Tag Archives: Karachi

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/

Silenced – the day my daughter was shot in front of me

Sabeen01Sabeen Mahmud was a passionate supporter of free speech. She ran a space in a Karachi cafe for people to talk freely about politics, society and human rights – but six weeks ago, in the latest of a string of attacks on liberal activists in Pakistan, a gunman killed her as she drove home. Her mother, Mahenaz, who was next to her, talks about her remarkable daughter.

I hadn’t visited the space for quite a while but that day I just wanted to be around her – it was just a feeling, “I have to go today, and I have to be around, just to show her my support.”

This image keeps going round all the time in my head – these eyes looking, and this gun coming out. I said to Sabeen, “Just look, I mean these guys, what do they want?” I thought it was a mugging actually, I thought they wanted a handbag or phone, because that’s pretty common in Karachi. But then I heard the gun shots, the glass shattered and Sabeen was gone and they disappeared.

I took two bullets. One bullet actually is one of the bullets that Sabeen took, because they fired at such close range – we were stationary because we were at a traffic signal which was red. There were people all around us, and this motorcycle rode up a bit too close for comfort at Sabeen’s side and they fired from there and one of the bullets went through her, out and into my arm and out of my arm. That is one. She took five.

The other one, the police believe it came in and ricocheted somewhere in the car and it went into my back. I must have moved forward to look at her. I was saying to her, “Sabeen, can you hear me? Say something, we’ll just get you to the hospital.”

Continue reading Silenced – the day my daughter was shot in front of me

World Sindhi Congress (WSC) condemned the terrorist attack on peaceful Ismaili Community of Sindh

We condemned the terrorist attack on Peaceful, Humble, Down to earth, cooperative, enterprising members of Aga Khani-Ismalili community of innocent citizens of Sindh and stand with the grieving families. We salute the driver (who was injured himself ) of the bus who drove the bus to nearby hospital to save numerous lives.
PPP administration completely failed to protect its citizens. It is absolute failure of Rangers and Sindh Police. Rangers should held accountable along with Police. Sindh spent sizable amount of budget on Rangers and all they are doing is running water tanker business in Karachi.
We demand de-weaponization of Karachi and stoppage of the mass exodus of illegal immigrants in Sindh.

News courtesy: Via facebook wall of WSC

Aga Khan shocked by attack on Ismailis

BY DAWN.COM

The spiritual leader of the Ismaili community His Highness Aga Khan expressed shock and sorrow over the attack on a bus carrying Ismailis near Safoora Chowk in Karachi which left 43 dead and 13 wounded.

“This attack represents a senseless act of violence against a peaceful community. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and the families of those killed and wounded in the attack,” said a statement posted on the Aga Khan Development Network website.

The statement said that Ismailis are a peaceful global community that live in harmony with various other ethnic and religious groups across the world.

The statement added that other Ismaili leaders in Pakistan are currently involved in an emergency operation to help the survivors of the attack.

Continue reading Aga Khan shocked by attack on Ismailis

43 killed in attack on bus carrying Ismailis in Karachi

By AGENCIES | IMTIAZ ALI

KARACHI: At least 43 people were killed and 13 others wounded on Wednesday when armed men opened fire inside a bus carrying members of the Ismaili community near Safoora Chowk in Karachi.

Sindh Police Inspector General Ghulam Haider Jamali said that 60 people were on board the bus when six gunmen entered and executed 43 passengers.

He added that the armed men used 9mm pistols in the massacre. The attackers managed to flee after the attack.

Hospital sources have so far confirmed that the dead include 25 men and 16 women. Police officials said that there were no children among the casualties.

All victims were shot from a close-range.

Rana M Razzaq, a security coordinator at the Memon Medical Center, told Dawn that, “One young girl hid and survived. Three or four others who were brought to the hospital have survived…the rest are all dead.”

