Saturday, January 31, 2009

Karachi tops in Human Rights violations

Karachi topped in human rights violations committed in Pakistan during 2008, the human rights minister informed the National Assembly yesterday.
Karachi was followed by Lahore, Peshawar and Quetta.
Mumtaz Gilani said that 5,140 cases of human rights violations were recorded in the country with Karachi at the top with 2,102 cases. A total of 1,695 such cases were recorded in Lahore, 715 in Peshawar and 628 in Quetta.
There were 690 cases directly reported to the ministry, according to the written reply to a question asked by Chaudhry Barjees Tahir.
The minister said that the information was based on press reports and complainants lodged with the ministry and related departments.
To a supplementary question, he said that lack of education and practising of certain traditions were the main causes of human rights violations in Sindh.
In Punjab, however, personnel of the law enforcement agencies were found behind the rights violations committed in the province.
Responding to other parts of the question, the minister said that all the cases had been sent to relevant home departments for investigation.
He said that a national human rights co-ordination committee had been set up under the chairmanship of a minister and interior secretary and provincial ministers in-charge of human rights departments as its members.
Likewise, provincial ministers responsible for human rights are heading provincial human rights committees and they have been tasked to form such committees at the district level.
The National Assembly was informed that officials from the federal ministry and regional directorates visited prisons, hospitals and schools on a regular basis to get information about victims of human rights violations and chalk out plan for their redressal.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Karachi fears Mumbai-style attack

Karachi, Pakistan's main commercial centre, faces the same threat that brought terror to the streets of Mumbai, its Indian counterpart, at the end of last year, one of Pakistan's leading provincial politicians has said.

Ishrat-ul Ebad Khan, the governor of Sindh province of which Karachi is the capital, said the moderate and cosmopolitan city faced a "really challenging situation" as Taliban elements had infiltrated the population and raised funding from criminal activitiesto finance terrorist activities.

"There is the infiltration of a few people. For terrorism you don't need the masses, rather you need a few people to create havoc in your area," Mr Khan told the Financial Times.

Karachi is Pakistan's largest city and home to the country's banking industry and capital markets. Its largely moderate and diverse population has faced a growing terrorist threat. Between 2004 and 2005 about 300kg of explosives were detonated in the city but the security forces captured more than 3,000kg of explosives during that period.

India claims that Karachi was the launch pad for the sea-borne attack on Mumbai that left almost 200 people dead. New Delhi has handed evidence to the international community showing that Lashkar-e-Taiba, a Pakistani militant group, launched the commando-style attack by capturing an Indian fishing boat and sailing it into waters off -Mumbai.

"We had better prepare ourselves," said Mr Khan of the escalating confrontation with militants in Pakistan. He warned against minimising the internal threat, saying that a culture of denial had led to the loss of territory to extremists.

"If we do not accept the reality that the Taliban exist here, we get the kind of situation we have [elsewhere] in Pakistan. We have lost Peshawar and Swat. That happened because of our own denial," he said.

Mr Khan said Karachi shared many of the attr-ib-utes of Mumbai, as both are large ports where job opportunities attracted migrants.

He warned that hostility to Pakistan from India might intensify in the run-up to the April general election in India, and hamper efforts to revive the economy and fight- terrorism.

"All the work [to bring the two countries together] through intellectual and cultural contact and such went down the drain [after Mumbai]," Mr Khan said.

Government officials see Karachi's future as the country's commercial hub as tied directly to the way Pakistan emerges from the period of tension with India. "The trends continue to be very disturbing. The Indians are eager to keep up the pressure and the threat of a conflict, limited in scale, hasn't gone away," said one official.

India yesterday said it was speeding up a $1bn (€765m, £701m) weapons programme to modernise its armed forces in the wake of the Mumbai attacks.

Pakistan's leaders have tried to reassure the Indians of their determination to pursue the militants linked to the Mumbai attacks.

The US state department yesterday announced that Richard Holbrooke, special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, would travel to an international security conference in Munich next week and then on to the region.

*Pakistani police say they have arrested three men allegedly trained by India's spy agency to carry out attacks inside Pakistan, AFP reports from Islamabad. (Financial Times)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Naeem-ul-Haq sets cricket in motion in United States

By Syed Khalid Mahmood

No matter how developed the society may be and how established the institutions are in place more often than not it are the proactive individuals who become the catalyst in bringing about a change.

Cricket has a deep rooted history in the United States of America (USA) but it has remained a minority sport over the years and it continues to be that way despite the presence of a large number of expatriates from the nations that have excelled in the game.

While the International Cricket Council (ICC), the governing body of the game, remains engaged in promoting the sport within its own set of policies, one needs to recognize the contribution of the fellows who are devoting all their energies in helping the game survive and flourish in the USA.

One individual who has stood out in promoting cricket in the USA in recent times is Naeem-ul-Haq, a former first-class cricketer from Karachi, who has now relocated on the outskirts of Miami in Florida.

Naeem, who also played for his employers Pakistan Customs besides representing Karachi before migrating to the USA, has been working hard for the promotion of the game from the moment he landed there.

He has been actively involved with the Michigan Cricket Association (MCA), having worked closely with its livewire President, Shahid Ahmed, who has also moved there from Karachi.

Naeem and Shahid, although living thousands of miles apart in the USA, have done wonders by joined hands in promoting the game. The two Karachiites have taken the time out to work for the promotion of the game on a regular that’s indeed the key.

In the past we have come across some enthusiasts who emerged on the scene with high spirits but disappeared quickly when they found the going tough as cricket is not one sport that’s going to make waves at this stage.

Besides the high level of commitment, a lot of patience is also required to promote cricket in the USA. By the look of things Naeem and Shahid appear to be having the qualities that could signal a turnaround in the fortunes of the game there.

Their single largest contribution so far seems to be the Diversity Cup that they have been able to hold successfully in Michigan for the past few years. It has become an annual event in which teams from different communities take part every summer. They have already announced to hold this year’s Diversity Cup from July 3 to 5.

The legendary cricketers like Javed Miandad, Greg Chappell, Asif Iqbal and Mushtaq Mohammad have already been to Detroit and they have lauded the efforts aimed at popularizing the game that has so much potential.

Naeem, a qualified coach now, is lately in the process of launching the Florida Cricket Academy for which he has already obtained a piece of land in Fort Lauderdale. He is in Karachi these days and the main purpose of his visit is to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the famed Customs Cricket Academy, founded by Jalaluddin, the first bowler to have recorded a hat-trick in One-day Internationals.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Karachi police arrests 4,100 for pillion-riding in 50 days

KARACHI: While the city police have arrested and penalised at least 4,100 motorcyclists since the Sindh home department clamped a ban on pillion-riding on Nov 30 last year, the restriction has become irksome for the general public as it has been placed by the authorities without citing any justification for it in the relevant notification.
The provincial home department had extended the ban on pillion-riding under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code for 40 days beginning on Jan 11.
According to a home department notification, any violation of this order shall attract penal action under Section 188 of the Pakistan Penal Code. The ban would remain in place till Feb 19, it stated, adding that all the SHOs had been directed to take action against violators strictly in accordance with the relevant laws.
A pillion-riding ban was initially clamped after riots broke out in Karachi in November, and it has been extended for a third time. Security organisations staff, women, senior citizens and journalists are exempt from this ban.
Sources said that as many as 4,090 people were booked and arrested in around 1,558 FIRs registered against them under Section 188 of the PPC for violating the ban during the past 50 days.
Section 188 of the PPC says that whoever, knowing that by an order promulgated by a public servant lawfully empowered him to promulgate such order, disobeys such direction may be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to six months or with a fine which may extend to Rs1,000 or with both.
The sources said that 2,253 offenders were booked in 803 FIRs under the relevant section for violating the pillion-riding ban in the south police zone, 1,169 booked in 440 FIRS in east zone and 678 motorcyclists were booked and arrested for the offence in 315 FIRs in the west police zone.
The capital city police chief, Wasim Ahmed, told Dawn that the police department had requested the home department for an extension in the pillion-riding ban for controlling the crime and maintaining law and order in the city.
'The overall rate of street crime has since declined,' he said, adding that pillion-riding always helped criminals and terrorists.
Justifying the ban, the CCPO said there was a sharp decrease in the incidence of carjacking due to the restriction on pillion-riding. 'In September, 20 cars were taken away on an average daily and the number dropped to some 9.8 in December,' he added.
Answering a question, the city police chief conceded that no known criminal or terrorist was among those arrested for violating the ban on pillion-riding.
'Criminals and terrorists have eventually stopped riding pillion on motorcycles following the ban,' he added.
Meanwhile, sources said the restriction on pillion-riding had caused a great deal of inconvenience to the public.
They said the arrested violators were produced before the deputy district officer, revenue, of the respective town, who had magisterial powers.
The sources said the DDOs were giving maximum relief to violators ordering their release on bail either against a surety of Rs5,000 or a personal bond.
They said the lawyers appearing on behalf of the violators were charging at least Rs2,000 for taking up a case before the EDOs.
A DDO, who did not wish to be named, said that a large number of cases registered under Section 188 for violating the pillion riding ban were pending disposal as the police did not submit the final charge-sheet against accused persons.
He said he had decided over 90 cases and a similar number was pending disposal as charge-sheets were not submitted by the police.
He said he only fined the violators and did not sentence any of them to a term in jail. 'They are not criminals and they deserve to be given maximum favour,' he said.
On the other hand, a number of victims told Dawn that they were initially asked by the policemen to grease their palms if they did not want the registration of cases against them.
'They (police) asked me to give Rs2,000 if I did not want to be booked in the FIR,' said a victim, who wished not to be named for obvious reasons. He said the policemen told him that in case of registration of an FIR against him, he would have to spend much more money to get released from court.
Despite repeated attempts, the provincial home secretary could not be contacted for comments.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Dhabayjee-Karachi water supply line bursts

THATTA: Dhabayjee 72-inch diameter pipeline supplying water to Karachi ruptured, for reasons not known immediately.

