Why Karachi Sucks: Security

The problem more serious than any other problem faced by Karachi today is security.

If a common man is worried about something as ridiculous as his mobile phone getting snatched, then the city has some serious issues.

Add that to car lifting, robbing, stealing, killing, and you have a city with security chaos at its peak.

The security problem in Karachi is very real. Anyone who denies it is an ignorant. If it is not dealt with immediately it might have catastrophic consequences.

What people can do

Well, all that we can do is be careful. Realize that you can be a victim too. The feeling that it has never happened to me before so it will not happen to me ever is fool’s dream. It’s not wise to risk our lives intentionaly. Avoid dark, empty streets while walking or driving. Don’t take out your wallet or mobile phone in the street. Do not resist an attempted robbery. Last but not the least, report any incidents to the authorities, even though they might not be the most helpful people around.

What government can do

It’s very easy for the government to take care of this security problem. They have to organize the security enforcement agencies in such a way that people feel safe in their presence (how to do that is another debate beyond the scope of this post). Additionally, the government should make laws that make it impossible for stolen goods to be sold in the market.

If Karachi had been a safe city over the last 20 years, all the progress that we see today would have been done several years ago.

The series “Why Karachi Sucks” is aimed at highlighting the most serious problems that make Karachi a tough city to survive in. The contents of the post might be at-your-face and nothing more than bitter truth. The intention is not to make our city look bad, but to be realistic enough to face the facts as they are, instead of sugar coating them.

43 Comments so far

  1. Tee Emm (unregistered) on May 7th, 2007 @ 5:47 pm

    Searching for big cities without security problems……Error 404.

  2. umar (unregistered) on May 7th, 2007 @ 5:52 pm

    Tee Emm, I agree cities around the world have their own share of security problems, but cities like NYC, Chicago, London, Tokyo, and so on, are not chaotic. Over there common people feel safe in streets, and if and when incidents do occur, police cooperate with them to the maximum.

  3. Obi Wan Kenobi (unregistered) on May 7th, 2007 @ 7:00 pm

    Umar, almost all readers suggested you not to use this subject for your posts but you don’t seem to care. You should be more considerate.

  4. Sajid (unregistered) on May 7th, 2007 @ 7:18 pm

    Atleast select a better topic, highlighting problem and social issue is ok, but selecting words for a topic matters. This topic is very rash

  5. Arsalaan Haleem (unregistered) on May 7th, 2007 @ 7:26 pm

    Umar, you have compared Karachi with the cities of rich, deveoped countries. How about comparing it with those of developing countries?

    You will find that Karachi is much better off than countless other cities world over.

  6. BitterTruth (unregistered) on May 7th, 2007 @ 9:02 pm

    Tee Emm has certainly typed the wrong address :)..try your search on European countries particularly, Sweden, Norway and Germany. Hiding the weaknesses isn’t the answer but the headline should be different.
    @Arsalan Karachi is much better from many cities perhaps but it doesn’t imply we ignore security problems.

  7. international (unregistered) on May 7th, 2007 @ 9:20 pm

    Dude, we need to be cognizant of the fact that this is an international blog that everyone around the world reads for information about Karachi. I always thought of metblogs.com as a venue for those who love their city to share their observations etc. as well as provide reviews/updates of various happenings, events, etc in the city. When a posting with such a negative title is seen, it brings into question the motives and loyalty of the blogger to his city. While I do acknowledge whatever you have said is true, I don’t know if this site is the appropriate place for your grievances.

    Just my 2 cents.

  8. Red_Munk!! (unregistered) on May 7th, 2007 @ 9:57 pm

    “It’s very easy for the government to take care of this security problem”


    u serious?

    this gov is gonna want to stop crime!

    apni rozi pe kyoun laat marein ge?

    Guys, cut him some slack. Instead of acting all high and mighty, admit there are problems and come up with solutions.

    True that it may only fill up a few kb’s on the MetroBlogging servers, but atleast some ppl will get brilliant advice. Such as:

    “Avoid dark, empty streets while walking or driving.”

