Blood and Tears

This is insane.

I’m sitting in front of the television, one eye on the screen, the other on my laptop, feeling like a hysterical drama-queen because despite everything that I’ve grown up with in Karachi across the years, I don’t know if I can handle this. karachiriots2.jpgAnd I feel a bit stupid for being so affected by it—I’ve seen and lived through worse, and I’m fortunate enough to live in a part of town that will (most likely) not be affected by what is happening, but I can’t help it.

Karachi seems to have gone completely mental. Dozens of cars on fire. Even more people dead and/or injured. And no one knows why.

There are about a hundred different conspiracy theories flying around about what has prompted this day-long blood-bath in Karachi, but from what I’ve managed to glean, the basic story goes something like this: the (fired) Chief Justice of Pakistan was supposed to come to Karachi this morning to address his supporters and the MQM, a political party that has historically controlled Karachi since inception decades ago, and is more of a cult than anything else, decided to hold “rallies” to counter his speeches. The current opposition parties, held rallies in the city to welcome the ousted CJP, and not to be outdone, the MQM decided to support the government.

How they’re managing to support the government by gunning down strangers on the streets, setting fire to vehicles, firing at apartment buildings in which defenceless mothers with six-month-old children cower, and threatening to storm private television channels—well, that’s beyond me. There are over fifty people dead—I have friends who work in the hospitals where people have been taken; the gunmen have fired on ambulances carrying injured people to the hospital and riddled them with bullets; there are snipers atop apartment buildings and lurking in junctions leading off of Shahrah-e-Faisal, which is effectively a transport artery for Karachi and a route that is almost impossible to avoid using if crossing any significant distance in the city, and all through it, the mother-fucking police are lying on benches taking naps, their shoes off, socks rolled down, moving their cars out of the area, and frog-marching unarmed men into the hands of these violent SOBs, standing there and watching as they beat the shit out of some poor guy with the butts of their rifles, and not doing a damn’ thing to stop it. I’m actually feeling physically nauseated. And never more so than when I see government spokespeople claiming that there’s absolutely no issue, nothing going on, no need for the Army or any other authority to step in and curb the violence. The head of the Aaj TV newsroom sounds slightly hysterical as he tells people that he has been asking for some sort of help from every major policing agency in the country for six hours, and hasn’t even received an acknowledgement. The spokesman for the MQM swears—as in the background, men wave his party’s flag and fire guns off at the same time—that if not for his party’s efforts, the city would be in ruins already, and that blood would be filling the streets.

There are dead bodies lying in the streets, and above them, in a display of jarring incongruity, is a sign stating that 2007 is the year of tourism for Pakistan, and I think that if I don’t laugh I’m going to cry, because how did this happen to us again? The scenes flashing past me look like images from Beirut or Baghdad, or Sarajevo. People crying, blood everywhere, fire licking at anything even remotely flammable, and no matter where you turn, moustachioed thugs with Kalashnikovs and carbines, firing at anything that moves. And I can’t understand why—that’s what freaks me out more than anything else; I’m used to the violence, I grew up with it in the 1980s, with the bomb drills in school and the mobs outside the gates and the whole nine yards, but I simply cannot understand what sort of twisted game is being played between the government and the political factions that support and/or oppose it. In this short-term move, do they have a fucking CLUE as to how much harm they’re doing? How quickly they’re devastating a city that has taken so long to actually start living again? People are scared, and rightfully so—because there’s no real method or logic to this behaviour—no one knows what to expect.

Sunday has been declared “a Black Day”, with all the inappropriate grammar, spelling, and illogic that could be mustered, by people who are most likely affiliated in some way with the people who have perpetrated this travesty of protest. The TV channels keep flashing back to this one particular instant of a man standing up, his hand clasped to his neck, chest dotted with scarlet; and his hand falls, he stumbles, a spray of blood arcing into the air, and he slides to the ground, trembling a few times before he falls completely still.