The pipeline burst hitting the water supply to city has given rise to fears of water famine that the citizens might have to undergo. This pipeline was laid in 1978. Sources said that the pipeline ruptured due to frequent breakdown of electricity supply.

Water Board officials told that the repair work was underway and Karachi would be supplied water from alternative conduits.

Karachi not a sweet word in Mumbai

Six members of an Indian political party were arrested on Friday for threatening the owner of ‘Karachi Sweets’, a confectioner in the Mulund suburb of Mumbai, the Hindustan Times reported on Sunday.

The members of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) – a breakaway faction of Shiv Sena – wrote a threatening letter to the owner, it said. “The owners of the sweet shop may have come from Karachi, but now since they are citizens of this country, they should adopt an Indian name,” MNS leader Shishir Shinde told the newspaper. daily times monitor

Saturday, January 24, 2009

First 7-storey parking plaza to open next month

City Nazim Mustafa Kamal has announced that the first ever seven-storey parking plaza, which can accommodate more than 1,200 vehicles, would be operational next month. He said this during his visit to the parking site in Saddar Town. The City District Government Karachi (CDGK) has constructed the seven-storey parking plaza at a cost of Rs 700 million, said Kamal.

While being briefed on the occasion, Kamal was informed that the parking plaza will not only serve parking purposes but, in fact, will also comprise offices and a shopping centre. It would be a state-of-the-art parking plaza, equipped with the latest scanning machines, close-circuit cameras, a standby generator and a heavy lift for vehicles would also be available.

After being briefed about the salient aspects of the parking plaza, Kamal directed Transport EDO Iftikhar Ali Qaim Khani to make separate arrangements for a car wash area at each storey and conduct a comprehensive survey of the entire area in the vicinity of the parking plaza prior to the inauguration, so that the busy Empress Market area and other streets in Saddar could be declared a parking-free zone.

Kamal further directed that the parking plaza’s plans be shown to the Traffic DIG before the formal inauguration.

Meanwhile, the shopkeepers of Shahabuddin Market told the city nazim about their problems, on which Kamal assured them that the CDGK would soon start development work on the second parking plaza in Saddar.

Kanupp power supply to Karachi suspended

Kanupp power supply to the city has been suspended, which has given rise to the fear that of load shedding duration further widening.

Geo TV said that Kanupp supplies 85 megawatt of electricity to the city, which after suspension would mount the shortfall in power supply to Karachi to 300MW and lengthen the existing duration of load shedding for 3/4 hours to 6/7 hours.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Newlyweds live in fear of honour killing

Pervez Chachar and his wife Humera Kambo live in the police headquarters in Karachi. Their crime? They fell in love and married without their families' permission.
The newlyweds dare not venture out of the police station as they fear their families will hunt them down and kill them.
'I know they will kill her and I have to protect her,' Chachar said of his wife's family who are enraged that the young woman chose to marry a man from a rival tribe.
In certain sections of the traditional rural society in Pakistan, getting married without permission is deemed such a serious slight to the 'honour' of a family or a tribe that death is seen as fitting retribution.
Rights groups estimate 500 people, most of them women, are killed in the name of 'honour' in Pakistan every year, with the majority of victims from poor, rural families often killed by their own relatives.
Shortly after Chachar married Humera a year ago, the couple fled to Karachi from their home in Sindh province.
Humera, too afraid to talk to a reporter, had also been abducted by her family and Chachar was beaten by them.
Still defiant, they fear death if they stray too far from the cramped room next to the police canteen which they share with another young couple in the same position. They have been there for four months and they don't know when they can safely leave.
Under customs still followed in much of the countryside, a man or woman can be declared an outcast for choosing their own spouse.
The United Nations has estimated that some 5,000 people, mostly women, die every year in so-called honour killings, mostly in South Asia and the Middle East.
Traditionally, people in rural Pakistan have little confidence in, or access to, police and courts in big towns.
They solve problems through jirgas, or councils, of village elders.
But the councils are often manipulated by the powerful and become tools for sanctioning violence against the weak, often in the course of a dispute within an extended family over land or some other asset.
Women are the weakest of all in traditional, male-dominated societies so they are often targeted, rights groups say.
'Why does it happen? Because they are always the ones who have no redress, either legally or socially,' Anis Haroon, of the women's rights group the Aurat Foundation, said of the victims.
'They don't know anyone, they have no contacts, they have no money to offer the police. And these perpetrators come from the higher status of society,' she said.
Haroon said there could be no hope of change until legislators changed their mindset.
Most educated, urban Pakistanis abhor the violence and former president Pervez Musharraf took small steps to improve the lot of women. But change is painfully slow.
A senator from Balochistan province provoked outrage late last year when he said the killing of five women, who were reported to have been shot and buried alive in another case of honour killing, was a reflection of tribal traditions.
The senator, Sardar Israrullah Zehri, is now a minister in the federal government.
'It is a very bad sign ... people who are encouraging violence, their membership should be cancelled. They should not be allowed to contest elections,' Haroon said.
Orangzeb Magsi, a 32-year-old graduate from a US university, is a leader of one of the most powerful tribes in Balochistan.
Magsi has dealt with more than 100 cases of 'honour' crime in the past four years in his district but thankfully no killings, he says. Only education and time will bring change, he adds.
'On the one hand, you have these centuries old customs and on the other, the government says 'it's illegal',' Magsi said.
'Since they are not educated, it's very difficult to make them understand.'
Nafeesa Shah, a newly elected member of parliament from a rural area of Sindh province, said the jirgas and custom of killing women over honour reflected the failure of the judicial system.
'You had these customs in mediaeval Europe. You had the lynching of people in America ... These things will only go if you have laws that don't allow space for it,' Shah said.
Shah, a member of assassinated former prime minister Benazir Bhutto's Pakistan People's Party, said the party's victory in 2008 elections was a golden opportunity for change.
'It is important now that we, who are in power and can change things, take this as a sign of the times and work towards making laws and improving criminal procedures in a way that deters the offenders from protecting their crimes in the name of honour or customs,' she said.

Sattar Edhi fles to Egypt for Gaza relief work

Eminent social personality, Abdus Sattar Edhi has left for Egypt for relief works in Gaza.Sources said that the eminent social celebrity and the founder of Edhi Foundation, Abdul Sattar Edhi along with Faisal Edhi has left here for Egypt, where he would buy medicines and other medical aids and carry it to the Palestinian Gaza for relief works among those wounded in the recent Israeli aggression.
It may be recalled that Abdul Sattar Edhi was earlier refused permission to enter into Palestine through Egypt’s Cairo border and he had to return to Pakistan, but now after having received the permission, he has left again.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Boutiques in Karachi


740-C, behind Tariq Centre, Tariq Road, Karachi.
Contact: (92-21) 4547750; 03002156755


Shop #.G-31,32,Ground Floor,Dubai Shopping Mall,Tariq Road
Phone : (92-21) 4527689


Shop #4Z-135,Hina Luxury Aptt.,Ameer Khusro Road,Block 7/8
Phone : (92-21) 4558808


685,686,Zurain Heights,Shop #6,Allama Iqbal Road,Off Tariq Road
Phone : (92-21) 4539376
Fax : (92-21) 4534492
E-mail : temporarily hidden


Plot #4-C,4th Street,Phase V,Off.Khayabane Shamsher,Defence
Phone : (92-21) 5844488


Shop #3,4-C,Commercial Lane #2,Zamzama,Phase-V,D.H.A.
Phone : (92-21) 5864050
E-mail : temporarily hidden
Web : temporarily hidden


Shop 3,Nice Centre,PECHS.,Near Chawla Centre,Tariq Road
Phone : (92-21) 4385558-4385557


33 Kehkashan Shopping Arcade,Main Clifton Road
Phone : (92-21) 4559347-5371368

Ladies Garments

5-C,Sunset Lane-3,Phase-II,Defence Housing Authority
Phone : (92-21) 5885695
Fax : (92-21) 5887733


