The horrors of life in Clifton

Published: November 13, 2010

The Clifton area is supposed to be one of the more prestigious ones in Karachi.

What is with elitist schools and colleges? Some like Karachi Grammar School (my alma mater and where my son now studies), get all the flak for not being good neighbours, for being elitist (the school’s fees are generally lower than most of its more recent upstart-ish ‘competitors’) and for bringing forth a whole new generation of brats (these people have obviously never met students or alums of L’ecole or Bayview).

Now, to the point, for which this is being written. I happen to live close to a venerated Karachi education institution – the Convent of Jesus and Mary. In fact, my flat in Clifton is quite literally a one-minute walk from the school’s senior section. The back of my flat faces this small lane which is now barricaded on both sides.

Come every morning and afternoon there is a mad rush in this neighbourhood, thanks to the school’s students, and their drivers and parents who come by and drop and pick them up. In the morning it is bearable since the cars just come and drop them and because the CJM administration has a few domestic staff who act as stand-in traffic regulators. However, the afternoon is literally mayhem, with people double and even triple parking – and this on a road which is no wider than a lane in any of Clifton’s various neighbourhoods. On several occasions I have seen a female parent park the car in the middle of the road, get off and walk to the school gate which is about fifty metres away from this side of the barricaded road. This is not an exaggeration. These women just park the car in the middle of the road, with dozens of other cars behind them, and merrily walk away, key in hand, and if you ask them what in the world are they doing blocking everyone’s path, they say:

‘Mein apnee bachee ko school say uthanay jaa rahee hoon’.

Surely, this isn’t the kind of civil behaviour and good sense the CJM nuns would want their students to learn – but quite regrettably its on display everyday for anyone who wishes to see a display of just about the worst kind of civic sense imaginable. I have tried to talk to the CJM staff deployed their during the mornings but they obviously don’t seem to be able to do much about it.

I also asked them about why the school and its cleaning staff dump all the kachra right at the end of the lane, and bang opposite our gate? Can the school not instruct its cleaning staff to transport the garbage to a kachra kundi a little further away? Wait, let me guess, I bet the CJM teaches its students that throwing litter is bad and the work of the Devil. How nice!

This isn’t all.

Cleaning up the neighbourhood

I live in an apartment complex that has 24 flats. It’s supposed to be in a reputable neighbourhood with many consulates nearby — what good is that for me, I wonder though. The head of my apartments association tells me that a private contractor has been awarded a contract by the local town administration (Saddar Town, I think) to pick up garbage and solid waste from the kachra kundi behind the apartment building. However, he came once to the complex and told its residents that if they wanted the garbage picked up every day it could be arranged – provided they paid him Rs2,000 a month. He was told by the residents that they pay municipal charges to the local town administration every month. He laughed and said that if they didn’t pay up then their road and the gali outside would never see its garbage removed.

And then the water issue. All of a sudden, the water in our building has dried up. One of the residents managed to speak to someone at the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB) who told him that there was a shortage in the city (when is there not?) and that the water valve – right opposite the Caltex petrol pump at Do Talwar) was opened for only 20 minutes every day. “Why only 20 minutes?”, he was asked. Because that is how long it took for enough water to reach the Indonesian Consulate – which is a few hundred metres before the road ends, Park Towers to the right. Apparently, the KWSB would also like their palms to be greased, though the official hasn’t said so.

What I’m surprised at is how this “citywide shortage” doesn’t deter a whole organised mafia from stealing water by siphoning it from the very pump next to Do Talwar, right under the noses of several police personnel posted nearby. I guess, everyone’s getting a cut of this. This water theft started over 10 years ago and I wrote a small story on it when I was working as a reporter but nothing really became of it. Now, those involved in it have graduated from using horse-drawn carts to using Suzuki vans and mechanized pumps and nifty hoses to steal the water.

This isn’t all.

The giant trash can that is my city

Speaking of venerable institutions, there is another one – SZABIST — situated right next to the CJM senior section, on the same barricaded road. Turns out that the barricades were put up also because this institution felt the need – it also has metal detectors now installed for entry to its premises. The venerable institution has several domestic staff who clean the road outside its premises – they do this every morning or so and then dump the kachra right at the far end of the barricaded street – bang opposite our gate and our building in general. It seems that the cleaners cannot see that there is a garbage dump just across the small road, not more than 20-30 metres away.

The students of SZABIST  (I hear it ranks right up there just behind IBA and what not) also tend to loiter around, and this is usually right behind our building. They talk loudly – at least some of them do – and they litter (clearly they didn’t go to schools like CJM) and one day I found an empty Murree Brewery Cossack Vodka bottle in a small stretch of garden behind our wall which we are trying to grow as some much-needed green space. The students, many of whom loiter around at times as late as 10 pm – apparently they have ‘evening classes’ – also smoke like chimneys. They throw their cigarette butts – and chips packets and coke bottles and what not – on the road as if it’s their own giant personal trash can, and by the looks of it every morning – it is.

SZABIST is even worse compared to CJM when it comes to parking, for the simple reason that while the latter has only two times during the day when its students come and leave, this institution has students coming and going all day – and till 10 pm at night. As a result, the lanes around it are one gigantic – unregulated parking lot. No concern of any kind is shown towards the local residents – but then why would it since they don’t have to be fee-paying students.

Other than all this, of course, Clifton is a great place to live in Karachi.

