And What Will The Poor Do ?

Thursday night, midnight the twin blast ended the lives 139 innocent people who were part of a procession lead by Benazir Bhutto, celebrating her return after an eight year long self exile, in an instant near the Karsaz Bridge on main Sharea Faisal.

Today since morning the city was griped by a tense silence, everyone was sad, and also cautious, expecting a violent retaliation over the deaths of so many innocent people. Thank God there as not much violence in retaliation of yesterday’s killings. But still the city remained almost closed throughout the day.

Karachi has been on a stand still since 14th of the month, at first we were celebrating Eid than after a day’s working on 17th we again came to an stand still, first to celebrate Benazir Bhutto home coming and letter to morn the tragic loss of 139 lives. The unfortunate event effected countless families who lost their loved ones in the blast.

Also the unexpected extension in “holidays” has badly effected the poor people like fruit/vegetable seller, hawkers and labors whose household income completely depends on their daily earnings.

Amongst them is one such poor man Abdul Wahab a bun-kebab seller who came to his friend (our gate keeper) asking for some financial help tonight. He was crying while telling how he was unable to make any sale throughout Ramadan because people don’t eat much of his Bun kebabs during fast. During Eid holidays too no one cared to have bun kebabs, On the 17th he sold only a few, but on 18 his day’s total sale was limited to three customers only. of course today too, he was unable to open his cabin. These stretched “holidays” left him so penny less that he had not a dime in his pockets to buy medicines for his pregnant wife let alone food for his five little children.

This poor man was lucky enough to have found some help from the area people but there are countless people currently struggling through similar situations right now and they might not even get so lucky.

The city been On a standstill for almost five days in a row (with an exception of the 17 of this month) has seriously effected the lives of such poor people who are totally dependent on their daily earnings. And the fact that the mourning (call announced by PPP) will last for two more days makes me wonder, What will the poor do ?

34 Comments so far

  1. Paranoid (unregistered) on October 20th, 2007 @ 1:34 am

    all i can say is shoot all the damn politicians in the head. 1 bullet is cheaper and better then these bomb attacks.


  2. Imran (unregistered) on October 20th, 2007 @ 1:44 am

    very good and thoughtfull post Jamash. This is really a big problem for poor. The daily earners rely on the peaceful day so people can buy thier stuff and any law and order situation created by anybody leave them hungry at night.
    Not to be insensitive to the topic but i just wonder why these poor people have so many kids?This is really a big problem in Pakistan that nobody thinks how they are going to raise thier children before bringing them to this cruel world. I am not saying that poor dont have right to have children but for the betterment of thier own souls they should think about this.


  3. Ibrahim (unregistered) on October 20th, 2007 @ 1:56 am

    Salamalikum

    Very poignant…


  4. zs (unregistered) on October 20th, 2007 @ 1:57 am

    @imran:
    “why do poor people have so many kids?” … because our mullas frown upon any talk about contraception (or anything to do with sex in fact). most people in rural areas have probably not even heard of condoms let alone used one. it’s not their fault there’s so much jahalat and mullaish in this country.


  5. Balma kee Salma (unregistered) on October 20th, 2007 @ 2:04 am

    Muslim population is growing all over the world, not pakistan alone. In European countries they are multiplying very fast leading to doomsday prediction of many european countries becoming a muslim majority withing 30-50 yrs. So don’t blame poor alone.


  6. Imran (unregistered) on October 20th, 2007 @ 2:11 am

    @Balma,
    Well chinese and indian populations are also growing actually faster than the rate of Muslim population so I dont think there is any link to religion.


  7. Visitor (unregistered) on October 20th, 2007 @ 2:16 am

    Lolz….i’m sorry…excellent post, very touchy too but leads me to the same irrelevant question….why do poor people have so many kids, 5 already 6th to cum…

    Allah inhe hidayat de….


  8. Balma kee Salma (unregistered) on October 20th, 2007 @ 2:18 am

    Imran, My comment was about “why do poor people have so many kids?”. Are European muslims as poor and uneducated as our villagers?
    Stop dragging religion everywhere?


  9. Visitor (unregistered) on October 20th, 2007 @ 2:25 am

    Oh! and as an aswer to Jamash’s question What will the poor do….how about start using precautions for a start :-D


  10. Imran (unregistered) on October 20th, 2007 @ 2:43 am

    @Balma,

    You did not get it again. I was not saying that poor poeple have more kids than rich.I really dont care who has how many kids. All I am trying to say that if you cannot afford to give your kid a healthy life whether you are rich or poor (because its not just money it the time as well that needed to give to your kids) then you should not breed.


