Tag Archives: Karachi

History of Sindh

In 1947 Sindh’s total population was more than 5.5 million out of which around 1.5 million were Hindus. Karachi’s population was around 525,000 in 1947 out of which more than 260,000 were Hindus. While Hyderabad had a population of over 170,000 out of which 90,000 were Hindus. Hindus made up more than 25% of Sindh while in the Urban areas they made up around 60% of the total population.
More than 750,000 Hindus left Sindh during the partition and now they number over 3 million in India. Karachi had more than 260,000 Hindus out of which almost all of them left for India.
Sindh was one of the most peaceful areas during the partition time, no riots or mass killings took place. Sindhi Muslims were also sad seeing their Sindhi brothers and sisters leaving Sindh forever.
There are still more than 4 million Hindus living in Sindh while 350,000 in Karachi.
Wish if these Hindus had not left for India, Karachi and Hyderabad would have been way ahead of Bombay, Dehli or Lahore.
When it comes to Demographics there are around 5 million Sindhis in India, out of which 1.5 to 2 million Sindhis are local Indian ones who have been living in Kutch and Bikaner since centuries. While in Pakistan there are around 33-35 million Sindhis.
There are also more than 2 million Sindhis living in Diapora, 60% Indian and 40% Pakistani. The growth rate of Pakistani Sindhis in the Diapora is very high.
*The figures given here are not 100% official but can have a fluctuation of 5-10%*
Written by Bilal Akber Mangi.

Courtesy: via Social media/Facebook (This piece of history is taken from Social media.)

In the heart of Karachi, women rule the streets at night

BY YUMNA RAFI

Not only do the narrow lanes of Ghazdarabad remain crowded through the day, the commotion of people going about their business also continues well into the night. Venture further into these lanes and the pathway gets tighter, the houses get crammed till only a fraction of the night sky can be seen above.

After midnight, when activities subside and silence prevails, one by one the doors open slowly and women donning their best clothes and gold jewellery come out to sit on the takhats placed outside their homes.

Much like queens on their thrones, indulging in a late night gossip session over tea, cracking jokes and sharing laughter these women rule the streets at night. Without any fear or condemnation, no man or child can disturb their peace as they relish their leisure time.

Read more » DAWN
See more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1184784

Fix it campaign takes young Karachiites by strom

Karachi man, volunteers fix manholes after Sindh govt fails to

KARACHI: Alamgir Khan, whose Fix it campaign has taken young Karachiites by storm, has taken it upon himself to “fix” the appearance of city roads because the provincial government has failed to do so.

On Friday, over 100 citizens and civil society activists joined Alamgir, who has been anointed a local hero by many on social media, to seal gaps on the bustling University Road.

Alamgir told Dawn.com that the step was taken after the local administration failed to seal manholes despite two days having passed — the deadline Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah had given local authorities to cover all gutters in Karachi or “face strict action”, in the wake of media reports criticising the state of roads.

It was then that Alamgir decided to take his campaign to the next level. His team arranged manhole covers at a cost of a meagre Rs13,000 and the group sealed gaps on University Road on Friday afternoon.

“At a cost of just Rs13,000 and in only six hours, we managed to seal 42 manholes on University Road,” he said.

The participants then painted the word “fixed” next to the gaps they had sealed.

Read more » DAWN
See more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1231839/

Book Review – Mohajir Militancy in Pakistan

Violence and transformation in the Karachi conflict

By Nichola Khan

Excerpt:

Arshad’s story

…… As I got older I learned about religion and human rights. I saw no-one giving me human rights or treating me fairly so I joined MQM. I hated the system and admired Altaf Hussain who wanted to change it. For example, after my hardworking years in education I still needed to pay bribes or find personal contacts to get a job. I was so angry. Merit was absolutely unimportant. After all our sacrifices, Mohajirs were treated as third-class citizens. I was qualified as a ship’s 2 Introduction radio officer but I couldn’t get a job. My Punjabi class fellow had a lower-grade certificate and got a job. I had to pay a bribe of five lakhs. My father agreed to pay but I didn’t want him to. Around then Altaf Hussain appeared on the scene talking about my experience exactly. He urged us to unite and fight the system. He showed that because 2 per cent of the population ruled over 98 per cent, a lower-middle-class, educated, intelligent boy couldn’t become a general, a colonel or reach a high post in Pakistan. That’s why I joined. But to change the system I knew I’d have to die. This was a revolution, it wasn’t going to happen in days. We were like the first drops of rain on the earth. You know, the earth soaks up the rain at first but if the drops keep falling it will become a flood. So I knew that this was a struggle of my life and my children’s lives, but that maybe the third generation would have human rights. I was in college when I first heard about Altaf Hussain.

