The Circus comes to town

The political circus that is. With Benazir’s arrival scheduled for the 18th at 11 AM at the Karachi International Airport, the whole city has been covered with “Welcome Benazir” paraphernalia. From billboards, to flags to even coloring the Karsaz Flyover in the party colors, the party workers have certainly outdone any previous media campaign welcoming their leader.

Around Bilawal House, the residence of the Benazir Bhutto family in Karachi, the atmosphere resembles that of a carnival, with music blaring from loud speakers, and people dancing on the streets to (mostly) sindhi songs. The kharkhar chorangi is covered in so many billboards and other signage, that the sculpture by Amir Guljee is all but hidden from view now.

What remains to be seen is whether it will actually be as welcoming for her as the party workers seem to be thinking. With the government turning on its heels after the election on the National Reconciliation Ordinance, anything seems possible. Also, the other parties being quiet and not making much fuss could also be that the enmity is just festering just under the surface. A lot of old scores wait to be settled, which could make a gang war on the streets of Karachi all the more likely once again. Add to the mix, the warnings and threats from leaders from FATA and you’ve got a highly senstive issue on your hands.

I, for one, pray for peace in my city. I hope my fellow city dwellers will join hands with me and pray for no bloodshed tomorrow.

Question: Will you go to work tomorrow?

41 Comments so far

  1. irfan (unregistered) on October 17th, 2007 @ 4:47 pm

    MQM zindabad


  2. Äß│Ç│ (unregistered) on October 17th, 2007 @ 5:02 pm

    I personall think that the question should be revised
    Will you go to work tomorrow, willfully?
    The reason is everone knows its not a publis holiday tomorrow, so every employer will ask employees to come by any means, specially after 4 days off.


  3. Äß│Ç│ (unregistered) on October 17th, 2007 @ 5:05 pm

    My Mistake
    Its public not publis (9 th word 3rd line)


  4. mansoor (unregistered) on October 17th, 2007 @ 5:06 pm

    assici: not necessarily. Some employers have given tomorrow as a holiday, and asked people to make up on a saturday.


  5. Ak (unregistered) on October 17th, 2007 @ 5:49 pm

    Nope I won’t, my office is on Shahra e faisal. BTW The sight of her Kids & Mr. 20 % himself sitting on the dais besides her during her press conference in Dubai should be a reality check for anyone naive enough to think for a moment that she’d learned anything from her years of self-imposed exile. Rest assured it’s still very much a family affair & party time. Seeing Zardari gleefully smiling made one shudder just as seeing Mustafa Khar sitting besides the heavy mandate before he was bounced back to Saudi!!


  6. nck (unregistered) on October 17th, 2007 @ 6:02 pm

    Scary thought that she and Zardari are back yet again. Perhaps Musharraf can control her thieving ways this time. Won’t be easy.


  7. Faisal (unregistered) on October 17th, 2007 @ 6:24 pm

    Let your votes decide people! Every vote counts! We can’t let Bhutto and company come back and plunder this country…


  8. GrapeVine (unregistered) on October 17th, 2007 @ 6:42 pm

    An People’s Party insider told me that Mrs. Benazir Zardari is soon going to be Miss Benazir Bhutto again. I didn’t belive him.


  9. Raza (unregistered) on October 17th, 2007 @ 6:58 pm

    I ain’t going to work tomorrow. My office is at Nursery btw.


  10. Sajid (unregistered) on October 17th, 2007 @ 7:11 pm

    Roads to airport closed?


  11. .!. (unregistered) on October 17th, 2007 @ 7:57 pm

    MILITARY THUGS could even sell the country to their lords US if asked.

    US needed a secular poodle to be elected as a next PM so they have it.

    DO PPL STILL LOVE THEIR COUNTRY??????


  12. Ali (unregistered) on October 17th, 2007 @ 8:04 pm

    She added that she hoped love would develop between her and Mr. Zardari as she did not believe in divorce. Miss Bhutto responded in a businesslike tone on the subject of whether she might have taken a different approach at an earlier stage in her life.

    ”My brothers and my sister had love marriages, so I’m the only one in the family not to have one,” she said. ”But I think life is too short for regrets.”

    Source: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9B0DE3D61130F932A05754C0A961948260&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=print

    Published on July 31, 1987


  13. ALAM (unregistered) on October 17th, 2007 @ 8:38 pm

    Altaf Bhai is alone now, BB is divorcing Zardari, and there is going to be some arrangement b/w PPP and MQM.

    Isn’t it high time for Altaf bhai to propose to BB? He could work on her Urdu, and she could improve his English and general manners of spaeaking (not like chakka).

    There would be 3 girls and one boy in the joint family.