Musharraf is about to make a speech. If I haven’t thrown something at my TV screen and destroyed it in the meanwhile, I’ll come back with more later.

134 thoughts on “Blood and Tears

  1. I am upset. My beloved city, that has made such strides in the recent past, is being put to waste again.

    I don’t know exactly what to say. Its all obvious and already articulated. What I do know is the current position of the Chief Justice and Musharraf is untenable. They need to go. Both are directly responsible for the loss of Pakistani lives, how can we expect them to protect our rights? Especially the CJ, must be the first time in history when a CJ (literally guardian of justice) has been directly responsible for the deterioration of the Law & Order situation.

  2. louiecypher

    My comment was on a more superficial level. This is not a ethnic/linguistic conflict, yet. But, from The Statesman

    If democracy succeeds, the artificial unity of Pakistan will be exposed. That again could lead to dismemberment. The democratic will of people in Peshawar, where the Lal Masjid mullahs of Islamabad are held in high respect, might be irreconcilably different from the democratic will of the people in Lahore and Karachi. These differences cannot be traced simply to the influence of the Taliban. Pakistan is an artificial state. At its birth the NWFP and Baluchistan did not want to join it. Very recently Maulana Fazlur Rehman, the leader of the Opposition in Pakistan’s national assembly and hailing from NWFP publicly trashed Qaid-e-Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan. With or without democracy, therefore, a sharp division ~ possibly civil war ~ cannot be ruled out in Pakistan.

    No Indian should be smug about this, anyone who lived in West Bengal during the 70′s know that if this happends it will affect us all. That time it almost led to a clash between India and China.

  3. They represent the urdu speaking muhajirs (immigrants) from India who moved over to Pakistan in 1947.

    actually, i wouldn’t say that MQM any longer represents the urdu-speaking immigrants or at the very least, certainly does not represent all of them. quite some time back, they went from being a political party to a bunch of thugs that are destroying Karachi, for their own (questionable) benefit.

  4. Especially the CJ, must be the first time in history when a CJ (literally guardian of justice) has been directly responsible for the deterioration of the Law & Order situation.

    I don’t know if that’s a valid statement. By coming to address people, he wasn’t forcing anyone to sit up and start brandishing guns; nor was he making people march out onto the streets. The politicos and the government share the blame for this farcical horror. The CJ does, as a private citizen, have the right to address people and travel about the country; if the govt. was that concerned about his having an impact on the city, they could have placed him under house-arrest or prevented him from getting to Karachi in the first place.

  5. This is not a ethnic/linguistic conflict, yet.

    The suspended CJ, I.M Chaudhry is a person of Baloch origin. BBC Urdu quoted a person last night as saying that Baloch neighborhoods in Karachi were specifically targeted by MQM. While there has long been a separatist movement in Balochistan – recent events, especially the Bugti assasination, have re-ignited separatist sentiment there. In fact, I would not rule out ‘hurt Baloch pride’ as an element in the CJ’s original calculus while defying Musharraf. While Musharraf himself may be seen as a Mohajir, he is also quite ‘Punjabified’ with his Army background, and represents both ‘Mohajir’ and ‘Punjab’ to the Baloch. So, with these plot elements existing just under the surface, the potential for this to turn into a ethno-linguistic conflict is quite real. I hope and pray it doesn’t.

    I was holding off commenting on this, since I thought it would be irresponsible, given the situation. But then I thought, BBC is already broadcasting this in Pakistan, in Urdu, where it is heard so widely, so I thought I’d put in my two cents on SM.

  6. It’s no better today. I kept thinking that we are resilient people. We’ll make it through this. Monday will be just another day, but maybe it is time that we stop trying to forget and wake up. I don’t want to get into whose fault this was because we’ve analysed that to bits yesterday and we couldn’t agree. The fault lies with all involved … a naive CJ who is being used for political gains, a shrewd president who plays us all like pawns, an uneducated, impoverished population who has nothing to lose and nothing to gain except for an outlet for their frustrations over the rights which they do not have. Having put in my two cents, I completely agree with the excerpt from the statesman: If democracy is allowed to prevail in the current scenario, Pakistan may cease to exist. What we need is education so that emotions don’t carry us away.

