Stories about flood

If Lahore couldn’t handle the rains, what hope does Karachi have?

Karachi has a love-hate relationship with the monsoon season. While Karachiites long for rain throughout the year, we shudder at the very thought of prolonged downpour, flooding, destruction and power outages that are inevitably associated with it. The last time this city truly got to enjoy the rainy season was during Mustafa Kamal’s tenure, when despite drains heavily clogged with rainwater – especially the Gujjar Nala and Neher-e-Khayyam – alternate drainage arrangements were made and the citizens were spared the entire rain-related trauma. Things are much, much different now. With monsoon rains that are imminent and expected any day now, infrastructure ...

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The end is nigh, when North Nazimabad is the new Clifton

Everyone laughed at me in school for living on the other side of the bridge. Well who is laughing now? Was centuries of affluence really worth ending up in a real life Finding Nemo type situation? No longer will people from the other side of the bridge have to drive an hour just to see the ocean. The ocean is finally coming to them. North Nazimabad is the new Clifton. People from Defence/Clifton would sit on buses every Sunday and drive to Nazimabad for some fun. The Super Karachi Express is only the start of a city-wide trend. For so long, I have ...

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A social pariah even in Maryland – all because I am Shia

After almost two years, I returned to my old home town in Maryland. It was a small town and when I had lived there, nearly 40 Pakistani families resided in the area; most of them were from Punjab and a few were from Karachi. Many of these Pakistanis were physicians, pharmacists and businessmen. My husband was also a physician; hence we had anticipated many similarities within the neighbourhood. However, soon after we moved in, I realised how wrong we were. Even though I made a few good friends, I never felt wanted in the neighbourhood. The reason I left Maryland in the first place was the ...

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Yes, thunderstorms in Toronto can take you back to Lahore

Pakistan is notorious for a lot of things. However, electricity shortage continues to stand out from the gruesome front runners that are security threats and economic disparity. These are the perfect ingredients to derail any sane mind but a Pakistanis’.  All hell may literally break loose in Pakistan, but pick any common person from a crowd and there is always room for more in the snake pit; for more morsels in their hearty appetites for despair. Maybe because they have no other choice. Maybe because they are built that way. ‘Human Play-Doh’ is what I’d like to call them. You ...

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Reviving tourism in Swat

Known for its dazzling beauty with high-peak mountains, lush green valleys, spectacular waterfalls and magical lakes, Swat Valley has remained a tourist’s paradise. Containing thousands of years of history, the valley is not only known for its natural beauty but also for its rich cultural heritage and various civilisations which sprang there. Apart from summer tourism, the valley offers much more for winter tourists. Every year, the skiing slope of Malam Jabba is swarmed with tourists who enjoy the serene environment and hills covered in snow. Tourism, apart from agriculture, is the backbone of Swat’s economy. More than half of ...

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Lessons from the Japanese tsunami

At exactly 2:46 pm on March 11, one year to the Japanese tsunami, sirens wailed through the skies to mark the first anniversary of the events of the horrible day. Trains stopped, work stopped briefly as mourners bowed their heads in prayer for the victims. Measuring 9.0 on the Richter scale, it was the strongest ever recorded earthquake in Japanese history, claiming approximately 19,000 lives, with thousands still missing. A year later, as reconstruction work continues and debris is removed from the cities — giving the Japanese landscape some semblance of normalcy — things are still not near or close to ...

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Video Blog: Forgotten floods – daily travel, daily trouble

Earlier this week I was in Kasur to produce a news feature on the flood affected areas. In order to get to the village Mastikhey, which is one of the last border villages, we ended up walking in fields which were submerged by knee to thigh length water. On our way back, the villagers gave me a ride on a buffalo cart where I learned just a little about the hardships the villagers face on a daily basis. Pakistan’s 2011 floods continue, but who is paying ...

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Who cares? Not me

I am a Pakistani. Don’t confuse me for an illiterate, poverty-stricken person. Or a displaced one in that case. Not at all! I can assure you, I live quite comfortably. I did my schooling from one of the best institutes in the country. I speak English very well, and I only wear branded clothes. I buy them from the US or Europe during my annual visits abroad. It’s annoying how people assume I’m needy just because I’m from Pakistan. Oh no! I’m a first-grade citizen, albeit of a third world country. Apparently the fact that our power generation is less ...

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Does Pakistan care about Japan (or anybody else)?

Japan has been hit by the world’s biggest natural disaster since the Chernobyl disaster in Ukraine in 1986. Panic has spread like wildfire as people take off to Taiwan and other international destinations. Japan’s nuclear crisis is skyrocketing to new heights, since radiation levels from a stricken power plant are traveling through Tokyo. When Pakistan was ravaged by the floods last year, the international community went all out to help us. But in Japan’s time of need, Pakistan is silent. Here, I must still congratulate Pakistan on its nerves of steel. Due to our onslaught of personal problems, we Pakistanis have strengthened ...

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A consensus on water

I was one of some 30 journalists from all parts of Pakistan who recently spent five days together in Swat to discuss water and flood-related issues. Swat was the place where one of the most devastating floods in the country’s history originated last year so it was a befitting venue for a talk on water and flood-related issues. Almost every one of these journalists has covered and witnessed the devastation caused by the floods. The geographical areas that they covered might have been different but the miseries and their scale that the reporters based their stories upon were more or less ...

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