Lahore from Karachi eyes

Published: March 25, 2012

I am convinced that Lahore, being the cultural hub of the country, is one of the most beautiful cities of Pakistan. PHOTO: Tariq Hassan

After spending seven great days in Lahore, I am convinced that Lahore, being the cultural hub of the country, is one of the most beautiful cities of Pakistan. I applaud the chief minister of Punjab, who despite having a barrage of flaws in his governance, especially with regards to health, education and law and order sectors, has successfully been able to maintain the beauty of this city.

Unlike any other provincial government, the government of Punjab makes a conscious effort to give beautification the priority that it deserves by strictly adhering to a no-graffiti policy; hence we are greeted with beautiful and clean walls as seen in other civilised nations. This, however, is not true for Karachi, a city where there is more graffiti than there are walls.

The roads, despite being narrow, have managed to accommodate smooth traffic flow with strict traffic laws, all thanks to the Chaudhry brothers for setting a bench mark in the traffic management sector.

The difference between the two cities can be seen from the time of arrival at the respective airports.

In Karachi, when we get out of the airport premises, we are welcomed by huge billboards of Shahi Syed followed by the Sunni Tehreek, Pir Pagara and Sindhi nationalist leaders giving visitors a feel of the political environment in the city that overshadows beauty.

Lahore, on the other hand, has a more aesthetic appeal. The route back from the airport is covered with lush green and yellow mustard fields, shamelessly boasting the beauty and splendour they behold.

Although this is just one of the few good aspects of Lahore, one of the things that would be seen as most commendable by Karachiites, is the fact that a majority of homes in Lahore have low boundary walls around their houses, showing that they are very comfortable with their environment and do not feel threatened by any lack of security.

Karachiites, on the other hand, apart from installing top notch security systems in their houses, not only build high walls but further burglar proof it by setting up broken glass pieces or pointed iron on the rims of the walls to protect their homes from potential thieves.

Lahore is famous for its food street and the deliciousness it offers, evidencing the fondness with which the people of Lahore enjoy their food.

In this case, Karachiites are enthusiastic about food too, but they are more concerned about eating the ‘right kind’ of healthy food than consuming everything for the sake of eating, which is a trait I found amusing about the Lahoris.

Personally, I found Lahore to be too provincial, with a lot of focus on just the Punjabi language and a lot of Punjabi people; however, Karachi prides itself on giving a true cosmopolitan feel to the city. Karachiites speak in English, write in Urdu, think in Balochi and dream in Sindhi.

Perhaps, it would be appropriate to attribute the unity amongst Lahoris, to the fact that Punjabi is the only language, apart from English and Urdu, spoken in Lahore. Karachi, with its complex demographics allows everyone to do whatever they feel is right in the garb of “Karachi is for everyone”.

The people of Lahore love Mustafa Kamal, but hate the MQM although Karachi’s mainstream political party has managed to open offices in various cities of Punjab. They love MQM’s well-spoken work force, organisation and management. While some urban Punjabis do hold a soft corner for the MQM, the majority does not.

But the one trait in Lahoris that impressed me the most was their civic sense. You won’t see them spitting pan or gutka on the roads or elsewhere; you won’t see people littering; they are more conscious of their environment and make an effort to keep it clean and beautiful.

Another interesting thing I observed is that there were hardly any cab services running in Lahore. Initially, I thought that the fortunate city with the help of the chief minister of Punjab would be rich with yellow cabs but surprisingly enough, this was not the case. The chief minister, however, is passionate to resolve the transportation issues for Lahories by initiating various CNG bus programs etc, ignoring the fact that the city bears at least three days off for CNG.

Funnily enough, the curiosity between the lifestyle of Karachiites and Lahoris is very evident, especially  when Karachiites are shown around the city, the Lahoris boast their sky scrapers and shopping malls, all the while, subtly asking whether such things exist in Karachi or not. The cross province communication gap should be something that both cities work toward overcoming in the future.

In short, Karachi is a huge city trying to accommodate multiple cultures; it is fast-paced, pulsating and dynamic. But Lahore, including recent developments in the city’s infrastructure, prides itself on having safeguarded Pakistan’s rich culture and traditions, which may be lost to Karachiites but are reason enough for Lahore to be spoken about and visited.