  7. The very idea of a civil war in Pakistan is chilling, it would not only be disastrous to the good pople of Pakistan. Considering whats at stake, and the parties involved, it is possibly the most dangerous conflict in the world right now.

  8. I wonder if that’s the end of Chaudhry’s role in this, now that the political parties have taken over.

    Where’s Ikram?

  9. actually, i wouldn’t say that MQM any longer represents the urdu-speaking immigrants or at the very least, certainly does not represent all of them. quite some time back, they went from being a political party to a bunch of thugs that are destroying Karachi, for their own (questionable) benefit.

    You are right. I should have used the term ‘claim to represent’ and ended up making it sound like they ‘in fact do represent’ which they clearly dont. They have turned extremely thuggish and have been so for a while now.

  10. Civil war in a country with nuclear weapons… that is a very frightening prospect. (I wonder if Russia, China, USA etc. are going to intervene/meddle in the Pakistan crisis, or choose to stay out of it?)

  11. I had no idea that Justice Choudhry is of Baloch ethnic background. I assumed him to be a Punjabi and as soon as this whole issue started I thought that his being from the majority community (60% of Pakistan) makes this purely a challenge to Musharraf’s military authority. His being from a ethnic minority may have added a bit of an ethnic flavor to this otherwise constitutional crisis, which makes is more troubling.

    Secessionists movements in Pakistan will be hugely distabilizing for the whole subcontinent. I hope that somehow the “deal” between Benazir and Musharraf or some other deals that are not out in the open, provides cover for Musharraf to be able to do a power transfer soon.

  12. Secessionists movements in Pakistan will be hugely distabilizing for the whole subcontinent.

    Short-term pain. Long-term gain.

    M. Nam

  13. I had no idea that Justice Choudhry is of Baloch ethnic background. I assumed him to be a Punjabi

    This would not have been a bad guess at all; I myself thought so, particularly since so many of the other Chaudhrys of consequence in Pakistani politics are Punjabi!

    Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi is the CM of Punjab; Chaudhry Shujaat, his cousin and brother-in-law, is the former PM of Pakistan (after Jamali [another 'humiliated' Baloch] and before Shaukat Aziz). Chaudhry Pervaiz’s son, Moonis Elahi Chaudhry will be a candidate for Parliament in the next general elections.

    And to confuse matters just a little bit more, the Chief Justice of the Punjab High Court at Lahore is another Justice Ifthikar Chaudhry – Justice Ifthikar Hussain Chaudhry!

    This list by no means exhaust the number of Chaudhrys of consequence in Pakistan. Clearly, being a Chaudhry goes a long way in that country (and some parts of India and Bangladesh too)!

  14. Short-term pain. Long-term gain.

    Oooh, you give me an erection Shri NoorMan! More than Shamita Shetty crossing her legs!

    Our saffron balls are joined and bursting at the prospect, for long term gain. Squeeze them for me bhai, we can will it into being. I lick you forever!

    Death to Pakistan! And death to Pakistanis!

    Hail Mogambo!

  15. Secessionists movements in Pakistan will be hugely distabilizing for the whole subcontinent.

    Short-term pain, for the Pakistanis. Long term gain for everyone, including Pakistanis.

    M. Nam

  16. Shri Moor Nam, we must unite for long term gain, and hope that there is blood bath in Pakistan, for their own sake, as well as everyone. I lick you. Please see Shamita Shetty thread. Your ocular forensic skills are needed for close inspection of possible ISI sleeper cell activation message, who are trying to stop long term gain. Follow links in pseudo-secular thread for uncensored picture in question. Do your duty against anti-nationals.

    Hail Mogambo!

