Chaos in Karachi

Its been two days since the explosion which took place in the procession taken out by the shia community on the 10th of moharram.  43 people have been declared dead up till now, this is despite the fact that the suicide bomber was stopped by a scout and a ranger both of whom lost their lives to save hundreds. We can only imagine in horror as to what would have happened if the madman had reached the center of the procession.

Many of us are today talking about how everything would have been ok if the procession had been postponed or banned. Should a large assembly be allowed in times like this and so on? Well first of all this procession has being taken out for the last 1400 years and has been attacked and persecuted in various shapes and forms, so how can the government forbid people from following their religion?(remember that speech of the qaid we tout) Secondly if we stop living the way we want to, then we might as well hand things over to the Taliban and live according to their rules right? Because is this war not about just that? Our way of life vs theirs that they want to impose on us? Needless to say the mourners have suffered greatly, both on their faith and their physical self and in my opinion did the right thing by carrying on and finishing the procession at its intended finishing point. If nothing else this will show the bastards who want to finish our way of life that we will carry on no matter what!!

What happened after the bomb is another story altogether, in fact it is a story so vile that even now it seems like the bomb might have been just a diversion. With the law enforcement agencies standing and watching, 2 entire blocks of M.A Jinnah roads main wholesale markets were systematically torched with what is rumored to be phosphorous. A very flammable material which causes instant combustion.  They stopped only about 500 meters from where I currently sit in my office, shutters down as they are still not letting us open. They need a clear road for the fire tenders. Yes the fire is still burning even after 48 hrs, because many parts of the whole sale markets are in lanes so narrow that the fire engines cannot enter them. Also among the markets burnt are the cities main medical and plastic as well as the cosmetics market. Thus the fire must be feeding off the chemicals in all of those commodities.

As for the loss, I am afraid that the estimate of 35 billion is total malarky and bull shit. First of all the plastic market which was the biggest lot of shops burnt mostly comprises of illegal squatters selling plastic buckets and things, hardly stuff worth billions. The main loss would have been incurred by the cosmetics market which I am guessing would be in millions not billions. Right now obviously people are distraught and with 3000 shops burnt, people are on the roads without their livelihoods. So the claims seem to be more emotional then based on facts. In short even if the government wants to compensate these people how will they ascertain the goods in stock in these shops? You could argue that many would have a paper trail as they have been imported but the reality is that many times the goods stocked in whole sale stores are there on credit from importers, paid for after sale. Plus people are adding the value of their properties to the losses, but if the property can be saved (some of the buildings have come down) then the value stands intact does it not? This is not to say that these people should not be compensated. They have been wiped out by a mercenary army and if the government cannot provide for their security they should at least try to make up for their losses. Perhaps they can help in the restoration and the saving of property which has been gutted?

As to who has done this? I point the finger squarely at the Taliban, the bomb has all their hallmarks. The insanity after wards could be part of a larger plan to destabilize our government. Which they have been trying to do since day one. First they attacked our police and army, then innocent civilians and now they have come to religious processions and mosques and the commercial nerve centers of the country. Blaming political parties seems to be our medias bread and butter these days, and that has crept into the new media as well but can a political party carry out this sort of rampage? Why would they do it?? After all these are people who vote for them as well as donate to them. I do not buy the land scam angle for a second, there are far sneakier ways of getting someone to let go of their property in this city then torching blocks of it. Realistically speaking this kind of carnage can only be caused by people who are madmen with no concern for life. We all know who that lets not confuse the issue. The authorities have lots of questions to answer though, the mayor of the city was present on the spot and said the police and the rangers could not protect him. If the police of this city cannot protect its mayor what chance do any of us have? Why were these mercenaries allowed to loot and torch at will? Where is the footage from the 100’s of cctv cameras lining the route of the procession?

The people of this city are enraged and they want the truth, it would be best if the authorities concealed nothing because anarchy is not far off. We must remember that although we karachiites are always accused of making a big fuss, we live in a city which is Pakistan. If this place goes does the rest of the nation.


Video taken by LBS team member Awab Alvi

I can take lots of pictures but I am not inclined to do so as I cannot bring myself to take images of people’s misery many of whom I know. The video is enough of a glimpse into the horror that lies before me.


  1. Your candid post raises some valid questions and also points a direction for action by the citizens. Post Benazir death there was a massive looting , burning and chaos. Remember that Clifton markets, where there were residents in upper floors were systematically torched and burnt . Right upto Gulistan e Jauhar, banks were looted and burnt. All big factories and industry were attacked in a violent and planned way. Women workers as they came out and ran from factories were raped and assaulted. There were no investigations, no public inquiry, no answers. We just were told that this was a reaction. No it could not have been a simple reaction. Karachi has a major non- PPP vote. In Larkana people reported that there were armed people on roads who seemed to be from another place and residents had to lock themselves up. So we this time have to ask questions in a public enquiry forum. We have to form a platform. This time if we leave this, there will be no one to answer again.The time has come to take Karachi in our own hands.
    We as citizens need to unite, may it be under CDGK platform or any other forum. Our lives , property, business and industry cannot be left at the mercy of young, well bodied criminals, who suddenly appear, remember Aaj Tv parking lot destruction ? same faces as posted in Tazeen’s blog.Hired hooligans to destroy, who are these people. we have to defend Karachi, ourselves. this is not an ethnic issue. This is not a religious issue. These are criminals and mafias who are manipulating the city.

  2. My friend’s 65 year old father-in-law lost 9 shops. Seeing a grown man cry like that was one of the most heart wrenching sites. When will this end?


    Everyone is doing politics on the blood & money of innocent plp.

    Political parties are highly involved.

    Why a re-known minister belongs to a re-known political party (who own 150 shops at bolton market) sold all of his shop just a month before..

    Has he been alarmed, just a month back, however these shops were 40 years old.

    Politics is highly involved.

    Just watch a video after the blast..

    Those who lost lives, cannot be recovered, this lost cannot be filled, its really tragic for their family for whole life, but those whose shops has been burnt, must be recovered. and Govt should help them all.

    These businessman were getting threatened from last 2 years to shift the shop. They don’t know that in this manner it will be done.

    Allah bless us all.

  4. @ Ikram A minister owns 140 shops in Bolten market? Are u alright? The entire market has 240 shops lol…please stop your propaganda right for who was involved the footage is on all the channels after Kamran Khan last night..see for yourself…

    Btw.. i am 500 meters from the effected area.. no legally occupied shop has ever been threatened or sent a notice to here…illegal squatters were sent notices by the K.D.A if you call that a threat, whats a 40 shop market with 200 shops illegally built in it? I will tell u what..its a FIRE HAZARD

  5. Faisal your thoughtfulness in not putting up pictures of people’s misery is appreciated. Something our mainstream media needs to learn about emergency sensitive reporting.

  6. Faisal bhai u have raised some valid points and as Shaista said showing a positive and better picture of this whole issue. i know the whole thing happened is a big mess and as u said in the last line. if Karachi goes down the whole nation will follow it. i can assure u neither Karachi and nor the whole nation is going down because its the history and greatness of this city that it comes out of problems with a unique shine and i am sure this City will again prove that why it is Economical Hub of Pakistan.

  7. May Allah help Pakistan get rid of Shia


    Munafiqs were Killed in the time of Prophet (SAW) and we should 1st give them dawat of Iman if they dont accept dawat just kill them.

  8. I just wanted to stop in and tell you that I really liked this entry. It was full of fresh information and creativity, both of which we always can use more of.

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