Read more from Tanzeel here. Follow him on twitter @tanzeelahmad

tanzeel.ahmad

Tanzeel Ahmad

A UAE based marketing professional who is interested in politics and cultural issues. He blogs at www.tanzeel.wordpress.com

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Maria

    I just visited Lahore after a few years and it remains as beautiful as ever. You correctly point out the many infrastructure improvements but neglected to mention the new Ring Road. It has made travel to the airport a breeze compared to before. The tree lined streets and relative cleanliness and organization reflect the nature of the people there who take pride in their city. It’s no wonder that Shahbaz Sharif enjoys so much support in Punjab because he is seen to take a personal interest in seeing the province’s development. The fact that you can walk out and enjoy great food in the middle of the night in a peaceful environment says it all. Recommend

  • Optimist

    Lahore is Pakistan’s Barcelona. It is a major city that gives ‘village’ feel. It has a vow factor.
    .
    Karachi is huge, beautiful but it has lost its appeal (due to violence/racial tensions) and is more like any other big city in the world. Recommend

  • Jamil Mughal

    Wonderful piece tanzeel. Appreciate open mindedness of Karachi people.Recommend

  • Ammar

    Welcome to Lahore bro. You are now a reborn Karchiite.
    that is because, ‘Jinhay lahore nayee wakhyea.. oo jamya nahee’

    :)Recommend

  • Irtaza Malik

    Exactly Lahore is the best …. Karachi Sucks the city of Bhatta KhorsRecommend

  • Manan

    Not to start any Lahore Vs Karachi wars but Lahore has more beauty than Karachi, Feminine beauty that is. If any Karachiite feels bad about it then you are welcome to visit Lahore , we can discuss this over a glass of Lassi, in the Old City. Recommend

  • http://www.danishmughal.com Danish Mughal

    I also visited Lahore a couple of weeks back and experienced very much the same Tanzeel has pointed out in his blog. Lahore is seriously amazing and rich in its culture. I would like to schedule another DATE with this awesome city soon :)Recommend

  • http://707monty.blogspot.com Pakistan politics

    lahore is better than any city in Pakistan, I just love it :)Recommend

  • Kashif Saif

    I totally agree with you I have been to Lahore some 2 days back and my trip to Lahore was amazing all the lush push greenery lovely skyline. More improving towards its infrastructure. Lahore is very much comfortable and warm welcoming city to welcome any body around. Its something like living in the western style with rich Desi touch of our culture :)Recommend

  • http://Lahore Zahid Chambhal

    First positive blog from Tanzeel Ahmed, good to see you being optimistic, nicely written. Recommend

  • Gullible Nomore

    i don’t know what the fascination with greenery is with people of Pakistan. Just admit it, geographically Karachi is a desert and the reason you don’t see a lot of greenery is because it’s only natural. However, karachi is aesthetically less pleasing, i have to agree to that. Punjab in general, is more green because it receives more rain per year, it’s soil is more fertile and climate is best suited for agriculture and, hence, greenery. But regardless of all that the developments that have occurred in Karachi in the past 5-6 years or so are noteworthy and should be acknowledged.
    Jinne lahore na wekhiya woh jamiya nai (if u haven’t seen lahore u’re not cool enough (right?))
    Jinne Karachi na wekhiya woh rahiya nai (if u haven’t seen karachi u’re not alive yet or something to that effect. lol)Recommend

  • Ebtesam Khalid

    Jinnay Laore nai wekheya, O Jameya nai, te jenay Karachi nai wekheya, Onnay Jamm k we Ganwaya!! :D ;)

    From Lahore with Love!!Recommend

  • guest

    Good article; but referring to your following para:

    “The chief minister, however, is passionate to resolve the transportation issues for Lahories by initiating various CNG bus programs etc, ignoring the fact that the city bears at least three days off for CNG.”

    however i keep wondering why karachiites tend not to understand that adding more CNG buses won’t increase but decrease not just the CNG consumption but also fuel consumption as a whole – if you don’t trust me ask your economics teacher (you aren’t the only one here, i know of an IBA grad who wrote the same thing too). CNG buses won’t increase the number of people who travel to work everyday, or would they? They would simply allow more car owners to switch to comfortable CNG buses to go to work and hence save the cost of fuel and hence fuel. Recommend

  • Umer Hanif

    Yes….Lahore is very beautiful and it is just because…whoever makes govt in punjab has to show some work done as people in Lahore are very much aware and “ba shaoor” otherwise they will welcome anyother party…!Recommend

  • Fatima

    I recently spent five wonderful days in Lahore and honestly i cannot agree with you more !However one thing you failed to mention is the hospitality of the Lahoriiets,They go out of their way and this ive personally experienced it everytime ive visited the city.Another fascinating aspect i noticed were the traffic jams past mid night on week days .There is a sense of safety which unfortunately we dont feel in Karachi .Fallen for Lahore hook line and sinker !:)Recommend

  • Kashif Shams

    Living away from my home, abroad, I miss my city Lahore more than anything else. I want to get back ASAP. Love u Lahore and may u always be delightful.Recommend

  • Z@8

    Unlike any other provincial government…………………………. This, however, is not true for Karachi, a city where there is more graffiti than there are walls. Really have u been to every corner of the Karachi???