  17. Im sorry to hear of this chaos in pakistan…that’s the result of long history of meddling by the ISI and the Pakistani Military in fanning rivalries between various tribal,ethnic groups. When the violence instigated by the same military gets out of hand,they step in and claim that stability can only be provided by a stong military and not by the weak politicians.Mushy has been playing the same game to prove to the west that they need him to provide stability in Pakistan… another tidbit about Pakistan…Pakistan is world’s first Islamic Republic.Even Saudi Arabia cannot claim that fame…Saudi Arabia was formed later on when the Hashemite tribe was deposed by the House of Saud and the Hashemites were then given the newly formed kingdom of Jordan under the British Mandate as a consolation prize by the British…

  18. I wonder if the Indian RAW has any hand in all of this as well…I’m sure they want some payback for all Kargil.OF course Kashmir is probably some sort of Payback from the ISI for Bangladesh…which was of course payback from RAW for POK.Will it ever stop till they have a nuclear meltdown? scary thought!

  19. Im sorry to hear of this chaos in pakistan…that’s the result of long history of meddling by the ISI and the Pakistani Military in fanning rivalries between various tribal,ethnic groups.

    Oh come on, folks…look under the surface. This conflict has very little to do with Musharaff/CJ, ISI, Islam or anything of that nature.

    Like all conflicts, follow the smell of money.

    The powers that be are using this situation to deliver a rap on the knuckles of those who favor Iran-India gas pipeline link via, you know, Sindh, whose capital is Karachi. “Drop the idea, or else this is the harbinger of things to come” is the message. I’m sure the top brass in NewDelhi and Tehran are preparing to put away the blue prints for now.

    M. Nam

  20. Can someone give me a link to the Statesman article that people have been talking about? I’m not sure which statesman they’re talking about.

  21. Don’t forget that Pakistan was going this way prior to 9/11, the US was steps a way from declairing it a failed state. India used this when they offred the US to attack Afghanistan from Indian soil and thus forcing Musharaff to go against his own people in the War on Terrori and pave the way for US troops in Pakistan and harsher actions against Kashmiri terrorists.

    He couldn’t have had the stronghold on the Pakistani society if it wasn’t for the WOT, as Sepia has pointed out earlier, it has never been in Musharaffs interest to win the WOT, only to keep it going, making symbolic advancements now and then.

  22. Sin, you said:

    I don’t know if that’s a valid statement. By coming to address people, he wasn’t forcing anyone to sit up and start brandishing guns; nor was he making people march out onto the streets. The politicos and the government share the blame for this farcical horror. The CJ does, as a private citizen, have the right to address people and travel about the country; if the govt. was that concerned about his having an impact on the city, they could have placed him under house-arrest or prevented him from getting to Karachi in the first place.

    I disagree. Do you actually think the CJ was naive enough not to realize how the city would react to his presence. The govt. offered a helicopter to him (airport –> highcourt) , he refused to take that, just like he preferred to take a car from Lahore to Isloo and not a flight.

    The CJ is a political figure. He is exploiting his political influence – and I don’t think he is doing it for the defense of the judiciary.

    However, your take on the issue is definitely the popular one amongst the educated liberals and the media.

  23. Short-term pain, for the Pakistanis. Long term gain for everyone, including Pakistanis. M. Nam

    I’m no friend of Pakistan, but it’s my understanding that where you are born is completely accidental that keeps me from gloating. The fragmentation of Pakistan would be disastrous for India. My bet is that the US, which is losing its taste for nation building, would punt the responsibility to some coalition of Sunni Arab states. The westernized army generals from cities like Karachi may have developed the Taliban to advance their goals in Afghanistan, but they would never allow them in cities like Karachi. Without the army it’s rule by warlords with religion on the brain and it will be our Indian jawans who have to deal with it while the Pakistani Generals take the money and run to buy posh homes in Georgetown and get plum gigs teaching at Harvard’s Kennedy school.