In the beginning I was cynical and uninterested. I first saw him when he visited Lalukhet. He talked about human rights, which attracted me. Then I went to his house and asked him to tell me more. He explained that MQM believed in achieving equal rights for Mohajirs as Pakistani citizens. I was a student then and very sensitive, it was like fire-blood in my body. Everything I’d heard about Altaf was true – that he’s a great leader and if you listen to him once he will change your life forever. He was perfect. I’m not talking about now, but then his words were like magic. They went straight into my heart. He didn’t give false hopes. He said ‘We can try, but our dream may be impossible. Or, so hard we will die. So prepare yourself to die if you want to change this system.’ So I made a decision because I wanted to change the system and was prepared to die.

I didn’t care about killing people. Anyway Pakistani politics was so violent. Politicians influenced each other not by dialogue but by power, money and by how many boys they had. There’s no law. All those politicians who were previously enemies united against MQM and started killing us, so we had no choice. I wasn’t ashamed then but I am now because I can see we were fighting for some other reasons. He sold our blood. I was about 18 when I joined. There was a neighbourhood guy who was close to our area leader. MQM was poor then and needed money. Our leader controlled Zone C, which covered half of Karachi including my area. So I worked for about six months and when he was satisfied he introduced me to our leader and I became his bodyguard and gunman. I knew I was in a war situation and so many innocent people had to die. I was convinced killing was the way to make changes. The first time I killed, nothing physically bad happened to me. I didn’t sleep well that first night but on the second day I had to do it again and I quickly had to get used to it. It didn’t bother me at all. We took orders from our leaders. They each commanded seven boys, so altogether we were two groups totalling 14 boys in charge of MQM’s security wing. We didn’t answer to anyone else in the Cabinet, we could even refuse them a glass of water. At that time we hadn’t had any training. It was just a spontaneous war. Our leader thought we needed something more so they sent a few of us to Afghanistan where we learnt to use all kinds of weapons. When we returned, he refused Introduction 3 to go anywhere without us. Eventually, some other bodyguards set up the Haqiqi faction and he could trust no-one. I think that is why he finally left Pakistan. I think he’s a coward but he was such a good speaker. I had already killed and could see that the system was very corrupt and when he spoke we became so emotional. ….

….. My first job was to kill 600 Pukhtuns. A few of us did it. Our blood was hot and we wanted revenge. Our leader gave us weapons and said ‘Listen. They have killed our innocent brothers and sisters so we must show that we are not cowards and we know how to take revenge. You must attack the Pukhtuns in their homes’.

I remember that night, it was December 1986. This was in the early years of MQM. Our leader gave us weapons that night and came with us. We all went out in few cars we’d hijacked. We didn’t have kalashnikovs but the latest weapons then were Sten guns. We went out in two cars to find some Pukhtuns, of course innocent Pukhtuns. These Pukhtuns are hard workers, they came to Karachi as labourers and they sleep under the sky, they don’t have homes. So it’s easy to find them sleeping on the roads and in the parks. 4 Introduction We killed as many as we could find. At the time MQM was very strict about the weapons, no-one else was allowed to kill or fire a single bullet. We were just 14 boys altogether in four cars. Two were in Landhi under one leader and our two cars were in Central Karachi under another. We killed as many as we could find and it was reported in the morning newspapers in a Special Edition. The headings said that more than 900 Pukhtuns had been killed by terrorists. Another heading said 300 Mohajirs were killed by terrorists and that 900 Pukhtuns were killed in different places.