Read more » DAWN
See more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1181698/43-killed-in-attack-on-bus-carrying-ismailis-in-karachi

‘The Republic of Jinnahpur’ – Strategy For Balkanization of Pakistan

SYED JAMALUDDIN WAS THE FIRST ONE TO SEEK INDIAN ASSISTANCE

by Zaki Khalid

Jamaluddin is a self-exile in Heidelberg, Germany and who is a strong proponent of ‘The State of Jinnahpur’. This, he claims, is for the supposed protection of the Urdu-speaking community. In the past, he has continued to pen propaganda and vice against the state of Pakistan and its institutions in particular the military and intelligence services. Furthermore, he calls ‘Punjabi terrorism’ as the supposed root cause of chaos in Pakistan. In the early 90’s, Jamaluddin was recruited by the Indian intelligence agency RAW after he developed internal disputes with comrades in MQM. He had escaped before he could be captured by the Military Intelligence which was on the lookout for him owing to the maps and designs in his possession as he was one of the main architects of the Jinnahpur conspiracy, which received massive funding and support from the establishment across our border.

In his message to the international journalist community, Jamaluddin warned that the military establishment of Pakistan wants to “corner and eliminate MQM” in Karachi through guerilla warfare. This, he alleges, is being done “through Talibanized factions of Pathan and Punjabi political parties”.

Moving ahead, Jamaluddin appealed to MQM leader Altaf Hussain to beware of Pakistan’s military and intelligence institutions adding that Altaf is being treated “as yet another Sheikh Mujib-ur-Rehman of Bangladesh”.

He added that making of the ‘Republic of Jinnahpur’ might also gain momentum as a consequence of possible disintegration of Spain in 2015. “Karachi is Pakistan’s Catalonia and Kosovo”, says Jamaluddin.

Continue reading ‘The Republic of Jinnahpur’ – Strategy For Balkanization of Pakistan

Who killed the girl saint of Karachi? By Hasan Mujtaba (translated from Urdu)

(An attempted translation of an Urdu column published at Jang, Pakistan, April 30, 2015)

Elite Mummies and Daddies, living across the Clifton Bridge of Karachi, get to know about the troubles and travails of most other citizens only when their maidservants or drivers from Baloch Colony, Liyari, or New Karachi, tell them about the misery that their own friends and acquaintances faced that day.

Or as my friend tells me, “the Mummies and Daddies felt the miseries only when  a shortage of fresh vegetable occurred at Agha super market.” Only then they realized that something bad has happened in the city. In such a situation a girl like Sabeen proved that they she was a saint.

Continue reading Who killed the girl saint of Karachi? By Hasan Mujtaba (translated from Urdu)

Murdered on the streets of Karachi: my friend who dared to believe in free speech

By 

Sabeen Mahmud singlehandedly created a counter-cultural haven for artists, writers and thinkers in her home city. And she paid for it with her life. Those of us left behind can only ask why

“Be careful,” I said to my childhood friend Sabeen Mahmud when I saw her in London in 2013, soon after she’d received a death threat – neither the first nor last. “Someone has to fight them,” she replied.

“Fear is just a line in your head,” Sabeen had once said in an interview with Wired magazine – and she and I lived on different sides of that line. On Friday night, Sabeen was murdered, gunned down in her car in Karachi as she drove home with her mother.

There aren’t too many people from Karachi with a clear conscience. It’s a city of many horrors powered by even more guns, and fear makes most people live in a silence that becomes complicity. But Sabeen was always a woman made of different stuff, thanks in large measure to the two great influences of her life: her mother, Mahnaz (shot twice during the attack), from whom she inherited her socialist tendencies, and her friend and mentor Zaheer Kidvai (Zak) who introduced her to the idea of counterculture, via everything from Abbie Hoffman to revolutionary Urdu poets. While most of us at our elite school in Karachi lived in a fairly apolitical bubble, Sabeen was developing class-consciousness and identifying political heroes. Post-university, when most of her schoolfriends were choosing not to return to an increasingly embattled city, she decided to take another approach.