    The difference between the two cities can be seen from the time of arrival at the respective airports??? Really just one difference to mention?? while mentioning so many parties u failed to mention others??

    The route back from the airport is covered with lush green and yellow mustard fields, shamelessly boasting the beauty and splendour they behold. Same thing can’t be done to Karachi??

    P.S. u seemed interested in politics and cultural issues….!Recommend

  • http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/author/430/faraz-talat/ Faraz Talat

    “You won’t see them spitting pan or gutka on the roads or elsewhere; you won’t see people littering; they are more conscious of their environment and make an effort to keep it clean and beautiful.”

    lolwut?Recommend

  • Pakistani First

    We have the sea.. :PRecommend

  • Ali

    i m a die hard karachiite and have visited lahore. i agree, lahore is greener. but some of its central areas are too village like. its the second largest city of pakistan, and yet it gives a feel of a small village. apart from that, its lovely, the air is fresh.. and there is less noise. karachi on the other hand never sleeps, it is the place where people are always on the move, running in a rat race… and where people mostly eat to live and not live to eat….

    one thing that should have been taken into account in the amount of resources at the disposal of the city district govt. karachi and the govt. of punjab. mqm is the biggest stake holder in karachi, however, it does not have total control over the flow of resources to manage the city…. chief minister of sindh belongs to another party, and there is politics involved, all political and religious parties are active in karachi, it is the political hub of the country.
    lahore and punjab is governed by the same party, however. i feel there is a huge imbalance between the resource allocation on lahore and other parts of punjab.Recommend

  • http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/author/749/muhammad-umair-savul/ Umair Savul

    I hail from Peshawar… i spent 2 years in Lahore and about 5 years in Karachi for my studies.. I always fancied Karachi and Karachi also fascinated me(at least on TV) way more than any other city but when i visited and spent 5 years in Karachi i come to conclusion that Karachi isn’t a fancy city at all. And what bothered me the most in city of Karachi was state of extreme confusion and disorder, one murder followed by one week strike.. Karachi you disappointed me a lot. In brief Lahore, Lahore AeRecommend

  • http://PAGE mnxa

    wel written… Recommend

  • Danyal

    Have been to Lahore a month ago.I belong to a Urdu speaking family though.I was amazed by some really good things out there.Like the tolerance of the people in traffic,if someone would stop your way,the other guy would stop without saying a word and would wait for you to go without making a horn.Another thing was the cleanliness,though Karachi has huge population factor but the streets of Lahore were given a beauty status by planting the trees and flowers,that is not seen in Karachi.The other thing was Lahori’s were concerned about the Peace situation in Karachi(it’s an everyday situation for us),we don’t take serious the peace situation of Karachi because it’s a norm to us.But Karachi is more like a industrial city you will find thousands of restaurants with variety of food and taste.and will see thousands of malls and shopping plaza’s there.The tallest mall is being build in Karachi near 2 swords which has 30 floors.well both the cities has it’s own great appeals.Recommend

  • Adeel

    Special thanks to Mian Shahbaz Sharif and PML(N) who always believe in development and beautification of whereabouts with peace. That’s the only reason whole world is praising Punjab and particularly Lahore.Recommend

  • Yoda

    @Optimist: As a proud Lahori, I loved your analogy of a city-village. Although I’ve never been to Barcelona, your description seemed to perfectly encapsulate Lahore’s rich yet cosily insular character. Bravo!Recommend

  • ss

    Author forgot to mention posters and flags of MQM on every pole of Karachi?Recommend

  • Imran

    Lahore Lahore aye leken uss se bara humara johar hai!
    lol just kidding Lahore is a great city and the fact that everyone seems to be punjabi shows that everyone has integrated in to the local culture. Unlike karachi where there are still Urdu speaking ,panthans and sindhis etc, Lahore only has Lahoris. This is a blessing and hope some day that ethic divide in Karachi will also end.Recommend

  • Stevenson

    Lahore is the undisputed gem of Pakistan. But I wonder if that has to do more with the fact that Lahoris are mostly hard working Punjabis who love their land and not a mix of diifferent of different peoples who don’t care about the city like in Karachi?Recommend

  • Abdul Quddus

    JOSH MALIHABADI, a famous poet was asked once about Lahore as he visited the city.
    After a pause, he said. “Great city. But too many Punjabis in it.” Recommend

  • Usman

    You forgot to mention hoarding, flags and graffti of MQM? A typical Karachiite’s denial of ground realityRecommend