    “Don’t take out your wallet or mobile phone in the street.”

    “Do not resist an attempted robbery.”

    You forgot

    “Dont talk to strangers”

    & the most important of em all

    “Never take candy from someone you dont know”!!!

  9. pkhan (unregistered) on May 7th, 2007 @ 11:47 pm

    @ Umar
    Writting something is as good as implementing> Why not come up with suggestions for the higher up to do? With a growing population what our people(CiTIZENS)are doing? Are these mobile phones INSURED? You need to start a PROGRAMME CALLED NEIGHBOR HOOD WATCH?Where there are committees of Neighbors who will keep an EYE on any Suspicious ACTIVITY.We need to be Vigilant as some one said take precautions.

  10. Kumail (unregistered) on May 8th, 2007 @ 12:08 am

    I wonder if Umars mind is stuck in some high school in the 90s. Or did just get an overdose of 90210 recently. Why Karachi Sucks is the worst title for any series – this metroblog seriously needs to get some form of editorial supervision. Whats next, Umar making a list and calling it 10 things i hate about the nazim.
    in the name of all you hold holy, grow up umar. Please!

  11. d0ct0r (unregistered) on May 8th, 2007 @ 12:12 am

    a journalist asked our MQM’s Advisor to CM Waseem Akhtar(who is taking care of sindh’s interior ministry) about growing number of cell phone snatching cases in the city and the response he got was that its no big deal even Bush’s daughter lost her cellphone like that…

  12. Salman A. (unregistered) on May 8th, 2007 @ 12:30 am

    security is karachi’s biggest concern at the moment. it should be the first and the foremost responsibility of the govt. if the authorities are not capable enough to bring law and order, they should resign. These ‘haram khore’ IG’s and DIG’s should be fired and prosecuted. they should not be forgiven for their negligence which in their case is a crime against humanity.

  13. d0ct0r (unregistered) on May 8th, 2007 @ 12:41 am

    plus security issues are very much there and just closing our eyes and negating them simply won’t help.. a city where goons from certain party can go on rampage and threaten cable operators to close down or threaten shop keepers to close down when ever they want seriously has some problems.. and there is nothing wrong with highlighting these problems.. that won’t make karachi inferior as compared to other cities.. when a patient is ill and he keeps on ignoring it then it’ll get worse and even surgery won’t be able to help him later so its wise to deal with problems at the initial stages instead of closing our eyes and pretending that “All is good” ..

    but the title isn’t right… my personal opinion is that it should have been something like “karachiite’s suffering” or “karachiite’s problems”

  14. d0ct0r (unregistered) on May 8th, 2007 @ 12:58 am

    a place where person facing 21 cases of heinous crimes(like murder,extortion etc) managed to become governor of the province and you’re blaming those IGs and DIGs .. with criminal superiors on the top what can these dummy IGs and DIGs do.. all the TPOs(town police officer) these days are being posted on the recomendation of 90(MQM’s Headoffice) ..

  15. Salman A. (unregistered) on May 8th, 2007 @ 1:20 am

    Dear Doctor Sahab,
    If that is true, then Karachiites should pay the price for electing the same crooks over and over again. It’s a wake up call for them.

  16. Shabbir (unregistered) on May 8th, 2007 @ 2:07 am

    Hi all,
    Been in the US for 13 years. Left Karachi when I was 18. Have tickets to go back in June with American wife and 18 month old son. After reading all these things, I am really scared and am seriously considering cancelling the trip.

    Am I being overly paranoid here or should I put my family at risk and go?

    Please advise.


  17. Salman A. (unregistered) on May 8th, 2007 @ 3:03 am

    thousands like you come here everyday. you are no exception. just make sure that your kid(s) are properly vaccinated.