That was the start. Afterwards, every few days our leader told us about some troublesome guy he wanted dead. That’s how I started killing people. Once he told me about an army intelligence superintendent of Karachi. He said you have to go and kill this woman, his wife. So two of us went by motorbike to PECHS area and I knocked on her door. We’d gone before to see the location and discovered she lived upstairs. I went up alone. Our leader had said ‘Don’t kill her with a gun. Kill her in a way that when it’s reported in the newspapers MQM’s enemies will get frightened. Kill her like that. Not with a gun – not an easy kill.’ This was the first time ever I killed a woman. I didn’t know she was pregnant although I realised that before I killed her. So I went up and knocked on the door. She opened the door and I went in and I asked her name. I had been told she would be alone. So I went in. I could see she was pregnant and I killed her by a knife in her belly. ‘For the name of God don’t kill me, don’t kill me’, she said. The details of how I did it were so horrible. I killed her with a knife, and then I took her head off and put it on top of the refrigerator. I was asked to make it horrible so that when it was reported in the papers MQM’s enemies would get frightened. Well, it worked. Now I can’t sleep and I feel all my problems come from killing her. I found out later that her husband was innocent, just doing his job. MQM wanted him to shut up so they killed him. I also heard that he loved his wife very much, it was their first baby – he ended up in a mental hospital. So now she comes in my dreams and I can’t get rid of her.

Only my leaders know about that killing. They gave us orders, never once Altaf Hussain. But although my leader was chief of MQM’s army wing, Altaf Hussain knows everything. They took the best boys from Karachi, the bravest ones they could use. I’ve realised since that he just used us, used me. What’s more, because we were always with him, even when he went into hiding every night, I’ve seen terrible things with my own eyes. I slowly realised he was a bastard. He said one thing but didn’t want to change the system at all. He just wanted to be powerful and live like a god.

So I ran away. I couldn’t sleep because I realised I had killed so many innocent people. I had nightmares about those innocent people, particularly that woman. Many times I’ve dreamt she is strangling me. She sits on my chest and I wake up and realise she is trying to kill me. Although I’ve robbed many people, banks and killed a lot of people for MQM, I’ve never abused women. Once a group of us raided a family, including daughters. We made them wait for hours for their father to bring money from the bank and although Irfan wanted to rape her, we never let him. That woman I Introduction 5 killed was a Punjabi. Understand, MQM was fighting with every nation of Pakistan, Pukhtuns, Sindhis, Punjabis, police, Rangers and Jamaat e Islami. Everyone. Finally MQM made the Haqiqi and we started killing each other.

Read more » Mohajir Militancy in Pakistan
See more »  http://samples.sainsburysebooks.co.uk/9781135161934_sample_839861.pdf

 

Shelter for abandoned animals opens in Karachi

BY SHAZIA HASAN

KARACHI: A three-legged dog greets you at the bright red gate of the newly-opened ACF Animal Shelter in Mujahid Colony, Dalmia, and hops alongside you as if it wants to show you around the facility.

There is a donkey inside the fenced lawn, munching away at marigolds. Just like a toddler, a puppy inside his pen drags along a big teddy bear. At the shelter’s launch on Sunday the once abandoned animals are learning to trust humans again as they receive gentle pats and lots of love from the guests.

One of the guests, well-known veterinarian Dr Abrar Pirzada, who appreciated the efforts of the lady behind the good work, Ayesha Chundrigar, and her team of volunteers, also had some suggestions.

Read more » DAWN
See more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1227696/

Italy to reopen trade office in Karachi, Pakistan.

BY MUBARAK ZEB KHAN

ISLAMABAD: Italy has assured to support Pakistan’s case for continuation of GSP-plus scheme during the first review expected next month.

Answering a question, Italian Trade Commissioner and Chairman of the Italian Trade Promotion Agency Riccardo Monti said his government will press for continuation of the Generalised System of Preferences Scheme for Pakistan.

Speaking at a press conference, he said that his government intends to deepen business relations with Pakistan. Italy has also decided to reopen its trade commission in Pakistan, he added.

The commission is scheduled to start work in early January 2016, it was announced.

It will be reopened in Karachi, while the Italian government will reinforce its trade office in the embassy at Islamabad.

The Italian trade commissioner is visiting Islamabad for meetings with Pakistani top officials and businessmen to explore business avenues.

Read more » DAWN
See more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1227076/

Visual Karachi: From Paris of Asia, to City of Lights, to Hell on Earth

BY NADEEM F. PARACHA

Clustered diversity

Karachi confuses people – sometimes even those who live in it.

The capital of Pakistan’s Sindh province, it is the country’s largest city – a colossal, ever-expanding metropolis with a population of about 20 million (and growing).

It is also the country’s most ethnically diverse city. But over the last three decades this diversity largely consists of bulky groups of homogenous ethnic populations that mostly reside in their own areas of influence and majority, only interacting and intermingling with other ethnic groups in the city’s more neutral points of economic and recreational activity.

