Why is Lyari Burning?


Why is Lyari Burning?

Day 6 of the Lyari operation raged on, with fierce exchanges of bullets between the police force and the ‘gangsters’. Probably fed up of the situation, some of the residents tried to pretend things were not as bad as they seemed, and they continued some routines of life like sending their children to study.

 

According to a news report (Violence takes its toll on Lyari’s children by Ammar Shahbazi – The News May 7) on May 2, as the battle in the area continued, 9 year old Hammad and his seven year old brother Habibullah were returning from the madrassa where they went to study the Quran – Hammad was a Hafiz-e-Quran – when they being children and therefore oblivious of the gravity of the situation in the area, curiously stopped to watch a ‘group of women protestors chanting slogans against the police’. The children didn’t see the metallic monster growling up the road trying to gobble up everything in its path. As firing spouted out of the APC the protestors dispersed to find safety. The nine year old Hammad was knocked down in the rush and was probably too stunned to move as the APC moved towards him, crushing him under its wheels.

 

This is an intensely gruesome story to read in print, I am getting goose bumps and teary eyed being a mother of a child as old as Hammad. I shudder to think what those who had witnesses this horrifying image must have, and probably are still, going through.

 

Hammad’s younger brother, seven year old Habibullah will forever be haunted by his brother’s death and probably will grow up with many psychological scars if he is not tended to now and helped to cope with this extremely traumatic experience.

 

Losing a loved one, especially a sibling at a tender age is traumatic enough, but the circumstances under which this happened will have deeper repercussions. The parents, especially the mother, will go through hell – losing a child as well as coping with one who has gone through hell – in only coping with the loss and grief of this whole episodes. Hammad will become a memento for the protestors and probably for the Baloch people; several are lamenting and asking why the child’s death went unnoticed by the Pakistani media and claiming that this was because the child belonged to Lyari and was a Baloch.

 

True he was a Baloch and a resident of Lyari, but his death is not unnoticed. He will be mourned by all those who can still feel for others across all boundaries – national, ethnic, religious etc. People who value human life and believe that everyone has right to life will mourn the death of Hammad and others like him. We will mourn Hammad as child, an innocent, a human being. A child who became a victim to circumstances, who was killed before he even embarked on the journey of life.

 

Let’s mourn of a ‘Baloch’ child’s death as that of our own for he was one of our own. Let’s not restrict his short life by restricting prayers being offered for him to only the people of Lyari and the Baloch. Let’s celebrate his short life amidst his loved ones so that it doesn’t go to waste. Yes Hammad will be remembered by the people of Lyari and maybe a memento put where this innocent fell. But allow us, those who don’t live in Lyari or do not belong to the Baloch race to pay homage to the child. And let us use his young death as an omen to end violence and bloodletting in Lyari, and other parts of the country as well.



Lubna Jerar Naqvi

The writer is a senior journalist and writes regularly on human rights and women issues with special focus on social media. She tweets @raiseqalam


  • Kashmiri

    Slogan renters on Kashmir do not see the cruelties of Pak establishments on Balochs? Are Balochs not Muslims?

  • Shahid Pervaiz

    WHY IS LYARI BURNING? NOT A DIFFICULT QUESTION TO ANSWER AS ROOT OF THE PROBLEM LIES WITHIN KARACHI. IT IS A PLACE WHICH PROVIDES HIGH CLASS BREAD & BUTTER TO THE LEADERS OF CERTAIN POLITICAL PARTIES AND I AM NOT HESITANT TO PRONOUNCE THEIR NAMES ‘MQM’ & ‘PPP’. THEY WANTS THEIR MONOPOLY IN THE WHOLE KARACHI AND ONLY PEOPLE WHO ARE IN THEIR WAY ARE ‘BALOCHIS’ & ‘AFGHANIS’. KARACHI HAS BEEN HIJACKED BY THESE PARTIES FOR A LONG TIME AND ANYBODY WHO COMES IN THEIR WAY WILL BE REMOVED BY USING ALL FAIR OR UNFAIR MEANS. WHAT RIGHT DO THEY EXCERCISE TO STOP ANY BODY FROM ANY PART OF PAKISTAN TO COME KARACHI & SEARCH FOR A DECENT LIVING. THEY REMIND ME THOSE ANIMALS WHO URINATE ON THE BUDS OF THE TREE OR BUSHES TO MARK THEIR TERRITORIES SO NO OTHER ANIMALS CAN LIVE THEIR WITHOUT THEIR CONSENT. THESE SO CALLED SOCIAL ANIMALS MUST BROUGHT TO JUSTICE ONCE FOR ALL AND THAT IS THE ONLY WAY TO BRING PEACE IN KARACHI.

  • S Nasrullah

    @mujahid: CORRECTION. APC is not army personnel carrier that you perceive. It is Armored Personnel Carrier belonging to Karachi Police. The world has seen the futility of force that tends to aggravate the pandemonium rather than assuage the problem. ZAB and successive PPP governments used force in Balochistan to eradicate the insurgency and it turned out to have inflamed it even more. One cannot douse fire with petrol. If they have not learnt their lessons, they deserve the debacle they bargained for.

  • Shabaad

    How these cruel …. can imagine Balochs would ever want to live in this helll. Baloch would never forget these monsters.

  • M.Saeed

    Where is the dreaded Muchh Jail? It should be reactivated for all those who kill innocent patriotic people of Pakistan just to satisfy their cannibalistic appetite. Let them face and rot in Muchh of same Baluchistan, which they are keeping in ransom as their personal concentration camp.

  • syed waqas

    bruv i can totally understand your feeling but trust me people are getting killed in every corner of Pakistan in the name of politics religion and ethnic background , our whole damn politics is based on this balochi sindhi urdu pashto racism shit …. the only way out is Islam let us all be Muslim not baloch or sindhi or muhajir or punjabi or pashtoo……

  • Syedtnaqvi

    Through out the civlized world no big city is hostage to dirty politics such as karachi. Our vicious political parties have successfully placed propoganda in the citizens mindset.Yes all blame goes to federal agencies for selling pakistan but politics of resentment will further disasscociate us and will help bhata groups more including our corrupt ruling regime(top 10,000 politicians and beaurocrats have been bought by US). We have to take charge of removing the corrupt from power and bring just. For that we need to learn truly what is right and wrong.

  • Anonymous

    Whatever the situation there must be no soft corner for the terrorists. Those who terrorised the people of Karachi and killed them in cold blood should not go unpunished. They never rise against the sardars because they are afraid of dying. With others they are not afraid of and do any thing. The author is trying to play with sentiments. No body is against the innocent Balochs. The problem is with the criminals masquerading as politicians who in fact are just thugs.

  • Saq

    Hey another one down – let’s keep blaming punjabis sindhis balouchis!! Let do not do anything every as muslim — no no no — Jahil MC