  18. Sufi (unregistered) on May 8th, 2007 @ 3:23 am

    Shabbir, stop being paranoid and do visit Karachi. Karachi has security issues, but most of them are avoidable. Make sure you are picked up from the airport by someone who is a resident of Karachi. Travel in Karachi with people who know the city and you will be fine.

    Cell phone snatching happens to people who are on foot or on bikes (in most of the cases). Malls are safe, parks are safe, restaurants are safe, just don’t be at dark empty shady places at late hours or even during the day.

  19. original-faisal (unregistered) on May 8th, 2007 @ 5:07 am

    Wah, Umar wah!

    It just does not matter what others think.
    All their objections and advice against this
    choice of topic was to naught.

    What Unaiza-esqe type of behavior; Give not
    a damn to others opinions.

    A glorious example of pride and ego at play.

  20. Neena (unregistered) on May 8th, 2007 @ 6:00 am


    Good work! So now we know why our city is going down hill because we all like to hide our necks under the sand.

    To All,

    KBM authors are doing a great job by writing everything Karachi. Karachi will go down unless we change our thinking. Try to identify the problem so that we can find a solution.

  21. Red_Munk!! (unregistered) on May 8th, 2007 @ 6:13 am

    @ Shabbir.

    Dont worry. Stuffs may “seem” bad, but what city is perfect.

    Like everywhere else, you have to be responsible for youself. Be it safety or anything else.

    Avoid the troubled area’s, keep a low profile & ull be just fine.

    Although u might need to keep an open outlook as i dont know what ure expecting KHI to be like (Might not be as u thought/remembered).

    Gl ;).

  22. zeeshan syed (unregistered) on May 8th, 2007 @ 9:03 am

    I totally agree with the author. Also, THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH THE TITLE OF THIS POST. Karachi DOES suck and it sucks MORE than it should.

  23. ronin1770 (unregistered) on May 8th, 2007 @ 10:18 am

    thing which I hate the most is load-shedding

    although – we can use load-shedding to boast over national revenue – we can ask all governments of the world to send their hardened criminals (who don’t confess) to karachi. Due to all of the above mentioned problems – (esp load shedding during 42 C day) – will CONFESS within an hour :)

  24. MB (unregistered) on May 8th, 2007 @ 10:25 am

    I completely agree to UMAR’s “What people can do” part but not with the “What police can do” part.

    The police part is trying to look at the issue only at its surface. The reality inside is related to very low salary, lack of will on gov part, interference in police matters by political parties & after these then comes the latest equipment & infrastructure part.

    Thats what i think are the real issues.

  25. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on May 8th, 2007 @ 11:29 am

    Searching for big cities without security problems……Error 404

    hahha! wah Tariq Sahab! :-)

  26. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on May 8th, 2007 @ 11:37 am

    Umar Siddiqi, I also second others that the choice of topic is not less pathetic than the problems we have been facing here. You seriously disappointed me. You might be facing less problems than thousands of karachiites in city. I am sure people wouldn’t say something like “Karachi sucks!” who travel daily from Tower to Surjani on local buses. Did you say to your home ‘It sucks’ when you faced some problem? I don’t think so. If you are so irritated then why don’t you leave this city? Such mentality can’t be helpful for our city.

  27. Extiinct (unregistered) on May 8th, 2007 @ 12:09 pm

    It’s funny how we curse our city to our heart’s content but when it becomes the title of a post, our backs go up in righteous indignation.

    True patriotism? or just another form of hypocrisy?

    We need to decide what offends us more. The title given to the series. Or the fact that the problems are being talked about on a forum that has readership from all over the world and we “need” to present a hopeful if not rosy picture.

    Lets face it. Things highlighted in the why Karachi sucks series really do suck. they’re not bad. they’re not on their way to getting better. They’re getting worse.

  28. Jamal Shamsi (unregistered) on May 8th, 2007 @ 12:29 pm

    Safe ?? where and who ??

    – No body is safe anywhere if the LAW does not exist.