  24. I disagree. Do you actually think the CJ was naive enough not to realize how the city would react to his presence. The govt. offered a helicopter to him (airport –> highcourt) , he refused to take that, just like he preferred to take a car from Lahore to Isloo and not a flight. The CJ is a political figure. He is exploiting his political influence – and I don’t think he is doing it for the defense of the judiciary.

    Given that there were no such incidents in the other cities to which the CJ travelled, I don’t think it’s necessarily unfair to assume that he’d have expected Karachi to explode the way it did. I think his stance, in terms of avoiding government “assistance”, in light of their treatment of him so far, is fairly rational–it’s not as though the government has proven itself particularly reliable in the past, either in terms of safeguarding individuals or providing them any sort of real security. Circumstantial discussions and evidence have–somewhat reliably–demonstrated already that it was his pursuit of “vanished” individuals (implicitly by the government) that led to his ouster in the first place, so his behaviour seems fairly rational.

    Once again, I’m failing to see the exploitation to which you refer. What is the gain for him to become a political figure; he’s a member of the judiciary, not of Parliament. It’s almost tautological to argue that the involvement of political groups in this situation means that the CJ is a political figure or is in some way politicising the issue.

    And frequently, it’s quicker to actually get from Lahore to Islamabad and vice versa via road than it is by air. Lord knows, that’s how I’ve done it in the past as well. Between getting to the airport, boarding, disembarking and the whole nine yards, a good road-trip can be far more convenient.

    However, your take on the issue is definitely the popular one amongst the educated liberals and the media.

    Draw your own conclusions from this statement. I don’t plan to address it.

  25. I wonder if the Indian RAW has any hand in all of this as well

    G-Dawg what you said is just foolish, blaming RAW or whatever is a typically misguided response. Such India bashing only deviates us from this entire mess.

  26. This was clearly a Mushy-MQM set up to ‘defuse’ the situation. Deliberately ignoring the security ‘failure’, Musharraf was too quick to blame the judge. Why else would you have snipers?

    And I agree, regardless of whatever disagreements we’ve had with Pakistan, this is not a time for Indians to gloat. There is a definite parallel to the Nandigram incident, not that I’m ruling out PPP thugs having a major role to play here. Does anyone else have an uneasy feeling about the phrase “party workers” in the sub-continental context? Usually they’re paid thugs. Workers my ass.

  27. Dont throw sub continental context Nandu unless you are an Asian. There is No parallel to nandigram, this is a repeat of what pakistan is and has been all about. The land of pure will allways require purification purge drives. Whats funny is the US and UK are all as usual mum on this. And the coverage in BBC is as usual Banal….

  28. neena,

    no–i actually wrote the karachi riots article originally. the authors of the ’5-12′ article took its text from what i wrote and cited me appropriately–i’m glad they found it a helpful contribution to their peace

  29. break up of pakistan? dude, that is over reacting. this is a big mess, but nothing in the news anywhere indicates anything of that magnitude. i hope it doesn’t get worse.

    i am not sure anyone can predict what will happen if things do get worse.

    speculating wildly from the pov of a cynic—it is also beginning of summer. so as far as the kashmir goes, this is the time terrorists cross over to the indian side. so it could work both ways—arms supply may be stymied in pakistan to supply cross border incursions. in which case, i suspect the fighting will fizzle out in pakistan since the army (and therefore whether or not mqm cares)has other targets. or fighting will continue out of control in pakistan but reduce in indian kashmir. always a zero sum game.

  30. Of course Kashmir is probably some sort of Payback from the ISI for Bangladesh.

    So was the Khalistan Movement.

    Wonder what that ignorant jingo Vivek, who wrote: “Message to Paki brothers. Actually what you sow is what you reap. So there“, has to say about the ethnic, communal, casteist, naxalite, secessionist violence and mayhem in India? What karma is India sowing and reaping?

