Category Archives: urban

The Urban Frontier: Karachi

Posted by Raza Rumi
This is a brilliant series from the NPR on Karachi and its myriad issues and stark inequalities. We are posting the leads and links here for easy reference. Readers should not miss it.
Commuters in Karachi's Lyari district.
Akhtar Soomro for NPR

Karachi, Pakistan’s largest city, is growing so fast that estimates of its population range from 12 million to 18 million. The country’s financial capital is also a city where about half the population lives in illegal houses. In Karachi, Morning Edition begins a series called “The Urban Frontier,” about the world’s expanding cities.


Land Ownership a Root of Many Problems in Karachi

June 11, 2008 · As part of the “Urban Frontier” series, Steve Inskeep reported last week from Karachi, Pakistan — one of the world’s largest cities. He found problems there familiar to cities around the world: from ethnic, religious and political strife to water shortages and pollution — and land ownership was a common undercurrent. Continue reading

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Filed under Citizens, Karachi, Pakistan, Politics, poverty, public policy, urban

last night’s performance was grand

i think i might have known her
way back then, when she
goes by the name of honney rose
in another language, another tongue
if you’ll believe the neighbours,
who never tire of calling
attention to the fact that
you and some guy had set her up
in collusion with each other and her
selfless attendant.

i was there the day you told her
not to be herself that night,
and how she’d better
wisen up to the fact that
accommodation was the only
honourable option open to her.

i was there, but you do not hear me.
she was there, and she did.

minos – april 2008


Filed under poetry, Society, urban, Women

my search continues

a pome of stunning sophist(r)ication by kinkminos


i tried and tried but
could not find the peace of mind
i sought through you
without a few of the choicer cuts
caressing my brow
both furrowed and ploughed
by my inability to feel
the slightest twinge of gloom at
an utter lack of joy in this
the once deserted now converted paradice
whose poets laureate
do often wonder why is
insufficiently supported by
row upon row of
gilded postmodern columns
of most unromantic despair

minos – march 2008

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Filed under poetry, Society, urban

Smile, you are in Sharjah

a humble offering by one kinkminos

Smile, you are in Sharjah*

fading orange overalls mask
the underwhelming frame of
a bandana-masked municipality menial
of undeniably subcontinental extraction Continue reading


Filed under Labour, poetry, poverty, urban

Peshawar: Cutting trees

By Dr Ali Jan

I was sitting in my cosy chair, feeling smug and sipping coffee in the evening when I received a distressing phone call from a friend, Arbab Haleem Khan, who gave me the news of some shisham trees being chopped down, “in the Cantonment, on The Mall near the Combined Military Hospital at 5 pm, on Jan. 24,” according to him. My heart broke and it felt like I had been personally robbed of something very precious.

In British India, the term “cantonment” meant a permanent military station or settlement where the soldiers lived, not in private houses, but in barracks, quarters, forts or occasionally camps. After defeating the Sikhs and occupying the old town of Peshawar in 1849, the British founded a new cantonment, turning it into a boulevard city lined with exquisite trees. The extensive infrastructure, built during that period is still in use. They introduced city planning, set up housing registries and byelaws, named streets, and later built elaborate road systems, bridges, railway lines, airfields, and so on.

Peshawar is now officially South Asia’s oldest living city, according to experts, boasting recorded history going back more than 2,600 years. The Vale of Peshawar lay at the heart of the ancient Gandhara (“Land of Fragrance and Beauty”) between the first and seventh centuries, AD. “Like a painting . . . as far as the eye could see were fields of blossoms. In spring near Peshawar the fields of flowers are very beautiful indeed,” gushed Emperor Babar in his memoir. (Babarnama 1526 AD). The Moguls called it “City of Flowers.”
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Filed under Environment, Peshawar, urban

Pakistan: Geography of romance

We are posting this brilliant piece by a Karachi based author that indicates the new contours of relationships and the transformations that are taking place in the realm of romance, relationships and marriage… (Raza Rumi)

Majed Akhter writes on the emerging Geography of romance in Pakistan:

 Not only does the novel spatiality of cyberspace offer great potential for romance, Pakistani youth, and corporations, are responding vigorously to the opportunity. To what other goal, if not a new geography of romance, are the giant billboards that offer “completely free, late-night mobile conversations” striving for

The generation gap in Pakistan is increasingly apparent in more and more facets of life to the youth, and the older generations.

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Filed under Love, Society, urban

When will this vandalism stop -‘Another 100 trees chopped down in Islamabad’

ISLAMABAD, Jan 21: The city managers, who have already been accused of butchering thousands of trees that came in the way of various development projects, have axed about 100 more trees in a fresh sweep at the recently dualised Ibn-i-Sina Road.

Over 20-year-old and over 50-feet tall Eucalyptus trees were cut one by one by in front of many people who condemned this act of the Capital Development Authority (CDA).

The authority had already chopped down hundreds of different species of trees on the same road when it was under process of dualisation. It had allegedly cut over 10,000 trees from different locations to widen roads and sometimes in the name of termite attack or weakening of trees that could make people vulnerable to any accident. Continue reading


Filed under Environment, public policy, urban