Continue reading Murdered on the streets of Karachi: my friend who dared to believe in free speech

Sabeen, the one who never backed down

By HASSAN BELAL ZAIDI

The fingers type, but I don’t feel them moving. The ears sense a commotion, but I cannot hear. The eyes fight back tears, but it’s futile to resist.

How can you feel, how can you react, how can you respond, when the news ofa friend’s death hits you, right between the eyes?

But Sabeen was far more than a friend, she was a beacon; an island of calm in a sea of madness.

The Second Floor, conceived and modelled in her own image, was the physical embodiment of her intangible love for all things; food, the arts, knowledge and ideas, and, of course, people.

As bleeding heart liberals go, Sabeen’s was the bloodiest heart I have ever come across. Sabeen did a lot more than just help people. She championed causes, thought outside the box and wanted, with every breath, to make a difference.

Also read: Sabeen Mahmud — a profile

A leading light of the #PakistanForAll and #ReclaimYourMosque campaigns, she was usually the first to hit the streets and the last to go home.

When they came for the Shias of Alamdar Road, she was at Numaish from the very beginning to the bitter end.

When they came for the Christians of Peshawar, she was right there at the heart of the human chains that protected churches on Sunday mass.

Always one to challenge convention, always one to take the unpopular stand, always one to side with the underdog; Sabeen Mahmud never backed down from a fight.

Continue reading Sabeen, the one who never backed down

Director T2F Sabeen Mahmud shot dead in Karachi

BY DAWN.COM

KARACHI: The director of The Second Floor (T2F), Sabeen Mahmud, was shot dead by unidentified gunmen in Karachi on Friday.

Sabeen, accompanied by her mother, left T2F after 9pm on Friday evening and was on her way home when she was shot by unidentified gunmen in Defence Phase-II, sources confirmed. She died on her way to the hospital. Doctors said they retrieved five bullets from her body, which has now been shifted to Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre.

Her mother also sustained bullet wounds and is currently being treated at a hospital; she is said to be in critical condition.

T2F had on Friday organised a talk on Balochistan: ‘Unsilencing Balochistan Take 2: In Conversation with Mama Qadeer, Farzana Baloch & Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur.’

Sabeen had left T2F after attending the session, when she was targeted.

T2F, described as a community space for open dialogue, was Sabeen’s brainchild. In an interview with Aurora, she referred to it as “an inclusive space where different kinds of people can be comfortable.”

Conceived as a bookstore and café patterned after the old coffeehouse culture of Lahore and Karachi, The Second Floor — or T2F, as everyone calls it — says on its website that it was born out of a desire to enact transformational change in urban Pakistani society.

Muttahida Qaumi Movement leader Nasreen Jalil, while talking to DawnNews, condemned Sabeen Mahmud’s killing and demanded the government to bring the perpetrators to justice.

Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah, taking notice of the incident, has asked the Additional Inspector-General Karachi Police to submit a report on the brutal murder, DawnNews reported.

Read more » DAWN
See more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1177956/director-t2f-sabeen-mahmud-shot-dead

Smart Money to Follow China’s Massive Investment in Pakistan

This (China’s $46 billion investment in Pakistan) can not be purely politically driven. Beijing is commercial: CEO’s, not think tank intellectuals, travel with politicians. Barron’s Asia

Spurred by Chinese investment, the smart money is taking notice of Pakistan as an attractive investment destination. The investors are looking at the fact that Pakistani stocks have been outperforming both emerging and frontier markets for several years. The benchmark index of the Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE100) is up more than 20% in the last 12 months, according to NASDAQ.com.

Pakistani Shares in 2015: After a dismal March, MSCI Pakistan rebounded strongly this month, returning 9.1% so far. In April, the iShares MSCI Frontier 100 ETF (FM) rose 4.3%, the WisdomTree India Earnings Fund (EPI) dropped 1.2%, the iShares MSCI India ETF (INDA) fell 1.9%, according to Barron’s Asia.