Omar R Quraishi

Omar R Quraishi

The editor of the editorial pages of The Express Tribune. He tweets as @omar_quraishi (

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

  • Syed Nadir El-Edroos

    Well we have all have a nominal notion of civic sense and pride in the local community. We clean our houses and maintain them as palaces and them dump our waste on the street. This is true of every urban area in most of the country. Clifton could easily be replaced with any other neighbourhood. People are brought up believing that they can free load on public property and treat public spaces as their own. When you know you can get away with breaking the law and trashing the roads it incentives non-compliance, from top to bottom. Rather than building walls higher we need to connect and encourage further interaction between individuals and their community so that they have a stake in their surroundings. Take all the institutions that you have mentioned, there are students coming from all over the country to attend classes their. But how entrenched are those institutions with their communities and do they encourage their students to feel as stakeholders in their surroundings? Recommend

  • Meher Zaidi

    I agree with you as there is total lack of civic sense and see how the rude chowkidars put no parking infront of their schools or offices and make people park infront of others houses or abodes. The entire mentality of citizens is “Qabza” and all educated supposedly “civilized” are involved. The same is true in Defence, especially school and commercial areas. Men and women are rude when reminded of wrong parking. Their drivers are even worst. They are mostly now from Southern Punjab and have no respect or patience. They drive and overtake from wrong side, do not stop at crossings, suddenly enter a road from lanes in fast speed. Their employers are equally rude and dangerous. Recently a young man , whose elder brother was also killed in Defence with two other gardeners early in morning by three boys and girls driving so badly, was again hit by a young rash driver while cycling in Defence Seaview area. Again he was provided no compensation by the man who hit him. The poor boy who is a gardener is lying at home in extreme misery nd pain and we as neighbors and social workers are trying to help him. This kind of criminal and foul mentality is pervasive in almost all residents of Clifton and Defence.Recommend

  • saad

    its like coming across moving cars with stickers of foreign varsities etc on the rear glass in def and clif and elsewhere in the city, and out comes a hand throwing trash on the road. naapaak nation! Recommend

  • Jamal Ashiqain

    Why do you think only women leave their cars in the middle of the road, I have seen several men drivers do exactly the same in front of the schools, its not about men or women, its not gender specific so we must not tent to post int in that manner- I don’t know where the myth that “women are the worst drivers” originated from but i have found men specially teenage boys proving to be the worst of the drivers on the roads of Karachi, and when these boys run into an accident they often do make sure their car turns into a heap or rubble.

    Also the solid waste management or garbage issue is worst for the most parts of the city, and Clifton is the least effected by it. I think the issue is not just limited to one posh area of the city but for valid for most of the Karachi where conditions are worst. Recommend

  • parvez

    As the city gets bigger, areas that were nice slowly go to seed.
    See what’s happening to posh Bath Island. Recommend

  • Piscean

    you must be feeling so light after writing all this.its like a emotional vommit :P
    Jokes apart,there are problems such as these everywhere.its not just the clifton area.Being one of the students of those institutes that you just mentioned ,i apologize for the inconvenience caused.Recommend

  • Zain

    Very well written indeed! I love how you managed to add a stereotype to most of what you wrote about and a couple of questions arose in my mind which made me feel that the article was one written out of mere frustration rather than journalism. I study at SZABIST and go there everyday, I am yet to see a woman or anybody for that matter, park in the middle of the road. There are security officials that will give their life to stop a bad parking. The flats you speak of don’t quite come across as luxury accommodations to the naked eye, I wonder what you guys keep hidden inside, irrespective of the area.

    Now I know there are a few loud mouths at SZABIST that are always outside yapping away but what gives YOU the right to give your oh so professional critique on that? Not all of us litter and I take tremendous offense when you associate a bottle of alcohol with students from SZABIST. Maybe someone from your own building consumed it, maybe even your son? I know for a fact that Grammarians have crazy parties with the girls as young as 15 drinking, doping and grinding on older guys, they tend to drink like fish and at all odd times. Oh well you never know. Quite clearly we have not been educated in places like CJM because CJM is a Convent for girls? Students loiter around till 10pm because we have tough schedules with back to back classes, the last of which ends at 10pm. I’m sure no student likes loitering around just for funs sake.Recommend

  • Babar Javed

    wow Zain, the Prophet would be so proud of your argument. Way to go on negative phrasing, clearly EWS was wasted on youRecommend

  • inyourface

    seems like you have picked on the wrong university…shouldnt do that….na aaa no messing with szabist Recommend

  • Haisum

    @Zain cha gaya dada tu :P SZABIST Rocks and definitely is great to study in… If someone has any problems with sounds and cars he should get a home in farm or a small town or village etc. Leave Karachi if you can’t even bear parking and talking.Recommend

  • Sameer

    Very well said Zain! Recommend

  • Omar R Quraishi


    my son is 5 years old — i dont think he would have consumed that bottle of alcohol — given that no one lives in the vicinity and given that SZABIST students frequent it, it’s quite likely that it was thrown by one of them — just like the coke bottlels and chips wrappers they throw on the ground — in any case its unlikely that a CJM student or any of their drivers would have thrown the bottle — and why take offence — i was simply stating a fact — it was a vodka bottle in an area frequented by college students — connecting the dots shouldnt be all that difficult i think

    the officials who give their lives, as u put it, to stop bad parking — hahahaha — good one
    if they do that, they probably do it on szabist’s side — i am talking about the other end of the road where SZABIST has no officials present — other than of course the hundreds of badly parked cars of students

    and i wouldnt be making up women leaving their cars parked right in the middle of the road — be my guest — hang around there from 1-1.45 pm and trust me you will find an example of this on any given day — i went to KGS for 15 years and I dont drink — so your stereotypes will not work here im afraid

    as for CJM — till class 5 they admit boys as well — there you go zain, every day you learning something new —

    the students loiter because they are socialising — u do know what that is — only issue is that they shouldnt do it next to people’s homes — go to a cafe and socialise i dont mind — most of them clearly need to some a good amount of civic sense im afraid Recommend

  • zainab

    KGS SUCKS! Recommend

  • zainab

    just because you get into messes for all sorts of reasons you go throwing your weight around on other schools. if youre so worried go clean up yourself.Recommend