  11. Balma kee Salma (unregistered) on October 20th, 2007 @ 2:59 am

    @Imran,

    what do you think I am? A clairvoyant. I can’t read what is in your mind. I can only read what you write here. Your original statement clearly implied that poor people of Pakistan breed like pigs. How am I suppose to know what you actually meant?

    Also your statement about China and India needs to be revisited. The birth rate of Pakistan is 27.5 per thousand, India is 23 and China is 13. Care to revise your theory? In fact all top birth rate countries are almost exclusively Muslim countries.
    So I am not sure about poverty as the reason. I think there is more to it than meets the eye.


  12. Zee (unregistered) on October 20th, 2007 @ 3:00 am

    Screw PPP and screw the people who called for 3 day mourning bullsh**

    The whole thing was planned. It was Peoples Party that wanted to gain sympathies. The attack was not targetted towards Bitc*Nazir but it was meant to create this situation and to bring this city to a hault to gain international and national attention.

    I for one do not care for the people who died, welcome a corrupt leader. I do however, support the mourning for the police and the cameraman who lost life doing their jobs!

    The rest of the people were there to put city on a hault. Blocking every road that connects to one of the MOST important roads in Karachi. This would ultimately result in a financial disaster for oh-so-many families!

    Besides the death of the policemen and the camera man, if we are to mourne something then it should be for the poor hungry babies who are going to sleep hungry, it should be for those self-respecting people who do not beg, do not steal and do not create any problem for the common people. THAT’S more sad for me than hundreds of people dieing for an evil cause! Period!


  13. Zee (unregistered) on October 20th, 2007 @ 3:03 am

    Grammatical/spelling mistakes cuz I am damn sleepy :S


  14. MS (unregistered) on October 20th, 2007 @ 3:19 am

    Well said ZEE. You are right when you say that there will be more children who will sleep hungry just b/c their elders were stupid enough to go out to support a leader like her and in return they were killed by her.

    For sure PPP had staged all this drama and I am sure they planned this whole bombing thing to get sympathy from internal as well as the external powers.

    Just think about it yaar. If I were to kill her, I would just sit on top of a building on Sharah-e-Faisal with a gun in my hand and shoot her in the head when she is on my target, right? Why would I kill hundreds of people along with her?

    Did you guys notice the condemnation messages from across the World? Most of the messages refer to “establishing democracy in Pakistan”; guess who is being in the fore-front of all this democracy hype? BB, who else. She has been projecting herself as the soul person in Pakistan that can bring democracy and curb the Taliban!

    Down with BB and down with Musharraf on this decision to bring her back …

    By the way, last night I was watching Talat’s show on AAJ TV. Looks like Talat and all of the people on the show last night are Jiyalays. Is that true?


  15. Atif Abdul-Rahman (unregistered) on October 20th, 2007 @ 3:46 am
  16. ALAM (unregistered) on October 20th, 2007 @ 6:12 am

    @ZEE

    well, said bro/sis. I am with u 110%

    Lets mourn for poor police wals and other ppl, who were not there to greet the BitchNazir


  17. Mehr (unregistered) on October 20th, 2007 @ 8:11 am

    I really hate benazir. the more i think about it, the more mad i become. she’s absolutely evil to the core and whats worse is there are stil so many people willing to support her.
    i think people of pakistan are just frustrated with this instability thats been prevailing in the country for so long… they dont care anymore who rules.. its going to be the same. And mushy… he’s the root of all the problems. I really wish someone would have been standing on top of the roof and shot her. infact, shoot the entire bhutto clan. i hate the name. i hate the people. corrupt people destroying our damn land. How do people support politicians who have so many corruption charges still imposed on them?? writing this is making me even more angry.
    But i guess it’s not in your control or mine. All we can do it write abou it to ease out frustrations and hope that some day something better will happen.


  18. Reality_Chk (unregistered) on October 20th, 2007 @ 9:47 am

    MS during any VIP movement every building and roof top is occupied by police and rangers, there is no possibility of sniper attack. Its now beyond doubt that it was an suicide attack and unless some jiyalaas volunteered, the finger obviously points to the usual suspects. We can bash Benazir as much as we like but we cannot turn a blind eye towards the crazy zealots behind such acts. Thats a real Nasoor that we need to eliminate.


  19. Abrar Siddiqui (unregistered) on October 20th, 2007 @ 9:48 am

    I think some people are really missing the point “Jamash” made on this post. The poor people of Karachi stuggle through these things just for one person’s pride to hold the biggest rally…….. And as far as his five children are concenred, its his RIGHT to have as many children as he wants.. thats the right given to him by the constition to every citizen (since we dont live in china with one child policy). However, the state has the responsibility to provide health-care, education, opportunity and those are our rights which are not been given.

