Sunday, May 12, 2013

What Happened in Karachi on the Election day - 2013

A lot has been, is being and will be said about the 2013 elections in Karachi. The entire country is listening to stories about how the election process is emerging in Karachi about the media. Personally, I experienced nothing extra ordinary happened at my polling station, I would like to share some of the experiences my friends shared on social media.

1.      Enthusiasm

I just got back and you have no idea how motivated and charged up the people are..old aunties have been in the sun since morning..
PTI supporters all throughout!
Allah, I have never seen Pakistan this united..please make this last and hear our prayers and do what is good for us. You are indeed All Knowing and All Seeing. Pakistan Zindabad!!!’
Mehvish Fatima

Burger-e-Karachi, popularly known to get kharab-ed in the garmi today deserve a huge round of applause for sticking it out in the heat, against all odds - for change!’
Kanwal Anes

‘Hats off to you wonderful people! Stay strong. To the couple who came in wheelchairs and were there from 6 am till now and stage three cancer patients with their urine bags, I salute you. They were all PTI supporters. I've always believed in Imran but this right here is pure magic. Pakistan zindabaad!’
Amna R. Malik

2.      Rahman Malik’s Reception

‘The moment of joy when Rehman Malik steps outside the polling station after voting and crowd says..’'chor chor chor chor.....'’ ‘
‘I heard it and my brother saw it’
Savera Dar

3.      Rigging

‘It is shameful that media is not saying much about rigging in Karachi!’
Abdullah Soomro
‘Voters were inked but sent back from Rangoonwala Hall polling station saying that their votes were alredy done. And they were threatened when they tried to fight back. Many of my relatives quoted and anyone u see in the Dhoraji market right now can vouch for the same.’
Mariam Rafiqui

‘(Asma*) is extremely proud of Ahmad*, for once. Stood up to the MQM thug at the polling booth who was standing on the voters heads( to ensure a Kite vote) , with a colourful expletive exchange. :.)'

*Name changed for privacy
Asma Zubair

Today, when I was tired of ranting on facebook. I decided to go and see what actually is happening in Karachi's polling stations. I along with some of my friends visited many polling stations in NA 250 and NA 253. I was appalled to see that voters in NA 250 were in great numbers. They were motivated, and hope for some change was visible from their gestures. We weren't able to get into the polling stations so I can not tell about the rigging.
Whereas in NA 253 ( which is mainly Gulshan area) the scenes were really shocking. One of the PTI supporter after seeing PTI flag on our car approached us at Oxford Grammar school and said that ke yaar yahan ander hamara koi banda hi nai hai. He told us that there was massive rigging going on inside. Somehow, we managed to get in the polling station.
MQM guys ( who were were around 17-18) closed the doors of the polling station at 5 pm (although the timing was extended). We witnessed that they started putting 'thappas' on patang. We told the (3 star) police wala ke there is no PTI polling agent inside. He said we know it. We told him ke bhai yahan tou zabardast waali rigging horahi hi. He said ke 'ham kia karain hamaray haath bandhay hue hain. '
Then one of the police wala told us ke Yahan subah jamaat aur PTI ke polling agents thay. Jamaat ne boycott kardia aur PTI ke polling agent ko MQM ke larkon ne pitai kar ke bhagadia. He said ke aap authorised letter lay ao aur aap khud beth jao yahan. We argued with him but it was in vain.
We saw a TV reporter outside the polling station. We told him the story. He said ke ' bhai main file kar bhi duun story channel walay chalain ge hi nahin' . We were just helpless looking at MQM guys who were celebrating at their fake victory.’
Hasan Ali

4.      Violence at the Polling Station (Block 2, Gulistan e Johar)

''Just witnessed death so close today at polling station.
Just when we were about to enter the station to vote.. some gilgitiis yelling "labbaik ya Hussain" came rushing into the polling station. All of us ran inside and heard bursts of firing this close! I was never as terrified as I was today.. we lay down on the floor and started reciting Ayat ul Kursi in a closed room. Survived it, voted and came home safely MashaAllah'
Situation remained the same till half an hour.. phir rangers ne sab set ker dia. They caught those idiots and took them away, dunno where. I saw guns.. big guns.''
Samra Sahar Khan

5.      7/8 hour long queues

‘Reached the polling station around 8 am and got to vote at 4 pm. 
The most amazing 8 hours of my life. Witnessed what this nation is capable of and felt proud to be a part of it.

I hope all those standing in the queue also get to vote for Naya Pakistan. InshaAllah. 

Imran Khan, you were right. Tabdeeli aa gayee hai
Pakistan Zindabad.’
Savera Dar

‘So many stories from today. My personal favorite probably: Even after waiting 7+ hours in heat and barely any water, people were like "Yar, senior citizens ko pehla janay do" ‘
Fauzan Naeem

‘The polling still hasn't started at DHA phase 4 (NA 250). Waiting since 10 am and still nothing!!’ (At 7 pm)

6.      The Burger-Voters

‘Haan tou kaun keh raha tha defence waalay vote denay nahin aayeinge? 

