Siyasi Shaoor: 5-point manifesto for Karachi

Posted on July 3, 2006
Filed Under >Adil Najam, People, Politics, Society
7 Comments
Total Views: 19191

Adil Najam

The situation in Karachi remains bad. Violence over power-shortages continues as do killing of cops. This city deserves better. This is the violence bred out of abject neglect and lack of resources. The situation needs to be tackled and tackled quickly before it gets (even more) out of hand. Reportedly, the President has sought a report “from Federal Minister for Water and Power Liaquat Ali Jatoi and Sindh Governor Dr Ishrat-ul-Ibad on loadshedding and deteriorating law and order situation in Karachi on Wednesday night and directed them to resolve the issue at the earliest.”

Asking for a report is good, but not enough. Action is needed and needed immediately.

I try to follow the news on Karachi, but I also follow the discussion on the Karachi Metroblog. It can give you a more authentic feel for what is happening. Indeed, one of my everyday reading staple are the ‘Metroblogs’ from Pakistan–Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad; makes me feel like I am at least a little in touch with what is happening on the ground.

The type of ‘authentic smells and feels’ of Pakistan that keep me going back there include this post in Karachi Metroblog, by blogger Xill-e-Ilahi whose own blog–Samandar-e-Bemaina: Abbasnam–is always full of insightful discussion.

Xill-e-Ilahi reports of a discussion he had with rickshaw driver Raees Shah on what needs to be done to resolve Karachi’s problems.

raees shah is 43, illiterate and drives his rickshaw from ten in the moring to midnight. he displays a political acumen, or siyasi shaoor as he would like to put it, beyond what i could ever have imagined. he has a formula for karachi. its simple yet sophisticated, possible yet impractical. this is his way of getting things to work

The 5-point political manifesto presented by Raees Shah, as reported by Xill-e-Ilahi, is intriguing; to say the least. So, let me quote it verbatim:

  1. take the strategic institutions in your own hands. this he says is easy. if all of karachi were to stop paying their utility bills for just one month, the utility companies would pack up and leave. the people can then enter the abandoned offices and take control.
  2. take over civil defense. slightly harder. but he feels that the “mob” effect will be able to achieve this. poora mohalla thanay key samnay khara ho jaye, tullay khud shehar chhor key bhaag jaaein gay he gets a bit vague at this point but i think he said that the running of the police stations should be handed over to the principal of the ilaqay ka kaalij (college).
  3. ban all political parties. no meetings. no rallies. no speeches. no campaigning. sirf qaum ka paisa lutatay hain @@##$%!!
  4. keep the maulvi in the mosque and madrassa. he’s very clear on this point. pehlay khud ko sahi kerein, phir shariat nafiz kernay ki baat karein. he feels that the people of this city aren’t yet ready for iran jaisa inquilab. koi rehbar abhi is qabil nahi hai ke hamein us tarah se aagay le jaye.
  5. make education free and mandatory. everybody should study. everybody should study free.

All of you who keep wondering what ordinary Pakistanis think; this is it. Authentic and from the heart.

Keep an eye out for Raees; Xill-e-Ilahi has already announced that he would vote for him!

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7 responses to “Siyasi Shaoor: 5-point manifesto for Karachi”

  1. Altamash Mir says:

    The way I see it, I wouldnt trust my health to a Rickshaw driver, or go to the first person you meet on the street for a Root Canal. Governance is just as complicated a thing. Now why did you assume that I would like the General Sahib to decide who runs for Office ? ? ? Anyone who should run for Office should have some kind of education or background in Politics or you will get the kind of Pakistan we have now ! or the kind of Pakistan we will have if our beloved Rickshaw driver gets to rule Pakistan, where Mobs go crazy and take over the KESC & WAPDA Offices. Tell me what will happen once they have taken over the KESC & WAPDA Offices ? how the heck will they run our utility services without any knowledge of how to run them or experiences ?
    The reason Pakistan is where it is because of this mentality in Pakistan, you can find a leader at every street corner. But people are not willing to make the sacrifices neccessary to make a change. Things like throwing the garbage in a bag and dumping it in a can are unachievable. By the way the richshaw wala doesnt want democracy, he wants to ban all political parties and probably have a dictatorship or God knows what.

  2. Altamash Mir says:

    lol Humaira, your arrogance-o-meter might be correct!!! Sure, The Rickshaw driver might be connected to society, and would be able to detect and point out the problems around him, but its not likely that a Rickshaw driver is aware of the intricacies of running Governments or institutions. But the problem is that every other person in our society thinks that they are the best politician alive and that they should be in office. This creates a lot of conflicts in our society. People should be more involved and interested in electing or not electing people who are qualified to run office, rather than want to be in office themselves…

  3. Humaira says:

    Do I detect a hint of arrogance in ‘even our rickshaw driver thiks he knows…..’
    Why should the rickshaw driver not
    maybe the rickshaw driver knows more than the ‘5 star diplomat’… I am quite sure he does
    I am quite sure the rickshaw driver is more connected to the realities of Pakistan and its politics than the educated elite…

  4. Altamash Mir says:

    I’ve always said this about our people…even our Rickshaw driver thinks he knows how to run the country. Our people are sometimes too concious of their surroundings and World culture and if asked to respond, they would respond like a 5 star diplomat. The reality of it is that our people have way too much time on their hands to invent conspiracy theories and unconventional solutions for complicated problems. Everybody critisizes governments, but not too many people take individual actions to make the country a better place.

  5. MSK says:

    I am also going to vote for Raees!

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