    A question i have is that ……. did PPP had to pay any tax or surchage to block the traffic and hold this rally??? Cos thats something the City Government should charge them for using our roads and flyovers made from our tax-money…..


  20. Reality_Chk (unregistered) on October 20th, 2007 @ 9:54 am

    BATOOTA its not the MULLAHS, but the organization responsible for such acts are much more sophisticated and dangerous. Al- Qaeda was never a Mullah organization, they and their allies are much more dangerous and conniving individuals, who leave a path of destruction where ever they go. They are supported by educated individuals and have a international propaganda machine, they are to be taken seriously.


  21. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on October 20th, 2007 @ 11:19 am

    Now THIs is interesting. Benazir clearly denying involvement of any militant group and blaming elements in fascist Army. On other hand radical secularist regime is having difficulty to prove those attack as Suicide attacks.

    tinyurl.com/3bb8vh

    tinyurl.com/2owwvo

    So called educated liberal/secular retards on different forums repeatedly demonstrating ignorance and stupidity by being “Murghey k Ek tang” and blaming Talibans.

    tsk tsk.


  22. ALAM (unregistered) on October 20th, 2007 @ 11:37 am

    @PORK-NAAN

    Talibans both hands r full these days: One hand clutching the decapitated heads of napaak army jawans, and the other with a butcher’s knife. So I don’t think Talibans r behind the attack on their biological mama, BB

    I think Fazlur Rehman Khalili on the payroll of napak army is behind it


  23. A1234 (unregistered) on October 20th, 2007 @ 11:38 am

    Given what has been happening in the country lately, I don’t understand how can a public rally go on for like 4:00 pm till midnight. That is like calling for a bomb blast.

    All this talk about the street lights not working, and then it being around midnight when the blasts happened, that’s the time when no rallies should be taking place, with what’s been happening in the country in the lately.

    Nobody, politician or not, can expect security from law and order agencies if you can’t take into account the country atmosphere and your own safety on your own.

    And then on top of it, it is not just a public rally, it is a moving motorcade, people have been brought to it from all over the country so there is even further dislocation and greater mobilization of people than you expect in regional rallies.

    PPP needed a large turn-out, and they also wanted this to be a onetime show, don’t care what happens later sort of thing. So the planning had been for monstrous gatherings,and to some extent for bombings.

    Even in a peaceful time such a crowd is dangerous, mostly for the people in it themselves.Politcal parties have to care for the supporters safety, and need to restrict size of public gatherings and their movement, and bringing out-of-station support.


  24. SIlver (unregistered) on October 20th, 2007 @ 11:58 am

    With $1.5 billion coming in why would any one care. Capitalism means you worship money, Period.


  25. Visitor (unregistered) on October 20th, 2007 @ 1:27 pm

    For instance, even if we do consider it is Fazlu or al quaida or taliba or whoever other then BB herself…how do u justify her n a couple of key PPP personnel going into the truck just 10 minutes prior to the blast..isnt that a bit too much of a coincidence? not to mention their composure later on…


  26. ajjoo (unregistered) on October 20th, 2007 @ 1:42 pm

    “A moment of silence….. ”

    .. not for the dead but for the living dead of pakistan. Muhtarma said we are proud citizens of a proud nation! Are we really?

    A nation is not a country it’s a concept, an organziation. We have proved over the decades that we ceratainly are a concept not of prosperity but of plight. We are not an organization of good will but one of terrorism. Who’s to blame? We – the people of this nation! We might not be directly involved in any of these political games but we are part of it. We can look at our daily lives. If it weren’t for our selfish needs we would be standing in line at any public service office and not showing off our influential bullshit to save 5 mins, ripping someone else of their right. We would be getting to the mosque in time for prayers and not parking in the middle of the road thinking ‘sub kuch chalta hai’. But obviously we are muslims and we need to get to the mosque at the last minute, the guy trying to get through the road with an ill person in his car can go to hell. We can do whatever we like at iftar time and get away with it because it is iftar time and im starving and I have every right to scream at anyone for any reason. These are but small examples of our ignorance of the fellow man, our religion and our community as a whole.

    Then comes the politics. Democracy they say. I think Pakistan is the most democratic nation. However, it is also one of the most illiterate, ignorant and emotional. Combine these and what do you get – people like Muhtarma, Nawaz Sharif, Altaf and Musharraf in power on and off for the past two decades. One would think that we’d get bored of the same faces but do we! And to think someone who has not stepped foot in the country for a decade or so, someone who was deported on charges of corruption and attempted murder, someone who does not even know how to speak urdu have the audacity to enter this nation and lead us, someone who pays people to come to a procession from interior sindh where people will do anything to fill their families’ stomachs. And shame on us that we have the ignorance of letting them in and letting them mess up our daily lives by a stupid procession that even if it happened should have taken less than 15mins.

