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Posts tagged with: Karachi

Solidarity Day for Peace in Pakistan – 1st Jan 2011 [100 cities across Pakistan]

Rallies for peace will be held on 1 Jan 2011 in over 100 locations across Pakistan in solidarity with those suffering violence and repression.

We demand accountability of all, particularly those that use religion or any ideology to create hatred amongst the people of the region. We condemn the use of political, military or economic power to repress and exploit people. In doing so demand an end to the protection of all those state and non-state actors that take the law in their own hands and propagate or encourage militancy and extremism by their words or actions.

We, the citizens are ready to lead the nation to progress, to justice, equity and tolerance. The people’s interest instead of the much flouted National interest must be the measure for all actions and policies of the state.

Solidarity Day is an expression of the power of ordinary citizens. It is a call to enable the people of this region to exercise their choices and free will. It is a clear message that we SHALL NOT sit back and watch.


More updates to follow leading up to the 1st of Jan event across Pakistan – also RSVP on the Facebook Event Page

104 108 cities across Pakistan will be hosting the Solidarity Day rallies

Pictures from the Cargo Plane Crash Site in Karachi, the Day After

Pictures from the crash site of the Russian Cargo Plane in Karachi on 28th November 2010 at 1:00am within the confines of the Pakistan Naval Base Bahadur. The plane luckily / unluckily crashed in a sparely dense area of Karachi, had it been a few hundred yards either way would have meant far more severe devastation and loss of life on the ground, prayers go out to each and every person who lost their lives in this disaster.

Pictures have been shared by Capt Shahid Hasan who lives close to the site of the crash within the confines of the Naval base.

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Child Beggars: The Future of Pakistan?

Karachi is a city of fun, entertainment and success. Many government officials have done a remarkable job in making the city a better place by investing in its infrastructure. However, what is the future of this city or if talking on the macro perspective, what is the future of this nation? Well, the future is the girl who knocks on your window convincing you to buy flowers that can buy money for a meal. The future is the little boy who walks around frantically looking for car windows that he can clean in order to save himself from getting abused by the his “bosses” running the beggary business. Instead of having these children focus on their future by providing them with education, love, motivation and support to excel in their lives, they’re given flowers and wipers to make a living at the age of 9 or 13. Yes, the future of Pakistan is on the streets.

The number of children on the streets has nearly tripled since last year. Many of these children don’t focus on how to excel in their education and make a successful career. They’re more focused on earning enough money to fill their stomachs. Instead of being a doctor, lawyer, teacher or businessman, the children have made their professional careers in begging.
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Karachi: Press Conference for the Air Blue Crash Affectees Group [Sat 13 Nov]

Families, friends and loved ones of the Air Blue Crash Victims have formed the ‘AirBlue Crash Affectees Group’ with the following objectives:

  1. Provide a platform for all affected to gather, raise their concerns and share their pain
  2. Urge the Government, Air Blue, Air Bus and Civil Aviation to clearly identify the causes of the crash
  3. Highlight the atrocious experience witnessed by the affected in the aftermath of the crisis
  4. Formation of an independent judicial commission which will study the aftermath of the disaster and design standard operating procedures for dealing with any such disaster in the future
  5. Provide compensation for the affected families based on international standard
  6. To formation a benevolent fund to providing short term and long term assistance to deserving victim families

A Press Conference is being held at Karachi Press Club on Saturday 13 November 2010 do join in to support the group’s first press conference and peaceful protest to raise awareness about lack of resolve and intent from Air Blue and the Government

Venue: Karachi Press Club
Date: Saturday, 13 November 2010
Time: 2:30-4:30pm
Facebook Group: Air Blue Crash Affectees Group

Bring placards and black armband to register your protest.

URGENT- Forcible eviction of Flood Affected people in Karachi

A very urgent appeal was emailed by Zulfiqar Shah of Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research [PILER] to a number of mailing lists appealing for help in preventing the forcible eviction of over 10,000 flood affected IDP’s from their camp in Karachi… In my opinion there might seem to be an ulterior political motive to shove them out of Karachi – for the sake of Humanity this must stop – CAN YOU HELP – the message reads as follows,

This is an urgent appeal for your immediate intervention to save flood affected families from forcible eviction.