  • Sidra

    Sir, I am a student of SZABIST and I agree with pretty much everything you have said about our institution (even though it saddens me so much) but I must point out something. Being a KGS alumni, if you don’t like being stereotyped as brats and for the other reasons you stated, then you must not generalise and stereotype others as well. I have been a L’ecole student as well and it really hurt me when you said that thing about whole new generation of brats at L’ecole. If you don’t want to be stereotyped, then don’t stereotype someone else. They say: Do unto others what you want done to yourself.Recommend

  • inyourface

    In that CASE since you are talking about connecting dots maybe that bottle belongs to the police mess officers who are staying right next door and also keep in mind the reputation that precedes these officers.It is an immature reaction on your part and also wrong of you to state Szabist’s name since you have no real lead.Funny how you are defending your school.heh.I too live in clifton and have lived here all my life.I am a student from szabist and did not like our university name to be publiced negatively.I am glad you pointed out the problems since we are neighbours we can help you on this one. Recommend

  • Zain

    Hahaha! Offended? I? NEVER! Okay so connecting the dots huh? Isn’t saying it might be consumed by your neighbors a straighter line? Why curve it up and connect college life to drinking? Like you just said you don’t drink and never did it at Grammar school so why the great emphasis on Szabist and Cossak? I was stating a fact that AT the parties the kids as young as 15 drink to their hearts content and the drinkers are not afraid to do it at any time of the day. I’m sorry I can’t feel your pain, being a Grammarian also means you act like a snobbish ‘I-know-it-all’ now that my friend is me stereotyping you :).

    1-145 huh? In the 2 years I have been at SZABIST I must have been there at that time at least 20 days in those 2 years, quite strange how those days there were no women parking on the road. This world is strange, how come big shot editors like yourself get to see everything and not everyone else?

    Ahhh CJM, why of course! Class 5! How could I have been so ignorant towards this fact? Thank you for opening my eyes. How about you take a break from all these bottled up emotions and spit spit about all the different institutes apart from yours and socialize? I hear Studio Cafe is good, Grammarians love it.

    Why so frustrated?

    I still love your writing style.Recommend

  • Omar R Quraishi

    zainab — throw my weight around? since when does writing a blog constitute throwing one’s weight around

    haisum — the college is in a residential area — im not sure people who have been living in the neighbourhood for well over 20 years must now leave – its obviously szabist that needs to be a good neighbour, if at all

    inyourface — i have no idea what you are trying to say — ‘no real lead’? for what? the bottle in question is far away from the officers mess and was found close to where szabist students park their cars and walk to their institute — by the barrier at the far end — im not going to explain the geography again since it was quite clearly explained in my blog post — Recommend

  • Klues

    Suburban, welcome to Karachi life.Recommend

  • Hussain

    Mr Editor,
    Before i correct you with what you have said about my University and the School near by I want to tell you that the school and SZABIST have both been present here for a very long time and thus it is a responsibility of everyone looking for accommodation near the Two Swords to make sure that they know the area in and out, and as much as i can see it, probably you did not, I studied from a School in Hyderabad, and i just want to make you learn a new thing or two, Schools and Universities and the Traffic Jams go hand in hand even if they are in are located in a rural area!

    Two: You should rather be thankful to SZABIST for providing you with the security throughout the day and it is probably because of them that people like you feel safe when no body in the whole city is safe enough, quit whining and act like a responsible citizen yourself first, SZABIST is a Renowned Business School, its students have Respect and Dignity and despite of your slating, i am pretty sure they would love to help you anytime as we consider that area as our very own neighborhood! And i am pretty doubtful if you have learned anything about fallacies of over generalization! Come to SZABIST, we would help you write well, perhaps ask one of our brighter ones to write it for you so that you can just Paste it to help you with your lazy Journalism!Recommend

  • amna

    Sir even after teaching at szabist for so long you actually wrote so negative about it :S thats just plain sad why are you being so cynical about it this situation is actually everywhere in karachi be it sadar clifton defence etc so just negetively publicising zabist wont do no good ! i wont comment at all about what KGS kidds are doing because thats beyond imagination but then again we are not comparing educational institutes here , if you are facing difficulties living in that particular area you should contact someone who is responsible for that place’s cleanliness. i really like the way you write and you are a good journalist but that doesnt give you any license to write negative comments about an institute where you have actually taught.Recommend

  • Sidra

    Btw please take out the term ‘evening classes’ out of the apostrophes. We do indeed have evening classes which go on till 9:30 on any regular day. These are for evening MBA students and Law students. So please do not try to emphasize that students are doing something wrong at this time of the day.Recommend

  • Junaid Ahmed

    Whatever you have mentioned is very subjective rather than objective. The institutions names you have mentioned and try your level best to degrade or to put disgrace on them is very shameful. At least these are some and few institutions which are providing quality education. By mentioning one or few incident is not a big thing. There are many big names such as Harvard,Yale,Oxford,GWU etc where i think you can find much more than this(your type stories), so please try to react objectively.

  • RayN

    Yes.szabist provides us enuff security 2 hav a peaceful sleep foo.i live there 2.nd hav since 5 months.never saw a parked car on the road..nd yes its Obvious tht ud hav 2 face these probs cuz u r living near Uniz and schools.V shud accept it like guud citizens or take a hikeRecommend

  • Hassan

    forget everything…mr writer…you live in an apartment meaning that there are many people, i know some real uneducated people there believe me, they are way worse than us. as for the trash and bottle..have you ever found any one from your apartment doing that probably you would have but why talk about it. the reason is you cant blame one for many…you dont even know who and what type of people live in that area and yet you blame szabist for all the crap as if someone paid you to talk like this…it is always better to talk on what you know. you dont know n than you write about something as if you never have done as such!!Recommend

  • Syed A. Mateen

    People prefer to live in Clifton and Defence presuming that these are the two most prestigious areas on earth, but this is not the fact.

