrians in the narrower lanes around Defence, I usually bring the car to a complete halt before moving on. But not all pedestrians do what this one did. Here’s what happened next:

This man, leans into a standing Star Cab, and pulls out the driver. Probably a young kid, not more than 24, pulls him out of the driving seat and punches his face. Spends the next few seconds beating the kid to a pulp. What do people around them do? Gather around and watch.

I sat in my car watching this scene unravel, horrified. This is in the backstreets of Defence. This is within the “city” limits! These things aren’t supposed to happen here! And more importantly, why the heck are all these people (myself included) just standing around watching this older man, beat up this younger guy?

Unable to help myself, I promptly advanced my car and began honking the horn. I so desperately wanted that man to stop. The long and short of it was that this older man, Iftikhar, pulled this young man out of the car because he had honked the horn of his cab earlier at Iftikhar. Obviously this vicious beating was the perfect way to get back at him. The crowd stuck around for a bit, got tired of watching him beat the boy up, and eventually left in search of their next entertainment.

How can anyone do that? Beat another person? Hollywood and the likes obviously find it a greatly satisfying sell of macho-madness to have more blood and gore in a scene, but it is just an extremely disturbing sight. Ignore that it is Ramadan; ignore that one or both of the men may be fasting; it’s stupid things like these that give Karachi it’s violent and unforgiving image, when it isn’t supposed to be like that.

22 Comments so far

  1. shobz (unregistered) on September 15th, 2007 @ 9:06 pm

    too much testosterone.

  2. Ahmed (unregistered) on September 15th, 2007 @ 9:32 pm

    Next time it happens, step in and stop it. If you can’t stop it physically, tell others to do it. If you can’t even do that, feel bad about it and realize it was unfortunate. You’ve done more than your share. Thanks.

  3. Phil (unregistered) on September 15th, 2007 @ 9:46 pm

    Nice TV show Rabia :D This is Pakistan, this stuff happens all the time, although it shouldn’t…!

  4. br0ke (unregistered) on September 15th, 2007 @ 10:16 pm


  5. DAMNIT (unregistered) on September 15th, 2007 @ 10:27 pm

    how do u know his name was iftikhar? why didn’t the young man (age 24) defend himself against an old man Iftikhar?

  6. MENSHEVIK (unregistered) on September 15th, 2007 @ 10:46 pm

    why didnt you call the police????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

  7. confus3d (unregistered) on September 16th, 2007 @ 12:28 am

    maybe the old man was father of his girl friend?

  8. Paidagir (unregistered) on September 16th, 2007 @ 12:32 am


    lolz police.

  9. HITMAN (unregistered) on September 16th, 2007 @ 12:51 am

    I dont know abt the yound cab driver, but those who honk too often & simply for nothing should be dealt like that.

  10. Kashif (unregistered) on September 16th, 2007 @ 1:25 am

    You should have called 15

  11. SELF (unregistered) on September 16th, 2007 @ 1:25 am

    This happens abroad too. Honking needlessly at others amounts to swearing at them and if they won’t come over and beat you they will at least show you the finger.

  12. MB (unregistered) on September 16th, 2007 @ 2:01 am

    “How can anyone do that? Beat another person? ”

    Rabia ,Do you really live and blog from Karachi ?
    Are you new here ?
    No but seriously i was shocked to read such innocent questions. The beat scene was supposed to be a 5-times a day prayer kinda thingy in KHI.

    Not that i approve it but whats to shock in it.

  13. Notonebuttwo (unregistered) on September 16th, 2007 @ 2:47 am

    The shock is that we all take it in so casually now, including some folks who commented here. The fact that this is considered an everyday occurance in Karachi does not mean we should not consider it wrong. Rabia is making a point of how debased our people are becoming. Granted honking is unpleasant but beating someone is worse. Its the blaze attitude with which Karachi people talk of violence and of violent deaths, that is shocking and should be, else it would mean we have lost all our conscience. Violence only begets violence, this cycle will not end UNLESS we acknowledge its wrong and do not partake in it.

  14. iD (unregistered) on September 16th, 2007 @ 3:21 am


    you may be right about nothing shocking in someone beating up another one in Karachi
    but isnt it about the time we should change our attitude and do something about it? something like AHMED suggested in his reply?