  14. Jamal Shamsi (unregistered) on October 17th, 2007 @ 9:58 pm

    people people people :) please please please, do not drift on this…

    ONE will pickup all of us at 8.00AM, then we all will have halwa pori nashta at 8.30 on burns road and grab our seats., tune to 9 indian news channels whose crew have alreay arrived here, for live beam,

    have plan for lunch at Kaiser resturant and back home by 2 pM

    :) so at work it will be party only, as hospitals are t red alert and schools are closed.


  15. heheh (unregistered) on October 17th, 2007 @ 10:40 pm

    Had the Aaqaa not told Altaf bhi, Karachi would be presenting a different picture today and tomorrow…

    Lol…How can one gundaa party see another gunda party dance and be happy….I want to see that…

    http://www.dawn.com/2007/10/09/top11.htm

    LONDON, Oct 8: Muttahida Qaumi Movement chief Altaf Hussain, who is a British national, is said to have agreed to abide by the UK government’s advise to show restraint when PPP chairperson Benazir Bhutto returns to Karachi on October 18 and has issued instructions to the effect to the MQM leadership in Pakistan.

    According to a report published in the Independent on Monday, leadership of the MQM party – which this year was blamed for violence in the city which left 41 dead – has vowed to keep off the streets on her return.

    “Because the MQM leadership is based in London the British are taking the lead and the Americans are working with them,” the newspaper quoted a Western diplomat saying.

    …..


  16. IUnknown (unregistered) on October 17th, 2007 @ 10:46 pm

    yaar wat the hell is this Mush. doing?
    he is willing to handover karachi, to any of his allies whenever he wants.
    he and his allies shud be eliminated from pakistan and we need some decent leaders , imran khan perhaps?


  17. karachiite (unregistered) on October 17th, 2007 @ 10:46 pm

    well – i was watching the news and they showed benazir at this press conference in dubai and it was kinda peculiar that she had two of her daughters on either side of her and amin fahim was on the other side of one daughter and zardari on the other side of the older daughter – he seemed not too interested in hearing what bb had to say – anyway- what is the scoop on the status of zaradari – i guess in the bigger scheme of things it has been decided that he will be sidelined and be allowed to go free and live outside mostly – i have heard that he lives in NY now – has a condo in manhattan and a house in long island.


  18. Faisal (unregistered) on October 17th, 2007 @ 10:57 pm

    Of course he has a condo in manhattan…No use looting all that wealth if you can’t be a little oppulent! ;)


  19. another (unregistered) on October 17th, 2007 @ 11:11 pm

    But wait!
    when you discover that Haider Rizvi and his brothers buy a condo in Manhattan and when
    Ishrat ul Ibad buys a mansion in England.
    Can’t say about Mustafa Kamal but I know certainly lots of money changing hands within MQM.

    So we will have a new class of Feudal lords and jageerdars coming out of FB Area and Nazimabad.


  20. another (unregistered) on October 17th, 2007 @ 11:13 pm

    But wait!
    when you discover that Haider Rizvi and his brothers buy a condo in Manhattan and when
    Ishrat ul Ibad buys a mansion in England.
    Can’t say about Mustafa Kamal but I know certainly lots of money changing hands within MQM.

    So we will have a new class of Feudal lords and jageerdars coming out of FB Area and Nazimabad.


  21. Zee (unregistered) on October 17th, 2007 @ 11:55 pm

    Oh Doctor, Blama or whoever you are, stop posting using other nicks. It’s lame and pathetic.

    ALL roads going to shara-e-faisal will be blocked. THE BITCH IS COMING BACK! Oh Allah, have mercy, please save us! PLEASE!


  22. Balma kee Salma (unregistered) on October 18th, 2007 @ 12:02 am

    What went wrong?

    Author: Dr Farrukh Saleem

    [The writer is an Islamabad-based freelance columnist]

    Publication: Jang
    Date: November 08, 2005

    The combined annual GDP of 57 Muslim countries remains under $2
    trillion. America, just by herself, produces goods and services worth
    $10.4 trillion; China $5.7 trillion, Japan $3.5 trillion and Germany
    $2.1 trillion. Even India’s GDP is estimated at over $3 trillion
    (purchasing power parity basis).

    Oil rich Saudi Arabia, U.A.E., Kuwait and Qatar collectively produce
    goods and services (mostly oil) worth $430 billion; Netherlands alone
    has a higher annual GDP while Buddhist Thailand produces goods and
    services worth $429 billion.