  1. About 10,000 flood affected people got settled at Labour Square camp in Gulshan- e- Maymar Karachi. This is a government recognized camp.
  2. Last week local revue official (Mukhtiarkar) made an announcement that people should evacuate camp within one week otherwise they will be forcibly evacuated by 5th October;
  3. This resulted in protest by affected people and smaller level scuffle between revenue officials, affected people etc;
  4. On last Sunday, Al- Khair Trust stopped supply of food and to our information many families are sleeping hungry. We can only bring 20 children to PILER centre for lunch today as they had not eaten for last two days. They aged 4 to 12 years;
  5. Food supply of the camp was initiated by Sylani Welfare Trust, run by liberal and moderate people but surprisingly this was replaced with Al Khair Trust, run by hard core religious people;
  6. Flood affected families with women, children were in fear, many of them without food for last two days but now worst has came in the shape of threat of eviction;
  7. By the time I write this mail ( 13: 50 PM / Tuesday 5th October), five to six police vehicles along with lady police have reached to camp and many of camp residents rushed to us crying that they are being forcibly evacuated. “My village Mirpur Buriro in District Jacobabad is still under water, please go and see; where we can go? Its cruelty to evict us” Says Muzafar, a young resident of camp.

It’s surprising that the government wants to evict these people. It’s equally surprising that this camp is not in a school that government want vacated to reopen school. This camp is in an empty building which was empty for last 3 years and there is no problem if it run additional 3 months.

Government had not given any indication of such an eviction initially. It has only came up with the idea a few days ago. It’s likely that these people will be forcibly evicted and this may result in another catastrophe for them.

Please intervene and do whatever you can do to stop this eviction.

Zulfiqar Shah, PILER
021 3 6351145-7

Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy wins an Emmy for Pakistan

In a very positive development, the renowned New York Times documentary film maker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy recieved an International Emmy Award in the Current Affairs category last night at the Frederick P. Rose Hall of Jazz at Lincoln Center, New York for her documentary “Pakistan – Children of the Taliban”. Where she had revealed how the Pakistani Taliban are recruiting increasingly younger fighters from small madrassas in deprived neighborhoods to carry out deadly attacks both inside and outside Pakistan.

The controversial video brought to the forefront some very touching issues, it at times exposed some sensitive people to an extent, that the initial viewing held a few years back in Karachi was limited to a very select audience, following the publication on PBS FrontLine there are restrictions on the video preventing it to be streamed into Pakistan due to the sheer threat it can pose to the people Sharmeen had interviewed during her documentary

In a very touching moment, the day before, her father died of cancer in the UK where he was undergoing chemotherapy. Her message following the news of the death of her father on facebook, posted practically 10 hours before the Emmy award ceremony, where she was in attendance, read “Only the good die young- you always said aba…love you” and later following the victory she dedicated her emmy to her father by saying “Tonight’s Emmy win is dedicated to you aba…

We can only be supportive to her as a nation, mindful of the mixed emotions which she must be going through at this very emotional moment. Sharmeen, Pakistan is damn heck proud of you, and I am sure it would be a moment of pride for your father as he smiles down at you from the heavens above. May this also inspire us all to go forth despite all the odd with the achievements you achieve one after another. Thank you for bringing one proud moment for Pakistan

Eid Day at Flood Relief Camp at Northern By-pass Karachi

Many years ago, maybe even in my childhood, when I spent much of my time crossing through the hole in the wall of Jinnah hospital where we lived, into the Bijatta line juggis to Farzand ki dukan, I stopped thinking of people as rich and poor, but as nice people or not, gentle or rough, honest or crooks, interesting or boring. I have come across some of the most generous and refined people in the poorest of localities, and boorish, crude and miserly attitudes in homes that have more than plenty. So I was not a bit surprised when I found such gentleness, patience, strength of character, humour, hospitality amongst the traumatised residents of the Northern Bypass Flood Relief Camp on Eid day.

The floods have not only traumatized those who were in its path, but in another equally intense way all those who have watched the horror unfold on their television screens. Some courageous people went straight into action mode, supplementing the efforts of the Army rescuing people, setting up camps, and getting relief goods and medical help to them. The rest of us felt inadequate in the face of the enormity of the tragedy. But as in all natural or man-made disasters, there is eventually room for all levels of support and assistance.
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MQM Leader Imran Farooq Assassinated in London

Reports are coming in that Dr. Imran Farooq an MQM leader based in London may have been knifed to death while coming out of his house in London. My personal differences with the MQM aside this is totally not acceptable, I offer my condolences to the MQM supporters and their families on this loss.

He was assassinated while he was returning back home from a casual walk. In my opinion it’s highly unlikely that this was a random robbery incident and hope that the UK police comes to the bottom of this as soon as possible

It is being rumored that a few days back he may have been suspended from the party because of some heated differences. Grapevine reports from London have also pointed towards a finger pointing towards the Pathan community, which could possibly be leveraged to turn Karachi into a battle ground between MQM and the ANP.

As of writing of this report the MQM Leadership is in a meeting at the 90 headquarter in Karachi, we await their annoucements and hope that they issue a very careful and reserved statement, most likely MQM will announce a three day mourning in his honor and the next three days will be the most tense days in Karachi’s history, if the last months mourning is any way to go by, I suspect some serious bloodshed in the city as a retaliation.

