Monday, January 07, 2008

Karachi Karnage

I have no words to describe the terrible state of anarchy that the city of Karachi was plunged into the last week. The province of Sindh was the worst hit among all the provinces. Utter lawlessness and insecurity reigned for three days after the death of Benazir Bhutto. Human life no longer had any value. All the citizens had no choice but to get locked up in the safety of their homes and hope and pray for things to return back to normal. But, sitting in the comfort of one’s home was agonizing. There was this feeling of helplessness. We wished to help the people in distress but there did not seem anyway to do so. It was very upsetting to watch people suffering on television, let alone listen to all the terrible news pouring in from all corners of the country. Many people died, many people helplessly saw their properties and cars being burned to ash. Many more had their handbags and wallets snatched from them. (My housemaid/masi being one of them.)

The famous Edhi centre was invaded and ransacked senselessly. Qasim A. Moini
of Dawn newspaper related this incident in a report "And out came the wolves" published in Dawn Metropolitan on the 29th of December...

“There are 1,500 people who reside in the Edhi Village, 300 of whom are children, mostly orphans while 1,200 or so are mentally challenged individuals. The attackers torched 16 our ambulances destined for the interior of Sindh and then proceeded to smash the equipment. They did not even spare the children and mental patients and beat them mercilessly. They did not demand anything, nor did they identify themselves. They just resorted to wanton violence”, Rizwan Edhi told Dawn when contacted.

The Edhi Founda
tion -acclaimed for its non-partisan humanitarian services, especially during emergencies –also attracted the wrath of criminal elements when, during the bedlam of May 12, Faizur Rehman, an Edhi ambulance driver, fell in the line of duty was caught in the cross fire in Malir, while the foundation’s ambulances were reportedly prevented from transporting the injured during the violence.

There were hundreds of other cases of violence, arson, looting and killing. An Italian factory providing jobs to around 4000 workers was torched and its machinery was stolen leaving it completely handicapped. Rickshaws and buses belonging to the people of the lower strata of society were also burned leaving many people jobless and in a state of utter despair. It seemed as if the criminal elements had been licensed to do as they please. I wondered whether they were pinched by their conscience or felt even the slightest bit of remorse afterwards.

May Allah guide us all and protect us from the fire of Hell.
Allah says in the Quran:
"Because of that We have ordained for the Children of Israel that if anyone killed a person not in retaliation of murder, or (and) for spreading mischief in the land- it would be as if he has killed all mankind, and if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of all mankind. And indeed, there came to them Our Messengers with clear proofs, evidences and signs, even then after that many of them continued to exceed the limits (e.g. by doing oppression unjustly and exceeding beyond the limits set by Allah by committing the major sins) in the land." (Chapter 5 : verse no. 32)

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