Soch se lamba queue!’
Savera Dar

7.      Election Commission of Pakistan’s Failure

‘Go through news channels for five mins and you will know how badly and pathetically ECP has failed to contain media.’
A Rafay Gadit

‘Exteremely Disappointed. Spent 5 hours standing to get a chane to vote. Terrible mismanagement and eye opening cheating. Spent 5 hours shouting, crying, fighting for my RIGHT to vote the party i want to.’
Laraib Mohib

‘I reached at the polling station at 10 am and came out at 4pm i hate the system. Hope naya pakistan banay and all gets better.’
Suleman ghazi

8.      Post Result Feelings

‘Dear MQM, 
The shit you pulled today leaves no doubt how little Karachi actually supports you. Your insecurity in your strongest constituencies shows that you don't even trust your own voters to make you win.
NA -246 (Azizabad)’
Ahsan Zafar

‘Salute to the people of Khayber pakhtoon khaw for making the most sensible choice! Ghulam Ahmed Balore the theif is out!’
Umber Zareen Sidiqui

‘MQM – the only party in the world that defeats its opponents by 50,000 votes to nil’
Syed Muhammad Danish

‘Peshawar you're cool now :D’
Fatima Baloch

NA- 249: Farooq Sattar's opponent was so PRO-MQM that he also voted for him!’
Sarah Zubair

‘Massive reporting, with proof, of rigging. Will anything change?’
Hassan AY
‘Shareef Sahab.
Sahi kaha tha aap ne. Agar Pakistaniyo ne samajhdaari se vote nahi diya toh mulak 20 saal peechay chala jaayega.
1993 mai bhi PM aap hee thay.’
Suhaib Jalis Ahmed

‘Congratulations to the PTI for getting almost double the seats than what MQM has ever managed and putting themselves forward as the second biggest force for sure. Congratulations to the Voters who came out, stood their ground and to cast their votes and forced re-polling when denied the right.’
Ammar Qureshi

‘Yesterday was a slap on democracy in Karachi. A slap on each and every voter who thought they can get their voice heard by votes. To all those people whose eyes were glimmering with hope, people who thought they are not spectators anymore. I salute your vote and resolve but the results are nothing but a disgrace to your voice.’
Hamza Siddiqui
And on a holistic and concluding note,
'To all Pakistanis
Elections over, we are back to being one people. Alhamdulillah.

- Congratulations to PML-N on being the leading party and good luck.
- PTI, congratulations on running a good campaign and there will be another day. You are now a presence in Pakistan politics and that itself is something new and no mean achievement.
To Nawaz Sharif : you have been handed a responsibility. You are a servant of the people. Not its ruler. Remember Hazrat Umar bin Khattab (ra) words, when he was Caliph.
If a dog dies on the banks of the Tigris, due to lack of care, then Allah shall ask me "How did this happen?". I am responsible.
NS you are responsible and all of us will call you to account on a much higher and larger level. So, fulfil your responsibility.’
Sarfaraz Ahmed Rahman

Disclaimer: This article is by no means a politically neutral one. It makes no attempt at hiding the complaints and opinions of real people.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Pakistan, the Land of Evil

I was never a patriot. Having grown up in the Middle East till the age of 10 with parents who never spoke positively about Pakistan much, I never grew to care about a country that I spent hardly a month in each year. My trips were happy yet unpleasant. The joy of being showered with love by relatives was mingled with the fear of being kidnapped, the pain of electricity failures, the stink of garbage dumps and bouts of food poisoning.


My family moved to Pakistan because of certain issues. I hated the country. I hated it every bit of it. I was forced to leave the city (Sharjah) I considered home and live in a totally inferior place.
This was the land where people were evil. They threw garbage on the roads, cheated in business, exploited the weak, kidnapped children and sold their kidneys, robbed houses and what not. This land had no beauty. The buildings were in poor state, roads were all broken with no tracks, traffic was in utter chaos, vehicles drove on footpaths and dirty beggars littered the signals. The policemen were to be feared more than the criminals and the government officials were to be treated like lords. This land was surely not like my old home. I’d like to repeat: I hated Pakistan and its people.

11 years later – 2011

Life moved on. Much of my aversion for the country turned into pity, anger and resentment at its people. I learnt the country was rich in history, culture, minerals, agriculture, talent – you name it we have it. And yet I never thought of it as home.

In 2010, I paid a visit to UAE. I was in tears. It was like returning to my happy place after a long, tiring voyage. And in spite of this joy, there was something missing. It didn’t exactly feel home anymore. Not because my passport was still green but because this wasn’t my home to begin with. No matter what, it could never be home for a hundred reasons.

On returning to Pakistan, I felt utterly uneasy and restless. Pakistan was my home but it didn’t provide to its people what a home was supposed to provide – food, shelter, love, etc. So what was I to do? It was certainly a lose-lose situation. But I grew to care for it. To ease my distress I told myself, ‘If every person in Pakistan acts with honesty, integrity, reason and justice Pakistan will change for the better.’


I resolved to be one of the people whose presence benefitted the country. I faced several instances (Read: Walked beside burning buses, dodged through bullets but I am not leaving Pakistan) in which my safety was jeopardized, yet my slowing blooming love for the country and its people did not subside.
I started my professional life. My second job was all about Pakistan, entrepreneurship and changing our society on different levels. I thought this was it. This is what I want to do. I resolved to stay in the country and work for it.


Things turned really ugly in Pakistan. In the past year, at least 3000 were shot dead in Karachi alone. This figure does not include people who died in blasts and victims of other crimes. I realized: No matter what I do, the fact that the city is shut down every other day by gangs starving daily wage earners cannot be saved by my honesty. The bomb blasts that blow off in every nook and corner of the city cannot be prevented by my sense of justice. The CNG strikes that prevent people to travelling to their work places cannot be saved by my professionalism.

In short, I realized my country needs much more than a bunch of civilized citizens. Given that the speed with which people are getting killed, corrupted and manipulated is greater than the speed by which they can be possible educated and enlightened, it needs a revolution, a rebellion, a renaissance to change.

Today, I have a dream. I dream that Pakistan becomes what it is capable of becoming. It becomes pure as it was intended to be. It becomes the land that my forefathers gave up their lives for. It becomes a place I can call home with pride and joy.

Hoping for change is like hoping for a miracle. But I will still hope change comes and it comes soon.

As for me, I’ll try to preserve my life by doing whatever it requires me to so.