City of Lights Crumbling


City of Lights Crumbling

Metropolitan cities are known for the conglomeration of different people with jingoistic cultures, evolving in a lapse of time to a new kind of social formation. The evolution of cultural fraternity provides a sense of romanticism to the citizens that ultimately, turns the city into an aura of a beautiful civilization. It not only influences the adjacent urban outfits and contrasting cultures but also attracts the way of rural life under its fold.

 

 

However, their imapcts are intense throughout the world that we are constraint to call this world a ” Global Village “. The modern cities are alike in architecture and so are their dewllers in dressing, eating and lifestyles. People from diverse cultural background intermingle in cosmopolitan cities to make them ardent members of the newly growing universal society of cosmopolitan cities. Such  emerging social forces are gradually balancing the conflicting ideologies all over the world into the concept of the ” New World Order “.

 

 

Karachi is a metropolitan city that possesses the potential to build up a framework to accomodate all races and ethnicities, a criteria for ideal metropolitan city. Karachi is like a mini “subcontinent” where people from Assam to Malabar and Madras to Mathura are permanently settled and made it their motherland after 1947. Their fourth generation is now toiling to make it ” The Jewel of the East ” .

 

 

The planners of this city had rightly visualized it’s magnificent growth into a big city, taking its agricultural hinterland in consideration besides its location as a port in the South of subcontinent. That could have been the easy access to the hot waters of the Arabian Sea. This city was however, the gateway to Indian Subcontinent before the partition.

 

 

But, alarmingly, Karachi has continuously changed its posture from one to the other, particularly during the long spells of army rule and short bursts of civilian governments. This city was, rightly or wrongly, called the economic hub of Pakistan and every one was bent to milk the cow. With the announcement of the merger of the provinces in the form of ” One Unit “, the people were deprived of the basic human rights. There was a long list of biased and selfish arbitrary  diktats under the draconian laws, from time to time, to provide benefits to the people of the respective controlling provinces .

 

Karachi received first acknowledgement  when Bashir, the  camel-cart driver was graciously invited to America by the visiting US President Johnson. The city transportation system became synonymous to carts pulled by camels and horses. A lot of buffaloes, cows, sheep and goats were pouring in since then.

 

 

Unfortunately, Sindhis and Karachiites were kept away from the city’s administrations and police departments. Heavy recruitments in Karachi Police started from Punjab and KPK in order to exploit the city’s resources at their will. Even the high officials in most of the departments were brought from outside Sind. All such  decisions were being made in the name of “One Unit ” and ” Parity “. Lahore was declared as its capital while the former three provincial capitals i,e. Peshawar, Quetta and Karachi lost their status as the central cities of their respective provinces.

 

 

Unfortunately, the injustice infused hatred among masses and laid the foundation of ” Provincialism and Wide Corruption” in the country. It is not surprising that the seeds of hatred, terrorism and corruption our leaders sowed during those days have now grown to a strong tree that, ultimately, turned Pakistan into a ” Failed State “  Although, Yahya Khan abolished One Unit, the administrative structures introduced during Martial Law could not be eradicated completely till now. Unfortunately, recent reformations and developments invite cases of corruptions and frauds.

 

 

The City of Lights faces plethora of challenges that has made struggle, a habit for the residents of the city.

 

 

Vibrant Buses

 

Multicolored buses on the roads of Karachi are surely an attention grabber but what one doesn’t miss are their shabby and broken bodies. Briefly, I would like to describe only the present condition of the public buses run by the individuals and public sector.

 

 

1) The owners of the buses run in Karachi are mostly from the provinces other than Sind.

 

 

2) The buses are generally brought from the village roads when they are ready to retire. They are shabbily colored installed with uncomfortable seats, dirty-stinky covers and curtains.  Some buses do not have doors and widow glasses. It is surprising that some of the drivers do not keep official papers and driving license with them. These buses are usually put on fire during the agitations on the roads of Karachi. The owners of those buses happily claim good insurance amounts and compensations from the Government.

