Karachi's Safety Ranking Climbs Amid Declining Crime Rates

Karachi, one of world's fastest growing megacities, has seen its crime index ranking improve dramatically from 6 in 2013 to 50 in 2017, according to a survey of 327 world cities conducted by Numbeo.  Karachi was ranked 47 in 2016.  Reduction in violence is helping revive Pakistan's economy, making it the third fastest growing trillion dollar economy among the top 25 world economies by purchasing power parity.

Comparison to Major Cities:

Creek Vista, Karachi, Pakistan
In South Asia region, Karachi, now ranked 50, is safer than Bangladeshi capital Dhaka ranked 18 and the Delhi suburb of Gurgaon ranked 40.  Delhi is ranked 60, Lahore 138, Mumbai 160 and Islamabad 226.

Karachi is also safer than American cities of Detroit, MI (17),  Baltimore, MD (20), New Orleans, LA (21), Albuquerque, NM (27), St. Louis, MO (30) Oakland, CA (33) and Milwaukee, WI (46).

The year 2013 marked the beginning of the deployment of Pakistan Rangers in Karachi to fight rampant extortion, terrorism and violence by armed gangs patronized by some political parties.  Evidence suggests that some of the politicians involved had links to Indian intelligence.

Impact on National Economy: 

Reduction in violence in Karachi is helping revive Pakistan's economy, making it the third fastest growing trillion dollar economy among the top 25 world economies by purchasing power parity.

In a recent article titled "Pakistan Keeps Terrorists on the Run and Economy on a Roll", leading Japanese publication Nikkei Asia Review reported from Karachi that the negative perception of "terrorism, corruption, misrule" are "becoming  outdated, and businesses are taking notice... thanks to sweeping operations by the army and a powerful paramilitary force".  Here's a more extended excerpt of the Nikkei story:

"The Pakistan Rangers, a paramilitary law enforcement organization overseen by the military and the Interior Ministry, set out to tackle the violence head-on. In 2013, the Rangers Sindh -- which operate in Sindh Province, including Karachi -- mobilized 15,000 troops. The provincial legislature granted them broad powers to search homes and make arrests, enabling them to quickly turn the tide. In 2017, there were zero bombings and only five kidnappings, according to Saeed, who serves as director general of the Rangers Sindh. This is no small feat in a city with a swelling population of 17 million -- perhaps even 20 million if migrants from rural areas are factored in. "We destroyed all of the terrorists' pockets," he said, adding that hotel occupancy rates are over 90%."

Summary: 

Karachi, one of world's fastest growing megacities, has seen its crime index ranking improve dramatically from 6 in 2013 to 50 in 2017, according to a survey of 327 world cities conducted by Numbeo.  Last year, Karachi was ranked 47. Reduction in violence is helping revive Pakistan's economy, making it the third fastest growing trillion dollar economy among the top 25 world economies by purchasing power parity.  As the country's largest city and its financial capital and economic hub, a safe and healthy Karachi bodes well for Pakistan's future. The Pakistani military has played a crucial role in securing the nation's future by bringing peace to Karachi.

Here's a video of a Karachi mall:

https://youtu.be/KeKmj28m2-c



Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Gangs of Karachi

Gangster Politicians of Karachi

Karachi is World's Fastest Growing Megacity

Karachi's Human Development Index

Pakistan Rising or Failing: Reality vs Perception

Pakistan's Trillion Dollar Economy Among top 25

MQM-RAW Link

Comments

Riaz Haq said…
A future perfect
Stephen Pinker’s case for optimism
“Enlightenment Now” explains why the doom-mongers are wrong

https://www.economist.com/news/books-and-arts/21737241-enlightenment-now-explains-why-doom-mongers-are-wrong-stephen-pinkers-case

TO ANYONE who reads a newspaper, this can seem a miserable world. Syria is still at war. Another lunatic has gone on a gun rampage in an American school. The tone of political debate can rarely have been as crass and poisonous as it is today.

