Tag Archives: Bagh

Karachi is the broken heart of Sindh!

By Khalid Hashmani

As relationship between Pakistan and the USA moves downwards, Washington DC is once again seeing a flurry of seminars, discussions and briefings organized by various Think-tank and academic institutions. One such event was focused on astonishing expansion of Karachi. The event was inspired by a recent book called “Instant City: Life and Death in Karachi” written by Steve Inskeep of NPR’s Morning Edition. Using this book as a backdrop, Global Economy and Development and Metropolitan Policy at Brookings Institution organized a discussion on November 29 with Steve Inskeep. Other panelists included Stephen Cohen, Alan Berube, and Shuja Nawaz. Johannes Linn moderated the discussion. One highlight of the discussion was a rebuttal by a Sindhi-American that “Karachi is the heart of Sindh and Sindhis will never allow separation of Karachi from Sindh” when panelist Shuja Nawaz stated that a proposal to make Karachi as a separate province along with creating other provinces. (Full audio and details at http://www.brookings.edu/events/2011/1129_instant_city.aspx).

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Karachi could lead growth of Pakistan

Steve Inskeep, a reporter for more than twenty years has been a frequent visitor to Karachi and other parts of South Asia. His interest in Karachi intensified after he attended the trial of killers of journalist Daniel Pearl in the city. In 1947, Karachi’s population was only 400,000 lived in Karachi; most of who proudly identified themselves as Sindhis. The UN population figures show Karachi’s population to be around 13.1 million. The population growth has been astonishingly high with migrants coming from other provinces and neighboring countries. Every imaginable problem of instant urbanization can be seen in Karachi. Steve gave an example of person who migrated from Swat some years ago. Originally, he came to Karachi for better education but ended up opening an import-export wholesale business. The rampant corruption touches every aspect of life. A place where already rich politicians, political parties, military and civilian officials, and gangsters become super rich by using their influence to take over large pieces of land including parks, schools, playgrounds, or any land or condemned building and then sell the land in small parcels at huge profits. A city that has become as ungovernable as the central government and sees constant interference from Pakistan’s military and other semi-organized groups. Unlike other mega cities in India like Mumbai where economic growth is impressive, Karachi remains stagnated under the weight of unhealthy competitive interests, ethnic rivalries, and religious differences. In concluding his presentation, Steve said if there is a way that Pakistan could get back to the path of economic growth, Karachi will lead the way that growth. In an answer to a question, Steve talked about Karachi could follow the footsteps of Hong Kong and become a big commercial center in South Asia if Pakistan gets its act together and manages its relationship with India more cooperatively.

In some ways Karachi-Sindh is like Los Angles and New York

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Kalabagh dam : they want to control the water of Sindh for Punjab

Hypocrisy

By: M. Khan Sial, Karachi

Some of our friends belonging to Punjab are bent upon proving that havoc brought out by recent surplus flood water in the country, could have been averted if the controversial Kalabagh dam in Punjab existed and release of fresh water in sea to check sea intrusion is wastage. This is technically wrong contention as nowhere in the world surplus flood water are deposited in normal dams like Kalabagh due to their technicalities. Further, if any effort is made to control sudden spate of flood water, it did not succeed as spate of high flood water washed out the whole dam. Further superb floods come after 22 years in Pakistan. If we presume the water of flood is absorbed in proposed Kalabagh dam, should we wait for 22 years to fill the dam after spending billions of rupees on its construction and maintenance?

Further, the experts in various seminars have expressed their views that site of controversial Kalabagh dam is in earthquake zone and also underground range of salt mines existed there. Since some people want to control the water of Sindh for Punjab, they are trying to spread misinformation. Sometimes, they call it release of water in sea as wastage despite in the 74 deltas of the world, fresh water is released to push sea water back. It is very unfortunate pro-Kalabagh dam lobby belonging to Punjab, are claiming they are only well-wishers of rest three provinces and also of the country whereas people of three provinces are not well wishers of their own provinces or country.

What hypocrisy! Such people are unable to tell why they remained mum on untimely demise of Indus delta? Why “Water Accord – 1991” after its signing on it and passing 19 years, was not implemented in letter and spirit? Internationally recognised IUCN has recommended release of 35MAF water downstream Kotri but mighty Punjab is not allowing this resulting in mass migration in the area and ruination of eco-system, increase of poverty and dangerous sea intrusion.

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