    I have seen Clifton in those days when it was a peaceful area to live even before when neither there were two swords or three swords roundabouts.

    A narrow road was the only road leading to Jehangir Kothari Tomb which is now called the main Clifton Road and water use to come from the sea leaving behind the sand.

    There were high tension wires which could have been seen from far away going all along with the Naddi, the now Phase IV area of Defence Housing Authority, Karachi.

    Today’s Clifton is much more different what it uses to be in old days. After 1970 the mush room growth of various apartments’ complexes and construction of houses have taken away the beauty of Clifton.

    Thanks God that neither I live in Clifton, nor in Defence and have all the peace of mind which is seldom available in Clifton and Defence areas. Recommend

  • aaa

    good job Hussain this is known as looking at positive side
    @Mr editor Kindly Think Big Szabist is reputable institution Recommend

  • kumar

    im a student of szabist.even i’ve noticed these things and mr.editor i think u r right!!!!u shud lodge a complain against this university!!!Recommend

  • Muhammad Ahmed

    What the trash? !!Recommend

  • Murtaza

    A strong leadership is what we need ! we might be literate enuff for a democracy but we r not educated enuff for it.Recommend

  • Omar R Quraishi

    Junaid — this is a blog — hence by its very nature it is likely to tilted towards being subjective — that is the whole idea of a blog

    amna — yes i have taught there – but what has that got to do with this post — in any case teaching there part time shouldnt mean that I ignore how its presence is a major inconvenience for area residents — also a blog actually does give the writer some leeway — and much of what i have said is substantiated in the piece — of course people are free to disagree — that doesnt mean i dont have the right to speak my mind on what i think is wrong with the neighbourhood i live in

    hussain — much of your post does not really deserve a reply – however, one thing — szabist doesnt provide the neighbourhood any security — where in the world did you get that from? the barricades are a pain and your chowkidars or guards are only for the institute and they are concerned, or seem to be at least, mainly with ensuring that no car is parked outside the szabist buildings, which is precisely why the rest of the area has been converted into an unregulated and unseemly parking lot

    as for szabist, or cjm, being reputable institutions – that is precisely the point of my post — that our reputable institutions clearly need to be more responsible and mindful of those who live in their midst, especially if they — commercial establishments — happen to be situated in a residential area

    rayn — actually its the other way round — univs and colleges in residential areas need to be more careful and responsible and not residents — of course karachi’s zoning laws have been so badly violated that most of you, and your colleagues, now think that it is residents who must bear with the increased traffic and what not — im afraid that’s not how it’s supposed to workRecommend

  • Ali

    I think you should move to Nazimabad then..Recommend

  • Sajjad Haider

    After reading this piece and the comments above, it deeply saddens me to know that so many SZABIST students read and post such crap. Quite honestly, this subjective display of personal dissatisfaction is anything BUT journalism. What saddens me further is the fact that the author has been a teacher of journalism for media students at SZABIST (one of the leading educational institutions in the country)!

    I have absolutely no idea who to blame – SZABIST, its faculty, the students, this country, this man, myself, or Zardari! Such is the irony of this nation.

    I will not deny the fact that SZABIST students do a lot of littering around; but doesn’t the whole nation? Frankly, if you would have bothered to pursue further studies at a university after your ‘elitist’ schooling at KGS, a course like developmental economics at SZABIST would have taught you that the basic problems of urbanization like waste disposal, water shortage, noise pollution and unwanted traffic blockages have little or no correlation to the standards of education at different schools. And talking of traffic outside CJM, have you been blinded to the kind of traffic outside KGS on Boat Basin everyday – that too on the main road?! The metropolis of Karachi is growing at an exponential rate, and so are its problems. Live with them, or do something about it! Your pointless logic, despite your “elite” education, only shows your ignorance.

    As for your attempt at defaming an educational institution with the cheap “Murree brewery vodka bottle” comment and the connotations attached to it – university students are generally above-18, a majority of them already working professionals, and they belong to all religions and walks of life. And as for that bottle – I’ll say it was mine, and no matter what you say and no matter what you think of it I’ll keep drinking Murree brewery! Do you have a problem with the litter, or do you have a problem with alcohol? Or, like most ill-educated people, are you just intentionally trying to insult an educational institution with that vodka comment?

    Pakistan Zindabad! (All forms of sarcasm intended)Recommend

  • Sarah B. Haider

    Why is everyone getting so defensive? :S Recommend

  • Zahra Baray

    Highly Disappointing to see an educated person throw tantrums and dirt on those in the process of acquiring education. This clearly proved the errors of our nation. Just like all the rest who throw accusations, the writer too has simply pinned the blame instead of taking up some responsibility on his own. If you did see the coke cans, vodka bottles and packets of chips, did you notice that they were thrown due to no visible dustbin. I am not justifying the act of throwing litter on the ground, but before writing this blog, did you do YOUR bit? Did you go an extra mile and put up a dust bin there? So that in future these students would throw the little in the bin?
    I’m afraid the bin still doesn’t exist.
    Also the guards that you say are protecting the university from unforeseen attacks, well i think you haven’t stepped out of your house lately and seen that there are cars parked outside the premises too. There have been arrangements with barricades to protect your building that could have been threatened by a possible attack on the educational institutions. Would you write the same way about the barricades if there was, God Forbid, an attack on SZABIST or CJM? I don’t think so..
    It is all about opening one’s mind and moving beyond criticism. Our country needs education, be it in a commercial location or residential. The point is, that SZABIST and CJM are trying to do their bit in educating the masses. If you have already been the privileged one and are enjoying a comfortable life, what good is your education if it comes in the way of those who are trying to become “somebody”!Recommend