 

 

3) Alarming scenes are witnessed of buses running with jammed commuters on the roof without any railing or support, whereas the insides are packed with passengers and many are seen hanging on the windows.

 

 

Garbage at disposal

 

Pollution is a major problem of the city with no proper arrangement for disposal. Empty plots in posh areas are dumped with garbage making it hard to differentiate them from slums.

 

 

Law and Order

 

 

Law and Order situation is a question that has not found the answer yet.  Karachi is a city where people with different ethnicity and language background  are seen killing each other daily in dozens. This heinous crime is committed under the nose of the Rangers, army, police and powerful Intelligence Agencies posted in Karachi to tackle terrorism. The security agencies are getting their salaries with innumerable perks and facilities from the taxes citizens pay.

 

 

Karachites deprived of ownership

 

 

Interestingly, neither Sindhis nor the Karachites ever claimed that the city of Karachi belong to them or they are the owner of the city. But the leaders of other provinces repeatedly claim in public appearences that Karachi belongs to each one. Why they are so curious and restless when the Sindhis and the citizens of the city always greet people from each part of the country to earn and live peacefully. Actually, it is their inner guilt and ulterior political motives that force them to adage hatred to keep the city in turmoil.

 

 

Display of weapons

 

 

Every political party has a militant wing to show the strength by display of weapons and street crimes. Target killing has become a daily routine. Nobody feels secured in this city which has 23 million of population.

 

How this city could be termed as a cultured and civilized city where blood of mankind has no value? Karachi, in fact, has become like a fief of a Feudal lord who enslaves his tenants at his will and whims. Clashes in the suburbs of Karachi reminds of the fights between the tribes who engaged themselves in tribal feuds on petty issues for years in tribal regions.

 

 

The problems faced by Karachi are not simple. But it needs immediate solution. Nobody wants its solution to be obtained through guns and daggers or any sort of civil war. All the stakeholders of the country have to find some sensible solution, otherwise the repetition of 1971 tragedy is on the making.



Sami Qureshi

Author of 'History on Trial', ex-deputy controller Radio Pakistan and a renowned artist


  • truepakistani

    City of lights deserve to be destroyed because city is being ruled by gangsters. The karachi has been divided in different territories and those territories are being run by MQM,ANP,PPP AND PPP AMAN PARTY commonly called liyari gang. Police and army receiving their share and criminal activities are at peak. Extornist are killing those who refuse to give extortion. Factories are being set alight for not accepting extortion demands. There is no one you can expect to bring peace and security in my city. I thought army may be noticing the current situation but the are deaf, blind and dumb. All authorities are turning blind eyes. Can some one save karachi from those political and corrupt police gangsters. The city is burning and soon only ashes will be left.

    • Moin Khan

      true story for truepakistani as follow :

      January 1 2012, Askari Raza, leader of a Shi’a political organisation Pasban-e-Jaferia, was shot dead in a sectarian-motivated target killing in Karachi by two armed men riding a motorcycle a day earlier. He was accompanied by a friend in his car, who was injured in the attack. The attackers were also said to be injured when two other men accompanying Raza fired in retaliation although they managed to escape safely.[1] At least 15,000 Shi’a protestors staged a sit-in outside the Sindh Governor House on the first day of January to protest the assassination.

      January 24, 2012: A party activist of the Ahle Sunnat wal Jammat was gunned down in Karachi.

      January 25 Three lawyers belonging to the Shi’a sect were killed during a firing incident initiated by unknown gunmen near a city court in Karachi.

      July 11 One person was killed and nineteen others injured when a blast targeted a bus carrying employees of the Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO) on theHub River Road in Karachi. The bomb was planted on a bicycle and was remote-controlled. According to news, the person killed was a passer-by. There were up to 40 people on board the bus. Most injuries occurred due to the shattering of the glass windows of the bus.