KSE-100 Performance: In 2014, the KSE-100 Index gained 6,870 points thereby generating a handsome return of 27% (31% return in US$ terms), making Pakistan’s KSE world’s third best performing market. Total offerings in the year 2014 reached 9 as compared to 3 in the year 2013. After a gap of seven years, Rs 73 billion were raised through offerings in 2014 as compared to a meager Rs 4 billion raised in 2013. Foreign investors, that hold US$ 6.1 billion worth of Pakistani shares -which is 33% of the free-float (9% of market capitalization)-remained net buyers in 2014.

Read more » http://www.riazhaq.com/2015/04/smart-money-to-follow-chinas-massive.html

Karachi’s Avatar

Karachi, Sindh has been home to a long, red history of communists, Avatar Hangal is one of them. Akhtar Balouch, Blogger

BY AKHTAR BALOUCH

Every time the generous people at Dawn publish one of my blogs, I start receiving phone calls from friends in the dozens. Write about this, one would say, as another would insist on a different topic.

Many complain: why haven’t you written about this or that so far? Why did you miss this or that great personality from Karachi?

It always pleases me to receive these messages and calls, while at the same time I am saddened by the limitation of resources. But as our dear Hasrat Mohani said:

Hai mashq-e-sukhan jaarii aur chakkii kii mushaqqat bhi
[As the pen’s labour continues, so does the labour to survive.]

A senior journalist and a serious human rights activist Zaman Khan phoned me from Lahore, asking me to write about A.K Hangal. He was also kind enough to forward me an interview with Mr Hangal.

The name might not be as well-known in Pakistan, but the face would certainly look familiar to many. Hangal was seen in more than 300 Bollywood films, playing supporting roles. Apart from being an actor, Hangal was also a staunch communist.

He wished to see India transform into a communist state after the Partition. Because of his views, he had to spend two years in jail in Karachi. He also spent some time in the Hyderabad Central Jail, Sindh.

Continue reading Karachi’s Avatar

Russia to invest $2 billion to build natural gas pipeline in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: Russia will invest a whopping $2 billion in Pakistan to build a 1,100-kilometre pipeline from southern port city of Karachi to Lahore to transport liquefied natural gas.

“Pakistan and Russia have finalized an LNG pipeline deal in a recent meeting in Moscow and the two countries will sign a government-to-government basis deal next month,” petroleum minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi was quoted as saying by The Express Tribune.

Abbasi said that in return for the investment, Russian companies will be awarded the contract to build the pipeline.

News courtesy: THE TIMES OF INDIA
Read more » http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/business/international-business/Russia-to-invest-2-billion-to-build-natural-gas-pipeline-in-Pakistan/articleshow/46970624.cms

What Some Muslims Are Doing For Hindus In Pakistan On Holi Will Make You Stand Up & Applaud Humanity

By Rohit Bhattacharya

The National Students Federation of Pakistan, a platform to redirect the thinking of students and others alike from the inept politics of the ruling powers, has proposed an event that is as heartwarming as it is heart wrenching. They want to form a human shield for the Hindu Holi revellers, to show solidarity with their brothers and sisters.

Read more » Scoop Whoop
See more » http://www.scoopwhoop.com/inothernews/hindus-on-pakistani-holi/

In Karachi, a human shield for Hindus celebrating Holi

By DAWN.COM

KARACHI: The National Student’s Federation (NSF) organised the formation of a human shield at the Holi celebrations at Swami Narayan Temple today to show solidarity with and protect Hindus in attendance.

The demonstration is an attempt to promote interfaith coexistence and cooperation among different religious and ethnic groups in Pakistan. The NSF leveraged social media to spread information about the event, extending e-vitations to others who share their outlook on religious tolerance and wish to participate in the demonstration.

Also read: Mithi: Where a Hindu fasts and a Muslim does not slaughter cows

A member of the NSF describes it as a “progressive leftist organisation” dating back to the NSF of the Ayub Khan era. The organisation experienced a revival in 2006 – 2008.