    As a bengali I hate to say it, but this is how it all started in 1971

    In 1971 it was punjabi, pathan and muhajir muslims against bengali muslims and hindus. In Karachi it is muhajir muslims (immigrants from India after Partition) against pathan muslims (who themselves are immigrants to Karachi). It appears that a disproportionate number of the dead are pathans.

    They represent the urdu speaking muhajirs (immigrants) from India who moved over to Pakistan in 1947. They have nothing to do with the Punjabis. Sindhis and Punjabis are their traditional nemesis.

    Actually, the MQM has a history of murderous clashes with pathans/pashtuns in Karachi; not with sindhis and punjabis (correct me if I am wrong here), though there is simmering resentment there as well.

  31. chachaji (#56):

    The suspended CJ, I.M Chaudhry is a person of Baloch origin.

    RC: (#63):

    I had no idea that Justice Choudhry is of Baloch ethnic background. I assumed him to be a Punjabi…

    HOLD UP!!!

    These terms you’re throwing around, really! CJ Chaudhry was born in Quetta, Balochistan, and got his start in the Balochistan courts. If that’s what you mean by “Baloch origin.” But then the jump to “Baloch ethnic background…” !!! Show me one single reference anywhere which says he’s Baloch.

  32. Stay Safe Bro, This again highlights how a bunch of thugs can take the whole community hostage. Most of the city is filled with peaceful people who just want to go to work and live their life and these power hungry goons (both in and outside the government!) can destroy their life and property, all in the name of saving them :(

  33. Any ideas on who supports who in Pakistan/Karachi/Sind.. Common knowledge is that MQM is the party of Mohajirs that supports the fellow Mohajir Musharraf. Do Sindhis support Benazir’s PPP?. Is the fight against the united opposition from MQM+Musharraf??.

    Personally, I don’t like the Mohajirs (mostly salaried middle class and rich landlords) migrating from India, taking over Sindh and dominating the Pakistan government over the natives.

  34. Sin,

    You said:

    Given that there were no such incidents in the other cities to which the CJ travelled, I don’t think it’s necessarily unfair to assume that he’d have expected Karachi to explode the way it did.

    Really! don’t tell me even you didn’t know Karachi was going to explode. Just do a random survey of your friends, how many were expecting bloodshed on Saturday? Hell, even the police were on high-alert.

    and said:

    Once again, I’m failing to see the exploitation to which you refer. What is the gain for him to become a political figure; he’s a member of the judiciary, not of Parliament. It’s almost tautological to argue that the involvement of political groups in this situation means that the CJ is a political figure or is in some way politicising the issue.

    I suppose time will tell. I do sincerely hope that after the crisis boils down he backs off. However, he has a history of activist decisions, signed an oath under the PCO (practically legitimizing Musharraf), has been seen in ethnic headgear, balochi / pushto etc.. and has Aitzaz Hasan, overtly PPP, defending him.

    I said:

    However, your take on the issue is definitely the popular one amongst the educated liberals and the media.

    Sorry if you took it personally, didn’t mean it that way. Its just an interesting generalization that people I know from Gulshan / Azizabad areas are generally pro-mush and those from defence pro-CJ. Sth like how the profs in the CS dept at my uni were all tableeghi while the SS and Econ department profs would party every weekend.

    Cheers!

  35. Show me one single reference anywhere which says he’s Baloch.

    Vivek, good on you to be this skeptical. I don’t have direct knowledge of his exact ethnic origin, and was going by Wikipedia and news reports. Wikipedia lists him under ‘People from Balochistan‘, but that doesn’t make him an ‘ethnic Baloch’ by itself, I agree. I have seen news reports and commentary referring to him as being from Balochistan, but nothing really ‘definitive’ and am more than willing to be corrected on this.

    Here’s an excerpt from a report in the Tribune of Chandigarh from its correspondent Afzal Khan in Islamabad, quoting former PM Jamali:

    “First it was a Baloch Governor, who was removed and replaced by an outsider from the NWFP making it the only provincial governor in the present regime, who is not from the same province. Then the Baloch PM (Jamali) was forced to resign. Former Baloch Governor Akbar Bugti was killed. Now the first ever Baloch Chief Justice has been removed,” he said.