That’s why Karachi may also give the impression of being a city holding various small cities. Cities within a city.

Read more » DAWN
See more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1134284

Pakistan – Downtown Karachi: A street called love

BY M BILAL HASSAN

Marred by years of political and sectarian violence, Karachi does not have the best reputation; judging by news headlines over the past few years, many would think of it as being a highly intolerant urban centre. However, having gone to school and college with almost every religious community represented in the city, I find it hard to digest that the population of Karachi is hateful or prejudiced.

And so, I set out on foot to explore the downtown area of Karachi.

I started walking from the historic Zaibunissa Street all the way towards St. Patricks Cathedral. To my utter delight, every subsequent block I walked by was inhabited by a different religious community. Here, these communities have lived harmoniously with one another for many years.

Read more » DAWN
See more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1201229

Split personality

BY SHAHAB USTO

THE recent spike in attacks on security forces has yet again exposed Karachi’s vulnerable security environment, prompting the provincial government to add more anti-terrorism courts, prosecutors and police personnel. However, it bears thinking whether these actions are sufficient to meet the security challenges that are rooted not only in terrorism but, more significantly, in the three constants of Karachi’s body politic — identity, ownership and governance.

Identity: Karachi was initially a small but cosmopolitan city, where various communities lived in harmony. But after independence, the city’s socio-cultural and political complexion kept changing because of four successive influxes. First, from 1947 through the 1950s, Karachi came to be identified as predominantly Urdu-speaking. Thousands of people from the Indian provinces of UP, Bihar and what was then known as Central Provinces, settled in the city while a large number of Hindus and Sikhs left for India.

In the 1960s, Karachi received the second wave of immigrants, mainly Pakhtun, from the then NWFP. As they entered the labour market particularly in the construction, transport, security and ports and shipping sectors, the city’s ethnic relations came under strain and riots ensued.

The third influx found its way to Karachi in the 1980s following the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Many of these Afghans even received local residencies, thanks to state patronage and connivance of local registration offices. Indeed, the ‘Afghan factor’ combined with Gen Ziaul Haq’s policy of dividing political forces in Sindh along ethnic lines to weaken the PPP’s urban appeal, drastically transformed the city’s face and security environment. The city saw an emergence of an arms-and-drugs market and the attendant political and criminal militias controlling various territories through violence.

Read more » DAWN
See more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1224471

98th Anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution celebrated in Pakistan

I am Paris. We are Paris. Peace march for Paris victims in Karachi

Peace march for Paris victims in Karachi

KARACHI: Activists of rights groups and civil society gathered at the Teen Talwar traffic intersection in Clifton on Sunday and marched on the French consulate to express solidarity with the victims of the Paris attacks.

The rally called ‘peace march’ was organised by the Sindh Secular Forum and other civil society organisations in the city.

The participants were holding placards and banners inscribed with slogans condemning the attacks.

They chanted “I am Paris” and condemned the attacks said to have been planned and executed by the so-called Islamic State.

Read more » DAWN
See more »  http://www.dawn.com/news/1219962/

No, you are not in Europe, you are very much in Karachi

Burnes Road re-envisioned by architecture students

BY SHAZIA HASAN

KARACHI: Pretty stone buildings with stained glass windows and wooden jharokhas overlooking clean open pathways with roadside restaurants and fruit, sweets and snack kiosks. No traffic, no pollution, just a nice open space to walk or if you feel like it, sit down and relax on benches or enjoy the delicacies on the offer.

No, you are not in Europe, you are very much in Karachi; in fact, this is Burnes Road! This is how fourth year architecture students at the Indus Valley School of Arts and Architecture (IVSAA) changed the food street at Burnes Road, well, at least as a part of their class project, if not in reality.

The presentation given by the students here on Friday saw them working in four groups — research, transportation, facade and streetscape. The aim of the project was to redesign the Burnes Road food street that is 1km long and 72ft in width as a pleasant, vibrant and pedestrian-friendly public space while looking into aspects of environmental improvement there and without losing its flavours.

Read more » DAWN
See more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1219516/

First phase of Karachi bus rapid transit system to be launched next month

BY HABIB KHAN GHORI

KARACHI: Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad Khan was informed on Friday that work on the first phase of the Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) — Green Line and Orange Line — in Karachi would begin next month and be completed within one year.

