Stories about mugging

“Nothing will happen to you as long as you are in this car!”

Born and raised in Karachi, I take great pride in my city of lights. You’ll always find me in the middle of a heated argument (mostly with Lahoris) about why Karachi is the best city in Pakistan. What’s not to like about this place? Karachi has the best food, the best malls, the best people and we also have a beach. Take that Lahore! But it took me four years of living in Lahore to realise that Karachi, as ideal as it was in terms of food and other attractions, wasn’t the safest place to live. Karachiites know the rules of living in Karachi. Do not use ...

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You forced me to break the law, Qaim Ali Shah!

I’m not the kind of person who speeds through a red light, even if the drivers of vehicles behind me honk loudly enough to wake up the dead. I have a healthy respect for the law. So, when my son was deprived of his smart phone and 10 thousand rupees last month, I advised him to immediately report the crime to the police and the CPLC. He smiled indulgently, saying that once you go to the cops they will never let you rest in peace and you’ll have to pay them a handsome amount to stop hounding you. I don’t blame him. The cops in Karachi ...

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My neighbour was mugged today, but we are too scared to go to the police

Imagine your child asks for permission to go out to play in the street in the morning. You kiss him on the forehead and leave for work, content thinking he’ll be safe right outside the house, surrounded by neighbours, away from any real threat.   You’re driving to work when your phone rings and you’re being told your child was held at gunpoint, and that too right outside the gate of your house. The natural reaction to such an incident would be fear, dread and helplessness. Today I saw something similar on Facebook and the video has left me terrified. It ...

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Chaand Raat and Eid are just not the same in Karachi anymore

It’s safe to say that Eidul Fitr tops everyone’s list if asked which Eid they prefer, simply because it has always been the easiest way to make money without having to do anything over a span of three days.   I would fall into the same category of those who like ‘choti Eid’ more for the same reason. These motives of looking forward to Eid seem quite shallow, but that’s the only exciting aspect for children, apart from eating unhealthy amounts of food over Eid holidays. But as I grew up, I slowly grew to realise what Eid is all about. It’s a way of thanking Allah (SWT) ...

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Is there any solution to Karachi’s trigger-happy muggers?

I sat there, bewildered; you expect it, consciously, yet subconsciously you believe you’ll be immune from it, somehow, by some grand scheme of the universe. Once the calm after the storm had washed over, it was replaced with a racing pulse and bouts of anger. Inadvertently, I uttered a curse directed at that hooded figure that only moments ago had stood in the figure of a knell beside me. After four years in Karachi, I somehow believed I had become equipped in the tools of avoiding being mugged. I barely used my phone while in the car or in public transport, ...

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University of Toronto – “It’s the dream man!”

They walked quietly together, letting the traffic build conversation for them. The streetlights flooded the roads but they still found it difficult to see. The cars zoomed past them without a care in the world. The tall apartments in the surroundings made them feel miniature, like two toys in a room filled with giant furniture. Beneath these towering buildings were shops lined up together, from wall to wall. People went in and came out from these shops like ants. Life unfolded around these two, as they walked silently on the side of the road. Their uniforms faded and their ties loose; ...

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Why Karachi needs barricades

Every third person living in Karachi has a story to tell – mostly about how their cell phone or wallet was snatched when they were mugged at gunpoint. I am one of those lucky people, thank God, who has never been mugged or assaulted. But had I not made a narrow escape during last week’s incident, I would definitely not have been able to maintain this claim today. We were commuting to office early in the morning when we noticed two motorbikes following us. The passengers on these bikes had their hands in their pockets. As we approached a speed-breaker, the van ...

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Grey

Grey road Shit! The fidgety son of a… Slowly breathes out, repeats, repeats… don’t stop. *Grunts* On a scale of one to 10, the pain I felt was a solid madar… But as my blood rushed out, diluting my consciousness with it, my body involuntarily limped and my selfish soul decided to dissociate itself from the physical pain. My body went numb soon after being shot. My brain decided that this wasn’t real, this cannot be real and my soul, in a final desperate attempt to distinguish itself from the physicality of all this, lurched out and propped up on the bonnet of the car. I ...

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Is Sea View a dangerous place?

Relieved to finally be done with our university exams, Asad, my best friend from university, suggested he and I decided visit Abdullah Shah Ghazi’s shrine during our vacations. Since I had plenty of time to spare, I agreed and the two of us decided to go on Saturday early in the morning to avoid any rush. At 8am on Saturday, Asad came over and together we left, on my motorbike, for the shrine. After offering our fateha, we realised thatit was still relatively early and we didn’t have anything is specific planned out. S on our way down the stairs of ...

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Karachi, its violence and the death of a friend

During the second last week of Ramazan, Zia Masroor, a batch mate from my university, Dow Medical College (DMC), was shot dead by armed robbers. He was driving back home after retrieving some cash from an ATM and as he turned into his street and was about to reach home, he realised he was being followed. Fearing the robbers might enter his house and endanger his family, he kept driving on, trying to throw them off track. Moments before he was shot, he made one last call home asking them to shut all doors and windows and to stay inside and be ...

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