    Whether he is really ‘ethnic’ Baloch or not, the point is whether, having been born there and having lived there most of his early life, he can still become a rallying point for the Baloch. Here you have Jamali’s statement which appears to suggest that he could be. Others, including Quetta Bar Association biggies, have suggested that he might not get a lot of support – not because he is not viewed as ethnic Baloch, but because in his career after 1999, he appeared too closely identified with Musharraf (even swearing him in as President!).

    An article by Malik Siraj Akbar, Daily Times makes that point:

    “Balochistan’s calmness and indifference over the current crisis is significant,” a veteran journalist, requesting anonymity, told Daily Times. “The Baloch are neutral on the issue, which largely translates into a lack of support for both the president and the CJP. Yet again, this is a grave indication that the Baloch consider themselves irrelevant and snubbed over decisions of national importance made at the federal level,” he said.

    So all this is quite interesting, as his surname is not typically ‘Baloch’, it is more typically ‘Punjabi’. There are Punjabi settlers in Balochistan, as elsewhere. I hope someone with more definitive information will step in. If he is not ethnic Baloch, that may actually be good, because it is one less potential fissure in the whole dynamic. The firing in the Baloch colony area of Karachi may then not have been specifically targeted, and at least that would be one less thing to worry about.

  36. Personally, I don’t like the Mohajirs (mostly salaried middle class and rich landlords) migrating from India, taking over Sindh and dominating the Pakistan government over the natives.

    Please!

    The urdu speakers from UP/Delhi were instrumental in creating Pakistan. Plus they build up Karachi. They cannot dominate the Pakistani government as they dont have the numbers so your alarmist analysis has no basis in reality.

    Pakistanis need to drop this whole ‘muhajir’ classification as its rather silly. It made sense in 1947-62 but it doesnt make sense anymore. Almost all ‘muhajirs’ in Pakistan over the age of 60 were born in Pakistan and are not immigrants.

    Btw what are the immigrants to India from Pakistan called?

  37. Funny. My parents are going to Karachi tomorrow. They may cancel their trip now — but we used to visit Karachi back in the bad days of MQM violence in the 90s — is it much worse now than it was then? Can you get to the airport without too much trouble?

    One of my family members used to be an APMSO activist. But he quit long ago, and I haven’t heard any good words about the MQM in at least ten years. Back when Mush-man took over, one way to endorse him was to say “he hates the MQM”. Obviously, he doesn’t feel that way any more.

    Qalander makes a good point here. And see also this hilarious comment at Pakistaniat.

    Ponniyin wrote:

    Personally, I don’t like the Mohajirs

    Personally, I don’t like Ponniyin. I think my dislike is far better grounded in reality than yours.

  38. Btw what are the immigrants to India from Pakistan called?

    Indians? I am not aware of any specific names.

  39. Btw what are the immigrants to India from Pakistan called?

    We do not call them by any other name other than their ethnic/religious identification, Punjabi, Sikh, Sindhi, Bengali etc. The latter in India of course refers to Hindus from that province in Pakistan. Until my late teens, I did not even know that Sindhis were originally from Pakistan.

  40. Btw what are the immigrants to India from Pakistan called?

    Rich people.

    M. Nam

  41. Sin, I’m not what more I can say but that I hope you and your family/friends are safe during this difficult time. May there be peace soon.

  42. Wow, Sin. Thanks for the up-close view. Hope you and yours are all safe. Peace.

  43. How did they become rich?

    Like most immigrants(*) in the rest of the world, they had stronger survival instincts (than the local populace), took more risks, worked harder and saved more. All they needed was an environment where the Government ensured that envy and jealousy against an entire class of people was not allowed to take root and manifest itself into discrimination and/or violence.

    M. Nam

    • They really cannot be classified as immigrants. That is the subject of an article that I’m presently writing.