  • samar

    With all due respect sir, id like to know where you studied and what kind of a student you were. what your university was like and how were the other students. after you tell me, ill judge you. and then when im done judging you, you can judge us szabist students.
    and you can not generalize.

    p.s RELOCATE to some place where you will have peace. its easier to move a family than move a university. Recommend

  • Omar R Quraishi

    sajjad haider — im afraid i didnt really get your ‘sarcasm’ — good for you i suppose if the bottle was yours and yes i do have problem with it if you throw the empty bottle outside my house — kindly dispose it off in a trash collecting area and i dont think i would have a problem — the issues isnt that they drink alcohol but that they litter – seriously, im surprised u didnt get that from the piece

    the traffic outside kgs lasts for max 30 mins in a day — szabist students and staff park their cars in what is a residential neighbourhood from 8 am to 10 at night so there’s really no comparison —

    and as for doing something about — that is precisely what i have done

    and for the last time – sajjad haider and others — a blog is supposed to be subjective — its not a news report in a newspaper which must, or rather should, be balanced and must have versions from all parties mentioned — obviously you and others do not get that distinctionRecommend

  • yeast&eggs

    The final word is that we need to become a better society. Stop this blame game and find solutions!Recommend

  • Omar R Quraishi

    zahra b — clearly we disagree — szabist and cjm have barricaded up and are concerned only for their own safety – they are not doing anything else really –and since you asked, yes twice we paid for the street to be cleaned (something for which we pay a bill every month for municipal services) and both times the area that was cleaned up became filled with garbage in no time — and no extra marks for guessing from where the kachra was thrown
    as for zoning regulations zahra they are there in all civilized countries — we have them as well but its another story that they are hardly followed or implemented — and im afraid according to them residential areas and commercial establishments do not go together

    samar — by your logic residents of all neighbourhoods where schools opened up and created traffic and other problems should shift out????

    i have to say that im amazed by some of the responses here — instead of trying to understand the issue for what it is Recommend

  • Ghausia

    Dude, you rock not for writing this, but for the comment brawl that has broken out. :D:D:D

    I spent my entire life living in P.E.C.H.S and I must say, in the past six or eight years, what you have described is exactly what had happened to the once average area. The streets were half built, people treated them like their own garbage dump, gutters were constantly clogged up, flooding was completely commonplace in monsoon season. It was disgusting just looking down at the street from the roof. This is a problem commonplace at least in Karachi, if not Pakistan. I don’t know about now, but when I visited Lahore and Islamabad about five years ago, it was much more cleaner than Karachi is. Something to do with being heavily populated and a commercial hub, I suppose.Recommend

  • Optimist

    As a student of SZABIST i can understand y some students have become defensive about the remarks on SZABIST, but lets be honest, wudnt we be angry if a university with more than 2000 was operating next door to our home. its a hassle really… Recommend

  • Saeed Zaman

    i never understand one thing why people blame and why they never take responsibility. the barcade which you are talking are in place after permission from local governments. i totally deny the fact our domestic support staff throws litter right in front of your building and it just to tell u one more thing szabist entire campus is no smoking zone so alchol i doubt question can even arise. alchol bottle right in front of your apartment can be of anyone even from your building who knows.

    when you talk about civic sense and responsibility i have to quote this sadly the people from your building play music very loud in their car and mostly in land cruisers, driving very rash in street what is that al about in what context this all comes in ….. i think people should first see themselves then comment on others and dont generalize some thing. moreover it is because of szabist you live in highly secured compound. we have security guards, snippers and police chowki not only to protect szabist from any threat but also the compound in which u live in. I am student of SZABIST and i cannot tolerate any depressed soul commenting on my institution. Recommend

  • Komal

    @Omar R Quraishi:
    Very well written. I was a student of CJM, KGS and SZABIST..and i totally agree with the facts stated about these institutions..not everyone in KGS drinks, CJM parents and drivers do create quiet a chaos and SZABIST students do think that the road is a garbage can.Recommend

  • Noumaan Shamsi

    It does suck indeed. Its no wonder that KGS graduates tend to go on to do great things. If that is not the definition of sucking, i dont know what is. Your analysis of KGS is riveting, to say the least. Recommend

  • Maulana Diesel

    @ZAIN – dude what do I need to do to get invited to one of those KGS parties where, as you said, “….crazy parties with the girls as young as 15 drinking, doping and grinding on older guys…”???Recommend

  • Omar R Quraishi

    Saeed Zaman — are you an official spokesman for SZABIST?
    i think you must have the wrong building because no resident has a Land Cruiser — and no one listens to loud music in the car — in fact, speaking of listening to music very loudly, just the other day I heard loud music blaring from a parked car — i went outside to ask the driver of the car to lower it, and lo and behold it was a SZABIST student — he did however immediately lower it
    the security guards employed by your institution are for the benefit of the institution and do not in any way make the neighbourhood safer — if anything, the arbitrary barricading of roads and parking in all surrounding streets creates immense inconvenience for local residents — Recommend

  • Aaqib

    I think this sort of journalism for personal benefits is totally unjust and uncalled for, fine, you don’t like the traffic and the noise or the littering, but that does not give you the right to defame any institutions. I’m very much sure the people who live in your apartments contribute a lot to the littering as well, so instead of pointing fingers at a particular institute or two for that matter, you should have spoken in a more generalized manner. And above all, I think the writer should go visit areas where there are boiling gutters and sewage water all over the place , where large piles of trash lay open and a whole population lives on its sideways, these areas need to be highlighted for the conditions in such areas are not just unhealthy, but can lead to fatal diseases. Speak for those who need your help, don’t be selfish. And last but not the least, if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem, so point out the solutions, and stop whining, you’re a grown up man for heavens sake. Recommend