  • http://www.tanzeel.wordpress.com Tanzeel

    @Ali:
    I agree with your stance.Recommend

  • Qasim

    we love our Pakistan, Lahore, Karachi all is ours..during my student era..i had pathan friends, urdu speaking whose families had migrated either from india at time of partition or from Karachi during troubled 1990s…but all mingle up and are mixed society as Pakistanis. its the fact Lahoris never put walls amongst them, there is no ethnic divide and thats why visitors dont even realize even though Lahore too is cosmopolitan city like Karachi but still you cant feel it.
    The most important thing i want to mention here is that, as Imran Khan said in his speech on 30th Octomber, when Lahore changes … Pakistan changes, Lahoris dont stick ONE man and ONE party..we know Shahbaz Sharif has done lots for Punjab and Lahore, but still we believe now Imran Khan is the better option and we will go for PTI in next election ..insha ALLAH, my Karachities friends, please for sake of Pakistan …. this time go for change, lets try PTI this time .. forget MQM, Recommend

  • Umer

    You obviously are not aware that most of the beautiful areas in Lahore, even as far away from Lahore at the time as Model town, were developed by the British.

    The Mian brothers and previously Zia Regime only renamed most of these places to give the impression they were local creation. Recommend

  • Inam Shah

    Well it all has been revolutionized in the present regime of SS. 5 years before, Lahore was as congested and dirty as any other city of Pakistan; but hats of to SS. A spider web of communicational means is drawn throughout the Punjab; and not just superficial rather state of the art construction. One thing i would like to clarify, crediting traffic management to Chaudris, is misinformation, to say the least. It is in the present regime that the traffic problem is solved on priority basis.Recommend

  • Sana

    I think we are all mixing racism of lahoris vs. open-mindedness of karachiites. being a non-muslim i definitely feel safer in karachi where people dont question personal mattersRecommend

  • American Pakistani

    I am a lahori by birth and lived there for 23 years. As much as I love lahore, lot of things you mentioned comes off as impressions from a visitor and not true entirely.Recommend

  • Karachitiite

    I am from Karachi and I have been to Lahore, I think Lahore is more beautiful.
    Well written article. But the writer failed to mention that MQM graffiti covers more walls in Karachi than that of any other party’sRecommend

  • umair

    I really appreicate your thoughts tanzeel, but you seems bit biased politically :P isn’t it ?

    “I applaud the chief minister of Punjab, who despite having a barrage of flaws in his governance, especially with regards to health, education and law and order sectors,”

    was that your comparasion of punjab with other provinces or just target killing? :D Recommend

  • Rizvi

    I found your article to be right on the money. I recently visited Pakistan for the first time in 20 years. Having family in both, Lahore and Karachi, I got to visit each city for a ten days. One thing that really stood out for me was the security difference in both cities. While I was in Khi, my cousins would often hesitate in going out late at night and would often say certain areas are no-go zones. While in Lahore, we roamed the streets quite carelessly at all hours and it seemed no one was ever concerned about their security. Lahori’s have this knack of striking up cheery conversations with strangers which makes the personal interactions quite relaxed, whereas in Karachi I found people to be more reserved and cautious. There are always stories of cellular phones being stolen at gunpoint but luckily I didn’t experience anything like that in either city, but I felt my relatives in Lahore were more at ease with their city than the ones in Karachi. Both cities have their pros and cons, but if I was to live in Pakistan I’d pick Lahore. Islamabad being a breezy three hour drive away on the fantastic motorway is also a bonus. Come to think of it, Pakistan has it all. If only the politicians weren’t so crooked!Recommend

  • http://www.tanzeel.wordpress.com Tanzeel

    Umair, just like Karachites I expect Lahoris to become little open minded and admit flaws in Punjab Governance.
    When I said flaws in health sector I meant NUMEROUS occurred due to no precautionary measures on Dengue and mismanagement in Punjab Institute of Cardiology.
    You already know what they did with Matric students during paper checking causing students to commit suicide. As far as Punjab is Police is concerned, click this link to gauge their efficiency. Recommend

  • http://www.tanzeel.wordpress.com Tanzeel

    @Karachitiite:
    A true Karachite never misspells the word “Karachite”Recommend

  • Zeta

    I miss my city Lahore. Can’t wait to embrace it in my soul againRecommend

  • kdm

    @Umer Hanif:

    spot onRecommend

  • :)

    From a Lahori who recently moved to Karachi I am glad to have read this :) Karachi is a wonderful city with opportunities that perhaps one can only aim for in Lahore…but only if it was safer, cleaner and had slightly less in-your-face harsh people…it would be such a nicer place. Recommend

  • umair

    @Tanzeel:

    I agreed with all you said! Almost 250+ people died because of dengue (natural disaster), more than 100 died due to mismanagement in PIC (the medicine manufactured in karachi, and no other hospital in Pakistan effected but PIC).

    Now what about 1400 people killed in karachi last year? more than 100 people has been targeted in boluchistan on basis of their NICs (within few months).

