Stories about Bahria Town

First the dam fund, now the ‘Lets Clean Karachi’ fund – what do we pay taxes for?

Two teenagers were riding a donkey cart full of garbage they had collected from houses towards a garbage dump located behind a ground known as Eid Gah in Karachi’s Gulberg Town. After reaching the spot, the boys emptied the garbage and the horrid smell forces passers-by’s to cover their noses.  Every month, representatives from a local governing body collect Rs100 from each house in Gulberg Town for the facilitation of garbage disposal. However, the waste material is neither disposed of nor is it recycled properly. Ultimately, no one knows where the money that had been collected from the pockets of ...

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How are we supposed to “celebrate” Eid with no water and no electricity?

Life in Pakistan has never been easy. The living conditions continue to deteriorate with each passing year. The effects of climate change, coupled with the water crises, are making life harder and harder for people living here. The power outages do not help either. However, this year, the repercussions of climate change and the water crisis are being felt the most, and things are about to get much worse. Today is Eid, which many people in the colonial parts of the city, especially certain gated communities, are enjoying to the fullest. Perhaps because they do not face the same problems ...

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Dear Murad Ali Shah, do you even know what Sindh’s tax collectors are upto?

Dear Murad Ali Shah, It is well known that if you want to get anything done in your province, you have to pay the right people. In most cases, the right people are the ‘baboos’ as they are the ones who can skilfully insert whatever you want in any document knowing that the person who approves it will do so without reading it. Sometimes, if a baboo is not paid anything or not paid what he wants, he can do the opposite; he can get a tax imposed or increased on a particular commodity or service. This is what seems to have happened in the recently announced Sindh budget. ...

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Does the death penalty target criminals or the poor?

A damning report places Pakistan as third in the list of countries where the most number of executions took place in 2015, after China and Iran and before Saudi Arabia and the United States. In other compelling statistics, in 2014, the Global Slavery Index, Pakistan ranked third in a list of 167 countries where the problem of human slavery is most severe. In 2012, we had the most number of people (28 million) affected by war and conflict. Along with other South Asian countries, Pakistan ranks high in hunger and malnutrition statistics, with about 41 million people undernourished in the period 2014-16, a whopping 22 per ...

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Mustafa Kamal or MKUltra?

MKUltra was a top-secret Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) mind control program initiated in the 50s. It involved the use of drugs, chemicals and other sensory stimuli to breakdown an individual’s will. Other implications of the program included brainwashing and indoctrination, which would lead to the creation of sleeper agents to be used for ulterior purposes. Once you gain control of a subject, the possibilities are endless. On a larger scale, gaining control of peoples’ minds or the group mind depends on several factors most important of which is opinion leadership. When several individuals identify with each other in a personal relationship, they form a ...

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Why do Karachiites love to live in apartments?

Karachi is certainly the financial engine of Pakistan’s recovering economy. When the city of lights falters, as it did over the past few years owing to security challenges, economic effects reached deep into other parts of the country as well. But thanks to the intervention by security forces over the last two years, Karachi appears to be getting back on its growth trajectory. The sentiment among the business community is witnessing a positive trend, jobs are coming at a greater pace and the real estate and housing sectors have seen heightened activity. According to the property web portal Zameen.com, average prices ...

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This is how House of Cards would look if it were based on Pakistani politicians

Ever since House of Cards (HoC) season three was released, I have been trying to create a list on how HoC would turn out if it were based on Pakistani politicians and, finally, my efforts have come to fruition. And to my surprise, the list has turned out to be more interesting than what I had expected. The main reason why I wanted to map HoC characters on Pakistani political celebrities is because of the grim and gores both American and Pakistani playfields of politics share. Also, I was inspired to make this because of the trials and tribulations innocent people face due to the filthy tactics and ...

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Karachi water shortage: Why KWSB is not the only one responsible

Annually, 250 million people face water-related healthcare issues all over the world and amongst them, 20 million succumb to their illnesses. Pakistan ranks at number 80 among 122 nations in the index of provision of hygienic drinking water – which means 44% of Pakistani people have no access to clean, usable water resources. This should make a lot of people lose their sleep at night, especially the powers that be – however, it doesn’t seem to be the case right now. We have failed to provide a great proportion of our people with safe drinking water. And the people who do have that privilege have ...

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There is no Bhutto left to rebuild PPP, Mr Zardari

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has decided to kick-start its campaign for the upcoming general elections. For this reason, and to prove that Lyari is still its stronghold like it has been in the past, the party organised a public gathering recently in Kakri ground. In a bid to gain local support for the coming local government polls and general elections, the party’s co-chairman, Asif Ali Zardari, during the public rally, announced multiple developmental projects. He said that the PPP government will build an engineering college as well as a housing scheme and promised that the people of Lyari will get jobs in ...

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Bahria Town project and it’s invisible hands

It was back in October last year, when I first noticed the crowd around the Bahria Town Karachi office at Shahre Firdousi. Having physically witnessed the extravagance of Bahria Town (BT) projects in the country, I was excited about their expansion in Karachi and across Sindh. The masses in Karachi too, were delighted by the launch. What pushed me to pen this piece was the chaos and, somewhat, surreptitious mechanism that the BT adapted for the launch of these projects, specifically the Bahria Town Karachi (BTK). It was initially launched with an undisclosed location, which triggered heavy subscription, reflecting the unshaken confidence ...

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