Escaping Chaos – A personal account

My brother and I were near jail road when I heard about the death of BB and decided to jet home (which is near Millenium Mall). While going down Stadium Road towards Dalmia, we saw traffic being diverted towards Gulshan-e-Iqbal to the right.We took the route in to end up at University Road and decided to take right from the NIPA bridge, however the traffic was gridlocked and it seemed that the only logical route to take was to reverse slightly and head towards Gulshan Chowrangi.

After waiting for over 20 mins, we started seeing crowds of people frantically walking towards us and passing us, looking back over their shoulders. One of the people told us that cars were set ablaze just over the NIPA bridge, as if they were running from something. A few moments later we heard some screaming, smashing of glass and when we looked behind us, barely 4-5 cars away, a car was set ablaze right under NIPA bridge.

We left our car and were just about to walk towards safety when we saw the gridlock clear. We too started our car and moved it into safety and decided to walk home. Scores of people were also walking back and forth, in a state of panic, unable to get in touch with their loved ones.

We walked through Gulshan e Iqbal and after being turned back from lanes leading back to University Road, we managed to cross the street from the bridge opposite Sir Syed University and walked through Gulshan-e-Iqbal.

We walked through something that looked like a Kachi Abadi in the middle of Gulshan-e-Iqbal and kept walking until we reached the back end of Shantinagar, here we came across people carrying crates of drinks, lubricants, soap etc and it seemed apparent from their words that this stuff was looted in the violence. We knew we were close to Dalmia Road, and reached it soon, only to find it looking like a ghost town with burning cars and tyres on the road. We crossed the road and walked into the Naval Area on the opposite side and exited through Gulshan e Jamal to get home finally.

Over 90 mins of a walk, through several areas, each appearing to be strongholds of different political parties, through areas laden with and the smell of burning materials in the air, with panic and fear on many faces, and darkness that lurked through many streets.

Wishing everyone across the country safety and praying that things settle down soon.

27 Comments so far

  1. CBS Radio News Los Angeles (unregistered) on December 27th, 2007 @ 11:39 pm

    I am a news producer for CBS News in Los Angeles. It is about 11:30 PM Pakistan time right now. I am hoping I can do a phone interview with one of the bloggers who has been posting here, about the situation after the assassination, and your own thoughts about events, and the future.

    Please email me for my contact number. djsinger@cbs.com


  2. CBS Radio News Los Angeles (unregistered) on December 27th, 2007 @ 11:41 pm

    I am a news producer for CBS News in Los Angeles. It is about 11:30 PM Pakistan time right now. I am hoping I can do a phone interview with one of the bloggers who has been posting here, about the situation after the assassination, and your own thoughts about events, and the future.

    Please email me for my contact number. djsinger@cbs.com


  3. d0ct0r (unregistered) on December 28th, 2007 @ 12:04 am

    what about your car? left it on the road?


  4. Wahidi (unregistered) on December 28th, 2007 @ 12:22 am

    is ne1 aware how the situation is on stadium road….alll the way down to LaRosh…..


  5. Balma (unregistered) on December 28th, 2007 @ 12:24 am

    Doctor, jaan bachee to laakho’n paayae, and you are worried about his car?
    What is wrong with you?


  6. IUnknown (unregistered) on December 28th, 2007 @ 12:26 am

    @balma: you are just enjoying all such stuff. it wud be better if u shut for a day at least


  7. kzr (unregistered) on December 28th, 2007 @ 12:37 am

    Balma seems to have a habit of posting his lame comments…people like you are annoying! The country’s situation is tense, people are getting attacked and here you are enjoying yourself making ridiculous comments instead of constructive ones. Sometimes I wish that people like you remain illiterate so that you don’t have to open your mouth or i wish that your internet doesn’t work cause all you do is add fuel to fire. I agree with IUNKNOWN please shut it.


  8. d0ct0r (unregistered) on December 28th, 2007 @ 12:44 am

    @Balma its obvious that he made home safely on foot leaving his car near NIPA bridge so naturally am concerned about the fate of his car


  9. ShahidnUSA (unregistered) on December 28th, 2007 @ 12:50 am

    Very sad.. any loss of life is sad.
    My coworker who is from philipine,told me about the news, she seemed very sad. I had to leave work early.
    Please stay safe and stay home and if comment here, please use KIND WORDS for eachother.


  10. d0ct0r (unregistered) on December 28th, 2007 @ 12:51 am

    cars cost fortune these days and it’d be a great loss if some one no matter how rich he is looses his car in violent mayhem and havoc like this..


  11. Balma (unregistered) on December 28th, 2007 @ 12:57 am

    OK doc ok.


  12. Hannah Valentine (unregistered) on December 28th, 2007 @ 2:00 am

    We’re all hearing, watching and reading about everything that’s going on. Thank you for all the updates; it’s very helpful to hear what’s going on from people that are actually there.

    I hope all of you are safe, we’re thinking about you and hope that everything settles down soon.