Zamzama Commercial Lane-2,Phase-V,Clifton
Phone : (92-21) 5860901
Web : temporarily hidden


Shop 11,Shadman Arcadem,Tariq Road
Phone : (92-21) 4536403
Fax : (92-21) 4578945

Boutiques Undergarments Ladies

3-Clifton Pride,Main Clifton Road
Phone : (92-21) 5839360-5838700
E-mail : temporarily hidden

Boutiques Sarees Wedding Dresses

9-C,Zamzama Comm.Lane-2,Clifton
Phone : (92-21) 5832938-5863321
Fax : (92-21) 5834759
E-mail : temporarily hidden


#1,16/C,Zamzama Comm. Lane #4,Clifton
Phone : (92-21) 5877372-5877371
E-mail : temporarily hidden
Web : temporarily hidden

Textile Designers Boutiques

4,Sabah Centre,Bahadurabad
Phone : (92-21) 4932504-4932252
Fax : (92-21) 4914993
E-mail : temporarily hidden

Boutiques Ladies Garments

Aamir Trade Centres,Shahrah-e-Quaideen
Phone : (92-21) 4555607


2-C,Lane-10,Zamzama Boulevard,Defence Housing Authority
Phone : (92-21) 5867404

Boutiques Ladies Garments

Shop No.3,Aamir Trade Centre,Shahrah-e-Quaideen
Phone : (92-21) 4538591


11-C,34th Commercial Street,Tauheed Comm'l Area,Phase-V,Defence H. Authority
Phone : (92-21) 5377761-5377620


F-7,1st Floor,Mateen Centre,Tariq Road
Phone : (92-21) 4559372-4549377
E-mail : temporarily hidden


5,Jason Centre,BC-8,Block-9,Near Chinese Palace,Clifton
Phone : (92-21) 5836079


172-Q-2,Tariq Road
Phone : (92-21) 4525765


4-C,3rd Zamzama Comm'l Lane,Phase-V,D.H.A.
Phone : (92-21) 5834977-5877357
Fax : (92-21) 5877358
E-mail : temporarily hidden


9-C,34th Commercial Street,Tauheed Comm. Area,Phase-V,D.H.A.
Phone : (92-21) 5377761
Web : temporarily hidden



Hill Top Arcade,Gizri Boulevard,Phase-V,D.H.A.
Phone : (92-21) 5377449


Shop #6,Sky Gardens,14-D,Mohd.Ali Housing Society
Phone : (92-21) 4384027

Boutiques Wedding Dresses

Shop 11,Aamir Trade Centre,Shahrah-e-Quaideen
Phone : (92-21) 4539929



Flat #4,Plot #42-C,25th Comm. St.,Tauheed Comm.,Phase-V,D.H.A.
Phone : (92-21) 5866241-5867554
Fax : (92-21) 5871047

Boutiques Ladies Garments Readymade Garments

13/F,Boat View Appartment,Boat Basin,Clifton
Phone : (92-21) 5877653


104,Anum Pride,Block 7&8,KCHS.,Shaheed-e-Millat Road
Phone : (92-21) 4552061-2624733
Fax : (92-21) 2624732


30-Muslimabad,Kashmir Road
Phone : (92-21) 4914770-4913844


124-B/2,Tariq Road,P.E.C.H.S.
Phone : (92-21) 4552306



12-C,Zamzama 2nd Comm.Lane,Phase-V,D.H.A.
Phone : (92-21) 5831094
Fax : (92-21) 5834954
E-mail : temporarily hidden


124-C,Block-2,P.E.C.H.S.,Main Tariq Road
Phone : (92-21) 4556902


7-C,Sunset Lane No.4,Phase-II Ext.,D.H.A.
Phone : (92-21) 5899803

Tailors Boutiques

#D-4,2nd Floor,M.L.Apptt.,Jamshed Road No.3,Opp. Rahmania Masjid
Phone : (92-21) 4912342


Shop #4,Yousuf Grand Square,Main Clifton Road
Phone : (92-21) 5879617


183-C,Block-2,P.E.C.H.S.,Off Tariq Road
Phone : (92-21) 4385293


Shop No.4,Mall Square,Zamzama Blvd.Phase V,D.H.A.
Phone : (92-21) 5375755

Mens Wear Boutiques Readymade Garments

1,Jamalistan Centre,DC 1,Block-8,Main Clifton Road
Phone : (92-21) 5376478-5836378


1st Floor,Ismail Centre,7/C,Bahadurabad Comm'l Area
Phone : (92-21) 4945697-4949711


C-244,Block-6,F.B. Area
KarachiPhone : (92-21) 6361504-6343493
E-mail : temporarily hidden

Boutiques Ladies Garments

Main Zamzama Boulevard,Defence Housing Authority
Phone : (92-21) 5863990
Fax : (92-21) 4558109


Haroon Manzil,116-B,S.M.H.S.
Phone : (92-21) 4526379


Z-97,98,D.C.H.S.,Tariq Road,Near Sindh Lab
Phone : (92-21) 4557683-4558860
Fax : (92-21) 4559381


5E,8th Comm.Lane,Phase V,DHA.
Phone : (92-21) 5867938


Shop No.1,Sabah Centre,Bahadurabad
Phone : (92-21) 4930980-4930717
Fax : (92-21) 2626066
E-mail : temporarily hidden

Boutiques Ladies Garments

Shop #3,Plot #1-C,Zamzama Comm.Lane-III,Phase-V,D.H.A. Karachi
Phone : (92-21) 5863017


10,Clifton Centre,Clifton
Phone : (92-21) 5370550-5866806


G-14,Dubai Shopping Mall,Tariq Road
Phone : (92-21) 4540086


#38,Kehkashan Shoping Arcade,Clifton
Phone : (92-21) 5836422-583356

Three young men held for cyber crime

KARACHI: The Cyber Crime Unit (CCU) of the Crime Investigation Department has arrested three young men for stealing pay orders through a courier service. Noman Azeem, Muhammad Amir Qayyum and Salaam Adil Sheikh were caught red handed by CCU after investigation revealed that the men were involved in swindling. CCU Chief DSP Usman Asghar Qureshi said that the three men made away with almost Rs 7 million before they were caught.

Qureshi said that the management of a private bank registered an FIR No 26/09 and requested for a thorough investigation. The DSP said that Azeem, working at a courier service, would steal the bank-stamped envelopes from the outgoing mail and with his accomplices, Qayyum and Sheikh, who work as finance consultants, had been committing the crimes for the past six months. Qureshi said that pay orders worth Rs 6.7 million were recovered from the culprits while revealing that Azeem was previously arrested by the local police and has a criminal record. The three men have been given into police remand for five days by the city court judicial magistrate. “We are investigating the case and are now checking for the involvement of other suspects. During the initial investigation, they have given us a lot of information. We are trying to locate all accomplices involved in this racket,” Qureshi added.

Karachi fears Mumbai-like attack

Pakistan’s biggest city and commercial centre, Karachi, fears a terrorist attack like the Mumbai attacks, and the authorities have initiated moves to be prepared to minimise any potential damage, official sources disclosed here Monday.

Senior government and corporate sector officials con cede that the law enforcers are conducting an exercise to take stock of building plans of structures built mainly in Zone South of the police organisational set-up, which can emerge as potential targets for terrorist activities not too different than the Mumbai attacks.

“One should learn from mistakes before it’s too late and we did so from the Mumbai attacks,” admits Waseem Ahmed, the Capital City Police Officer. “We observed that there is a strong need for such an exercise that can equip our police with all the necessary information regarding major and important structures in the city that we can use (in a timely fashion).”

Source ::: Internews

Drug mafia opens for business in SITE under police supervision

By M. Zeeshan Azmat

A committee comprising different political activists as well as representatives of prominent families and communities has urged the police hierarchy and other law enforcement agencies to take strict and immediate action against the drug mafia involved in selling illegal drugs in different localities of Sindh Industrial Trading Estate (SITE), particularly in Bawany Chawli, Union Council 5 for past many years.

According to a report prepared by the committee, there are over 50 places in UC-5 alone where drug peddlers have been operating their business without any fear. Hashish is the top selling item in the locality, while Heroin is second most traded narcotics so far. Some drug dealers also carried weapons to dominate residents of the area, it further said. Now, these drug traders are also moving into other parts of SITE Town, sources said.

The report has been given to the Home department, police headquarter, and area police stations but officials have not taken any action, The News has learnt.

This situation has gone from bad to worse since the past two years; meanwhile, people have witnessed regular incidents of street crime. Approximately 20 per cent of the population of the UC is addicted to drugs, while the police does not interfere in the matter because of political pressures, the sources said.

Medina Masjid, Muhalla Hyder Chali, Sarafa Bazaar near Shahi Masjid, Shahi Muhalla, Haqani Masjid and Muhalla, Rababni Masjid Muhalla, Mecca Masjid, Sher Bahadur Dera, Jalali Masjid and Pahari Muhalla, Bagh Malik and Rabbani Muhalla are some of the most active spots of drug peddling, The News has learnt.

