May 12: Khuda Khair Karey

Posted on May 12, 2008
Filed Under >Adil Najam, History, People, Poetry, Politics
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Adil Najam

Today is May 12.

Today marks the first anniversary of the carnage in Karachi.

Today is the day when the resolution on the restoration of the Supreme Court judges was to be presented in Parliament.

Ominously, even eerily, today also marks the 15th death anniversary of the Pakistan’s pre-eminent poet of political protest, Habib Jalib.

May 12 will forever be a date in infamy because of what happened on this date a year ago. A year ago today, I was in Pakistan. Karachi was burning and I wrote: “The city is at war. Morchas everywhere. Clashes, violence, firing, deaths... Khuda khair karey.” What were your thoughts then? What are your thoughts on it now?

Distasteful as it may seem, let me repeat just some of the pictures that were on our front page a year ago. I do so to remind myself, and you, of exactly what it was that we must never, ever, let happen again.

Just as we were doing a year ago, we are again wondering about the fate of Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry today. But also at stake today are the democratic gains that have been made between last year and now. Gains that have given hope to so many of us. Gains that must not be lost. But, nor should we lose the struggle for judicial independence.

If newspaper headlines are to be believed then the PPP-PML coalition is also disintegrating and possibly on the verge of breakup (in our Poll, our readers seem to think not just yet).

I hope all of this is being overblown, but a look at the front page of The News suggests that the nation is in despair as the PPP-PML talks falter, that there is renewed pressure on the media including a Supreme Court notice, and the US deal-makers are again having secret meetings to “manage” Pakistan.

I am not a superstitious person. But all of the above gives me the shudder. Khuda khair karey.

23 Comments on “May 12: Khuda Khair Karey

  1. Eidee Man says:
    May 12th, 2008 12:49 am

    Strategically, it will be a big blunder by the PPP if they do not fine some way to restore the judges. At least in the short term, they need PML-N’s support; as a columnist in Dawn said, it’s impossible to run a national government with a hostile government in the Punjab.

    What’s most important right now is how the common man reacts; if the lawyers restart their protests and they are joined by other people, then the PPP may have no other choice but to give in.

    I still hope that both parties will (and their Western betters) realize that it is in their best interest to go ahead and resolve this issue as soon as possible.

  2. ASIM says:
    May 12th, 2008 12:50 am

    It was hell. I learnt about it with a phone call from my brother in Karachi to tell me what was happening and the family was ok. Later I went to the web including here and realized from pictures just how terrible things had become.

  3. Daktar says:
    May 12th, 2008 12:54 am

    This is a chilling reminder of one of the lowest and saddest days. I remember being numb and angry. Angry mostly because I did not know what I could do and felt helpless.

  4. Daktar says:
    May 12th, 2008 12:56 am

    On the coalition and judges I do hope that PPP and PML can find an agreement.

    I think it will be terrible if the justices are not restored and it will be even more terrible if this coalition fails. That will give Gen. Musharraf a new lease of life.

  5. May 12th, 2008 1:45 am

    UPDATE: Two news items from The News breaking news of relevance to this:

    Following the failure of London talks on the re-instatement of judges, Muslim League-N chief, Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on his arrival at the Islamabad airport was given a rousing welcome by a large number of party workers besides Ishaq Dar, Tahmina Daultana and other leaders.

    Nawaz Sharif drove from the airport straight to the Punjab House, where he held talks with the party leaders in detail. Meanwhile, a joint meeting of the ML-N Parliamentary Party (PP) and the Central Executive Committee (CEC) has been called today at 1.00 P.M. for arriving at a decision relating to the alliance with the PPP. Mian Nawaz Sharif at the outset of the meeting would be apprising of the details of the London talks to the participants of the meeting and the future line of action would be deliberated. Later, ML-N would hold a briefing to the media in the afternoon at 3.00 P.M., when Mian Nawaz Sharif would announce decisions relating to the future.

    Security has been tightened in Karachi on the completion of one year of May 12 tragic incidents on Monday.

    Heavy police and Rangers contingents have been deployed at City court, Malir court and High court and entry in these premises prohibited for unauthorized persons.

    Political, social and lawyers organizations organize protest rallies and programs on this occasion.

  6. May 12th, 2008 5:02 am

    I protest on the pictures you published in this post.

  7. Okha_Jatt says:
    May 12th, 2008 9:39 am

    Too sad an event in our history and too bad that none of the murderers were even charged despite overwhelming evidence about the culprits.

    A few verses from Sahir which mourn this tragedy similar to how they did in oppression under British rule.