  13. d0ct0r (unregistered) on December 28th, 2007 @ 2:35 am

    many people are staying back at their offices/work place.. and 3 days of closure have been announced.. i hope they all reach their homes safely.. especially working women


  14. Bolshevik (unregistered) on December 28th, 2007 @ 4:08 am

    I’m stuck at work and we don’t have food either. The News ki team will die of hunger tonight. :(


  15. d0ct0r (unregistered) on December 28th, 2007 @ 4:24 am

    u can enjoy some barbecued cars


  16. Pakistani (unregistered) on December 28th, 2007 @ 5:05 am

    hey there, i just wanted to share my story on the road tonight. as soon as i left work at around 6 pm i was on the agha khan road. it was one of the worst traffic jams in karachi. panic everywhere…people driving their motor bikes on the foot paths, they don’t care about their vehicles..they just want to get home as soon as possible ..and be with their loved ones. Then you had this other set of people taking advantage of the situation. A guy comes to me when i’m in my car. “Sir, Kaise hai aap? (How are you?)” *Points his gun at me* and asks for my cellphone. My reply “Sir, Aap halaat dekh rahay hai?..phone nahi chal rahay” (Do you know what the situation is?..cellphones aren’t working)..he smiles, abuses me *still smiling* snatches my cellphone and goes towards the next car. What can i do in this situation?..what can anyone do in this situation?…pray?


  17. Pakistani (unregistered) on December 28th, 2007 @ 5:06 am

    hey there, i just wanted to share my story on the road tonight. as soon as i left work at around 6 pm i was on the agha khan road. it was one of the worst traffic jams in karachi. panic everywhere…people driving their motor bikes on the foot paths, they don’t care about their vehicles..they just want to get home as soon as possible ..and be with their loved ones. Then you had this other set of people taking advantage of the situation. A guy comes to me when i’m in my car. “Sir, Kaise hai aap? (How are you?)” *Points his gun at me* and asks for my cellphone. My reply “Sir, Aap halaat dekh rahay hai?..phone nahi chal rahay” (Do you know what the situation is?..cellphones aren’t working)..he smiles, abuses me *still smiling* snatches my cellphone and goes towards the next car. What can i do in this situation?..what can anyone do in this situation?…pray?


  18. d0ct0r (unregistered) on December 28th, 2007 @ 5:17 am

    all over the city there have been reports of mobile snatching and mugging.. i don’t think our public would ever start acting in a civilized manner


  19. Hassan baleegh (unregistered) on December 28th, 2007 @ 6:44 am

    CIVILIZED MANNER?!?!!… you really think a person who snatches mobiles for a living could EVER act civilized?..
    UPDATE!… my friend at nipa bridge had an interesting story…

    people standing at the bridge were snatching mobiles,money,even tearing clothes of some people… and just in case you were unfortunate enough to carry NOTHING of value with you…. they will BEAT you down…

    Theres some good news too…. my dad was stuck in a jam on expressway going towards shara-e-faisal….. when people heard of the situation…they left their vehicles and stepped onto the road..the families gathered at a place opposites to city school…. a half kilometer walk from their cars…. at that point they stayed terrible scared a ahead at the Baloch pull they were burning down cars. THey were stuck since 9.
    by 12 the rangers intervened and chased the troublemakers away and cleared the roads for the cars to leave and for people to reach their families to safety…

    BTW… no one seems to have mentioned the fact that the landlines were almost blocked… and mobile networks of ufone,warid,telenor were completely jammed….. FURTHER hindering people from contacting their loved ones…


  20. Balma (unregistered) on December 28th, 2007 @ 9:09 am

    Doctor pai, I have been saying for a muddat now that Paksitanis are too many, too uneducated, shameless, gutless, bunch of budtameez.
    tussee ko abhi akal (I nkow I know it is aqal) aayae ae?

    And, aree bolshovit…baRaa revoultion revolution kar rahee thee, ab dikhaa apnaa revolution…saalee jub toom jaisay underages ko Pakistan kee tareekh nahi’n maaloom, toe kyoon budtameezo’n kaa saath detee ho….lay ab khaa apnaa revolution.
    ab bhugat.


  21. peggy (unregistered) on December 28th, 2007 @ 9:46 am

    I have been reading here for quite some time. So sorry to see the troubles in Pakistan. I hope everyone is safe and that things settle down soon.


  22. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on December 28th, 2007 @ 10:16 am

    Ok we guys like many others to take shelter in near by areas like defence etc but I was just wondering how working ladies would have managed to reach home. As I saw myself many ladies were tense and upset due to absence of public transport in Clifton and Gizri road was already set on fire. I hope and pray all those ladies would have reached home safely.

    Public transports like Richshaw,taxi as usual proved themselves Pakistani and demanded extra charges.


  23. Inspirex (unregistered) on December 28th, 2007 @ 10:36 am

    yes indeed. whatever public transport is available, is over charging. But there is very liited amounts of any to be found.

    my car is safe guys (I hope). Have parked it inside a residential area inside gulshan some distance from the road. Hopeufully will be safe there.


  24. entitled-to-opinions (unregistered) on December 28th, 2007 @ 4:46 pm

    blue, oh my gosh.. im so glad youre okay!
    smelly.


  25. IUnknown (unregistered) on December 28th, 2007 @ 6:51 pm

    lol @balma: yeh reporters saray pindi main hongay is waqt ya phir interior sindh main. To sell their news paper. Now all of sudden, all of the “tehreeks” have been stopped

    Where is the CJ now a days? :)


  26. Ping Pong (unregistered) on January 2nd, 2008 @ 5:20 am

    Come on Pakistan,the world is watching and waiting for goodness,kindness and respect to prevail and this message comes from someone residing in one of the most unreligeous countries in the world,but in times of crisis we would never treat our fellow human beings like some of the distressing stories quoted here.BE NICE PLEASE. Thoughts go with you all Ping Pong


  27. Ping Pong (unregistered) on January 2nd, 2008 @ 5:23 am

    Come on Pakistan,the world is watching and waiting for goodness,kindness and respect to prevail and this message comes from someone residing in one of the most unreligeous countries in the world,but in times of crisis we would never treat our fellow human beings like some of the distressing stories quoted here.BE NICE PLEASE. Thoughts go with you all Ping Pong



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