Local activists from Awami National Party, Jamat-e-Islami, Jamat-e-Ullemae Islam, Muttahida Quami Movement, Pakistan People’s Party and Pukhtukhua Milli Awami Party, were part of a 25-people based committee. Meanwhile, all Nazims and Naib Nazims of SITE Town, other representatives of town administration, SHO’s of three police stations of town have been nominated as members of the committee.

The report, which was based on committee’s investigations that lasted for two months, revealed that the drug racket also enjoyed the support of police personnel from the town’s jurisdiction. According to the report, different levels of groups involved in the sale of drugs give the money extracted from extortion to the local police, and payments are made according to the category of their business.

Almost a month ago, one of the main drug dealers of the town, Wahab, was arrested along with five other traders but later, he was released in lieu of Rs0.25 million without an FIR being lodged. Like, Wahab, Juma Khan and his brother are other leading drug dealers. They operate in the graveyard located in between Pathan and Frontier Colony.

The report also indicates that drug operators use intra-city buses to smuggle contraband into the city. Afterwards, local public transport (comprising coaches) is used to distribute the drugs to other areas.

In some cases, entire families are involved in the sale of narcotics in local markets, the report stated. On the other hand, the residents of UC5 told The News that role of the local police is dubious and few, if not all, of the law enforcers support the drug mafia. Some retired and suspended policemen are also involved in drug trading and few on service policemen are also participating in it, they alleged.

“It has been noticed that whenever a person goes to the police to lodge complaints or FIRs against drug sale in his or her area, the police never respond properly,” area people claimed. “Furthermore, complainants receive severe threats from drug dealers within hours of their visit to police station,” they said.

Former, TPO Javed Riaz Akbar and who was followed by, Sohail Zafar Chatha, had taken serious actions against the sale of narcotics in the area, but, once they were transferred one after other from the town, the situation became favourable for these dealers. Nowadays, DIG West, Abdul Majeed Dasti has taken some measures but his efforts are going in vain due to connivance of local police with drug dealers.

Provincial Minister for Excise and Taxtation Department, Mukesh Kumar Chawala, was contacted to comment on the matter, but he was not available to speak to The News.
(The News Report)

Karachi Stocks hits four-year low as foreign funds exit emerging markets

The continued distress-sale of shares by the foreign portfolio investors and irresolution of debt issue at Karachi bourse between brokers and banks pushed market down to new low of four-year on Wednesday.

With another notable plunge of 121.80 points or 2.32 per cent in this session, the KSE 100-share Index depreciated to 5,136.48 points. The day closing level is the lowest one after September 28, 2004 closing of 5,128.13 points.

The parallel running junior 30-Index slashed 152.04 points or 3.08 per cent and concluded at 4,782.97 points.

Hasnain Asghar Ali at Aziz Fidahusein observed that although private and government sector funds did stay prominent buyers in various main board stocks many even succeeding in trading above lower locks, foreign downpour strengthened further as it joined hand with selling by local participants thus never allowing the buyers to resist the high tides, and the KSE benchmark was yet again pushed to deep-red. Analysts said that foreigners were offloading their holding for one reason or the other. They withdrew another over $8 million in this session only.

“Perhaps, overseas investors know what are the true vales of each stocks and they would indulge into buying from those pre-supposed levels or they are reshuffling their portfolios in accordance with the new stocks market orders,” commented a leading analyst.

He maintained that in the newly emerging era - post economic recession period or recovery phase - some tier two stocks would occupy the place of leading stocks in top of the actives list and vice-versa. This phenomenon is, at present, in the making and become visible when every thing would have been settled, he added.

The unresolved issue debt, which brokers owe to banks, is not allowing bulls to show their muscles. Otherwise, bulls are ready to overcome the crisis and waiting for the green signal, other analysts said. With the massive correction in international oil prices and decline in demand of other commodities as well at world level, the oil and food inflations have started easing down in the country. Amid the trade and current account deficits have also started reducing in the last couple of months. These are the good signals for the local economy and would encourage equity investors to stage come back once the local issue of debt at bourses are resolved, they added.

Ahsan Mehanti at Shahzad Chamdia Securities said besides massive foreign selling and debt issue, the rupee depreciation and turmoil in the international equity markets also discouraged investors to remain on the sidelines.

This session, therefore, witnessed sharp decline in many of the stocks prices and recorded low turnover too.

The day turnover dropped down to 90.769 million shares as compared to 143 million shares changed hands yesterday - showing a decline of over 34 per cent on day-to-day basis. Activities in future market remained shunned.

Another outflow of Rs38 billion from the overall market capitalisation shrank it to Rs1,639 billion.

Out of total 270 actives, 198 stocks declined, 60 advanced, while the value of 12 stocks remained unchanged.

Oil and Gas Development Company remained the volume leader with 9.340 million shares closed at Rs44.29 with a loss of Rs2.17, followed by National Bank with 6.612 million shares closed at Rs51.94 with a loss of Rs2.73, Pakistan Telecommunication Company with 6.119 million shares closed at Rs12.96 with a loss of 58 paisa, Zeal Pak with 4.192 million shares closed at 47 paisa with a loss of one paisa and Hub Power with 4.036 million shares closed at Rs14.77 with a loss of 41 paisa.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Sindhi villages in Karachi to be leased soon: Qaim Ali Shah

SEHWAN SHARIF: The Sindh Chief Minister, Syed Qaim Ali Shah paid a visit to dargah Lal Shahbaz Qalandar on Tuesday.
While talking to newsmen, the Sindh Chief Minister said that the local government system has become controversial due to which the government is considering to finish it. He added that the government is taking steps to facilitate Sindhis living in katchi abadis of Karachi and soon all Sindhi settlements will be leased. While replying to a question Syed Qaim Ali Shah said that he is aware of power crisis in the province and the government is considering Thar Coal Project, which will generate 25,000 mega watts electricity to overcome these crises.

Later on, Sindh Chief Minister offered his condolence with Provincial Minister, Syed Murad Ali Shah on the sad demise of his mother. Syed Qaim Ali Shah also attended a reception at Sehwan Sharif given in his honor by former MPA Syed Asif Ali Shah. On the occasion, Provincial Minister, Mohan Lal Kohistani, Ghulam Shah Jillani, Allah Bux Shah, Yar Muhammad Lakho, Nisar Lund and others were also present.

194 Girls Raped in Karachi Last Year 2008

Karachi being the biggest city of Pakistan also desere to be the city of opportunities. It was Karachi who was commercialized far before any other city of Pakistan. This all comes with its special geographical location.

But this all not makes a this free from the odd ends, although obcure to many eyes but yet they should be recognized by every citizen of this mega city. One of such thing is the problems. Karachi is no longer a safe city. Safety is what Karachi lack the most. This is where we find many roots of nationwide crimes.

Such a crime is associate with the diginity of girls. Rape. Every girl is afraid of this word, and its spreading and strengthening its roots day by day not only in Karachi as well in many cities of the country.

Last year whole nation mourned over many things, but the lives of these 194 girls are no more to be categorized as life. These girls not only were raped but they lost their meaning of living. Out of 194 girls 146 ones commited suicide.

Many NGO’s are working against the sourced behing the women crimes one of such is Aurat Foundation working effectively for their cause. This NGO presented the whole report to the media about the crimes to be highlighted by the media and then some work can be expected from the Government.

According to Dawn:

Over 1,885 incidents of violence against women — in which more than 480 women had been killed — were reported in the province during 2008, says a report.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Seminar on Adoption of Anti Bribery Principles in the Private Sector.

A seminar was held at Hotel Marriott on 15th January, 2009 on ‘Adoption of Anti Bribery Principles in the Private Sector’. This seminar was organized by Transparency International Pakistan and BASF Pakistan(Pvt) Ltd. The Chief Guest of the seminar was Engr. Elahi Bakhsh Soomro, Ex speaker of the National Assembly.

Mr Syed Adil Gilani welcomed the guests at the start of the seminar. He explained the aims and objectives of Transparency International – Pakistan and gave an overview of its activities. He discussed the Bribe Payers Index and the Corruption Perception Index of Transparency International. He pointed out the corruption in the Private Sector in the International Arena and the role played by the auditing firms.

He was followed by Mr Qazi Sajid Ali, MD BASF Pakistan (Pvt) Ltd. He talked about the MOU signed by their company with TI-Pakistan. He informed after the company had decided to follow anti bribery principles in their practices, they had to undergo great difficulties in their business. However they persevered and now they find it was much easier to follow these principles. BASF requires all its employees to follow high levels of integrity both during their business and personal dealings.

The next speaker was Mr H.N. Akhtar, ex Secretary GOP. He shared his experiences with the participants. He was of the opinion that the term anti corruption should be added to the topic. He advised that auditors should not issue false certificates. He suggested that these principles should also apply to the Public sector. He also informed about the corruption in the donor agencies.