    Muslims are 22 percent of the world population and produce less than
    five percent of global GDP. Even more worrying is that the Muslim
    countries’ GDP as a percent of the global GDP is going down over time.
    The Arabs, it seems, are particularly worse off. According to the
    United Nations’ Arab Development Report: “Half of Arab women cannot
    read; One in five Arabs live on less than $2 per day; Only 1 percent of
    the Arab population has a personal computer, and only half of 1 percent
    use the Internet; Fifteen percent of the Arab workforce is unemployed,
    and this number could double by 2010; The average growth rate of the
    per capita income during the preceding 20 years in the Arab world was
    only one-half of 1 percent per annum, worse than anywhere but
    sub-Saharan Africa.”

    The planet’s poorest countries include Ethiopia, Sierra Leone,
    Afghanistan, Cambodia, Somalia, Nigeria, Pakistan and Mozambique. At
    least six of the poorest of the poor are countries with a Muslim
    majority.

    Conclusion: Muslims of the world are among the poorest of the poor.

    Fifty-seven Muslim majority countries have an average of ten
    universities each for a total of less than 600 universities for 1.4
    billion people; India has 8,407 universities, the U.S. has 5,758. From
    within 1.4 billion Muslims Abdus Salam and Ahmed Zewail are the only
    two Muslim men who won a Nobel Prize in physics and chemistry (Salam
    pursued his scientific work in Italy and the UK, Zewail at California
    Institute of Technology). Dr Salam in his home country is not even
    considered a Muslim.

    Over the past 105 years, 1.4 billion Muslims have produced eight Nobel
    Laureates while a mere 14 million Jews have produced 167 Nobel
    Laureates. Of the 1.4 billion Muslims less than 300,000 qualify as
    ‘scientists’, and that converts to a ratio of 230 scientists per one
    million Muslims. The United States of America has 1.1 million
    scientists (4,099 per million); Japan has 700,000 (5,095 per million).

    Fact: Of the 1.4 billion Muslims 800 million are illiterate (6 out of
    10 Muslims cannot read). In Christendom, adult literacy rate stands at
    78 percent.

    Consider, for instance, that Muslims constitute 22 percent of world
    population with a 1 percent share of Nobel Prizes. Jews constitute 0.23
    percent of world population with a 22 percent share of Nobel Prizes.

    What really went wrong? Muslims are poor, illiterate and weak. What
    went wrong? Arriving at the right diagnosis is extremely critical
    because the prescription depends on it. Consider this:

    Diagnosis 1: Muslims are poor, illiterate and weak because they have
    ‘abandoned the divine heritage of Islam’. Prescription: We must return
    to our real or imagined past.

    Diagnosis 2: Muslims are poor, illiterate and weak because we have
    refused to change with time.

    Keep pace with time — al Quran


  23. Jamal Shamsi (unregistered) on October 18th, 2007 @ 12:03 am

    PPP Office bearers – share 14% of their loot to Party funds, since Late Bhutto days.

    MQM Office bearers share 25% of their catch., ever since they have become main stream bargaining party.

    rest Tuchaal parties / seasonal urchins GET their share at the will of MAFIA HEAD. That includes all factions if Mullahs’ & PML


  24. HASSAN' (unregistered) on October 18th, 2007 @ 12:53 am

    nice comments by Jamal Shamsi


  25. ALAM (unregistered) on October 18th, 2007 @ 3:28 am

    @Balma kee Salma

    Well, there might be another explanation for Muslims poor state: GENES

    You can spend millions and billions on schools and higher education, it might not produce anything, or atleast not proprtional to the investment.


  26. Reality_Check (unregistered) on October 18th, 2007 @ 4:57 am

    Well She is coming back and its high time she did. I am not a great fan but its about time a joint front however ziggy zaggy be presented to the screwed up Mullahs, Qazi terrorists and Hameed Guls PTI. As election comes near we are now seeing typical Jamatee orchestrated campaign, that relies heavily on dis-information and rumour mongerring. Their international affiliates are again active, but thankfully this city, is not going back to where Qazi wants to take it. The fact is, that there has not been such a transparent government in Pakistan for decades, I know there must be corruption but its not like the loot and plunder of the 1980’s and 90’s, where bank presidents were appointed even before announcing the cabinet.

    Also, has any body asked Qazi Sahib how much of the 22 billion dollars given by US+Saudia was rcvd obligingly by their party via ISI, have they maitained any account for that. Has any body asked the Fat Mullahs, how they are financing their air conditioned seminaries, complete with accomodation and scores of double cabin 4×4’s parked outside. How did they made the transition from reliance on chanda+handouts to free lodging/boarding enterprises.

    I see no faults in MQM strategy viz a viz PPP, it is absolutely essential that we keep peace in our home and continue the good work. Those who have the problem with that have great alternatives in leaders like Nawaz Sharif, Qazi and the disappearing chicken Imran Khan.