    If King of Saudi Arabia suspend the Supreme Qazi of KSA, & Ruler of UAE announce Suspension of Supreme Ruler Council in less then 15 minutes of announcement, gang rapes, murders, car snatching, mobile snatching, etc etc will encapsulate the whole of supposedly SAFE Heaven of Middle East.

    I hope many of us remember the riots in Los Angeles, and Chaos in New York. They ALL Got an opportunity and they came out Natural.

    Safety is because of LAW Implementation, and its applicability in day to day life of people.

    be it traffic, be it human rights, etc etc if the rule of law is Above All and the supremacy of Law defines Justice to ALL, there would be less of problems and complaints.

    — MY Question —

    Would the CJ be impartial and Neutral in making a decision if and when he is restored and cases comes to his office proceeded by his supporters and council. Would he be not biased knowing that they were HIS support in troubled time and should be favored now when they need HIM —

    LAW – Does not exist in Pakistan., so its not Karachi only – Pakistan is not safe, in General.

    why whinning about Karachi only.

  29. ash (unregistered) on May 8th, 2007 @ 12:43 pm

    Loads of people including my all time fave cowasjee are critical. This is nothing like that. This is as intellectual and as offensive as posting a pic of a man peeing onto oncoming traffic. Just post that next time and spare the author his misery.
    I didnt agree with the title it was childish and the text is even more so. The best argument this writer has come up with is “oh, its so easy to fix law and order why doesnt the govt just do that?”
    The naivete and immaturity of the content just doesnt justify the disrespect. Does KMB have any quality control at all? this thread needs to go, or people supporting it need to say something that isnt completely imbecilic.

  30. Red_Munk!! (unregistered) on May 8th, 2007 @ 1:38 pm

    “This is as intellectual and as offensive as posting a pic of a man peeing onto oncoming traffic. Just post that next time and spare the author his misery”

    Here you go:


    ^ , ^

  31. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on May 8th, 2007 @ 3:39 pm

    Would he be not biased knowing that they were HIS support in troubled time and should be favored now when they need HIM

    How could you predict for something which has not happened yet? could Pakistanis ever expect that a law person would stand infront of a dictator. Don’t underestimate him my friend! let the time decide itself.

  32. Khaaksaar (unregistered) on May 8th, 2007 @ 5:46 pm

    A Karachi without crime, is it possible? Is it justified to hide the wrong-doings in Karachi?
    When compairing dacoits with kidnappers, both kill for money, both terrorise people, both have guns, both are ruthless. To forgive them is a crime itself. Then i wonder why the punishment for kidnappers is more and less for dacoits. Why are dacoits not treated as terrorist? Don’t dacoits TERRORISE people ? Why do dacoits get bailed out? Many in Karachi fear to register an FIR just because they are scared that they will be killed by decoits when they are out on bail.
    Just today Tuesday, May 08, 2007 in The News International newspaper, in Karachi news pages, there is a crime story about a Telephone lineman Zeeshan, in Aarambagh Karachi, who abducted a ten-year-old child when he was playing in the Aarambagh Park near his house and sodomised the child, he not only sodomised the child, but he also hit the child with a hammer, so much so that the childs head was bleeding, on March 14th by the Telephone lineman Zeeshan. Abducting also means KIDNAPPING, to take away by fraud or violence. It was simply an act of TERRORISM. I presume that the FIR against Zeeshan Telephone lineman was not registered as a terrorist act in accordence with the terrorist law, because if it had been, then the telephone lineman would not be out to harass and terrify the mother of the Mazloom child to withdraw the case by different ways as stated in the newspaper.

  33. XYZ (unregistered) on May 8th, 2007 @ 6:45 pm

    Umar: The series is interesting but you need to change the title, it is not professional. You can rather word it as: Areas of Improvment for Karachi, or Problems/issues in Karachi, or Thins I would like to change in Karachi, etc etc. PLEASE change it, its a humble request. Thank you.

  34. Concerned (unregistered) on May 8th, 2007 @ 8:32 pm


    Why do u blame everything wrong in Khi on MQM? seriously, I dont even have to read your post to know its going to be something Anti MQM.