    I think punjab is not facing such bigger issues like other provinces, in addition police, dengue and mismanagement can be controlled but how can you control issues faced by karachi and balouchistan???Recommend

  • http://Lahore.com Shumail Jutt PML(N)

    guys & galz o my god. wake up, dont get fascinated by the Karachi writer he has not given 100% clearance to Lahore, he compared Lahore with Karachi not Karachi with Lahore, try to get my point, he thinks Karachi is some out of the world place and Lahore is struggling to achieve the crown of cosmopolitan city which is worn by Karachi. He called our city a city of Punjabis which means we can never coexist with anyone, he says people love MQM in Lahore, on what ground he says so ? He says Lahoris are “Choroo” means people who talk big about their buildings as if they are into some inferiority complex and when Karachi people come they show off. He says we have no taste buds we just eat eat and eat unlike Karachi people who are fond of good and hygienic food. he criticized all departments of punjab govt except beautification .he said our roads are congested and narrow. Why are you praising the writer ? He has done the biggest damage to Lahore in a sweet way.open your eyes please.
    SJ.PMLNRecommend

  • Asad

    I want to write about Karachi now. Recommend

  • http://asaddurrani.wordpress.com Asad

    @Shumail Jutt

    You are a hater, I am from Lahore and I love Karachi…There is no point in comparing two cities These two Cities different and each of them being best in its own environment Recommend

  • Rashid

    @OP. Dont you observe how lahoris tend to speak more urdu then punjabi now a days?Recommend

  • Anonymous

    I have been to Karachi twice , I find it very haphazard but I like its diversity and the melting-pot culture.. the writer seems to be focusing on the structure of two cities ..he should be writing about the differences among the people of both cities as well ,as long as it doesn’t offense anyone…Recommend

  • FromKarachiwithlove

    We (Karachi) have a beautiful coastline, we have a BEACH to enjoy long, lazy Sundays. Enough said.

    However…

    I have visited Lahore multiple times and feel that the city is very limited in what it has to offer. I agree that Lahore was in some ways culturally and otherwise, different, rich and refreshing from Karachi, but I would not trade living in Karachi for Lahore – ever. Why?

    For starters, Lahore is very small, give it a week and you’ve seen and done everything there is to see and do. Lahori’s are genuinely nice and humble but you do come across the occasional arrogant, flashy and distastefully (however, expensive) dressed Lahori’s who’s main past time is pretty much doing exactly that – “being flashy”.

    Another interesting thing about the people of Lahore is their lack of diversity, their limited perceptions of the world, their “small-city-attitude” and their very homogeneous mind-sets. You meet one, you’ve almost met them all. Karachi is flooded with versatility, everyone is different. Everything has their own goals, dreams, desires, creativity, fashion-sense, personality etc. We raise girls with ambition, with a drive to be the best… Sadly, Lahori’s raise their daughter’s to become perfect candidates for their perfect suitors. It is no wonder that Sharmeen Obaid was raised in Karachi ;). As Karachite’s we have passion, a flair for life, we have a spark and we ignite it wherever we go. We embrace individuality, we are more open-minded, well-read, speak better, read more and are definitely more “wordly” and “aware of the world” in every sense of the word. Lahori’s generally tend to live in their “bubble” and every so often one of them travels abroad in search of a better education and considers himself/herself more refined when truth be told Lahori’s were never brought up in the cosmopolitan, all-embracing Karachi environment. Yes, we have paan stained walls and we are city crowded with billboards but that is the beauty of Karachi. Karachi’s beauty is epitomised in the children running on the streets, in the whole “awaam” painted and dressed in green rushing to sea-view the day Pakistan wins a cricket match, in the little pathan kid who cheekily says “Please don’t break my heart, give me five rupees madam” or the buzzing of endless traffic on the roads, the broken traffic lights that you know will never be fixed, the smells of Boat Basin, the streets of Saddar and Burns rd., the broken old Colonial homes in the older part of Karachi, the colourful mini-buses that drive like they are on a death-wish. In the fancy restaurants that are pocketed all over the city or the local “dhabbas”…you can never run out of things to try and eat in Karachi – you can get almost everything here.. from French gourmet snails and pate to “katta kut” and “hot-and-spicy-rolls” (that one can even have at 2:00 am)…I love Karachi. Sure, I get scared every so often of being mugged, but I would have that fear anywhere in Pakistan, or New York or London, or in any big city for that matter. Karachi isn’t 100% safe, but it isn’t exactly a mine-field either. Karachi has culture, it has heritage, it has its people who paint, who write, who hold exhibitions, who organise major chairty events, who build hospitals, who teach, who travel, who collect historic paintings, who indulge in “Ikebana”, “Bonsai”, raising iguanas and Saint Bernards, to experimenting with film-making, women who specialise in yoga, women who fight for causes, women in Karachi feel liberated: almost equated to their male counterparts, people here have a passion for life, people have hobbies, people with so much character and colour….Karachi is truly special and the best part about it is that you can’t ever stop discovering just how special it is… you can’t truly feel all of it or see all of it in 5 or 7 days.. you need to live, breathe and grow here to understand its rarity and appreciate its subtle cultural and visually aesthetic aspects. Recommend

