Wrapped up in violence,
This city of mine and yours
In Edhi and Chippa ambulances
The bodies and its remains
Wrapped up in darkness
The city and its lights
As its screams go unheard
As the dead search for their graves Continue reading
Category Archives: Karachi
Wrapped up in violence,
Karachi’s famous shrine of Abdullah Shah Ghazi was attacked a while ago. Over 60 people are injured and 12 are dead. After Lahore’s Data Darbar attacks, this is a trend that is gaining an ugly momentum. We condemn this act and mourn the deaths of innocent people who were visiting to perhaps allay their stress and seek some peace from the place. Shrines are not just religious – these are public spaces and also cultural markers. What a shame that terrorists are trying to destroy our culture and turning us into a bunch of afraid people living in a fractured and violent society.
Thursdays are special for shrine-goers. And this is what suits the terrorists’ agenda. This is not the first time that such a heinous tragedy has occurred. We are living amid barbarians who have no tolerance for people with inclusive and plural Sufi thought. Karachi has suffered such an attack for the first time. Reports of the city having turned into a hub of Al-Qaeda and faith-based militants are all too well known. A new phase of terror may have bgun for the city that has already been suffering ethnic, sectarian and other forms of violence. This does not augur well for the port city, its centrality to our economy, trade and prospects. Continue reading
MQM needs to change perceptions about it before it finds any ground in the Punjab
Crosspost by Yasmeen Ali
MQM’s effort to enter Punjab can be deemed as a historic political development. Altaf Hussain in an address many months earlier, promised Punjab an end to feudalism, while announcing MQM’s entrance in the Punjab political kaleidoscope .This is an interesting promise, considering MQM was unable to dent the feudalism in rural Sindh where it exists, much more than in Punjab. According to the MQM’s 2008 election manifesto “the prevalent feudal system of Pakistan is the main obstacle in the progress of the country and the prosperity of the people”.
Before going any further, let us identify what feudalism is. In one view, that of Marc Bloch, views feudalism as the complete system, political, military, social, and economic. He saw all of these issues centering around lordship. Karl Marx also took this perspective with one major difference; he centered on peasants. Marxism’s main emphasis is that of the plight of the worker thus in his view of feudalism only the peasants contributed to society. In another major view, feudalism is largely a political term. The political power in feudalism, these individuals claim, was treated as an individual possession and held by those who owned the land. Thus the government was ruled by the lords and royal officials who ruled over their land. Continue reading
Among all the gloom about our country, we tend to forget the richness and the diversity of our cities and culture. We have a lot to achieve, but we overlook a lot more that we possess. George Fulton expresses his disdain for Dubai, a ritzy burgeoning middle eastern city that portrays itself as a coastal quasi-western city of choice for businesses and tourists. We may not fully agree with George’s assessment of Dubai as just a glamorous and materialistic cosmopolitan. Yet his comparison of Karachi or Lahore (with their rich culture, traditions, intelligentsia, linguistic pluraity and democracy) with a drab city (run by an autocratic dynasty and inhabited by empty fops looking for relatively quick riches) do ring a loud bell. (AZW)
By George Fulton, The Express Tribune
We haven’t got a lot to be thankful for these days in Pakistan.
But at least we are not Dubai.
Fed up with loadshedding, bombs, and TV cynicism pervading Pakistan, I recently escaped to Dubai for a holiday. Big mistake. Huge. Ten days later I returned, gasping for Karachi’s polluted, but far sweeter, air. Dubai may have the world’s tallest building and the world’s largest shopping mall, but it also has the world’s tiniest soul. It’s a plastic city built in steel and glass.
It has imported all the worst aspects of western culture (excessive consumption, environmental defilement) without importing any of its benefits (democracy, art). This is a city designed for instant gratification a hedonistic paradise for gluttons to indulge in fast food, fast living and fast women. It’s Las Vegas in a dish dash. You want to eat a gold leaf date? Munch away.
You want to drink a Dhs 3,000 bottle of champagne? Bottoms up. You want a UN selection of hookers at your fingertips? Tres bien. Let’s start with the malls. These cathedrals of capitalism, these mosques of materialism are mausoleums of the living dead. Slack jawed zombies roam around consuming food, clothes and electronics in a desperate attempt to fill the emptiness of their existence.
By Ardeshir Cowasjee, Dawn 15 Nov, 2009
Death of a social activist
THE desecration of Gutter Baghicha, a designated parkland for the people of Karachi, has been written about umpteen times over the past couple of years, but no effective action was taken by those concerned.
On Nov 7, 2009, Nisar Baloch, the spearhead of the Gutter Baghicha Bachao Tehreek and a member of Shehri, two NGOs which have been trying for the last two decades to save this lung of the city,was shot through the head by unidentified assailants as he was leaving his house. Continue reading
Ladies and gentlemen I have long harped on about the paucity of honesty, integrity, intellect and just common sense that is common place in our Urdu Press. Needless to say the googlies of people like Hamid Mir, Oria Jaan Maqbool, Javed Chaudhry etc can make anyone’s headspin. A Lahore based English weekly has a special section dedicated to the bloopers of the Urdu press which is comment enough on such matters. Continue reading