Dr Ibad, who chaired a meeting at Governor House on transport projects in Karachi, was given a detailed briefing by the chief executive of the Karachi Infrastructure Development Board regarding the Green Line, Orange Line, Yellow Line and Blue Line projects of the BRTS.

The official said that the Green Line project — from Surjani Town to M.A. Jinnah Road — would be completed with an estimated cost of Rs16.85 billion to be funded by the federal government.

Read more » DAWN
See more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1215129/

China to build four submarines in Karachi, Pakistan.

ISLAMABAD: China will build in Karachi four of eight submarines that it is selling to Pakistan.

Minister for Defence Production Rana Tanveer Hussain told at the inauguration of the Defence Export Promotion Organisation (DEPO) Display Centre in the federal capital that the deal for acquisition of submarines from China had been finalised and four of them would be built here.

He further said that construction of the submarines would simultaneously begin in Pakistan and China.

China, he said, would transfer the technology to Pakistan for submarine construction.

Read more » DAWN
See more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1211363/china-to-build-four-submarines-in-karachi

Pakistan Lux Style Awards 2015: ‘Na Maloom Afraad’ declared best film, Javaid Sheikh best actor and Ayeza Khan best TV actress

KARACHI, SINDH – Pakistani film ‘Na Maloom Afraad’ has been declared best movie of the year at Lux Style Awards 2015 while veteran actor Javaid Shaikh won best film actor award, with Hamza Ali Abbasi and Ayeza Khan winning the best TV actor awards for male and female category respectively. The couple’s drama ‘Payare Afzal’ was also announced as the best drama of the year.

Read more » Daily Pakistan
See more » http://en.dailypakistan.com.pk/lifestyle/lux-style-awards-2015-na-maloom-afraad-declared-best-film-javaid-sheikh-best-actor-and-ayeza-khan-best-tv-actress/

US consulate launches website in Sindhi language

KARACHI: U.S. Consul General Brian Heath officially launched the Consulate’s first-ever Sindhi language web site at his residence in Karachi.

According to an official press release, leading Sindhi writer and social activist Dr. Suleman Shaikh shared the stage. In addition, Sindhi musicians performed at the event, which was also designed to showcase Sindhi culture.

“We are very proud and excited to launch our first-ever Sindhi language web site,” said Mr. Heath. “This follows on the successful launch of Mission Pakistan’s Urdu language web sites earlier this month.” U.S. Consulate Karachi, he added, has been issuing press releases, posting on Facebook and tweeting in Sindhi for more than a year.

“Having Consulate Karachi’s web site completely in Sindhi,” said Mr. Heath, “is an important step in helping us reach out to the 60 million Sindhi speakers in both Pakistan and overseas. Now, they will be able to read about the Consulate’s activities and assistance efforts in one of Pakistan’s oldest and most important languages.” The Consulate, he said, wants Americans and Pakistanis to “get to know each other better.”

Guests included prominent Sindhi personalities, such as journalists, media owners, social activists and cultural figures.

To visit the U.S. Consulate General Karachi’s web site, go to sindhi.karachi.usconsulate.gov.

Courtesy: Geo Tv + KTN
Read more » http://www.geo.tv/article-199029-US-consulate-launches-website-in-Sindhi-language

Sindh waits for Islamabad’s nod to launch drive against banned outfits

BY HASAN MANSOOR

KARACHI: The provincial government is waiting for guidelines from the federal government to launch action against banned organisations, which are working with new names in Sindh, it emerged on Sunday.

“The Ministry of Interior (MoI) has been requested to provide a list of the religious outfits, which are banned but reemerging under the changed nomenclature,” said a senior official in the provincial home department while speaking to Dawn.

He said the MoI was to send policy guidelines. However, till the specific directives arrived, he added, the hierarchy of the Pakistan Rangers, Sindh, and the inspector general of police, Sindh, had been requested to take action against the outlawed outfits.

“Such organisations should not be allowed to hold public gatherings and meetings but they are openly active across the province,” admitted the official.

Continue reading Sindh waits for Islamabad’s nod to launch drive against banned outfits

Delhi to Karachi: A tale of two homelands

By Aman Bharti / KS Bharti / Creative: Maryam Rashid

‘Religion and nationality did not matter during my childhood in the city by the sea’

Aman Bharti

Once upon a time there was an Indian boy who grew up in Karachi. At the time, he did not know just how odd that simple fact was. That boy was me. I lived in Karachi because my father, a diplomat, was posted to the Indian consulate in the port city. I was three years old when we arrived in Karachi in 1983, and nearly six when we left in 1986.