  • FromKarachiwithlove

    @Shumail Jutt PML(N):

    This is exactly what I mean when I say people in Lahore lack a certain “imagination” or any kind of tolerance for literature or appreciation for art. This is the epitome of “Lahori ignorance”.Recommend

  • Hussain

    @ Shumail Jutt PML(N)

    I must admire your keen sense of finding pessimism in a wonderful piece of writing. Well not your fault your name PML N says it all.

    Its a shame we can not even take a piece of good writing with a positive sense. May Allah bless us with some mercy.Recommend

  • http://www.tanzeel.wordpress.com Tanzeel

    @FromKarachiwithlove:
    Nicely written. Indeed we are are proud to be Karachite : )Recommend

  • Hussain

    Well I would disagree with ***FromKarachiwithlove*** here regarding the security in Karachi.
    Please do not compare it with London or NewYork. I have lived in London & Lahore as well & i know the frequency of people being mugged there.

    I am a Karachite & have been a victim of mobile phone snatching & daciots entering my house. This is the story of every second or third Karachite. I am sure most of the Karachites reading this would agree with me.

    so please security in Karachi is pathetic & a nightmare…! Please call a spade a spade.Recommend

  • http://asaddurrani.wordpress.com Asad

    @FromKarachiwithlove
    So you are Shumail Jutt PML(N) from Karachi, Pakistan is full of people living in their bubble :)Recommend

  • HSK

    “Personally, I found Lahore to be too provincial, with a lot of focus on just the Punjabi language and a lot of Punjabi people; however, Karachi prides itself on giving a true cosmopolitan feel to the city. Karachiites speak in English, write in Urdu, think in Balochi and dream in Sindhi.”

    Any SINGLE point of reference why Lahore proved itself to be “too provisional”?. Don’t be a racist without understanding/acquiring any substance/ground realities or information nor Lahore needs approval from a Karachiette to be labelled as “acceptably good-enough”

    .Recommend

  • Interesting

    Dear Author,

    It depends where you go in a city, doesn’t it? If a starry-eyed tourist goes to Lahore by air, and alights at the newly built airport, gets into a car, and is whisked away into the lovely lush greenery and cleanliness of Gulberg, or say the DHA Area…surely, he will have such an experience as yours.

    But if a tourist goes to Lahore by rail, gets thrown into the chaos and dirt that is the old Railway station, has to take a ‘Ching-Ji’ to get to his hotel in Icchra bazaar or Islam-Pura, he surely will encounter terrible traffic, dingy walls with graffiti and broken roads (should I even call them roads?) where only a motorbike or pedestrian can venture. His experience will certainly not be like yours. Recommend

  • fus

    @Asad, wow can you really compare FromKarachiwithlove with Shumail Jutt. His comment is probably 95% percent true about Karachi. You can have reservations about security, but rest is true. Karachi is orphan when it comes to funding and development. Lahore and Islamabad are not. Give financial freedom and ownership to the people of this city and it will stand out in Asia. You can not compare diversity of Karachi with any city of Pakistan infact it has more diversity than rest of the country put together. Karachi is for everyone, everyone comes and they know, no matter how bad things are, this city will accept you without any question. And same goes for Sind, you can not compare even its diversity with rest of the province. Even if you got to Hyderabad or Sukkur, both would have more diversity then whole of Punjab. Recommend

  • fus

    @HSK, you may not like it, but this is the best description of Lahore “too provisional””. What is wrong with that if it is, and how is this comment racist, it is true. Recommend

  • http://asaddurrani.wordpress.com Asad Durrani

    @fuss yes you are absolutely right that his comment is 95% true about Karachi, I also like Karachi and its one of my favourite cities, but his comment is 0% true about Lahore and Lahori people, it seems that he has never visited Lahore,Recommend

  • Cynical

    This ‘one is better than other’ ranting is silly.All big cities are unique in more than oneway.Being not from either of these two cities help me to appreciate both.Recommend

  • Awais

    I think it depends on what part of Lahore you’re in, I stayed there for a year in a place called Gujjarpura, China Scheme, and the places I went around were Gol Bagh, Amir Road, Shadbagh, there was always horse, cow, bull droppings in the middle of the road, heaps of trash everywhere, traffic was terrible, it came to a point where the other person would shout verbal abuse or me almost getting into fist fights. The staring thing, EVERYONE STARES to the point where they make you feel uncomfortable, the part that I will always remember about lahore is where a cop threatened to shoot my cousin brother in Harbanspura just near our school. Besides all of those things, I have had both good and bad times in Lahore, the best ones were of just cruising along the service road of the band road on a battered CD70 Honda at night time on the way to china scheme.Recommend