    Shame on me that I was too busy watching a movie or reading a book or doing whatever, but not out on the street blocking her path. Shame on us.

    Shame on us that we still refer to her with the respect she does not deserve ‘muhtarma’. Shame on us that we let her get away with the money she stole from us. Shame on us that the citizens of Pakistan were not standing at the airport with handcuffs for her and a police van to escort her to central jail and not bilawal house. Shame on us that we overlooked all these things. Well obviously she is an influential someone and we cannot even imagine of doing any such things to her. Shame on us that we allowed our government to spend yet another few millions on providing her escort services. Shame on us that we stood by and did nothing when Sharaefaisal was blocked and we could not get to work or school. Shame on us that we still let her come on national tv and allow her to address the nation. Shame on us that we let Nawaz Sharif and Altaf come on national tv and address us. Shame on us that we even listen to these people. Shame on that we never asked her where she got all her income for the past few years she has been out of commission.

    20 years and have they provided any safety for us. have any of the promises they made to us materialized? Has there been any change in the situation of the poor man. Has there been any change in the education in the country. Has there been any change in the civic services. Has there been any change in load shedding. Has there been any change in oil prices.

    They keep talking about the common man. Have they ever cared to ask what the common man eats, how he travels, if his children go to school ( when their own are going to Oxford and Harvard and what not ). Have they ever cared for the people of Pakistan.

    And yet what do the people of Pakistan do – they go out in hoards and welcome them to mess up our lives more!

    We need more educated people. We need more educated maulana’s. We need less corrupt politicians. We need an overhaul of our civic infrastructure. We need an overhaul of our legal infrastructure. We don’t need these illiterate buffoons to be leading us. We need real leaders. And what do we need to do for that – We need to get out on the street and revolt!

    I know it is all idealistic and impossible but we can start with our lives. Our daily lives. Please. Learn to stop at a red light, a zebra crossing. Drive in the lanes. Dont leave hurdles in other peoples way. Dont leave trash at your neighbors doorstep. Learn to learn. Educate yourself. Learn to ask questions. Learn to stand up for your right. Learn to give others their rights. Learn to be patient. Please dont think that the world is your slave just because you are Pakistani – it really is not the case, infact it is the opposite. Learn to be proud of our own products. Learn to give charity and educate those who are less fortunate. Learn not to be oppressed and stand up to oppressors. Learn to tell the truth. Learn that bribery is wrong. Learn that depriving others of their rights ( be it in any form ) is wrong. Learn that education is everyone’s right. Learn that in any thing that goes wrong we should look within ourselves first then blame anyone else. Learn to stop taking short cuts for everything.

    All these things are the basics for humanity. Islam obviously teaches us all these things but I personally do not consider Pakistan as an Islamic republic or a Muslim nation. We are far from being good Muslims and until we are there we should focus on being humanitarians. As far as politicians are concerned – they should be banned from using the word Islam or Muslim or religion in their addresses because they are far from any definition of any of those words even the maulanas. I am sure if looked deeply Islam would condemn any enforcement of taking part in a protest or strike on anyone who is not directly involved. It would condemn any strike whatsoever in which a common man would not be able to make his daily living and feed his family. But is that a consideration for any of these ghundas or ignorant puppets of these political parties who go around firing in any area they find an open shop. Just because they have a roof to cover their heads and more than enough food to eat they think they can rule over anyone. Islam eh? Ha!

    And once again – please look beyond what meets the eye for these politicians ( even though what meets the eye is quite obvious we tend to overlook it ). And try to correct yourself at every step of the way. It’s our nation, it’s our future, it’s our children’s future – if we want to be proud citizens of a proud pakistan, well we better start making some changes.


  27. me (unregistered) on October 20th, 2007 @ 2:47 pm

    thankyou, ajjoo. really, thankyou.


  28. IUnknown (unregistered) on October 20th, 2007 @ 3:13 pm

    i think it was all preplanned.
    i dont have any sort of sorrow on this.
    These dehatis were paid for dancing and naray baazi.
    And more over, they has been looting seen at the venue of death , very similar to when earth quake came in october 2 yrs ago (i think)

    These politicians play their games wid out care of any of lives except themselves. Bay-Nazir shud be killedd so as mush. and all other politicians in political ground. so that we can get some fresh and perhaps better leaders


  29. Mufakkir (unregistered) on October 20th, 2007 @ 4:51 pm

    Huk-ha, Jamash,

    You’re really naive. The poor will obviously do what they are supposed to. They’ll kill their children and commit suicide in the end. They are made for this type of activities, understand?

