|By Syed Ali Raza Abidi
26th October 2010
Be it the educated or the poorest, we are very well behaved law abiding citizens in foreign countries where we temporarily go for work, education or leisure. But as soon we arrive back to the ‘Land of Pure’, some of us automatically adjust back to the ‘No Law, No fear’ life style because we know how the system works. Similarly, if we migrate for reasons within the country, we are to respect and obey the local laws of that city, and settle peacefully amongst the local communities. Nobody has the right to impose their culture or traditions to the city you have shifted to primarily for personal gains only, especially when your grave is reserved back ‘home’ and not in the city of temporary residence.
Dubai, Abu Dhabi, New York, Chicago, London, Saudi Arabia are the best examples of the migrant Pakistani’s from the poor, middle class, and the elite of Pakistan. All ethnic backgrounds present in Pakistan are distributed and co-exist amongst the local population very peacefully since very long. Except for accidental or professional criminals, the majority living follows the laws and regulations set by the State. Pakistani patriotism is naturally offered and displayed when we are away from our country, but it seems difficult to practice when in Pakistan.
So, why is it that our brothers coming in from other provinces cannot treat Karachi as a place of his own where one would be at his best. He is here to help keep the engine of Pakistan running, because the permanent residents can never be able to accomplish it alone. Instead, ghetto’s are formed, public land is illegally occupied, properties are maliciously taken over under political cover, and unions are formed primarily to serve as pressure groups rather than welfare as required. Essential public services are exploited and massive levels of corruption are introduced, resulting which the whole city or the nation is penalized to pay monetarily and by life for these dark elements. Such examples are the continued ban on pillion riding, KESC’s they steal you pay, water supply by tanker when every single area is connected, lawlessness on the roads, robberies, kidnappings and extortions, price hikes and the forced destruction of Pakistan Railways which is the primary method of public travel for the poorest of Pakistan.
From 2000 to 2007, Karachi was the peaceful place to be. Development picked up after 2004, when Pakistan’s economy started showing health. The money was well used, and it shows today. From 12th May, 2007 the downfall of this city began, only because of the aspirations of an ethnic based political party, perhaps on a greater agenda and support by the powerful quarters of world. Same citizens will dare not attempt such forms of aggression in any other city of the world, except for Karachi. Whenever this ethnic dominance issue is raised by the local at forums or talk shows he is put at a defensive and labelled of being a racist. Unfortunately, this taboo had allowed the situation to get out of hand, thus it is always carefully discussed. It is very strange that the nation always holds the local residents responsible for not welcoming the few naughty brethren, when that is not the reality.
If a resident or the elected representatives of the city are claiming they know who the miscreants are, it should be the prime responsibility of the local authorities to take notice and prompt actions against such complains.
The most authentic reports one can get are from the ground level and through the residents living close to in the same area as of the culprits. Most of the time these leads are not taken seriously and termed as ethnically or politically biased, and then finally offered to the media to play with and the oppressed is presented as the oppressor.
I would not doubt that Pakhtoons are the next majority in Pakistan in terms of population, and like everyone else a fair representation is its due right. But it does not mean that when the time comes for a political contest one would resort to boycott of elections, ask the military to take over, threaten to take up arms against the residents of Karachi and at the same time claim yourself to be champions of democracy? Wouldn’t it have been better if the Government in KpK could better protect the lives of innocent in their province and control the mischief there, and curb it from spreading to the rest of the country, which remains the main cause for all the crises Pakistani’s have to bear with today. Unfortunately, they have completely failed there and wish to bring in the same incompetence to modern metropolis.
The fact that this city provides 68% revenue for the country and makes up to 25% GDP of Pakistan, remains in the back-drop and hardly any support for this city is witnessed from other parts of the country. When it comes to take from Karachi we are all in it, but when it about giving back to it, most look the other way. But, why can’t it be your Karachi too?
Answers to these questions lead to many possible conspiracies and strategic plans ranging from Afghanistan related war, drug trade and possibly a desire to an independent Greater Baluchistan and maybe Pakhtoonistan, which one would probably compare to. In reality, if the series of events are analyzed with various ‘conspiracy’ theories you may have learned or assessed over time, the ends start to meet shockingly. As such claims have been termed “conspiracies” many would not want to be interested to indulge with it or view the developments in relation to it, because the pseudo drawing room intellectuals may challenge your analysis. But remember, it will not be very intelligent of you to totally ignore them too.
Your, Karachi is an integral part of Pakistan, it is time all us took equal responsibility of it and sincerely worked together to first identify the real culprit behind all the problems and then join hand in hand to help eliminate it, for the sake of and future of Pakistan.
Syed Ali Raza Abidi is a businessman and a young politician. He writes on issues of national interest. The views expressed by the author are personal and do not reflect the policy of this blog.