  • Mehlub

    I do agree to the author’s point of Lahoris’ civic sense, but you can not compare the greenery of the two cities. Lahore welcomes rain almost every month, the water is available in large quantities. On the other hand, Karachi witnesses the onset of rain barely once a year; water is scarce. None the less. being a karachite who has visited Lahore on multiple occasions, i feel that the city is well maintained- aesthetically!Recommend

  • Jillani Lahorewala

    My Lahore used to be a village, it will take time to come on Karachi’s level. So yes Lahore’s too desi but we will become Karachi one day IA.Recommend

  • Ali Tanoli

    WRITER forgot to mention huge fotos and saying of peer sahab of karachi may be little scare.Recommend

  • http://asaddurrani.wordpress.com Asad

    @Cynical

    Completely agree with you, completelyRecommend

  • Ali

    Oh my. i had intended not to write anything offensively true here for the lahoriites, but wait, you guys have given such a small hearted response to this lovely blog!
    one of the things deduced by your feedback is your uncalled, irrelevant and illogical bias towards karachi’s representative political party. secondly, your false impression about karachiites being closed-minded, thirdly, you guys think of lahore as the true cultural hub of pakistan.

    guys, come out of this bubble. as i said before, lahore is greener and beautiful, but certainly, it can never be better than karachi. karachi has the most vibrant nightlife no matter how the security is, people are BRAVE, the most diversified awaam, the most stylish people, it is the residence of most of the showbiz industry walas, it is the first priority of foreign investors, it is a fast moving city, it is the city of founders of pakistan, father and mother of this nation…… karachi respects everybody’s culture and thats why the non-locals sustain their true identity and add more colour and diversity to this beautiful mosaic, unlike blending in the lahori crowd and losing it… lahore’s beauty lies in its pre-partition structures… and karachi’s beauty lies in its people, in its vibrant lifestyle, in its ever competitive tough environment and its sea breeze!

    karachi houses the most number of tax paying salaried individuals and professionals, the federal and provincial taxes. dont you lahoriites forget, WE PAY THOSE TAXES A PART OF WHICH IS SPENT TO KEEP YOUR CITY CLEAN :D

    enough saidRecommend

  • Ali

    and oh yes, you have that little food street?
    WE HAVE SOUTH ASIA’s BIGGEST FOOD STREET!!!!
    and we a lot of other food streets as well…..Recommend

  • Morning Glory

    The roads, despite being narrow, have managed to accommodate smooth traffic flow with strict traffic laws, all thanks to the Chaudhry brothers for setting a bench mark in the traffic management sector.

    Why smooth traffic in Lahore only? Why don’t Chaudhary brothers look at the other cities of Punjab?Recommend

  • Morning Glory

    Karachiites speak in English, write in Urdu, think in Balochi and dream in Sindhi.
    LOL :DRecommend

  • Morning Glory

    But the one trait in Lahoris that impressed me the most was their civic sense. You won’t see them spitting pan or gutka on the roads or elsewhere; you won’t see people littering; they are more conscious of their environment and make an effort to keep it clean and beautiful.

    DISAGREE!!Recommend

  • Morning Glory

    Glad to see you did not touch any pressure points for both the cities!Recommend

  • farhan

    Such a biased article. A true Karachiite will have to write a counter article. Karachi has way more charm than Lahore ;) Recommend

  • Furqan

    nice article.
    plus Lahore is much safer as far as street crime and extortion is concerned.
    For Karachi hope for the best!Recommend

  • Shafaq Mirza

    Very interesting and beautiful piece. Recommend

  • Raw is War
  • Ali Syed

    it’s a matter of personal preferences.Recommend

  • Hamza Shahbaz

    So far the best piece on Karachi Lahore rivalry, the writer covers two cities beautifully and gives due to credit to us and whoever worked for city. As he praised M. Kamal he should have focused terrorism in Karachi also, wonder why he ignored that but over all very good article. Recommend

  • a 54321

    “Karachiites speak in English, write in Urdu, think in Balochi and dream in Sindhi.”