    Also, the feudals that the Bhutto family are, the public is considered slaves of the feudals. They are like insects, they are their to serve or to die.

    They’ll go and beg from their kinfolk (your gatekeeper), and beg from others, and beg and beg and beg, until no one is able to give them (everybody has limited resources) then they’ll commit suicide. Why don’t you people just accept that only the feudals and the army have the right to everything in life. BB can wear diamond-studded spectacles worth 800,000 rupees since all the kammi-kameens are our there on their fields to earn for them. Understand?


  30. Toomanychildren (unregistered) on October 20th, 2007 @ 5:00 pm

    When I was in ninth, one reason of the out-of-control birth rate (in Pakistan Studies textbook) was given like:

    “Tafreeh ke mawaqe’ mein kami”. (Dearth of entertainment options.)

    Its true! People don’t have any enjoyment so they enter ‘their’ park, for the ultimate glee. Dealing with frustration through ‘thrustration’.

    I sympathize with the poor woman rather than her poor husband. Childbirth w/o any medical facilities :-( . And that too the 6th one. Can’t her husband see what a wreck he’s making of her just for the sake of his enjoyment.


  31. Jamal Shamsi (unregistered) on October 20th, 2007 @ 5:43 pm

    Jamash

    time to wake up. Poor are those who have no vision., term it as Blindness.

    try one day OUT, leave home at 7.30am go 10 km away from your place – search for a govt school and wait at the gate of school,

    or goto MA Jinnah Road opposite radio Pakistan is SINDHs’ famous NJV Govt school,

    am sure you will realise what the life is about. stop a boy ask him to write his name in english and ask him to recite the national anthem ( if he seems bwildered) ask him for qomi tarana.

    thats where you will realise who is POOR, we as nation are blind not poor,.

    Poor in Karachi – no one is poor in trems of food, clothing, shelter and money.


  32. llama (unregistered) on October 21st, 2007 @ 1:01 am

    what will the poor do, you ask?

    let me narrate a true story.

    a young woman i employ at my house came to me the day after the blasts telling me proudly how her father was there at the procession. when asked, why, she said he went to “vote for” benazir. when asked why again, she said because benazir helps to lower prices.

    i sat her down and had a good long talk with her about how benazir and most of these politians rule. then i showed her the geo tv clip of how a father had taken his young daughter to the procession for fun and how they both got blown to bits and i asked her if it was worth it. i asked her if she wanted to see her family dead because of supporting someone who is believed to be coruupt and a murderess.

    This woman will be starting her own family soon. Even if by havign this talk with her, i have managed to make her question the political leadership in the country or at the very least have the common sense to avoid large gatherings in general, then it would have made some slight difference to one poor family.

    so what will the poor do? they will eventually learn by their mistakes the hard way.


  33. ajjoo (unregistered) on October 21st, 2007 @ 9:37 am

    Jamal,

    I dont know if you have really any exposure to the 99% of Pakistanis other than the elite society you might be living in who can afford rotee, kapra and makan.

    Go to any of the katchi abadis strewn across the karachi map and you’ll see what the poor. Agreed they are blind and ignorant and illiterate but they are poor to the very core of the word’s definition. You probably think that everyone in karachi can afford to buy meat at 260rs a kg or dhaniya at 10rs a ghitti or go to boat basin to eat, well that really is not the case. Karachi and Pakistan as a whole is very poor country. The people you see with loads of money are but a handful of which 99% have illegal money one way or the other ( politicians being a prime example – to this day i dont know what they get paid for and who pays them ).

    The question is – what have you done to improve this situation. Well to this day you didn’t know but now that you know i think you should seriously ponder on what you are going to do about it. We should be glad we are the influential, prosperous and privileged lot. But we have a responsibility. And you very well know what that responsibility is….


  34. chuqandar@bundarroad (unregistered) on October 21st, 2007 @ 9:39 am

    I ran into this guy (Ahmed Solangi) who designed a special booklet and wrote a poem welcoming “The most illustrious daughter of Pakistan”

    Let me quote something from that poem here:

    The bleak days of ruthless tyranny
    Endless poverty
    And aimless strolling
    Will soon be over
    A new sun will rise now
    With the coming of Joan of Arc
    Flowers of spring will blossom

    Like never before in democracy
    Hunger, poverty and injustice
    Will no more be fate of have-nots
    Till eternity.



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