Karachi please stay safe.

Talibanisation of Clifton and DHA

If Talibanisation stands for militancy, weapons, lawlessness and uncivilized behavior, the Pakistan Army may as well forget the Waziristan operation and begin its charity from home – the DHA and Clifton areas of Karachi. These areas are now in control of urban Talibans who roam around in obscene heavy duty vehicles, which are invariably official, stolen, smuggled or foreign registered . They often travel in a convoy with dozens of prohibited bore weapon brandishing goons. They violate all traffic rules and hit, push, beat or kidnap any decent citizen who questions this lawless behavior.

While the illegal detention of a prominent city architect and scuffle with a PAF officer have been reported in the media because of the high profile of these individuals, there are hundreds of similar incidents that go unreported. While the citizens of Karachi may not have any immediate fears from the Talibs of Waziristan, they are already in a state of siege by the lawless militant ministers, parliamentarians and powerful members of the state.
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Stand by Samar & play your role today at 6:00 PM Darakshan Police station

HOT NEWS: Samar Khan is free, al charges have been dropped he is going home

Samar Ali Khan, An Architect by profession was arrested because he protested against the blockade on Khayaban-e-Shamsheer in front of provincial minister Sindh, Zulfiqar Mirza’s house. The police have arrested him; he is in Darakshan police station at the moment. Today he was produced in court but wasn’t released because the judge wasn’t present.

We have planned a protest in front of Darakshan police station on June 16th 2010 at 6:00 PM.

All of us must stand by him because he has shown the courage to raise his voice against unnecessary VIP blockades due to which people have died in ambulance in past.

It is giving you an opportunity to play your role against the atrocities and humiliation our government officials bring to us by abusing their power.

Please stop being a face book or a drawing room activist and participate to display the strength of people in his support and send a message that we are not immune.

Hope to see you there.

How To Make Karachi The Worst City In The World

The recent report by Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) revealed that Karachi came 5th in the list of worst cities of the world sandwiched between Lagos, Nigeria and Douala Cameroon.

The Sindh High Density Development Board Bill 2010 passed as Bill No.14 of 2010 has changed its shape three times. It was first Bill No.11 of 2009 then it became Bill No.10 of 2010 and finally it is Bill No.14 of 2010.

The provincial government deserves “congratulations” on passing the passing of this bill. This law will surely push Karachi to the bottom ranking as the worst city in the world very soon. Sadly through this bill the interior of Sindh will also be destroyed. The passing has been done in a devious manner, which is expected of the Parliamentarians representing us.

In 2008 our ever smiling president Asif Ali Zardari decided that Karachi must have many high-rises along the line of his second home Dubai. In August 2008 a decision was made by the minister for the local Government, Mr Agha Siraj Durrani (who is the right hand man of Mr Zardari in Sindh for such matters) that KBCA should approve 100 storey buildings in Karachi. Fortunately this was easier said than done as the government had to constitute and notify a committee of eleven architects. The committee was tasked to review of the existing bye-laws and the proposed revisions
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TEDxKarachi: What Pakistan Needs Now – Mini-film winning entry

In the run up to the TEDxKarachi event that was held on Friday, we had a small competition for a 60-second mini-film on What Pakistan Needs Now.

Congratulations to Ali Kapadia on his effort to present the concept in 60-seconds What Pakistan Needs Now

TEDx comes to Karachi

Many of you may have seen the brilliant work being done at TED.com, they are in the business of promoting “Ideas worth spreading”. I am overjoyed to update that TED is coming to Karachi in the form of TEDxKarachi on the 4th of June at the South End Club auditorium. This has been a tireless effort by Asad Rehman [TED Attendee], Sharmeen Obaid {TED Fellow], Dr. Awab Alvi [TEDIndia Fellow], Sumaira Jaffery, Meher Jafferi [Event Manager] and Hiba Ali Raza [Event Manager] who have worked hard for the past 2 months to put this event together.

TED is an annual event where some of the world’s leading thinkers and doers are invited to share what they are most passionate about. What started in 1984 as a conference centered around Technology, Entertainment and Design (“TED”) has evolved to include a host of other disciplines, the driving philosophy being “Ideas Worth Spreading.” TED’s diverse audience – CEOs, scientists, creatives, philanthropists – is almost as extraordinary as the speakers who have included Bill Clinton, Bill Gates, Bono, Stephen Hawking and James Cameron.

In the spirit of ‘ideas worth spreading’ TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, inspiring live speakers and TEDTalks videos combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event.
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BBC Urdu Interview at Karachi Press Club

A BBC Urdu Interview I had immediately after the Press Conference, shares my genuine point, but near the end of this short you would notice the charged up rally outside which was definitely worrisome