  • Saba Gill

    The writer has a problem with garbage, traffic, ladies parking in the middle of the road, noise coming from educational institutions and last but not the least people not getting their schooling from CJM! I live in Clifton, I can’t find parking place outside shopping malls and so I have to park my car a good 10 minutes walk away mostly. I hate to see how the garbage piles up in Park Lane, how the gutters overflow every now and then, how the residents of this prestigious Block 5 block the roads to organize parties, how during the time of Eid-ul-Adha sacrificial animals parade up and down the streets. We live in a big city with no central management system and therefore we are bound to have issues. Attacking educational institutions and judging people on their smoking and drinking habits is not only imprudent but also plain nasty. Though the issues raised by the writer warrants attention but the attacking nature of the arguments presented nullify any impact this piece intends to have on the reader. Another blogger trying to make sense but failing miserably. Alas!Recommend

  • Tyrone

    First off all you privileged people living in Clifton and Defence should be grateful for your somwhat serene existence. There are people starving in the city, people dying because they are out of work etc.

    If the privileged are so frustrated then what about the poor have nots? Reminds me of a time when we were pitching for KESC and we were discussing the trials people face. One of the pitch team a woman from a wealthy background piped up saying even the A class suffer from electricity shortage. I asked her how so don’t they have generators? She answered yes but generators are a hassle to use and fuel is expensive. Call me biased but her points didn’t really hold weight for me when you compare with the life of someone who can’t afford a generator let alone worry about the fuel price!

    Everyone posting here has exhibited the myopia we’re guilty of thinking that our problems are the greatest and of the most consequence.

    Is the writer wrong to imply that the bottle was the property of a Szabist student? Perhaps but I think the Szabist students weaken they’re case by denying even the possibility that a student had thrown it. I mean we all know drink happens, it’s an unkept secret.

    No one has suggested that the student was drinking with the knowledge/consent of Szabist’s management have they?

    As for the writer traffic is part and parcel of all schools. So is corruption and palm greasing part of our lives. No amount of ranting and raving will change that sadly. Recommend

  • http://islamabad Maryam

    I am from islamabad which is cleaner and less crowded but this is what i have experienced and seen here too.
    Beacon house margalla campus that’s in h-8 has a bad traffic scene around off time too.
    and exactly as u said people park their cars in the middle of the road and go to pick their kids while poor people like us who need to go to Shifa hospital end up getting late for their appointments.Recommend

  • Omar R Quraishi

    saba gill — actually i would disagree — the point of writing that was to bring to attention of readers of this website what is happening — and i think that has been achieved — i dont think any blogger would think that things would change on the ground just because of what they wrote — they might but in a country like pakistan they hardly ever do — and yes i think park lane has its issues, so why dont residents of park lane organise and do something about it? if they did i dont think i or other civic-minded people would say that ‘oh this happens everywhere in the city so why are you doing it?’ — that hardly, im afraid, makes any kind of sense — just because things are bad in a city like karachi or a country like pakistan, we are supposed to accept them as they are and do nothing, ‘oh because yeh tau hota hai idhar’

    same applies to what tyrone is saying – for the last time tyrone, i couldnt really care if they drink alcohol or not — i dont want whoever does drink to throw an empty bottle outside the wall of my house thinking it to be his or her personal trash can — how difficult is that to understand???Recommend

  • Saeed Zaman

    Mr Omar

    Now i have nothing to say about you …. you are one of the person who always sees half glass empty and your building has those piles from long ago and now you are justifying your each comment khair it is useless to discuss with you because you are very subjective person. if szabist is guilty of piles they are definitely to be blamed but without proven facts no one can blame my alma mater and their students Recommend

  • Shakir Lakhani

    For six years I lived in Fountain Apts, the building situated opposite to where the writer lives. I, too, wrote about the garbage dump right across the road from CJP, where the only female prime minister of the country was a student for ten years. No one took any notice. But in the parking lot outside the building where I work, which is in Block 9, we were able to persuade the Clifton Cantonment Board to stop throwing garbage (I don’t know where they do it now).Recommend

  • Tyrone


    I understand you’re exasperation but I was just replying to the rage expressed by a few Szabist students.

    Unfortunately when the whole country is a garbage dump and all concerned poor to rich are guilty of littering what can you expect?

    We should know better but we don’t. Defeatist? Pessimistic? Maybe I’m a bit of both maybe not Recommend

  • Chiller

    I think he wants a pack of Vodka and a few drags of dope…he will be fine and back to his senses… he is waiting for someone to offer him some so that he can be a part of the HOOD!Recommend

  • Chiller

    he definitely feels left out as he is living a lonely life …you must take admission in SZABIST if you are so lonely and get yourself educated…you will also learn to cheer life and actually feel happy that you are aliveRecommend


    i m a student of szabist regular evening programme and i i think how the blogger is talking about that he must be a foreign returned person who don’t usually visit outside clifton, dha and other posh localities. i’ll sugest him to visit other parts of the cities also which will change his view about basic human rights or atleast he should travel through a mini bus or coach at once. blogger should know that being pakistanis we are on of the least un- cultured, un civilised citizen although we we know more worst citizens like people of bangcock etc. what else more?Recommend

  • Omar R Quraishi

    chiller — your comments are not even remotey amusing

    s m rehan ali — i have been a journalisnt since 1993 , based in Pakistan — (for one year, 1995-96) I was in the US for a master’s — and actually im quite familiar with karachi’s neighbourhoods since i was a reporter for several yearsRecommend