Mr Zubair Tufail, Vice President FPCCI. He said that discretionary powers of government officials. He said that corruption is affecting all aspects of life. It is evident in different forms like favoritism, misuse of power, jobs not provided on merit. He recommended the curtailment of discretionary powers of the government officials, simplification of laws and speedy decision making.
Engr M.A. Jabbar spoke on the speech of the previous president when he came to power. He said that the exact speech could be used today with only an addition of nine years as nothing seemed to have changed in their rule. He said that each successive government gives lip service to eradicating corruption but after they leave there has been no change. He recommend that an independent judicial system, independent and responsible media, transparent oversight bodies, independent anti corruption agencies, well trained law enforcement, an effective civil society were necessary for the curbing of corruption.

Mr Abbas Akberali, CEO Amreli Steel spoke at length about various modes and methods of corruption in vogue. His recommendation included indexation of wages and salary, rationalization of custom duties, curtailment of discretionary powers and accountability.

In the end Engr Elahi Bakhsh Soomro, Ex speaker National Assembly summed up the discussions. He appreciated the relevance of the topic and commended both Transparency International Pakistan and BASF Pakistan (Pvt) Ltd for taking the initiative to discuss such an important issue. While he considered it essential for the top leadership to be clean in order to serve as role models for the public at large, he however was of the view that even under the present circumstances a lot can be done by the organizers.

A sub committee was formed under the leadership of Qazi Sajid Ali of BASF with members MA Jabbar, Mr Abbas Akberali and Mr Zubair Tufail to prepare strategies and recommendations enhancing the adoption of anti bribery principles in the private sector.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Mustafa Kamal to meet political leaders for removal of wall chalking

Nazim Karachi Syed Mustafa Kamal has decided to hold meetings with leaders of political parties for removal of wall chalking and posters by political parties and appeal them to ask their workers to remove chalking and posters from walls, bridges and under-passes so that the city looked clean to visitors.
He stated this while addressing a meeting on the night of Saturday-Sunday. In the meeting steps were considered for cleaning of chalking and posters and to check them in future.
Nazim said that on the occasion that if we are civilized nation then we have to give a proof of this as well while our religion also teaches us the lesson of cleanliness.
He pointed out that all the walls of Karachi are full with commercial ads of hakims, fake healers and similar other elements which has given a bad look to the city.
Mustafa Kamal said that under section 144 all First Class Magistrates of City Government have been authorized to arrest all those people and send them to jail while decision has been taken to seal the business of such organizations.
He directed all the Magistrates to take stringent measures in this respect and take action without discrimination.
He said all citizens will have to cooperate with the city government in this regard and only then Karachi would join the world’s beautiful cities. He pointed out that city government is showing no lacking in this regard and it has planted 1.80 lac trees throughout the city for environmental improvement and increasing the population.
He said that wide and beautiful roads, flyovers, underpasses and beautiful bus stops have been constructed and if culture of wall chalking is done away with, it will add to the city’s beauty and visitors coming from outside Karachi will see Karachi very beautiful.
He said by meeting leaders of political parties he will make them personal appeal to direct their workers in the city’s greater interest to removal chalking and posters voluntarily and avoid the same in future.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Justice Iftikhar accorded warm welcome in Karachi

Deposed Chief Justice of Pakistan, Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry arrived in Karachi on Saturday. Upon arrival at the Karachi airport, the deposed chief Justice was accorded a warm welcome by lawyers and workers of various political parties.

Security was beefed up in and around the airport building and the government has provided him with a bulletproof vehicle. The caravan of Justice Iftikhar will reach Karachi Bar where he will administer the oath taking of newly elected members of the Bar. The deposed CJ will also address a dinner reception being given in his honour by the Karachi Bar.

Justice Iftikhar is accompanied by former president of Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan and other lawyers.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Plenty of table tennis events planned in Karachi

By Syed Khalid Mahmood

Besides being the financial capital of the country, Karachi is also the hub of sporting activities in Pakistan. Table tennis has been one of the most popular games in the metropolis but its controlling bodies in the past lacked the visionary approach to raise its standard.
The game also suffered enormously due to the politicking in the bodies whose premier objective was to prolong their stay in office by hook or crook. The Pakistan Table Tennis Federation (PTTF), for a number of years, remained chiefly responsible for the decline all over the country and Karachi was no exception.
The game of table tennis, however, has come alive in Karachi for the past couple of years with the induction of a few committed individuals who have been trying desperately to make things happen. It’s a very pleasant change and the results are coming.
The leadership of the Karachi Table Tennis Association (KTTA) is in the capable hands of Dr Farhan Essa and Javed Chhotani, both of whom have already made a difference by putting things in the right direction.
The KTTA held a media briefing at the National Sports Training and Coaching Centre (NSTCC) on January 14 in which they announced their plans to organize Inter-Schools, Inter-Firms and Inter-Towns Championships besides a couple of more events during the first quarter of the year.
Dr Farhan Essa, Chairman KTTA, revealed that a coaching camp for the students will be starting as early as on January 15 in order to let them prepare for the upcoming tournaments.
“The Inter-Schools tournament will be starting on February 1 and it will be followed by the Inter-Towns event due to commence on February 15. The Inter-Firms tournament will be getting underway in the last week of February,” Dr Farhan Essa revealed.
“We have planned to organize the 2nd Dr Essa Mohammad Ranking Tournament and the Inter-District Tournament during the month of March,” he added.
“Moving further we have the Amroha Ranking Championships and the Islamia Open Championships whose dates will be finalized later. We will be holding a few other events too before getting ready to host the National Championship late this year,” Dr Farhan Essa said.

The KTTA Chairman acknowledged the support of the sports departments of the provincial and city governments, hoping to get maximum cooperation from them to accomplish their mission of improving the standard of table tennis in the metropolis.
The President of the Sindh Olympic Association (SOA) and the Sindh Minister for Sports, Dr Mohammad Ali Shah, who was also present on the occasion, lauded the efforts of the KTTA while announcing a grant of Rupees half a million.
“The initiatives of the KTTA are heartening and they deserve the support of the government as well as the private sector. We are confident that our grant will help them in organizing their tournaments. I am particularly looking forward to the Inter-Towns event that is a new concept,” Dr Shah observed.
Dr Shah, one of the leading orthopedic surgeons of the country, noted that table tennis was one sport that was particularly refreshing for the eyes.
The PTTF President S M Sibtain, also commended Dr Farhan Essan and his team at the KTTA for their proactive approach and he hoped that the other associations in the country will derive inspiration from them.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Famous comedian Shakeel Siddiqui beaten up in India

A prominent Karachi based Pakistani television and stage actor Shakeel Siddiqui was beaten up by some Indian fundamentalist elements in Mumbai on Wednesday, Geo T.V reported.

Famous comedian Shakeel was expected to perform in the famous show ‘Comedy Circus’. For that purpose he was staying in Mumbai, but it seems a group of thugs belonging to Nationalist/fundamentalist Indian mindset has badly beaten the terrific comedian. At the moment it seems a horrible news, as Shakeel has been a famous person in India and was a source of bringing joy to million of faces all across the sub-continent.

It will be interesting to see how this story unfolds and how it would affect the media relations between both the countries. Ghajini is just released in Pakistan after a slight delay and this horrific news is going to further affect the constant deteriorating situation between the two nuclear Nations.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Nazim Karachi briefs Senate committee

Nazim Karachi, Syed Mustafa Kamal has said that big cities with district city governments are country’s urban centres and the reflection of entire country, specially their respective provinces.

The development taking place there has its impact on the entire country and, therefore, a coordinated policy be framed for such citiesand they be given under one command and control. He expressed these views while briefing the Senate StandingCommittee for Local Government and Rural Development at his office on Tuesday.

MQM sees another conspiracy against Karachi

The Investigative Committee of MQM has revealed that a plan has been formed to create a bloodbath in Karachi and anti-social elements were busy to execute this plan. In a statement issued here on Tuesday, the investigative committee said anti-social elements and terrorists had set up their dens in various areas of Landhi and Quaidabad like Shepao Colony and Qazafi Town. They are demanding extortion from local traders.

The report said these anti-social elements and terrorists beat up people having sympathies with the MQM. It said some elected members of an ethnic party were also involved in these activities. The Investigative Committee of MQM demanded from President Asif Zardari, Prime Minister Gilani, Federal Interior Adviser Rehman Malik, Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad Khan, Sindh chief minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah and Home Minister Dr Zulfiqar Mirza to take action against the miscreants.

It also appealed to ANP chief Asfandyar Wali, vice president Haji Ghulam Ahmed Bilor, Afsaryab Khattak, Haji Adeel Khan and other leaders to take notice of these criminals who are giving a bad name to the ANP. It also appealed the people of Karachi to keep a close vigil on these elements and inform the government and police of their evil activities.