    AWWWWW!Recommend

  • Optimist

    Article first started with most positive comments about Lahore.
    .
    After a day, it all started Anti-Lahore, AS IF SOMEONE realised and INSTRUCTED ITS workers to go and write all negative things about Lahore!Recommend

  • Jahil Awaam

    Just saw civic sense of Lahori on Liberty, they are destroying their own infrastructure, throwing stones on my car and damaging the traffic signals. lor lor ae, true. Recommend

  • Amjad

    @Jahil Awaam: Whatever commotion and disruptions that may go on in Lahore are small compared to what would be going on elsewhere. That’s why everyone is jealous of Lahore and jumps to highlight any dispute or act of criminality of a province of over 100 million people. Hence when one protester dies in a power dispute demonstration it’s big news. No one disputes that Lahore has challenges and problems too including the issues of load shedding. However, unlike much of the country, the problems in Lahore and Punjab are relatively minor compared to issues in say Karachi or Peshawar. This is the difference.Lahore is probably the most developed and prosperous place in Pakistan due to the efforts of local citizens and the province’s leadership. They won’t stop to try to improve things and I am sure even the energy problems will be tackled. This energy problems was aggravated by 9 years of dictatorship doing nothing to add anything to the energy grid of Pakistan but so called “jaahil awaam” do not understand this.Recommend

  • http://www.twitter.com/Omaidus Omaidus

    Its very sad to see our Young “stars” bashing each other on whose city is better. I had made many arguments against Karachite’s in support of Lahore. Lahore is my mother land, and we don’t defend our Mothers, its too private, same is to Karachi, I respect theirs also, visited all Pakistan, and I must say, Peshawar is best for its people, their generosity, hospitality, and their sense of humor, Quetta is most beautiful city with people so serious but too hospitable, Isloo with its modern infrastructure and diverse people, Karachi, for its hugeness, its sea, its Planned infrastructure, its people for their most professional approach. also for its diversity after all its mini Pakistan…… all these cities have many drawbacks, but we should have focused their beauties, and for how we can learn from each other. Will not say a word for Lahore here, as its mine, and nothing can replace with what is mine :)Recommend

  • Jaahil Awaam

    Amjad Sb, most of the Acid burn and cutting nose cases occur in Punjab. All Players who fix match emerged from Punjab and you talk about being jealous ?Recommend

  • Somethingwillneverend

    Somethings will never end, no 1 – karachi lahore rivalry …Recommend

  • Sohail Abdullah

    A very good Article, yes Lahore is becoming very beautiful day by day. There might be lot of reasons of vast differences between these two cities, but according to my observation, in Lahore you will see around 80-90% of the population is punjabi speaking, which gives the Lahore an advantage of the ownership of the City by the residents. While, in karachi, the diversity of the races all across the pakistan in one city, makes it very hard to control the situation. Only Middle Class of the population in Karachi seems to own their city. There is also a very big misconception in upper part of the country is that in Karachi only Urdu Speaking Population are in majority. Which might be true some decades back, but due to massive mobilization of human throughout the pakistan to the port city, it is very hard to control the metrolife. In my opinion No one seems to be loyal & wants to truly own the city.Recommend

  • Ahmed HM

    Good article, but needs some correction. :)
    I am from Lahore, and I love Karachi. What you wrote about MQM and Mustafa Kamal is untrue. Most of the people living in Punjab (including the Urdu Speaking Mohajir including me) hate MQM like anything. Mustafa Kamal is simply too insignificant for us !Recommend

  • Jibran Khan

    Am from Peshawar & recently transferred to Lahore from Karachi. Now I know the difference very well & let me say very loud that Lahoris have big open hearts.Recommend

  • Amjad

    @Jaahil Awaam: The fact that you want to equate instances of criminality to the most populous province in the country shows your mind set. Punjab has the largest population- obviously more crimes will occur there than anywhere else in Pakistan combined but I think you know full well that anyone would prefer to be out in the streets of Lahore in the middle of the night enjoying food than anywhere else in Pakistan. For that matter any city in Punjab is safer than anywhere else in the nation. The types of crime that go in Karachi or the terrorism in border regions simply do not exist in the Punjab. Perhaps you need to remind yourself that more nose cutting and acid attacks go on in neighbouring India than Pakistan- and for that matter as a per person average, more of these attacks go on in Afghanistan. I condemn such criminality everywhere whereas my original point still holds. You only want to celebrate isolated instances of crime in Punjab to detract from the reality that real progress is taking place there and that people in Punjab will keep working to improve living standards there- not only in Lahore. Why not try to improve things everywhere in Pakistan and follow the lead of Lahore?Recommend

  • kashi gill

    welcome to lahore bro lahore is most beautiful city of pakistan there is just a need of making punjabi official language of punjab like sindhis did and declare all native languages of pakiostan as national languages india has 200 plus national languages Recommend

  • rabia

    i was surfing for gud material so that i can write about Karachi cux i nevr had a chance to b there………… ez there any one who can help me out to write a very gud story bout karachi ,, ny beautifull aspect ?Recommend

  • Lamss

    @Asad: Well said!Recommend