We are posting this article by Rashid Aurakzai to kickstart a debate on Karachi’s recent mayhem. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of PTH and we would welcome other points of view. RR
Another tide of innocents’ blood-shed in Karachi. Count crosses 800 mark for this year with still two months to go. We too shall soon forget. For justice, they have to wait till doomsday. We torch, stone and rally when it happens in Gaza, Bosnia, Kashmir or Iraq but don’t bother when it comes to our own land. Hardly, are we moved or shocked as long as it happens to ‘others’. Exposed to frequent violence at home, we are deaf and dumb to our home-made vices, a part from blindness. Massacres no more take our breath. Like a Mexico or Bombay depicting movie, Amigos and ‘Bhai-Logs’ spraying bullets, police absent, shopkeepers pulling shutters down and women holding their children behind closed doors and windows. Another closure, 144 imposed, city lifeless and motionless. We in front of TV sets or monitors, enjoying an off-day in free. A day past and our memories formatted.
The very few countable, sensitive but helpless souls can only condemn their birth here. Some in Lahore broke the silence and dared to highlight the issue. All the rest, ate, shitted and watched jingo media. Perhaps majority of us are as callous as the terrorists. Our dictionary has a deleted entry at ‘Empathy’ along with all its synonyms. Never have we imagined that the bullet-perforated bodies in blood-stained Eidhi’s Cottons, could-be ours. What if we are next and that too, for nothing? What about our widow, orphans and parents specially mother? These bodies too were among us and slept well, the night before, with dreams of tomorrow, problems to solve, love to express, moments to celebrate, bellies to fill, loans to repay, foes to beat, kids to educate and ills to medicate.
Why? What crime? And how long shall we be preyed upon by Al-Capones and Godfathers, in our only metropolitan city, Karachi? How more shall we blame and malign God by our ‘His-Will’ approach to life and relieve ourselves of our human responsibilities. We never were a nation but have now shunned even of what little humanity we had. A dead herd, paranoid by foreign occupation, over-religious, contradictory ultra-nationalists and thoroughly confused, we offer no resistance and surrender to whosoever wants our control. We fast pace home while women are raped and boys lynched. Evil succeeds and we watch. Our only aim; is a smiling nuclear family as that of TV commercials. That’s what we struggle for and that’s what we end up. With a two room flat and Suzuki car we enjoy spectator’s role in our national theater. Stage is occupied and show run by villains with in goodness to be seen. A few progressing, individually while most and nationally falling into the abyss with no bottom to hit.
Stage Karachi is being run by a mafia for the last three decades. Those, having dwelled in this beautiful coastal Metropolitan, know how ‘they’ have held it hostage in the name of politics. Only that happens, what they want. One cannot even donate sacrificial hides on Eid without their consent. Disloyalty is Death, be the renegade in London, Lyari or Lasbela.
They neither let you live in poverty nor in riches. Started ethnic cleansing of Pakhtoons in eighties, followed by that of Sindhis, Balochies and Panjabis; it has completed full circle and once again turned their TT’s against their arch enemy. They cannot bear multicultural Karachi, though their leaders prefer multicultural and civilised environments to live in.
Journalists, philanthropists, builders or industrialists, they have spared none to be threatened, abducted, tortured, murdered or extorted. Nobody dares to speak against them. The hydra serves mafia-interest at any cost. Sans ideology, glamorized terror is the only attraction of the party. It’s lucrative and short-cut to power, in a sea of 150 million people. They can write political bestsellers like ‘How to arm-twist and milk your coalition partner’. Now fearing demographic changes by arriving IDPs from battle ridden KP, turned into junkyard by State for its interest, ‘they’ are acting no less than Serbs of South Asia forgetting that they too were once IDPs at this city gates. Sixty three years and haven’t learned the ethics and morality to treat their host ethnicities.
The ‘conscience-driven’ Iftikhar Chaudry was presented with a bouquet of 42 slain, daring to stand for his reinstatement. Perhaps our people have been let down too often by their leaders, now to stand for a cause. Confound your selective ego and conscience, My Lord: If only you had taken up the May12 massacre, ‘target killings’ wouldn’t have taken this much of us. If only we can recall an October day, the same year when Karachi City courts were infested and terrorizes by their mob, like in a typical Bollywood’s gangster movie. Why should SC waste time with such ‘common-place’ killings or announce the reserved judgment in Asghar Khan Vs State case, when it is seriously important to avenge Zardari for delaying reinstatement of Musharaf-deposed judiciary. Anyway, those living in Karachi know how Jinnah’s City has been made a den by a gang and needs no evidence accuse them. The only thing they can do is to keep calling Yazid, a tyrant.
‘Target-Killing’ and ‘Mafia-Wars’ are other misleading terms coined by the cowed and self-serving media. Attack on Aaj TV studios, murders of Takbeer’s Editor and Nisar Baloch are enough to scare commoners from rising against the fascists. Even the Saintly Hakeem Saeed is believed to have been a prey of the same hunter. But then, we all shall die no earlier than the time. Why then die every day? Why fear? Why not say it in the their face? Are we scared of ‘Man’? Remember ML King’s saying ‘There comes a time when silence becomes a crime’. Let’s learn to say no to every Yazid. We mourn in Moharram but never learn the lesson of Karbala.
Had they targeted ANP office bearers alone or the land grabbers, this war would’ve been over and won. Irony being 99% punished this year had nothing do with either ANP or Land Grabbers. Raza Haider was avenged, later to declare it a sectarian motive. Why then deprive 120 families of their bread winners? All were poor daily wagers, bus and rickshaw drivers, boot-polishers, groceries cart owners, shopkeeper and ‘unfortunately’ Pakhtoons. Their only crime was their ethnicity. What else then we call Genocide and Ethnic cleansing?
No amount of articulation and over smartness can hide their crimes against humanity. They have to choose between politics and terrorism. They must find ideology and issues to pursue their careers, rather than terror. They must learn to accept plurality and play by rules. If not, must be banned and declared an equivalent of Al Qaeda and TTP in the interest of peaceful Pakistan. Let’s differentiate between political entities and terrorist organizations, peaceful struggle and mafia tactics, leadership and demagoguery, nationalism and racism, argument and noise. Let’s call spade, a spade.