Monday, January 12, 2009

KARACHI Post-Partition

Karachi on the Eve of Partition

On the eve of partition, in spatial terms, Karachi consisted of four distinct areas. One, the old pre-British city and its post-British suburbs which consisted of narrow winding lanes, high densities and wholesale markets. These areas were occupied by the "native" merchant classes and the proletariat that worked for them. The area had a large number of mosques, dharmshalas and Hindu temples. Collectively, this area was known as the "native" city and celebrated Hindu and Muslim festivals with fervour. Two, Saddar Bazaar, which was the Europeanised shopping area, consisting of wide roads on a grid iron plan. This Bazaar also had residential areas dominated by Goans, Parsis and Europeans, who owned much of the businesses in the Bazaar. The Bazaar was dominated by churches, mission schools, community halls and civic buildings owned and operated by trusts belonging to Christians (local and Europeans) and Parsis. To the south-east of Saddar Bazaar were the Civil Lines and military cantonment where the British officers lived and worked and where their clubs were located. Saddar Bazaar and its surrounding areas were known as the European city and here New Year and Easter were celebrated and balls were held. Three, the area between these two "cities" consisted of administrative and civic buildings and educational institutions of higher learning. And four, the area of Lyari and Machi Miani where the working classes lived. A diesel operated tramway linked these areas to each other and to the port.

The population of Karachi at that time was 450,000 of which 61.2 per cent was Sindhi speaking, 6.3 per cent was Urdu-Hindi speaking, 51 per cent was Hindu and 42 per cent was Muslim. By 1951 all this had changed and Karachi’s population had increased to 1.137 million because of the influx of 600,000 refugees from India. In 1951 the Sindhi speaking population was 8.6 per cent, the Urdu speaking population was 50 per cent, the Muslim population was 96 per cent and the Hindu population was 2 per cent1. These changes have had a major effect on the culture, politics and development of Karachi and its relationship to the politics of Sindh and Pakistan. For an understanding of the present situation in the city and the province, an understanding of the repercussions of these demographic changes is essential.

The Physical and Social Repercussions of Migration on Karachi

Karachi was made the capital of Pakistan in 1947. It was separated from Sindh and was known as the Federal Capital Area. Sindhi politicians and intellectuals objected to this separation since it also involved the taking over by the federal authorities of various civic buildings and institutions that previously belonged to the province. This was the first Karachi-Sindh conflict.

The 600,000 refugees who invaded the city occupied all open land and the empty buildings that the fleeing Hindus had left behind. These refugee settlements were multi-class and multi-ethnic. Intellectuals, artists, poets, performers and the working classes all lived together and in walking distance from Saddar Bazaar. Also, walking distance from the Bazaar a university was established in 1952 and the federal secretariat was constructed adjacent to the Bazaar. Embassies were established in the Civil Lines quarters, also walking distance from the Bazaar. The older educational institutions and the Courts of Law were already within walking distance of Saddar. Thus, within four years of the creation of Pakistan, Saddar Bazaar became the centre of the city with a cosmopolitan culture and Karachi became a high density multi-class city. Saddar’s old institutional buildings began to be used for civic functions, entertainment, musical programmes and professional conferences. Bookshops, eating places, bars and billiard rooms and night clubs developed. Politicians, students, diplomats, intellectuals and the working classes all shared this space. Cinemas increased and film festivals were held regularly.
However, the government was anxious to develop a plan for the city of Karachi that was in keeping with its position as the capital of Pakistan. In addition, it was anxious to develop proper accommodation for its civil servants and other employees. To this end, it developed cooperative housing societies around the then city. As a result, the more important and wealthier residents of Saddar and from the refugee settlements moved out. To tackle the problems of the rest of the residents of refugee settlements and new migrants coming from other parts of Pakistan, the government initiated a number of planning processes.


Source : Arif Hasan, Akbar Zaidi , Muhammad Younus, "Understanding Karachi" A publication of URC

KARACHI Pre-Partition

Legend has it that Karack Bunder was an important port on the Arabian Sea in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth century. It handled the south Indian-Central Asian trade and was situated about 40 kilometres (km) west of Karachi bay on the estuary of the Hub River. The estuary was silted up due to heavy rains in 1728 and the harbour could no longer be used. As a result, the merchants of Karack Bunder, most of whom were Hindus, decided to relocate their activities to what is today known as Karachi.

In 1729, they built a fortified settlement on 35 acres on high ground north of Karachi bay and surrounded it with a mud and timber-reinforced wall of over 16 feet high which had gun-mounted turrets and two gates. The gate facing the sea was called Kharadar, or salt gate, and the gate facing the Lyari River was called Mithadar, or sweet gate. Mithadar and Kharadar are now important neighbourhoods in the old city around where these gates once stood. The settlement was strategically located. There were mangrove marches to the east and south-west, the sea to the west and south-west, and the Lyari River to the north and west. As such, the settlement was very well protected and storming it successfully was only possible from the sea.

Karachi, or Kolachi as the area where it was located was originally called, was a new settlement. However, in its immediate vicinity, there were important and ancient places of Hindu and Muslim pilgrimage. These included the temple of Mahadev, which is mentioned in the Ramayana; the Ram Bagh, where Ram and Sita, heroes of the Ramayana are supposed to have spent a night on the way to their pilgrimage to Hinglaj in Balochistan; the tombs of Abdullah Shah and his brother Yousef Shah, both tenth century sufis (religious person), and the twelfth century tomb and monastery of Manghopir. In addition, buried under the government houses on Bath Island are the remains of the sixteenth century capital of Raja Diborai. The tomb of Morerio, the hero of Shah Abdul Latif’s Sur Ghato is also close to the old city. He is supposed to have lived in the time of Raja Diborai. His descendants are living in the old Karachi goths of Baba Bhit, Rehri and Ibrahim Hydery and are called Moreriopota, of the sons of Morerio. All these important places are now within metropolitan Karachi. However, Karachi’s intelligentsia, academia, public representatives and the citizens at large know very little about these important places which have attracted a large number of pilgrims from the interior of Sindh, Kutch, Rajistan and the western coast of India, from times immemorial to the partition of the Subcontinent.

Between 1729 and 1783, Karachi changed hands several times as the Khan of Kalat and the rulers of Sindh tried to control it due to its strategic location. Finally, in 1783, the city fell to the Talpur Mirs after two prolonged sieges. The Talpurs constructed a fort at Manora point, the entrance to the harbour, and mounted it with cannons, thus making Karachi impregnable. At about this time, the British started taking an interest in Karachi due to the expansion of the Czarist Empire in Central Asia. This led to their opening a factory in Karachi at the end of the eighteenth century. However, due to disagreements with the Mirs of Sindh on trade tariffs, the factory was soon closed down.

In 1838, the British, obsessed with the fear of Czarist expansion to the Arabian Sea, occupied Karachi and it served as the landing port for their troops for the First Afghan War. In 1843, they annexed Sindh and shifted the capital of the province from Hyderabad to Karachi. Subsequently, they made Sindh a district of the Bombay Presidency and Karachi was made the district headquarters. Troops were stationed in Karachi and a services sector to cater to the needs of the army sprung up in what is today Saddar and the Cantonment. A district administration was also developed and it was housed in the Civil Lines area. Thus, the city became divided into the native city, consisting of the old pre-British town and its suburbs, and the European city consisting of the Cantonment, Civil Lines and Saddar Bazaar. The port was improved and steps were taken to develop and market Sindh’s agricultural produce to the Great Britain. To this end, the Indus Steam Flotilla and the Orient Inland Steam Navigation Company were developed to transport cotton and wheat down the Indus and across Karachi bay to Karachi port. As a result of these initiatives, a number of British companies opened their offices and warehouses in Karachi and its population increased from 14,000 in 1838 to 57,000 in 1856. Trade also increased during this period from £122,160 to £855,103.

During this period, a municipal committee, the first in British India, was also established for Karachi and two libraries, the General Library and the Native General Library were set up. The General Library became a part of the Frere Hall Library in 1865 and the Native General Library was absorbed in the Khaliqdinna Hall in 1906. Buildings essential to European social and cultural life were also constructed. The first Church was built in 1843 and is used today as the assembly hall of St. Joseph’s Convent School. Other important churches built during this period are Trinity Church and CMS Church on Lawrence Road. The Collector’s Kutchery (court) and the Kharadar Police Station are some of the few civic buildings belonging to this period that survive.

During this period, an important event occurred in Karachi. In 1857, the native troops rebelled against the British in support of the war for independence that had engulfed India. The rebellion was crushed by the British. Seven freedom fighters were publicly hanged in Artillery Maidan and three others were blown from the mouth of cannons. An eyewitness account states, "Their remains were immediately collected by sweepers and carted away to a pit at some distance. After this those who had been hanged were cut down like so many dead dogs and taken away in the same manner, and thus ended one of the most awful and imposing spectacles for the people of Karachi to be ever held.". One week later, another 14 freedom fighters were hanged in a similar manner and Ramdin Panday, the ring leader of the Karachi revolutionaries was blown from the mouth of a cannon. Karachi has not honoured these freedom fighters and no monuments have been built to them and nor have any roads been named after them.