Read more » DAWN
See more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1167564/in-karachi-a-human-shield-for-hindus-celebrating-holi

– – – – – – —
More » The Times of India
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Human-shield-to-protect-Hindus-celebrating-Holi-in-Pakistan/articleshow/46475072.cms

Karachi experiencing a demographic earthquake, moot told

By Saher Baloch

KARACHI: Carving out new provinces is not a solution to the administrative issues faced by Sindh, speakers said on the first day of a two-day peace conference held here on Saturday.

The conference titled ‘Exploring peace and reconciliation alternatives: towards a Karachi for all,’ is being held by the Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (Piler).

With a variety of noted speakers for the day having three sessions, the opening speech and introduction to the conference was given by executive director of Piler Karamat Ali. He said the aim of the conference was to bring together people from various fields and classes to speak and debate about ideas they felt closest to them.

He spoke at length about the initial migration in the city, how it further developed when people started inviting more people to work here and how the situation deteriorated over the years, making labourers one of the most vulnerable groups in the city at present.

“We need to remember while shunning another person on the basis of ethnicity that they are willing to do the work that we look down upon. We need each other,” Mr Ali said.

Next in the line was Dr Kaiser Bengali, senior economist and adviser to the chief minister of Balochistan. In his presentation on ‘Karachi: a city in transition’, Dr Bengali raised pertinent points about the present demography of the city, the growing differences between various ethnicities inhabiting it and its solutions. Presenting statistics, he said, starting from a Sindhi city to a Mohajir city, Karachi was now in the middle of what he described as a “demographic earthquake” and on its way to become a Pakhtun city in the future.

“Its reason is that there is an exodus of Pakhtuns from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa due to a high birth rate, increase in household size (meaning number of people per home) and lack of employment in that province, which means that by 2045, Karachi will be dominated by the Pakhtun population.”

He pointed out that the Seraiki-speaking population was also increasing in the city, mostly migrating from south Punjab. “In the future, the Seraiki speakers with their almost 80 per cent population will be the next in line to demand their rights and an electoral seat,” he added.

Explaining further, he said: “This demographic earthquake is bound to create a conflict in the city and our job should be to manage the conflict. Creating a province does not seem like a solution to counter the conflict, but one that might further complicate the situation.”

Read more » DAWN
Learn more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1152134

Pakistan: Bilawal Bhutto Zardari leads first PPP rally

Tens of thousands of Pakistanis have attended the first mass rally held by the son of murdered Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

By Shahzeb Jillani, BBC News, Karachi, Sindh

Karachi has not seen such a huge PPP rally for years. The party is trying to show that it still has mass appeal, and can compete with other opposition politicians such as Imran Khan. It is, after all, a party that has fought military dictatorships in Pakistan time and again over the last four decades.

Read more » BBC
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-29673493

Madonna’s ‘dream school’ opens in Karachi, Sindh

SINDH – KARACHI: Pop icon and social activist Madonna took to Instagram on Monday to announce the opening of  her ‘dream school’ in Karachi that she pledged to help build last year.

“The Revolution of Love continues in Pakistan! The Dream School is finally finished. 1,200 kids attending. Knowledge is Power! #rayoflight #livingforlove,” read her caption.

Last year, Madonna announced that she is raising money to expand a school in an impoverished area on the outskirts of Karachi, according to a press release on her official website.

The starlet went on stage at a live concert in London and publicised that she is supporting girls’ education in Pakistan through her Ray of Light Foundation, and urged people to support her cause.  She was joined on stage by Humaira Bachal, an education activist from Karachi.

Madonna has long spoken about her admiration for Humaira Bachal, a Pakistani woman who has campaigned for better education for young girls.

Speaking at the Chime For Change event in London last year, Madonna said, “Let’s help Humaira build a bigger school in Pakistan! How ‘bout this? You build the first floor, I’ll build the rest of the school. Let’s do this together!”

The Dream Model Street School is located in Mawach Goth, Karachi and was founded by the Dream Foundation Trust (DFT), a Pakistani non-governmental organisation.