      January 18 A regional sales officer at a Warid Telecom franchise outlet in Karachi, Ahsan Kamal, died when two armed men entered the store and attempted to loot it. When Kamal attempted to resist the men, he was shot dead

      January 31 One security guard and a woman were killed when unknown terrorists opened fire inside a Telenor franchise in Nazimabad, Karachi

      August 17 One person was killed and 18 others injured after a bomb went off near the Safari Park in Karachi. The blast happened as a bus was crossing the area. The bus was reportedly carrying passengers affiliated with the Imamia Students Organisation, a Shi’a student body, who were travelling to attend a Shi’a procession. The injured were shifted to Jinnah hospital

      October 15 Five workers of the outlawed Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat were gunned down in two separate acts of violence in Karachi.

      October 15 An activist of the Sunni Tehrik was shot dead in New Karachi on Monday.

      October 17 An inspector of the Karachi Municipal Corporation was gunned down by gunmen on Shahrah-i-Noor Jehan on Wednesday

      October 17 Another policeman was killed and his colleague was wounded in an attack on a police kiosk in F.B Industrial Area of Karachi.

      October 18 PPP activist Mohammad Zeeshan was killed and his colleague suffered bullet wounded when assailants riding a motorcycle opened fire on them near a roundabout in Sector 11-L near Hussain Chowk Orangi Town Karachi.

      October 18 A man (identified as Mohammad Arshad) was gunned down by motorcycle-riding attackers in Nazimabad Karachi on Thursday

      October 19 In the Saeedabad area of Karachi, a car carrying four persons was targeted by armed attackers. The attack left one dead and three injured

      October 19 A police head constable and a Pakistan Qaumi Razakar volunteer were shot dead by four armed men riding two motorcycles in Sohrab Goth, Karachi, raising the death toll of policemen killed in the city during the year to 69

      October 23 Two member of the Ahmadi community, a policeman were gunned down in Sector 8, Karachi on Tuesday

      November 8 Two killed and 21 injured in suicide bombing at the gate of Pakistani Rangers’ headquarter in Karachi.[1

      November 8 Two killed and 21 injured in suicide bombing at the gate of Pakistani Rangers’ headquarter in Karachi.

      November 22 A series of three bomb attacks in Pakistan (Karachi, Rawalpindi & Quetta) killed at least 37 people, and 92 others injured.

  • http://twitter.com/Mazharuddin787 mazharuddin

    City is disturbed mostly by the intense extremism in the shape of religious processions and banners on roads and streets, congregations, hateful religious speeches and ceremonies demonstrating on media, overlooking the comments of people having reasons to stop such activities on roads and in public places in order to avoid sectarian hatred. But media and responsible authorities did not notice comments and opinions. Further extortion, land grabbing and political enmity is also involved.

  • Farooq Hashmi

    I fretted and fumed at your narrative that in Karachi ” the evolution of cultural fraternity provides a sense of romanticism to the citizens that ultimately turns the city into an aura of a beautiful civilization.” Sir, in what part of Karachi do you see the ” evolution of cultural fraternity ” these days ? In which citizens do you find the emergence of ” a sense of romanticism ” which is turning ” the city into an aura of a beautiful civilization?”I have the temerity to say that you do not either know the meanings of the terminology you have used in your article or watch unmoved, the blood-curdling scenes of blood-shed in Karachi’s street,from your balcony just as you do a violent movie on TV in your TV lounge.Free-for-all, macabre in streets, target-killings, suicidal bombings, extortion, bank hold-ups and sectarian-killings,etc.,are the order of the day in the metropolis of Karachi. Runaway lawlessness and anarchy is rampant in every direction.While the city is under the sway of Death,any talk in terms of ” the evolution of the cultural fraternity” and turning the city into an “aura of a beautiful civilization” sounds no more than a hee-haw. Let’s face the reality that Karachi has gone back to the Hobbesian state of nature in which life is ” solitary,poor,nasty, brutish and short.” Karachiite’s lives are tied with gossamer. No one is certain that the very next moment a stray bullet will not cut his life short.Today’s Karachi is a jungle of biped-beasts in which biped-wolves are preying on the weak bipeds.” Cultural fraternity” evolves in a soil where peace and law rule,not in one where bullets fly in its every direction.Again,when the murderers sportively aim at the innocent peoples’ lives, issues as ramshackle buses and disposal of garbage,etc., liquefy..