Between 1856 and 1872, Karachi’s population did not increase although trade figures increased from £ 855,103 to over £ 5 million. The reason for the increase in trade figures is that between 1861 and 1865 there was a big boom in the cotton trade in Sindh as Sindhi cotton replaced American cotton as raw material in the British textile industry. This was because supplies from America had been disrupted due to the American Civil War. It was during this boom period that the Karachi Chamber of Commerce was established and has since then played an important role in the economic development of the city. However, at the end of the American Civil War, trade in Karachi dropped from Rs 66 million to 38 million and the membership of the Chamber of Commerce fell from 15 members in 1865 to 8 in 1872.

The expansion of trade during the American Civil War was aided by the development of the Sindh Railway in 1861, which linked Karachi to the cotton and wheat producing areas. The decision to extend this railway into the Punjab and subsequently link it up with northern India was taken in 1869 and this increased Karachi’s "catchment" area. At the same time the British began the development of perennial irrigation schemes in Punjab and Sindh. These schemes brought large desert areas under cultivation and increased activity at Karachi port. As a result, by 1868, Karachi became the largest exporter of wheat and cotton in India. Karachi also received a boost with the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869, which made it the nearest port in India to the UK.

A lot of important civic buildings and churches were built during this period. They include St. Andrew’s Church in Saddar, St. Paul’s Church in Keamari and another St. Paul’s in Manora. In addition, City Courts and Frere Hall were constructed during this period and a number of mission and English language schools, including Grammar School, St. Joseph’s School and St. Patrick’s School were built. The Karachi Zoo was also established during this period on the site of the old British factory and a lot of domestic architecture of this period still survives.

Between 1872 and 1901, the population of Karachi more than doubled. The reasons for this were the completion of the railways which linked Karachi to the Punjab, northern India and Sindh and their wheat and cotton production started flowing through Karachi. Oil extraction was also undertaken in Sui, near the railway line 450 kms from Karachi. This was also exported from Karachi port. In this period water supply and drainage systems were developed for the city and the population of the old town decreased as water pipe lines were laid outside of it. In 1881 the population of Karachi was 73,056 of which 68,332 lived in the old town. By 1911 the population of the old town had decreased to less than 48,000. The Karachi Port Trust (KPT) was also created for the city during this period.

In 1885, the tramway was introduced in Karachi. It was owned by the East India Tramway Company and functioned on steam power. However, it was replaced by horse-drawn carriages in 1892 since Karachites objected to the noise made by the steam locomotives and claimed that animals which were then used for transport purposes, were scared of the locomotive sound. Empress Market was built in 1889, the D.J. Science College in 1887 and the Sindh Madrassah in 1885. Thus, Karachi acquired its most important landmark and its first institutions of higher learning during this period.

Between 1901 and 1911, Karachi’s population increased by 37 per cent. The reason for this was that a number of irrigation schemes were completed in the Punjab and Sindh thus increasing exportable agricultural produce. 260,000 acres of irrigated land producing more than 10,000 tons of wheat and cotton each were added by the Jamrao Canal Project in southern Sindh alone and over 6.8 million acres of irrigated land were added in the Punjab as a result of three major projects. To meet the resulting demand placed on Karachi by wheat and cotton exports, Karachi port was further developed, labour imported from the interior of the province, and merchants migrated from all over India to profit by the expansion of trade. By 1904, Karachi’s trade had expanded to over Rs 300 million.

During this period, Karachi expanded, and innumerable commercial, civic and educational buildings were added to it including Khaliqdinna Hall and the Victoria Museum. The Hall was built in 1906 and is famous because the trial of Maulana Mohammad Ali Jauhar and Maulana Shoukat Ali was held here during the Khalafat Movement.

Between 1911 and 1947, the expansion of irrigation systems in the Punjab and Sindh continued, adding to trade in Karachi. In addition, railways were expanded to link Karachi with Rajhstan, thus adding to its hinterland. During the First World War (1914-18) Karachi became a military base as it was the first port of call for ships coming through the Suez Canal and was the gateway to the Russian Empire north of Afghanistan. In 1924, the first airport in British India was constructed in Karachi and at about the same time Karachi also developed a reputation for having a healthy climate most suitable for patients of asthma and TB. This added to its population. In 1935, Sindh was separated from Bombay and became a separate province. Karachi was made its capital. Law courts, revenue departments, line departments and social sector departments were established in Karachi thus increasing its population and importance. Sindh’s landed aristocracy started building homes in the city and merchants who previously had their head offices in Bombay shifted to Karachi so as to be near the new seat of power.

During the Second World War, Karachi became the military base and port for supplies to the Russian front. Troops were stationed and trained here, military intelligence services functioned from here and telegraph and telecommunication systems were developed as a result. After the War Karachi became the centre for supplies to the allied troops in South and South-East Asia. This again increased its importance and between 1911 and 1941 its population increased by 133.4 per cent. It is estimated that 90 per cent of Karachi’s growth between 1921 and 1941 was the result of migration.
During this period, a number of beautiful buildings were added to the city, all of which testify to its growing importance and to the consolidation of its merchant classes. These buildings include the Karachi Port Trust (1915), Bank of India (1923), the Chamber of Commerce (1923), Hindu Gymkhana (1925), the High Court (1929), the Karachi Municipal Corporation (KMC) Building (1931) and the Old Sindh Assembly (1940) where the Pakistan Resolution was passed.


Source : Arif Hasan, Akbar Zaidi , Muhammad Younus, "Understanding Karachi" A publication of URC

What is FIR ?

First Information Report (FIR) is a written document prepared by the police when they receive information about the commission of a cognizable offence. It is a report of information that reaches the police first in point of time and that is why it is called the First Information Report. It is generally a complaint lodged with the police by the victim of a cognizable offence or by someone on his/her behalf. Anyone can report the commission of a cognizable offence either orally or in writing to the police. Even a telephonic message can be treated as an FIR. It is a duty of police to register FIR without any delay or excuses. Non-registration of FIR is an offence and can be a ground for disciplinary action against the concerned police officer.

Cognizable Offence:

A cognizable offence is one in which the police may arrest a person without warrant. They are authorized to start investigation into a cognizable case on their own and do not require any orders from the court to do so.

Non-cognizable Offence:

A non-cognizable offence is an offence in which a police officer has no authority to arrest without warrant. The police cannot investigate such an offence without the court’s permission.

Why is FIR important?

FIR is a very important document as it sets the process of criminal justice in motion. It is only after the FIR is registered in the police station that the police start investigation of the case. According to Articles 21, 22, 23, 25, 49, 50 of Qanoon-e-Shahadat Order 1984, FIR is a relevant fact.


Who can lodge FIR?

Anyone who knows about the commission of a cognizable offence can file an FIR. It is not necessary that only the victim of the crime should file an FIR. A police officer that comes to know about a cognizable offence can file an FIR himself/herself. You can file FIR if:

a. You are the person against whom the offence has been committed.

b. You know yourself about an offence, which has been committed.

c. You have seen the offence being committed. The police may not investigate a

complaint even if you file an FIR, when:

1. The case is not serious in nature.

2. The police feel that there is not enough ground to investigate.

3. The police resources are already over-committed in investigating more serious offences. However, the police must record the reasons for not

conducting an investigation and in the latter case must inform you (Section 157 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898).

What is the procedure of filling FIR?

The procedure of filing an FIR is prescribed in Section 154 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898. It is as follows:

I. When information about the commission of a cognizable offence is given

orally, the police must write it down.

II. It is your right as a person giving information or making a complaint to

demand that the information recorded by the police is read over to you.

III. Once the police have recorded the information in the FIR Register, the person

giving the information must sign it.

IV. You should sign the report only after verifying that the information recorded

by the police is as per the details given by you.

V. People who cannot read or write must put their left thumb impression on the

document after being satisfied that it is a correct record.

VI. Always ask for a copy of the FIR, if the police do not give it to you.

VII. It is your right to get a copy of FIR free of cost.

What should you mention in the FIR?

1. Your name and address;

2. Date, Time and Location of the incident you are reporting;

3. The true facts of the incident as they occurred, including the use of weapons, if any;

4. Names and description of the persons involved in the incident;

5. Names and addresses of witnesses, if any. (Format used by the police for the registration of FIR is attached).

Things you should NOT do:

1 Never file a false complaint or give wrong information to the police. You can

be prosecuted under law for giving wrong information or for misleading the

police (Section 182 of the Pakistan Penal Code, 1860).

2 Never exaggerate or distort facts.

3 Never make vague or unclear statements.

4 One who refuses to sign his statement of FIR can be prosecuted under section

180 of Pakistan Penal Code, 1860.

5 One who lodges a false charge of offence made with intent to injure a person can

be prosecuted under section 211 of Pakistan Penal Code, 1860.

What can you do if your FIR is not registered?