Read more » The Express Tribune
http://tribune.com.pk/story/768771/madonnas-dream-school-opens-in-karachi/

Karachi ruled by everyone, run by no one

By Vaqar Ahmed

Here’s the routine for most people in Karachi:

They wake up in the morning and get ready for work. The lucky ones have enough water to take a bath but most have to make do with much less. If there is some gas, the stove is switched on, and some tea and bread is prepared for breakfast. Then, it is off to the bus stop with the hope of finding transport to make it to work in time. When the bus arrives, the object called human body is stuffed into it like a sardine joining other sardines in a tin box.

The same routine happens in reverse at the end of a long day. Also, during the day, those who went out for work and those who stayed at home need electricity to do their jobs or carry out the various tasks at home; if they are lucky, they will get it for a few hours.

Read more » DAWN

Sindh Assembly passes resolution against division of Sindh

By Agencies

KARACHI: In the absence of members of the opposition and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), the Pakistan Peoples Party on Thursday managed to unanimously pass a resolution in the Sindh Assembly against the division of the province or formation of new administrative units.

The resolution was jointly moved by Sohail Akbar and other PPP members in the backdrop of a recent demand by the MQM to create more administrative units in Sindh.

Read more » DAWN
http://www.dawn.com/news/1134279/sindh-assembly-passes-resolution-against-division-of-sindh

Marsoon Marsoon Sindh na desoon resolution  passed by Sindh Assembly

Parties reject Altaf’s demand for new provinces in Sindh

KARACHI: A multi-party conference on Tuesday rejected a call of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement to create more administrative units in Sindh and resolved that everyone living in the province irrespective of their ethnic background would not allow the division of Sindh.

The conference, titled ‘Administrative provinces and demand for dividing Sindh is a conspiracy against Sindh, country and peace’, was jointly organised by the Jamiat Ulema-i-Pakistan and the Qaumi Awami Tehreek.

Besides two former chief ministers, representatives of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, PML-Functional, Jamaat-i-Islami, National Party, Awami National Party, Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl, Balochistan National Party, several Sindhi nationalist parties and members of civil society and minorities attended the conference.

Read more » DAWN
http://www.dawn.com/news/1133885/parties-reject-altafs-demand-for-new-provinces-in-sindh

Dockyard attackers planned to hijack Navy frigate

By Fahim Zaman | Naziha Syed Ali

KARACHI: While the Navy continues to remain tight-lipped about the attack on its dockyard in West Wharf on Sept 6, having issued a bare-bones statement 48 hours after the incident, further details have been obtained by Dawn that reveal the extent of radicalisation within the Navy.

According to informed sources, the attack was carried out entirely by serving Navy personnel, along with Owais Jakharani, a former Navy cadet who could have been given access inside without too much trouble.

“It seems the intention was to hijack PNS Zulfiqar [a frigate purchased from China and inducted in July 2009],” said one of these sources. “The group of would-be hijackers, led by a senior officer, was even saluted by the guard at the bottom of the gangway, before another became suspicious of their intentions and alerted other personnel.”

Read more » DAWN
http://www.dawn.com/news/1131654

A wake-up call

By Ayesha Siddiqa

It was the first time on Monday morning that I breathed a sigh of relief that the PTI and the PAT dharna is there and continues to attract attention. Just imagine if the media was not focusing on them they might have taken the trouble of sniffing out the drama which was unfolding in Karachi on September 6. A Chinese manufactured F-22P frigate of the Pakistan Navy, PNS Zulfiqar, came under attack by the Taliban. It is not confirmed as yet if the ship was at sea or docked at the naval dockyard. The story was kept under wraps for two days and disclosed on September 8. It was not that people were not warning others. A friend from abroad had even inquired on Saturday about what was happening in Karachi to which I had no answer as nothing was being reported on television except the Imran/Qadri roadshow. But I am still happy no one reported the story because the last time someone tried to dig out facts about infiltration of militants and ideologues inside the navy it ended in tragedy.