  27. balma (unregistered) on October 18th, 2007 @ 5:10 am

    Bhaiyou’n and Khwaateen, I have been away from home base for few days for a meeting and see few of my rishtaydaarnees showing up here:-)

    Reality_Check sahib:

    Please don’t justify Budnazir.

    More later, when I am back.


  28. Reality_Check (unregistered) on October 18th, 2007 @ 5:18 am

    BALMA nobody is justifying Benazir, She is beyond justification, when I talk about loot and plunder of 80’s & 90’s, she is obviously there. What I am saying, is that I dont see any flaws in MQM ‘s strategy, to me it makes perfect sense.


  29. KASHIF (unregistered) on October 18th, 2007 @ 8:45 am

    Benazir is the punishment that Pakis deserved for their wrong doings and all sort of HP’s..

    Ab bhi baaz aa jao bewakoofo!!


  30. Syed Johny (unregistered) on October 18th, 2007 @ 8:55 am

    I am pissed of by their campaign !!

    its ok to put up banner and bill boards!

    but the wall chalking done by them even beats the wall chalking by ISO and MQM!!

    They have literally spoiled the remaining outlook of the city !!!

    BY THE WAY DID ANY ONE ELSE NOTICED THAT YESTERDAY ALL THE TRAFFIC SIGNALS OF KARACHI WERE CLOSED???? :o


  31. Jamal Shamsi (unregistered) on October 18th, 2007 @ 12:17 pm

    DID someone noticed that – nowhere on any of pakistani blog sites, there is discussion of BB arrival, is that Only KARACHI is ALIVE,. or Karachities are more sensitive for all aspects about PAKISTAN.//??????


  32. asa (unregistered) on October 18th, 2007 @ 12:41 pm

    Another u-turn from MQM …yeah Allah rehm farma ..looter PPP,terrorist MQM and Feudals chaudreys in butcher dictator Dream team…wow
    God Bless Pakistan


  33. BoZz (unregistered) on October 18th, 2007 @ 4:02 pm

    You mean to say Circus comes home, i.e. to a Circus nation!


  34. Tariq Khanani (unregistered) on October 18th, 2007 @ 4:16 pm

    all i knw is ke aaj office ki chutti hay…yuuupppeeeee!


  35. Balma kee Salma (unregistered) on October 18th, 2007 @ 4:55 pm

    @Alam – What are you implying?? That muslims have a genetical defect and that’s why they are what they are. Please clarify.


  36. BoZz (unregistered) on October 18th, 2007 @ 5:19 pm

    @ BALMA

    Maybe this will help answer your questions. Make your own conclusions.

    In my opinion if only it was a genetical defect it would answer it all. Unfortantely it is much more complex and yet simpler. Our innate state has more to do with our religious beliefs or shall I say mis-beliefs.

    The combined annual GDP of 57 Muslim countries remains under $2 trillion. America , just by herself, produces goods and services worth $10.4 trillion; China $5.7 trillion, Japan $3.5 trillion and Germany $2.1 trillion. Even India ‘s GDP is estimated at over $3 trillion (purchasing power parity basis).

    Oil rich Saudi Arabia , U.A.E., Kuwait and Qatar collectively produce goods and services (mostly oil) worth $430 billion; Netherlands alone has a higher annual GDP while Buddhist Thailand produces goods and services worth $429 billion.

    Muslims are 22 percent of the world population and produce less than five percent of global GDP. Even more worrying is that the Muslim countries’ GDP as a percent of the global GDP is going down over time. The Arabs, it seems, are particularly worse off. According to the United Nations’ Arab Development Report: “Half of Arab women cannot read; One in five Arabs live on less than $2 per day; Only 1 percent of the Arab population has a personal computer, and only half of 1 percent use the Internet; Fifteen percent of the Arab workforce is unemployed, and this number could double by 2010; The average growth rate of the per capita income during the preceding 20 years in the Arab world was only one-half of 1 percent per annum, worse than anywhere but sub-Saharan Africa.”


  37. SIlver (unregistered) on October 18th, 2007 @ 11:34 pm

    If there is nothing else to blame … lets blame our genes


  38. Balma Kee Salma (unregistered) on October 19th, 2007 @ 3:26 am

    So we are backward due to islam and not to genes. How many of us agree with this. I just want a quick poll.
    My vote: Yes it is islam.


  39. BoZz (unregistered) on October 19th, 2007 @ 10:57 am

    My hand is visble too


  40. BoZz (unregistered) on October 19th, 2007 @ 11:04 am

    To elaborate, it is not simply Islam. That would be an easy answer too. But our interpretation of it.


  41. Balma kee Salma (unregistered) on October 19th, 2007 @ 6:46 pm

    Bozz, Why are only muslims ‘misinterpreting’ their religion. Why not Christians, Jews, Hindus, Sikhs doing the same.



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