Contact Citizens-Police Liaison Committee – Central Reporting Cell Sindh Governor’s Secretariat - Karachi. Phone No. (021) 111-222-345 Fax: 5683336. CPLC Helpline 568-2222 or 136

(Courtesy : CPLC)

Police use tear gas on Gaza protesters in Karachi

Police Sunday used tear gas and batons to disperse hundreds of angry protesters rallying against Israel’s military offensive in the Gaza Strip.
About 2,000 people had answered the call of religious leaders to protest the Jewish state’s campaign in the Palestinian territory, torching Israeli and US flags, but mainly marching peacefully.
But the protest briefly turned violent when several hundred protesters deviated from the planned route and started heading toward the US consulate in the southern port city.
When police tried to stop the demonstrators, they were pelted with stones.
Some protesters even started fistfights with officers, prompting police to fire tear gas shells and baton-charge the crowd.
Leaders used loudspeakers to urge the protesters to disperse without further incident and the situation was quickly brought under control.
“We have not arrested anyone,” said city police Chief Wasim Ahmed.
All roads leading to the US consulate were nevertheless sealed off as a security precaution.
Demonstrations to express solidarity and support for the Palestinians were staged in several major cities in Pakistan on Sunday, with about 2,000 turning out in the capital Islamabad and several hundred more in eastern Lahore.
Several small demonstrations took place in Lahore, with more than 400 people taking part in the main procession along central Mall Road, chanting anti-Israel and anti-US slogans before dispersing peacefully.
“Muslim rulers must take serious note of the double standards of the West,” the secretary general of Jamaat-i-Islami party, Munawwar Hussain, told protesters.
“The US, Britain and some other European countries raised a hue and cry over the Mumbai attacks but surprisingly the world is watching the killings of innocent women and children in Gaza as silent spectators.”
Pakistan has condemned Israel’s 16-day-old offensive in the Gaza Strip, which has killed more than 875 people, saying it violates the UN charter.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Patients diagnosed at last stages of cancers

Cancer Patients in Pakistan are mostly diagnosed at last stages thus minimizing recovery chances as there are more than 200 different kinds of cancer, each with its own name and treatment. Most of the cancers can be cured and controlled at the expense of bitter side effects.

Studies are already underway that examine the use of immunotherapy in conjunction with radiation and chemotherapy to increase the effectiveness of patient responses. Let us hope that these therapies leads into a new dawn that is full of promise.

These views were expressed by Professors and Doctors of Ziauddin University and AKU in a seminar on “Current Developments in Management of Cancer”, held at Dr. Ziauddin University and Hospitals, North Nazimabad Campus.

The Seminar was organized and conducted by Dr. Imtiaz Khalid Assist. Prof., Dept of Medicine. It was very informative and followed by an interactive session. It was well attended by renowned consultants like Professor Dr. Zaidi, Naeem Jaffery, Sadiqua Jaffery and Postgraduates.

Dr. Ejaz Ahmed Vohra, Dean Postgraduate, Head of Dept. of Medicine, Ziauddin University said Cancer is an additional scourge for 3rd world downtrodden masses who are already suffering from poverty, malnutrition and poor sanitation. However, there is a great potential to prevent cancer in Pakistan, provided strong will is there. Use of tobacco and beetle nut should be discouraged.

Talking on “Cancer Immunology” Dr. Mohiuddin Alamgir, Associate Prof. Dept. of Pathology, Ziauddin University told that every cancer starts with a single cell that has been unleashed from the growth restraints placed on all normal cells. He spoke on the Immunosurveillance of cancer, immunosuppressant, and Immunotherapy and Therapeutic cancer vaccines. In the future, cancer immunotherapies are expected to become a treatment option for cancer alongside the traditional methods such as surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. Used in combination with these three traditional methods, immunotherapies may increase the likelihood of long-term remissions for cancer patient.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Handicapped girl admitted in medical college

Aisha Paracha, 18, a member of an upper middle class family, always wanted to be a doctor. A resident of North Nazimabad, she got distinctive marks in F Sc (Pre-Medical) exams making her eligible to sit in the Dow University of Health Sciences (DUHS) entrance test.

Aisha, who cannot walk because she has been left handicapped by polio, has a dream to become a kind-hearted and popular doctor. Her disability did not hold her from following her dream, in fact, the only obstacles that were stopping her dream from coming true were the policies of the DUHS.

Her dreams and her family’s expectations came crashing down when they were told that there was no room in DUHS rules and regulations for a disabled candidate to sit in the entrance examination and get admission in MBBS.

Aisha’s story began when last June ended, when she went for the DUHS entrance test and wasn’t allowed to sit in it. A medical board was formed by the DUHS administration to review her case and still she wasn’t given admission in DUHS despite the fact that there were two reserved seats for special students.

Instead of losing all hope on being rejected, Aisha carried on her long search and hard work and has now managed to get admission in the Sir Syed College for Medical Sciences in MBBS.

Aisha revealed that she secured over 91 percent marks in intermediate medical subjects and her overall percentage was 88 percent. “Still the DUHS administration refused to give me admission arguing that with the wheelchair, it will not be easy for me to move around in the university,” she said smiling at the attitude of the DUHS administration. “However, here I am. I am really happy that I have got admission in a medical college and my dream of becoming a doctor will come true.”

39 dead in Karachi fire

A blaze in the slums of the Pakistani port city of Karachi left at least 39 people dead, local broadcaster GEO TV reported early Friday.

There were numerous women and children among the dead.

Sleeping residents were reportedly engulfed by fire, which spread so rapidly that many victims were unable to even flee the shacks in which they live. Some of the dead were burned beyond recognition.

Survivors including some with severe burns were brought to nearby hospitals.

Local reports said that the fire started when a power line fell onto the roof of a shanty.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Police arrest 4 tanker snatchers in 2 raids

In separate raids, the Gadap Town police arrested four men, including two alleged Taliban financers in Karachi, who were involved in snatching tankers and dumpers, while recovering two oil tankers and three dumpers.

The Memon Goth police, Gadap City police and a car tracker company were in search for the oil tankers that were recently snatched by unidentified armed men within the jurisdiction of Gadap Town Police Station. One of the oil tankers was snatched from driver Ahsanullah at the Link Road on December 26, 2008. An FIR No 226/08 was registered on the complaint of the driver.

On Monday, the police received information that some people were unloading oil at a petrol pump in Gadap Town. The police reached the spot and arrested Ameer Khan and Ameer Islam. Both men hailing from Waziristan are alleged Taliban financers.

During initial interrogation, Khan and Islam confessed to snatching the vehicles, saying that they would call owners and ask them for money in order to release the trucks. Memon Goth DSP Choudhry Saifullah said, “We are in the initial stages of investigation and we cannot say anything about their affiliation with the Taliban.”

Meanwhile, Gadap Town police also recovered three loading dumpers and arrested two Hindu men, Kurwa and Basant. Saifullah said that Basant is a policeman and was posted to Khokhrapar Police Station. The recovered dumpers were snatched from different areas of the city including Surjani Town, Gadap City and Memon Goth.

Hand grenade found in Pak Colony area: Police recovered a hand grenade from Pak Colony on Monday. The grenade was found lying outside a shop at a scrap market in the Jahanabad area, within the jurisdiction of the Pak Colony Police Station.

Area residents discovered the grenade and called the police and the bomb disposal squad (BDS). The grenade could not have exploded because it was in a dysfunctional state, said SHO Aslam Hayat.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Manhole claims lives of 2 children

Two siblings drowned within the jurisdiction of Garden Police headquarters on Sunday, after they fell into an uncovered manhole. Seven-year-old Abdul Rahim and his four-year-old sister, Saniya, went out to play outside their home located at Block E, Officer Line, Police Headquarter during a power breakdown.
When the children did not return home, their father, Aftab Ahmed, an ASI in the police went out to look for them. Ahmed came across their slippers on the edge of an uncovered manhole and then recovered their bodies from the sewerage drain. The bodies of the children will be taken for burial to Pano Aqil, their hometown. staff report

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Karachi police on killing spree

The way the City Police murdered four businessmen from Balochistan just hours before the advent of 2009 and the way police killed a youngster on the new year’s eve, it is obvious the police has secured license to kill innocent people and this government did not want to stop this unabated killing spree.

This is unfortunate state of affairs and the blame squarely rests on the shoulders of talkative Zulfikar Mirza, the right hand man of President Asif Ali Zardari. There is a genuine feeling among those who know Mirza who seldom cares for the worsening law and order in the metropolis. The new wave is dangerous as city police showed no remorse and claimed those who were killed they fired first at the police party then the police shot them dead in self defence. This is unbelievable and unacceptable.

Four young traders from Balochistan were shot dead by police in Karachi. Similarly a young man was killed on the New Year’s eve who was coming out of a fast food outlet.

The police repeated the similar story and claimed to recover three bottles of whisky from his car. If this is the basis to kill him then I am afraid every second minister in Sindh could become target of such wanton killing. In most of the cases they are religiously involved in fun and frolic and the chief minister seldom bothers to take strict action. Why they use so much booze whenever they manage to secure power is anybody’s guess.

Apart from this, six citizens lost their lives who were celebrating the New Year in style. This is unpardonable again. (The Nation)