Gladly, the brave sailors and officers saved the day. However, the attack on PNS Zulfiqar, for which the Taliban took the responsibility, proved yet again the vulnerability of the country’s security. What we are always scared to talk about is the support from inside as had happened in the attack on PNS Mehran, PAC, Kamra and other places. Given the fact that little is known about militant penetration, it is difficult to ascertain the threat. This is about men caught by the demon of disbelief of their state and society. Glance through the literature on state making and you can find how monopoly over violence and making sure it stays that way is one of the many characteristics of a viable and efficient state. However, here is the issue of men, who join a profession to guard the state then turning away, because they suddenly suspect the state is not legitimate. The whole concept of jihad or takfir is not a simple issue of people becoming devil-like but erosion of their faith in legitimacy of the state. They begin to desire a perfect Islamic state which can only be brought about by fighting the existing system. Penetrating an armed force becomes an attractive option since achieving such objective tantamount to a force multiplier. A well-trained and oiled war machine can take you places.

Just imagine a situation where militants would try to rebel and take control of a vessel while at sea. Notwithstanding many of the earlier claims that all three services were cleaned during the Musharraf regime, these attacks suggest otherwise. Various religious groups have always had access to men in uniform under one pretext or the other. If it is not the militants then it is Deobandi or Salafi reformation movements such as the Tableeghi Jamaat or Al Huda that are allowed to access military personnel and their families. Reportedly, the households of one of the two smaller services were opened up for Al Huda by the senior leadership. The problem here is not with increased interest in religion but the fact that after a while these families and their men begin to get totally confused about where does duty to religion end and to the state begin. Not that they want to kill innocent colleagues and other people but they are blinded by their understanding of dogma to believe that they have to bring suffering in order to improve the world as ordained by God.

The PNS Zulfiqar attack is yet another reminder that things are getting serious. We need to look at this development in the backdrop of the expansion of militancy and extremism in the form of IS and the al-Qaeda’s Qaedatul Jihad in Indian Subcontinent (QJIS). While many analysts tend to see IS and QJIS from the lens of internal competition amongst militants, especially Zawahiri’s need to build up his strength, some observers argue that the two forces may have different tactics and partners but similar strategic objective. They both want to consolidate and establish a caliphate. In this regard, other existing organisations like the Hizb-ut-Tahrir also have the same desire.

Courtesy: The Express Tribune, September 11th, 2014.
http://tribune.com.pk/story/760623/a-wake-up-call-2/

Tsunami could ‘wipe out’ Karachi

By AFP

KARACHI: Pakistan’s largest city Karachi, home to around 18 million people, could be “wiped out” by a tsunami, officials said Wednesday after a drill simulating a major earthquake in the Indian Ocean.

The test, and one carried out a day earlier simulating another quake off Indonesia, were designed to check an early-warning system set up after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami which killed more than 230,000 people.

The exercise organised by the United Nations was based on a hypothetical 9.0 magnitude quake in the Makran Trench, where the Arabian and Eurasian tectonic plates meet, off the coast of Pakistan.

“This would create waves of 0.9 to seven metres high that could reach Karachi in one and a half hours,” Tauseef Alam, the chief meteorologist who was supervising the tests, told AFP.

“This could wipe out the city as the waves would be immensely powerful.” Karachi was hit by a tsunami in 1945 that killed at least 4,000 people, Alam said.

Continue reading Tsunami could ‘wipe out’ Karachi

All aboard: Karachi’s metro bus project to run along same way as Lahore

Karachi: … On Thursday, the prime minister announced that they would launch the Metro Bus Project in the city and will have Rs15 billion set aside for it. “We have decided to take over the green line project in the city,” he said. “The metro bus service will start on the same pattern as Lahore.”

Read more » The Express Tribune
http://tribune.com.pk/story/733869/all-aboard-karachis-metro-bus-project-to-run-along-same-way-as-lahore/