Given my age, my world in Karachi orbited two locations: home and school. ‘Home’ was Hindustan Court in Clifton, a building housing the Indian government’s consular employees. Our residence was probably once part of a mansion that was haphazardly carved out into a number of small, bizarrely-shaped homes — our house, for instance, featured disproportionately large windows that went on like a runaway train. Well, in our part of the world we all know that partitions invariably have unexpected consequences.

There was one clue that there was a difference between my world and the world that my friends from school inhabited. In school, when we played ‘fauj fauj’, a variant of ‘cops and robbers’, every child — including myself — wanted to be part of the Pakistan fauj, as this team always won. But at home, I discovered that it was the Indian fauj that always won. It was the kind of paradox that makes little sense to a child, but I quickly made my peace with the discrepancy and learned to switch sides depending on where I played.

Beyond school and home, I have happy memories of going to the beach often. I remember the sea water was brimming with little fish no more than an inch long, and once, I lost a ball in the sea. I was told the ocean would take my ball all the way to Bombay. At the time, I had no idea what or where Bombay was.

A local man named Iqbal would clean our house every day, and for my sister and me, he was our friend. When we finally left Karachi for Delhi, Iqbal sent us candy and toys, including a View-Master, a toy through which you could look at stereoscopic photos. The photo slides that came with the View-Master were of Islamic holy places and festivals, and I would spend hours looking at pictures of Mecca and Muharram activities. I later learned that other children used View-Masters to look at cartoons.

My first school in Karachi was Onimo Montessori Private School. I remember it as a happy place. One day, when the school closed for the day, no one arrived to pick me up. I waited until it was just me and the watchman. He sat with me until someone finally arrived. What I remember most is that he also shared his lunch with me. It was this simple but unselfish act of kindness that has stayed etched in my memory.

When I turned five, it was time to go to a proper school. I remember Jennings Private School as a scary place full of rough boys who were bigger than me. A few children from the Indian consulate also attended Jennings, and my best friend was a girl named Seviyan (like the sweet dish). I remember a prize­giving ceremony at Jennings, when I had won something. The teacher moved me from the back of the line to the front. The boy who was now standing behind me did not approve of his demotion, and, once the teacher left, he pushed me behind him. So did the next boy. And the next boy. When the teacher came by again, I was standing last in line once more.

Continue reading Delhi to Karachi: A tale of two homelands

Altaf asks workers to demand UN, White House, NATO for troops in Karachi

DALLAS: Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) Chief Altaf Hussain has asked his party workers to stage protests in front of United Nations, White House and NATO and raise a demand for sending their troops to Karachi.

Altaf Hussain was addressing MQM’s Annual Convention in the US city of Dallas via telephone.

Altaf said, India itself is a coward country, if it had some honor it would not have allowed ‘bloodshed of Mohajirs’ on Pakistani soil. He reiterated the demand for a separate province [Refugees’ Province] for Mohajirs [Refuees].

MQM Chief directed party workers to write letters to US newspapers and make them aware of the actual situation in Pakistan.

Altaf Hussain asked MQM workers to continue their movement for respectable life of mothers, sisters and daughters even if he was murdered.

Read more: GeoTV
See more » http://www.geo.tv/article-192941-Altaf-asks-workers-to-demand-UN-White-House-NATO-for-troops-in-Karachi

With China, for China – As China arrives, Pakistan cleans house

By Wajahat S. Khan

The Sino-Pak axis has matured. The decades old ‘Cheen-Pak Bhai Bhai’ narrative is fast moving beyond pan-Karakoram fraternal rhetoric complemented by scenically exotic highways, shared rocket designs and muted nuclear deals to morph into optically sound, fundamentally critical, even mutually loud and proud policy, infrastructure and defense initiatives on the ground. China – and not just its submarines – is coming to Pakistan, and Pakistan is getting ready to receive the People’s Republic. The ‘Bhai’ in Beijing, as the mood in Islamabad indicates, is now a BFF – Best Friend Forever – even a Friend With Benefits.