  15. mantissa (unregistered) on September 16th, 2007 @ 6:46 am


    In spite of this being common (unfortunately), first of all you’re reporting this is a step in the right direction. Publicity of such happenings need to be conducted on a wider and on a media rich scale? What does that mean? For one, what I would have done:

    i) I would first try to encourage people at the gathering to physically stop the fight.

    ii) Should things not improve, I might take pictures (clearly ones that capture the faces of the miscreant(s)) or perhaps a video with my cellphone.

    iii) I would anonymously post these videos/pictures to the web (lest someone should recognize the chaps involved) and/or forward a copy anonymously to the CPLC.

    I’ve heard of numerous scenarios (this at least holds true for some countries), where posting such ‘evidence’ on the web eventually led to the person(s) involved being brought forward because of the failure of the justice system to take action itself (in case it didn’t).

    It’s one thing for the justice system to hold the people accountable, it’s another for the people to put the justice system in the limelight as well. With things going haywire as it is with enforcement out here in Karachi, I think it’s time we the citizens turn things up a notch.

  16. mantissa (unregistered) on September 16th, 2007 @ 6:49 am

    @menshevik, @kashif:

    There’ve been several occasions where I’ve tried to call 15 (for very legitimate reasons), and nobody picked up the phone! Who do we call?!

  17. JACKnJILL (unregistered) on September 16th, 2007 @ 10:48 am


    then you shud give them a call for any ILLEGITIMATE reason just to check whether they pick up the phone to handle dirty matters ;)

  18. Ali K.Chishti (unregistered) on September 16th, 2007 @ 4:35 pm

    Our culture is violent ; in the UK – we can’t blame the police for everything – its us the commoners’ who need to change .

  19. Me (unregistered) on September 16th, 2007 @ 4:56 pm


    I once had the chance of calling 15 and they picked up the phone, were very prompt and helpful. I saw a car at korangi that i thought had an accident because of the way the driver was sitting/leaning on the streeing wheel. I called 15 and told them about the situation. Later they called and thanked and told me not to worry because they had gone and checked the car. It turned out that i was wrong. Even then, they were extremely courteous and helpful. We never give them a chance to help us. Plus, people make so many prank calls to them (too much time on the hands of the people in Pakistan and we’re all about jokes and making fun of others isn’t it? that’s our idea of “having fun”). Type ’15 prank call’ in youtube and see one example for yourself. I don’t think we deserve any such services.

  20. Red_Munk!! (unregistered) on September 17th, 2007 @ 3:51 am

    Its like this every Ramadan. Waise hi log pagloun ki tarah chalate hain gaari, during Ramadan as soon as the clock strikes 5 pm, the entire public turns into blood thirsty savages.
    I see 3-4 accidents/fight everyday. (not gloating, just stating the facts).

    If Phibes ever wants to follow up ZIBAKHANA, he has a ready made script right here.

    “GET OFF THE ROAD! – Its Ramadan :|”

    Till a couppala years ago, I always heard positive impressions of “MADADGAR 15″… these days its a mixed response with more ppl slagging them off……just your luck or the mood the telephone opp is in I guess…Just recite Ayat-ul-Kursi before dialing! :)

  21. Khalid Shah (unregistered) on September 17th, 2007 @ 4:38 pm

    Rabia! 24 is not a kid anymore. He must be a young man but probably did not retaliate either because of respect or fear. This is common scene in Karachi but it is responsibility of the Govt. and not empty handed citizens (specially ladies) to stop such fights. While reporting such incidents to police is our duty but, most of the people who do it once, tell their next generations not to do it again.

  22. Nabeel (unregistered) on September 17th, 2007 @ 9:13 pm

    What a coincidence…I happen to have witnessed three fistfights today…one on sharae faisal,one inside Technocity and one just outside Unicenter…the first street fight involved a taxi driver,the second a rickshaw driver…a friend commented that they were fighting because they were experiencing drug withdrawal (ghutka,niswar,nicotine,whatever)…

    i don’t know how true that is…but lots of people were trying to stop the fights that i saw…good thing i guess.

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