  • Sarah

    Mr. Quraishi…. whatever u said might be right but not the whole one… Sir if you have problem with any thing regarding institutes and all you should write a letter to the authorities as you are worried about the so many things.. we Szabist students are all not like that i never make noise and park my car to anywhere else…
    first.. in Szabist there are 3000 students who are studying from morning 8 to 10 till the night.. it is impossible that they couldn’t speak or make noise as they are new generation masti and jokes are a part of their lives, it is impossible to make them quite so this problem have not any solution.
    second… parking issue.. as you said that the security guards that Szabist employed are for the benefit of Szabist, yes because Szabist is paying them just for making their area clear.. but we saw the security guards who are employed by the buildings authorities are always sitting there and just saw college girls, why they are not doing their duties and why not the resident tell them any thing??????
    and how one can blame any student or any other else for drinking alcohol.. its very wrong.. this is our problem that when we got high blood pressure we always do blaming others this is wrong ….Sir…. please visit the ares like saddar, PeCHS, garden, gulistan-e-johar. they are also paying good amount of rent but their environment is much bad than yours… no one can solve your issues you might consult high level authorities or make your guards, sweepers active. and believe me i just tell u the truth. the students are not responsible for the surrounded buildings.if life at clifton is a pain then the life in other areas is terrible.

  • Omar R Quraishi

    Sarah — the security guards for szabist should by all means look out for szabist — i was clarifying to another person who had said that their presence benefits the residential neighbourhood and it doesnt — as for paying, i pay my taxes and expect the garbage to be picked up by the municipal authorities but it isnt — also, i expect szabist and cjm and others to be responsible and be mindful of those who live around them — clearly you didnt get the point of the post — also nowhere does it say that all of szabist’s students do this but enough do — and while it may be, as you say, the age of masti, i’m afraid it’s a problem if that happens right outside my house — they can do masti as long as it doesnt disturb others who have nothing to do with szabist — as for solutions, i am aware that i need to contact the relevant authorities but being a journalist i also know that writing about it, if nothing, will help increase awareness of the issue and presumably people at these institutions would have read itRecommend

  • A.A. Haji

    Wasalam I invite you to other districts which are worse. And why you defend KGS in article when this is not the topic. Let us all live in harmony because Clifton and Gulshin are the same in my eyes. Elite or no elite. Take care.


  • Sarah

    sir..kindly consult authorities no one student is responsible…

  • Furhan Hussain

    Actually I just want to confess that it was me who dropped the Murree Brewery Vodka can somewhere near your wall. I apologise and will make sure I drink an international brand of vodka so you are not offended and also will make sure that I throw it at a distance from the locality.
    By the way I have also seen some scantily dressed ‘mushkook’ ladies strolling down the area. And by the looks of it they were not students. Interestingly you didnt address that problem.Recommend

  • Anonymous

    i am a student from lecole.i totally agree with this article.u get to see more trash around lecole n szabist compared to what u get to see around kgs.people plz grow up.maybe u didnt litter the place people from ur uni friends from le’cole throw their crap around al the time.its in the nature of pakistanis be it us brats or the poor.even my driver litters.hate to accept its true.Recommend

  • Abu Hamza

    I would like to know what you did for your society? Have you picked trash from your neighborhood? Or reported lack of services to authorities? Its easy to whine than really do something about it.Recommend

  • zaki khan

    Much has been heard and written about the S-III Project, designed to cater all sewerage being generated within the Karachi Limits. The credit must goes to the Supreme Court , who took interest in removing all bottlenecks in implementing this much needed project and extend its support to resolve all outstanding issues related to the project. The SC is regularly hearing the case to reduce marine pollution, the case was in fact filed in 1996 and now SC has appointed additional attorney general; of Pakistan to prepare and submit progress reports on regular basis. During the hearing of the said case, it was disclosed by the KWSB that its land originally earmarked as 450 acres in Korangi, near Pakistan Refinery, has been distributed among several societies like aero club, Ishratul ul Ibad trust and civil servants society, industrial park ans so on and so forth to develop the area for use other than the prescibed use of the land. When the matter brought to the knowledge of SC, it took it as exception and directed the concerned authorities specifically Board of Revenue, Sindh to cancel all such leases and initiate legal proceedings against all those involved in issuing such leases and after cancellation all the land should be handed over to KWSB with immediate effect so that the project could be implemented in true spirit and according to the original design. The directives were very loud and clear but as usual bureaucracy played its due role by twisting the decision in their own interest. Instead of re-allocating 450 acres of land to kWSB they manipulated the directives by allotting only 300 acres to KWSB and saving 150 acres, worth billion of Rupees, for their favourites. the land is much needed for the Karachites to install treatment facilities for the next generations. In future it would not be technically feasible to extend the facilities in any other area, it has to be extended at the same location.

    On one hand government officials succeeded in saving 150 acres of precious land reserved for the treatment plant and on the other hand no action was proposed for the culprits who made an attempt to grab the land through unconstitutional means. What a contrast and boldness before the summit court of the land. When investigated it was disclosed that the then MD of KWS, Iftikhar Ahmed, Brig (R) gave a written assurance to the Government officials that KWSB might need only 150 acres of land in future for the development of treatment facilities, which is also not on record in KWSB and no technical member of KWSB team was taken into confidence for this important issue. By law MD has no right or auhtority to withdraw the legal rights of KWSB and again instead of taking action against the then MD. plea has been taken to take away 150 acres of land from KWSB.