    You sound like someone who is really burning up inside. do something abt this dude, before your anger consumes you.

  35. ash (unregistered) on May 9th, 2007 @ 3:50 am

    Thanks red monk…too bad the author decided to keep his post when your pic would have been a much more acceptable substitute.
    thought of the day :

    “If Karachi had been a safe city over the last 20 years, all the progress that we see today would have been done several years ago”

    so either safety is not neccessary for progress or karachi today is very safe. Which one genius? :)

  36. Khaaksaar (unregistered) on May 9th, 2007 @ 10:11 am

    Yes, Umar the series is good, but you need to change the title from this recent one to a well dignified one.

  37. Faraz (unregistered) on May 9th, 2007 @ 1:17 pm

    Woah! Take it easy guys. I had no idea the word “sucks” could arouse so much anger. Personally, I don’t think the use of the word is over-the-top. Come on guys, it’s the Internet. People say a lot worse things. :)

    But Umar, for your series to be useful and to encourage debate on the issue rather than on a silly title, lets just change the name.

  38. Yousuf (unregistered) on May 11th, 2007 @ 1:11 am

    @ Shabbir,

    Here is some advice on how to get home safely.(lessons I learnt the hard way)
    1. DO NOT take lot of jewelry along
    2. Do not carry lot of cash. Wire money if you have to.
    3. If your flight is arriving at night or early morning be extra careful. If possible schedule to arrive during day.
    4. Make sure few people are there to receive and to keep a watchful eye on your luggage and people around.
    5. Don’t spend lot of time of at the airport.
    6. If possible have someone follow you in a different car to make sure nobody else is following you.
    7. Tell your family not to broadcast your arrival to all the masis, chowkidars, etc etc

    8. RELAX. It should be fine. Enjoy your trip !

    I go there almost every year, and two years back we had this grand robbery. ‘Bhais’ entered our house as we were entering (arriving from airport). All my wife’s jewelry ( there was a family wedding) , all our suitcases (packed) , and our house was cleaned up..and it was shaq-e-qadr… :(

    However, I haven’t stopped going, just more careful.

  39. Ramla A. (unregistered) on May 13th, 2007 @ 3:53 pm

    What sucks even more truly is how our deepest personal motives drive our largest actions.

    At the heart of the “Karachi Sucks” series is, I have to say, a diversion from Unaiza’s “Karachi Rocks” posts. Nothing more, nothing less.

  40. Ramla A. (unregistered) on May 13th, 2007 @ 4:00 pm

    @ Umar:

    Think of something better. You have to understand: a lot of violence around us is the result of increasing negativity and… inanity. Have a sense of responsibility to the people who read these blogs with involvement and get affected by them. Consider what impact your writing is creating just so you can take wrath away from the “Karachi Rocks” series.
    Both are very patronizing and written truly from the Ivory Towers.

  41. Arsalaan Haleem (unregistered) on May 13th, 2007 @ 4:34 pm

    Ramla, well, my points exactly.

    Let’s see, whether Umar heeds our collective advice from next week on or not.

  42. IMAM (unregistered) on May 14th, 2007 @ 5:34 pm

    I think the young generation should all stand up and rise against the elders, because they have made our life a living hell, with all their selfish aganedas, they have forgotton about the future of the children of pakistan, We want justice, And an end to this corruptive practices by all quarters who say what they do not do!

    Pakistan is our country and whatever we are we will all stand united when it comes to protecting our citizens and our Army, we will not be bullied by external forces trying to muscle in without our consent, Pakistan is a beautiful country and we welcome our guests to help us alleviate poverty and help us build a bettr Pakistan.

  43. IMAM (unregistered) on May 14th, 2007 @ 5:36 pm

    I see so there is no freedom of speech in this country well I am afraid that is all going to change very shortly, because our Govt also encourages freedom of speech and the truth is something which cannot be hidden from all of us.

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