Q-and-A: Citizens Campaign to Reclaim Karachi
Looks like quite a few questions have sprung up regarding the campaign. I’ll try to answer them here in this post.
Q: Is this campaign the brainchild of KMB authors?
A: No. T2f director, Sabeen Mahmud, came up with the idea soon after the October 18 bomb blasts. We at KMB are merely a part of the campaign, as are a whole load of other people, because we’re citizens of Karachi.
Q: Why have a campaign at all?
A: The masses need to be involved in the process of taking control of their own city. This is OUR city. It does not belong to so-called politicians who come to roost here occassionally.
Q: What is the purpose of the campaign?
A: The purpose is to raise awareness, and hopefully set the ball rolling towards a mass movement to take Karachi back.
The Karachi portrayed on the cover of NewsWeek is NOT our Karachi. That is NOT what 98 percent of it’s awam are about, and this is not the legacy we want to leave behind for our future generations. We need to speak up NOW before the hyperactive two percent takes control of our city and totally ruins it. Karachi needs to be salvaged.
To explain further, I’ll quote from an email that I sent out while the campaign was being planned:
We’re becoming a nation that’s being terrorised, silently. We need to speak out against it. The youth should be doing THIS, instead of sitting and counting how much more money they need to make in order to be able to afford some stupid “luxury” that commercialisation makes them think they need. We need to break the silence.
Eradicate the “fear” that you have — “you’ve got nothing to lose but your chains” (Marx said that). Stand up for yourself, and stop allowing these politicians from taking everyone on a ride. The city belongs to the masses — us, and it’s high time we did something about it. Our young people have to realise that we are the descendents of Sufi Shah Inayat Shaheed, Bhagat Singh, and Hassan Naasir (among others).
As for people who tried to allege that this initiative is not or might not be supported by the mainstream media: I’m a journalist, and I’m part of this campaign, so is Beena Sarwar who writes for The News, as well as a number of other very senior journslists.
As Dr Alvi has already mentioned, we will also be organising a protest demonstration outside the Karachi Press Club. Details for this will be available in due time. A “citizens’ charter” is also being prepared, and will be released shortly.
Here’s hoping everyone’s questions have been answered. Feel free to send in more — I’ll add them to this post, and we’ll try our best to answer them.
As stated earlier, irrelevant, off-topic and abusive comments will be slashed / mutilated / killed mercilessly. Follow the rules and keep it civil. ThanQ.