    We as NGOs of Karachi have full faith in our judiciary and since the matter is subjudiced , SC can order to recover the remaining 150 acres from the clutches of land mafia. Attorney general of Pakistan is requested to thoroughly investigate the issue purely on technical grounds, case merit and implement the courts orders in letter and spirit, it would be a great service to this and coming generations of Karachi.Recommend

  • rafi khan

    A 115-acre plot in Mehmoodabad, which the City District Government
    Karachi (CDGK) has utilized for the resettlement of the affectees of
    Lines Area, legally belongs to the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board
    (KWSB), allocated for the expansion of Treatment Plant II (TP-II).
    The plot is being used for the TP-II, it is also being used as a storage
    ground for goods impounded in anti-encroachment drives. In the past
    some parties have tried many times to utilize some of the TP-II land but
    were not allowed to expand the graveyard or construct a park or any
    other facility. However, now the CDGK is merrily violating all the rules
    and regulations by using the land as an alternate accommodation for the
    affected people of Lines Area, the CDGK Works and Services Department
    demarcated a total of 1,264 plots on the 50-acre empty portion of TP-II
    and allowed the encroachers to occupy the KWSB land, reserved for the
    treatment plant.
    Earlier, Mr. Ghani, an opposition leader in CDGK House on a point of
    order, had attempted to raise the issue on the city council floor but
    the City Naib Nazim Nasreen Jalil and a couple of other treasury members
    had barred him from doing so. He even tried to read out a letter (No
    DO-I/Z-II/W&S/CDGK/08/165) issued by the CDGK Works and Services
    Department District Officer Shakoor Pathan, requesting the KWSB managing
    director to allow the demarcation of plots and other proposed
    Now the current status of the land is that, KWSB is planning to expand
    TP-II under S-III Project but sufficient land is not available to
    properly design the plant in an affordable cost. In fact KPT had taken
    up the S-III Project and contributing towards S-III by proposing a plant
    (60 mgd Capacity) at Mai kolachi but that piece of land is also under
    litigation. If, in case that proposal is not materialized, KWSB has no
    other option but to divert all flows to TP-II and enhanced its existing
    capacity. But this is not possible in the present scenario as a large
    piece of land has been encroached upon by the affetees of Lines area
    project. Since the site is the best suited place for the treatment
    facility, it should not be used for any other purpose other than its
    specified use.
    Once again, we as concerned citizens of Karachi, request to the Chief
    Justice of Pakistan to gather all the facts, which have not been stated
    by the concerned authorities, and order an immediate inquiry to restore
    the original status of the land. In the past SC has made many historic
    verdicts and did not compromise on the doctrine of necessacity. The
    attorney General who has been assigned this task to implement the S-III
    project is hereby also requested to look into the issue and clear all
    ambiguities before the honorable court and provide them actual facts of
    the case. This is in the best interest of all.Recommend

  • suzan kassam

    There has been a gross violation of rules and regulations in the bid to renovate and reconstruct the Clifton sewage pumping station which was destroyed in the November 11 CID centre bomb blast. The News has learnt that the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB) has awarded a multi-million rupee contract for the provision of pumps to a relatively unknown company.

    Sources informed this correspondent that Rs 30 million were awarded in advance to a local pumps manufacturing firm for four motor pumps to make the facility operational again. According to sources, the pumps that have been procured are not worth more than Rs 5.5 million.

    The pumping station was badly damaged in the blast and it had stopped pumping sewage from important areas like Saddar, Clifton, Urdu Bazar, II Chundrigar Road, Bath Island and red-zone areas like the Governor House, Chief Minster House, Sindh Assembly, Sindh Secretariat, Pakistan Secretariat, several five star hotels and the State Guest House. Within a day of the blast, many VIP areas of the centre of Karachi were flooded with sewage.

    The pumping station had the capacity to treat 20 to 21 million gallons per day (MGD) of sewage. It had six motors which could handle sewage at the speed of 10,000 gallon per minute (GPM).

    After processing the sewage, the treated waste was transferred to Treatment Plant (TP)-2 which is situated in Mehmoodabad.

    The bomb blast caused massive damage to the pumps, its lines and also destroyed the KESC supply line to the pumping station.

    Keeping in view its importance, the Government of Sindh, on the request of the KWSB Managing Director, released Rs 30 million to the water utility to reconstruct the facility on an emergency basis.

    While exercising Para 58, the management of KWSB, without seeking tenders from other pump manufacturing companies, awarded the contract for the provision of pumps to Mehraj Limited, located in the Korangi Industrial Area. Under the emergency clause of the Sindh Public Procurement Authority Rules, 2010, the organization was bound to invite quotations from three pump manufacturing companies for the provision of pumps.

    However, instead of asking other companies, the KWSB management obliged just a single company and paid an amount of Rs30 million to it in advance.

    According to sources, a 100 per cent advance payment to any manufacturer is also in violation of rules and regulations.

    The company provided three pumps of six-inch diameter and one pump of 12 inches diameter (suction and disposal lines temporary PVC made) to KWSB. According to sources, the company which is basically known for manufacturing water bowsers, fire fighting equipment, fire tenders, snorkels etc used Cummins China engines for the manufacture of the pumps. The well-known Cummins engines company is actually UK-based and its products are also available in Pakistan. The Chinese company, on the other hand, started manufacturing just a year ago.

    The destroyed sewage pumping station was set up more than three decades ago by the Karachi Development Authority (KDA) at a cost of Rs1 billion which was loaned by the Asian Development Bank (ADB). The station was part of the Greater Karachi Sewerage Scheme No2, which is commonly known as S-2. After developing the pumping station, the KDA handed it over to the defunct Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC). It was handed over to KWSB in 1982, after its emergence as a utility.

    This correspondent made numerous attempts to contact the MD KWSB to get his version of the story but he was inaccessible.Recommend

  • goonga

    You omit mentioning that ensuring proper parking is primarily the responsibility of the traffic police. People display civic responsibilities when rules are in place and are fairly enforced. Laws are actualized in their enforcement. Otherwise, they are not laws, mere words. As in Pakistan (Karachi), rules and laws are not fairly enforced, the citizen follow social practices, often created and maintained by people with power and privilege. One such practice emerging from the sense of entitlement of the privileged group is disregard for the laws of the country. The absence of real laws leads to anarchy, an example of which is the practice of parking in the middle of the road.Recommend