The comprehensive Chinese assistance package – hinged on the 3000 kilometer-long China-Pak Economic Corridor, an aggressive energy build-up and military modernization – is the largest planned foreign investment program for any country, ever, touching almost crossing over $100 billion in the next decade and a half, and is being seen as the next, and perhaps the last, big thing that war-weary Pakistan must grab on to, at any cost.

The Peking Promise

The plan is simple: The deep-sea port of Gwadar is going to drive Chinese imports, largely oil and gas, into western China, which is relatively underdeveloped versus the rest of the PRC and prone to militancy. The levies, infrastructure and traffic will tone up the CPEC network to create jobs, roads and even entire towns along the way from Pakistani Balochistan, through all of the Islamic Republic’s other provinces, to Chinese Kashgar in Xinjiang. Add the potential of Chinese naval presence in Gwadar that will let it over see Hormuz and neighboring ports and the reality of Pakistan’s newly formed and purpose-built 34th Infantry Division to protect Chinese assets and personnel, and there is a single-minded confidence that the corridor must be secured and will be secured. After all, the Pakistanis have given their word to Beijing.

“China is Pakistan’s only strategic friend…not even the Saudis get to have that privilege any longer” said a senior intelligence officer last month when China’s deputy intelligence chief, Dong Haizhou was promised “no hurdles for CPEC” by army chief General Raheel Sharif during a visit to GHQ, according to the military spokesperson’s office.

So, fuelled by the blank political cheque presented to the civilian and military security apparatus by popular support after the terrible Peshawar Army Public School massacre last December – which has granted the military, police and federal investigators unprecedented constitutional powers to clean house – whoever gets in the way of a CPEC-oriented Pakistan must move aside, or be pushed out. The purge is here, and the reasoning is to satisfy China.

Housekeeping

But this isn’t just the regular arrests and assassinations purge, the type that Pakistanis are used to. It’s more of a wide-ranging political rethink, a housekeeping exercise that runs from the south to the north, just like the corridor it is meant to pave. In Karachi and Sindh, the drive against ‘corrupt’ political parties like former president Asif Ali Zardari’s Pakistan Peoples Party has begun, which has forced him to take some respite and exit the country; also, that’s where the ‘violent’ wings of Karachi’s all-powerful Muttahida Qaumi Movement are being clipped, with some help from the BBC (which claims that India’s Research and Analysis Wing funded and trained the party’s militants) and British authorities (who are investigating the MQM’s leadership in London for murder and money laundering). Karachi, too violent and complicated to tackle alone, needed a pincer move to control it, and the Pakistanis have managed to find a partner here in the UK.

Continue reading With China, for China – As China arrives, Pakistan cleans house

Rangers have turned Sindh into an occupied province: Altaf

KARACHI: Criticising the ongoing targeted operation in Karachi, Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain on Saturday alleged that the Rangers had turned Sindh into what he called an “occupied province”, a press release on the party’s website said. “Sindh is burning and MQM workers are being treated like prisoners of war,” said the MQM chief

Read more » DAWN
See more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1192331

Rangers ‘cementing’ hold in Karachi

Despite the fact that the federal government has earmarked Rs 300 million under Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) for the construction of accommodation for Abdullah Shah Ghazi Rangers at Karachi, paramilitary Sindh Rangers are unlawfully running a construction business in the city to “meet expenses”.

Pakistan Today has learnt that the paramilitary force, by the name of Karachi Block Works (KBW), prepares and sells construction material in the open market and also provides services for building and demolishing houses in the city. Their construction depot is situated along the boundary wall of Sheikh Zaid Islamic Research Centre (SZIRC) on University of Karachi (KU) land in Gulshan-e-Iqbal.

Upon visit to the site, Pakistan Today witnessed a large quantity of cement blocks, sand and stones, spread over thousands of square yards of land, with material-loaded trucks, shuttling from and to the depot. Within the depot, Rangers have made a makeshift office where paramilitary personnel ensure their presence for public dealing and security.

Talking to Pakistan Today, a Rangers ‘supervisor’ at the depot said that Rangers had been running this business since 1994. “We supply cement blocks, crush stones and sand to the market. We also provide services for building and demolishing houses in all parts of the city,” he said.

‘SWEET’ BLOCKS, THIRSTY LOCALS:

Unlawfully using KU land for the business, the paramilitary force has intercepted the main water pipeline of Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB) to use water for manufacturing blocks.

Due to this puncture in the KWSB water pipeline, the residents of Gulistan-e-Jauhar, residing opposite to KU, have been facing acute water shortage for the last eight years.

