Stories about karachi

When the ‘city of lights’ turns into the ‘city of survival’

Karachi will endure not just because it has to, but because its inhabitants refuse to call it quits and give in to the face of adversity, for it is the people that define Karachi, and their resilience in essence embodies the spirit of Karachi. Karachi belongs to all of those who seek refuge beneath its bruised and battered but bountiful shade, irrespective of what walk of life they come from.  Karachi is not just owned by the political parties that represent it in the provincial or federal echelons, rather, it is owned by its people. We blame the politicians that they’re not doing enough to quench the violence happening daily ...

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Hospitality – The strong dissimilarity between rural and urban Pakistanis

Earlier this year, I was in rural Punjab conducting fieldwork on a study called ‘Women’s Work in Agriculture and Nutrition’. Prior to that, I was interviewing adolescents and their families in lower income areas of Karachi for a study called ‘Being an Adolescent in Karachi’. As a surveyor, I was introduced to interview respondents by a local resource person in both settings, and although my position as a researcher was the same in both sites, I noticed a stark difference on how people treated strangers between the two sites.  In rural-southern Punjab, people’s candour, warmth, and kindness were prominent. Even though majority of ...

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Can ‘Shah’ box its way to the top?

Pakistan is a land of talented and gifted people. We have people who have made something out of nothing. With barely any resources available, various Pakistanis have outdone themselves in recent times and have brought pride and prosperity to their motherland through their hard work and sheer determination. Shah is a movie which is based on one such individual, who rose from the cluttered streets of Lyari in Karachi. He rose from nothing and became the pride of Pakistan, but eventually, he was reduced to a mere memory in the minds of Pakistanis. Shah is a story based on true events about the journey of Pakistan’s famous national ...

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If Geeta was a Muslim, would the Indian government have done the same?

After the Indian High Commissioner, Dr TCA Raghvan and his wife met the hearing and speech-impaired ‘Hindu’ girl in Karachi, reportedly stuck in Pakistan for 13 long years, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj vowed on Twitter,  “We will bring Geeta back to India.” “Our High Commissioner believes that Geeta is an Indian,” Swaraj added, while thanking all the wonderful individuals in Pakistan who looked after the wretched girl like their own daughter and sister. Our High Commissioner believes that Geeta is an Indian. — Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) August 4, 2015 Geeta – whose heartrending story bears an uncanny resemblance to that of a character named ‘Munni’ in ...

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Dear Karachiites, before you plant trees, think

The heat wave that killed more than 1,300 people in Karachi seems like a long time ago. Concerned citizens, in the heat of the moment, promised to plant trees, but very little has been said regarding when and how this can be done. As time is passing and cool monsoon winds are blowing away painful memories of the heat wave, the promises seem to be dissipating. Where memories are short lived, long-term efforts to mitigate a recurrence of the same catastrophe seem nowhere in sight. That is the problem with climate change – the cause and effect, both take place over extended periods of time. ...

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The Cult of Sarfraz Ahmed – Doing more harm than good

It started during the World Cup 2015. What was first a dialogue from an extremely popular and recent Indian movie, took over nearly all Pakistani TV stations. It was simply inescapable. Any news channel you surfed through, you would hear it, “Sarfraz dhoka nahin day ga!” (Sarfraz won’t betray you!) Photo: Reuters In the midst of an inauspicious start to the World Cup campaign and the team management’s baffling decision to persist with the woefully out of form Nasir Jamshed, a state of frenzy engulfed the nation over the perceived injustice done with Sarfraz Ahmed, Pakistan’s hero of the previous ...

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What is it about Umar Akmal that people don’t understand?

Manzoor, Zahoor and Saleem Elahi. Imran and Humayun Farhat. Moin and Nadeem Khan. Hanif, Mushtaq, Sadiq and Wazir Mohammad. Wasim and Ramiz Raja. This is not a listicle of the cricketing families of Pakistan, otherwise it would have also included Imran Khan, Javed Burki, Majid Khan, Anil Dalpat, and Danish Kaneria (who are cousins, by the way). If this list is not enough, a simple Google search will yield nearly 162 families in the realm of world cricket. And the reason for mentioning all of this you ask? Well, it is to ask a simple question: Why are only the Akmal brothers considered as being the perennial symbol of one of ...

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When the concept of ‘an eye for an eye’ seeps into the fashion world

The recent allegations surrounding designer Tabassum Mughal are widely known. She is accused of ‘beating up’ and verbally abusing a client’s mother, Shagufta Noor, when she visited the studio at the day on which the delivery of the dresses was due, and was supposedly not shown the dresses, which propelled her to demand an immediate cash refund. Photo: Facebook group Bring Tabbasum Mughal to justice Like most Pakistani saas-bahu (mother-in-law/daughter-in-law) dramas, the story is remarkably twisted. It became murkier when a complete stranger, Hira Haroon, read the client’s friend’s post on a Facebook group, and decided to help. Daughter of a retired Army ...

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Karachi se Lahore: A one-man show of hilarity

Karachi Se Lahore is another comedy flick from the back to back line-up in Pakistani cinema. It is directed and produced by Wajahat Rauf and the screenplay was written by Yasir Hussain. The story kicks off with the introduction of Zaheem (Shahzad Sheikh) and Maryam (Ayesha Omar) who are neighbours constantly arguing and fighting on senseless issues. Zaheem is seen living alone in an apartment (no mention of his family) and is a banker at Habib Bank Limited (HBL) (too much branding, as expected) who is clearly not happy with his current situation. Being the lead in the film, his acting on the big ...

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The reality of Pakistan through Brandon Stanton’s lens

While Pakistani fans of Brandon Stanton were posting warm and welcoming comments on the Humans of New York (HONY) Facebook page, the power of pre-conceived notions and assumptions about Pakistan was evident in the contrasting rude and dismissive comments. Some of them called Pakistan “that wretched country” and threatened to give up on being fans of Brandon if he visited Pakistan. Photo: Screenshot And so it has been. Pakistan, a beautiful country, inhabited by a vibrant nation, is often seen globally as a monolithic entity in which only extremists and bigots live, and where only bad things happen. It is seen as not ...

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