Kubhi Hum Khubsurat Theh
By Soraya Aziz
This is the Karachi I have heard so much about from my parents and relatives that grew up during the 60’s and 70’s. A Karachi during this era was one where men, women and children could walk the streets of the city till late at night without any sense of fear of being mugged or shot. Karachi, once the centre of cosmopolitanism was known as the ‘city of lights’ that would come alive in the evenings. No matter what their affordability was, Karachiities knew how to enjoy themselves.
This is the same Karachi that was a thriving economic hub and the entertainment capital of Pakistan. After going about their business by day, friends and families would spend their evenings relaxing and socialising at the numerous venues be it Hill Park, Frere Hall and not forgetting sea view Clifton to name just a few.
Karachi has always been a city brimming with people from all parts of Pakistan, a truly cosmopolitan city with everyone living in harmony with one another regardless of their backgrounds. A real sense of community existed, where everyone felt secure.
Today, Karachi is a stark contrast to that of the 60’s. Karachi is burning and blood is being shed daily. Our children are growing up in a Karachi gripped with terror and violence with fear and uncertainty being emotions that are like close companions.
The sound of bullets being fired is commonplace across all parts of the city. No area, no matter how affluent is immune from terror today. Karachi knows all too well the value of life as almost everyone bears the scars of losing a lost one or coming close. If you’re fortunate not to have come face to face with a gun, you certainly know someone who has.
The Karachi of the 60’s and 70’s is one of the distant past. A Karachi where people by day scurry around the city going about their business but will hurry home to safety by evening. Where mothers sigh a sense of relief when all her children no matter how old return home from school, college, university or work are tucked in bed safely.
So what are the key problems that have led to the chaotic and violent destruction of Karachi? Firstly, law and order, which being the sole responsibility of the ruling government, is totally out of control. The police are so highly politicised that instead of serving the people of Karachi, only serves the interest of its political masters. Secondly, powerful political parties namely PPP, MQM and ANP have openly nurtured violent and armed political/militant wings that have been let loose onto the streets to actively terrorize and kill at will innocent civilians. Since 2008, over 7000 people have been killed in Karachi due to political, militant, sectarian, terrorism or other criminal reasons. Despite these shocking figures, the federal and coalition government refuse to accept their failures in terms of providing peace and security to the people of Karachi. Today, as this incompetent government reaches the end of its tenure and elections are around the corner, can Karachi hope for Justice, Humanity and Self-Esteem?
Today, Karachi needs a credible new leadership that is dedicated to the aspirations of its people. A leadership which advocates tolerance, moderation and freedom, a leadership that will work hard for Karachi in rebuilding political stability, social harmony and economic prosperity for everyone.
By uniting, supporting and actively participating in the coming elections, we must ensure credible, sincere and honest people win our valuable votes. Only then can the people of Karachi achieve the principles of “Unity, Faith and Discipline” as was the dream of Quaid-e-Azam.
By Soraya Aziz