“KBW is famous in the area for manufacturing quality blocks by using sweet water,” the supervisor however boasts.

WHO ALLOWED THIS?:

When contacted, the KU administration claimed that they had given a piece of land to Rangers for six months for manufacturing blocks for the construction of its installation in the city, but they started a private construction business and have been running it for eight years now on the varsity’s precious land.

“Permission to Rangers to manufacture blocks was given on request of the then KU security adviser Prof Dr Khalid Iraqi for six months in 2008,” KU External Estate Officer Naeemur Rehman said.

“As the given deadline expired, the then vice chancellor Prof Dr Pirzada Qasim Raza Siddiqui wrote a letter to Rangers high-ups, requesting them to evacuate the varsity land however the Rangers refused to vacate the land,” Rehman maintained.

WHERE DOES THE REVENUE GO?:

Investigation confirmed the Rangers construction business in the city but it is yet to be ascertained as to where the revenue generated by this business ends up. The Rangers depot supervisor claimed that the business is controlled and monitored directly by the Sindh Rangers director general but this could not be confirmed from the Rangers authorities.

RANGERS DILLYDALLY:

When contacted, Rangers officials initially disowned their involvement in any commercial business in Karachi, however they later accepted that the paramilitary force was engaged in construction business to “finance its construction projects in the city and to meet financial expenses of the paramilitary force here”.

Rangers Sindh spokesperson Colonel Tahir Mehmood diverted Pakistan Today’s query to Major Sibtain, saying “I will get back to you on this”.

Major Sibtain initially disowned the business, but later claimed that Rangers were constructing pickets by generating revenue from this business. “Rangers got Rs 300.5 million in the federal PSDP for the construction of accommodation for Abdullah Shah Ghazi in Karachi, but it has not yet received the money,” Maj Sibtain maintained.

Questioned on the paramilitary force’s development budget, Maj Sibtain excused himself saying that he needed to check details with the Accounts Department.

Moreover, the spokesperson dodged a question about the record of the revenue generated through the construction business.

“The paramilitary force is working to bring law and order situation under control by conducting targeted raids and operation in every nook and corner of the city,” he said instead.

News courtesy:Pakistan Today
Read more » http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2015/06/17/national/rangers-cementing-hold-in-karachi/

Rangers “overstepped its authority” with SBCA office raid: CM Sindh writes to DG Rangers

KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah has written a letter to DG Rangers Sindh and urged the paramilitary force to work within its domain, ARY News reported.

In a letter, CM Sindh said Rangers had been given powers under Anti-Terrorism Act to stop burgeoning terrorism.

However, Rangers raid at Sindh Building Control Authority’s office was overstepping of its doman. The letter, citing CM Sindh, urged that Rangers must work within its defined boundaries.

The notification detailing Rangers domain of work was also attached with the letter.

Mr. Shah said Rangers must respect provincial autonomy.

The copy of the letter was also dispatched to Interior Ministry Chaudhary Nisar Ali Khan.

Read more » ARY News Tv
http://arynews.tv/en/rangers-overstepped-its-authority-with-sbca-office-raid-cm-sindh-writes-to-dg-rangers

See more » BBC urdu
http://www.bbc.com/urdu/pakistan/2015/06/150617_sindh_cm_letter_to_dg_rangers_hk?ocid=socialflow_facebook

Off the plane, on to the stage

KARACHI: Shehzad Ghias didn’t seem jet-lagged as he took the stage for his comeback show Fresh Of the Plane at the Music Art Dance school. Ghias, who recently returned to the city from New York after two years, kept the audience engaged with his satire of Pakistan’s bizarre pop culture in a two-day act on June 13 and 14.

He opened by ridiculing the country’s local entertainment content for children by explaining why a show as popular as Sesame Street was unable to take off in Pakistan. “In America, you have cute characters, such as the Cookie Monster and Elmo, but in Pakistan, you have Uncle Sargam — an old, bald man. Imagine having a ‘Hug me, Uncle Sargam’ toy like the ones they have for Elmo in the United States,” he quipped.

It was an honour to perform in New York but the love you get from Pakistan is incomparable, I have a connection with Karachi, Sindh & it will stay with me no matter what. ~ Comedian Shahzad Ghias

Read more » The Express Tribune
See more » http://tribune.com.pk/story/904661/off-the-plane-on-to-the-stage/