    Ae rahbar-e-mulk-o-qoum bata, yeh kis ka lahoo hai kon mara
    yeh kis ka lahoo hai kon mara

    dharti ki sulagti chhati kay be-chain shararey poochtey hein,
    sarkoon ki zubaan chillati hai, saagar kay kinaare poochtey hein,
    tum log jinhein apna na sakay, woh khoon kay dharay poochtey hein,

    yeh kis ka lahoo hai, kon mara, yeh kis ka lahoo hai, kon mara

  8. faraz Waseem says:
    May 12th, 2008 9:47 am

    Picture in this post should not be posted. 12 May is very minuscule in comparision of 1986 Linguistics riots. 12 May can be pre cursor to a new linguistic riots.

    I think Mr NS, Jamat and Imran should not play dirty politics on 12th May. Keep in mind, the potential for devestation in Karachi is hundreds times more then 12 May.

    We should all see beoynd 12th May and make sure it never happens again.

  9. Expat says:
    May 12th, 2008 10:57 am

    Mohammad Qasim & Feroz Waseem

    You can protest on the pictures. I protest on allowing the most terrorist party of Pakistan MQM to be allowed to field their candidates in elections. They must first apologize to whole country for their terrorist activities, commit that they shall not do these things again and only then should they be allowed to even register their party.

  10. Rafay Kashmiri says:
    May 12th, 2008 11:32 am

    @But the potential is always there to appear any
    time in the broad day light and its MQM
    as usual.
    MQM’s desperate attempt will come out
    one way or the other, MQM must be dealt with on
    Federal level, the terrorism’s potential must be
    marginalized. PPP might enter into a sort of alliance.
    I think it is already on its way.

  11. Sadiq says:
    May 12th, 2008 12:12 pm

    Instead of objecting to the pictures, why not object to the acts of killing and murder. Then no one will have to put these pictures. And not having the pictures will not change the reality of the brutality and inhuman behavior that was demonstrated in Karachi last year on this day.

  12. zafar says:
    May 12th, 2008 2:45 pm

    May Allah give patience to the families of martyrs and lessen their grief.Amen.

  13. May 12th, 2008 2:52 pm

    A tribute to the Shaheeds of May 12

    The nation will mourn your sacrifice forever

    You served the nation in life and in death

    Your blood will never go to waste

    Your candle will flicker on and on

    Pakistan salutes you O sons of the soil

    Pakistan salutes your sacrifice, rest in eternal peace

    Pakistan Zindabad

    Feimanallah Pakistan


  14. Farrukh says:
    May 12th, 2008 4:38 pm

    In guess congrats on your analysis here and in the quiz you seemed to know was was coming and anticipated it.

  15. Anjum Amin Siddiqui says:
    May 13th, 2008 7:51 am

    Pictures are chilling reminder that dead bodies are the fuel for politics. The more dead bodies the more popular a political party. Nothing will change in this country we will remain ensalved. Our leaders will do their politics in Dubai & London under the directive of USA. The people of this country will not learn they continue to think that a day will come when a miracle happen and everything will be all right. We continue to fight on ethnic & sectarian issues. We call our dead by the language they speak.

    The media will remian as negative as it is, the lawyers will never tell from where they are getting so much money to run the movement.

  16. Danish Naeem says:
    May 13th, 2008 10:54 am

    @Rafay Kashmiri

  17. May 13th, 2008 5:49 pm

    I was there stuck at Karachi airport bound to Chicago on PIA last 12th May, and witnessed all the carnage first hand! Its not that pleasant to see political forces whose workers were among the victims split apart this May 12, though, glad to see someone taking stance based on principles in Pakistani politics. Lets see where we would stand next May 12th. Khuda Khair Karay or ?

  18. Dewana Phir Say says:
    May 13th, 2008 9:24 pm
  19. Expat says:
    May 14th, 2008 11:39 am

    Danish Naeem

    Same people killed these 25 people who killed Azeem Tariq (MQM Chairman) and Hakeem Saeed. No prizes for guessing who killed them.

  20. Umar Akbar says:
    May 14th, 2008 1:45 pm

    “People who do not learn from history, are condemned to repeat it.”

    Why be surprised, though, if Mr Zardari is double-crossing the so-called coalition? Mr Zardari, keeping his word to the nation, now THAT would be news!

  21. Karachiwalla says:
    May 16th, 2008 2:41 pm

    Apnay Karachi ok nasar lags gayee!

  22. Rafay Kashmiri says:
    May 17th, 2008 3:05 am


    Sunah tha nazar lagti hay, becharay Pehelwanon ko,
    Dawa Kartay hein, Karachiwalay, Khuda khair karey

    Rafay Kashmiri

  23. Zia Ahmed says:
    January 19th, 2009 11:43 pm

    So Bad. No words to say.

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