Front pages are grim for the same reason that Shakespeare’s plays feature a lot of murders. Tragedy is dramatic. Hardly anyone would read a story headlined “100,000 AEROPLANES DIDN’T CRASH YESTERDAY”. Bad things often happen suddenly and telegenically. A factory closes; an apartment block burns down. Good things tend to happen incrementally, and across a wide area, making them much harder to film. News outlets could have honestly reported that the “NUMBER OF PEOPLE IN EXTREME POVERTY FELL BY 137,000 SINCE YESTERDAY” every day for 25 years. But readers might get bored.

----

The world is about 100 times wealthier than 200 years ago and, contrary to popular belief, its wealth is more evenly distributed. The share of people killed annually in wars is less than a quarter of that in the 1980s and half a percent of the toll in the second world war. During the 20th century Americans became 96% less likely to die in a car crash, 92% less likely to perish in a fire and 95% less likely to expire on the job.

---

Best of all possible worlds

Progress has often been stunningly rapid. The vast majority of poor Americans enjoy luxuries unavailable to the Vanderbilts and Astors of 150 years ago, such as electricity, air-conditioning and colour televisions. Street hawkers in South Sudan have better mobile phones than the brick that Gordon Gekko, a fictional tycoon, flaunted in “Wall Street” in 1987. It is not just that better medicine and sanitation allow people to live longer, healthier lives, or that labour-saving devices have given people more free time, or that Amazon and Apple offer a dazzling variety of entertainment to fill it. People are also growing more intelligent, and more humane.

In every part of the world IQ scores have been rising, by a whopping 30 points in 100 years, meaning that the average person today scores better than 98% of people a century ago. How can this be, given that intelligence is highly heritable, and clever folk breed no more prolifically than less gifted ones? The answer is better nutrition (“brains are greedy organs”) and more stimulation. Children are far likelier to go to school than they were in 1900, while “outside the schoolhouse, analytic thinking is encouraged by a culture that trades in visual symbols (subway maps, digital displays), analytic tools (spreadsheets, stock reports) and academic concepts that trickle down into common parlance (supply and demand, on average, human rights).”

----
Belief in equality for ethnic minorities and gay people has shot up, as demonstrated not only by polls (which could be biased by the knowledge that bigotry is frowned upon) but also by internet activity. Searches for racist jokes have fallen by seven-eighths in America since 2004. Those who enjoy them are dying out: online searches for racial epithets correlate with interest in “Social Security” and “Frank Sinatra”, Mr Pinker notes. Even the most conservative places are loosening up. Polls find that young Muslims in the Middle East are about as liberal as young western Europeans were in the early 1960s.

----

Mr Pinker has answers for all these questions. In 45 out of 52 countries in the World Values Survey, happiness increased between 1981 and 2007. It rises roughly in line with absolute income per head, not relative income. Loneliness, at least among American students, appears to be declining. Global warming is a big threat, but not insurmountable. The number of nuclear weapons in the world has fallen by 85% since its peak.
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan works to clean up Karachi, once world's 'most dangerous city'
Hollie McKay By Hollie McKay | Fox News

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2018/06/06/pakistan-works-to-clean-up-karachi-once-worlds-most-dangerous-city.html

KARACHI, Pakistan – In the once terror-teeming city of Karachi on the coast of Pakistan’s Sindh province, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani is a name some hold in esteem.

“We learned from New York. The zero-tolerance policy and the application of the rule of law – that nobody is above the law – was key,” Muhammad Zubair, the Governor of Sindh and former Chairman of the Pakistan Privatization Committee, recently told Fox News, referencing Giuliani’s 1990’s crime clampdown in New York. “Karachi was so bad for two decades with warlords in the streets and a mess so deep that foreigners wouldn’t even come here for a day. And our number one, proudest achievement today has been turning Karachi around.”

The violence in Karachi was in a league of its own. The megacity – stuffed with around 25 million inhabitants and infamous as the place the Taliban captured and beheaded Wall Street Journal reporter Danny Pearl in 2002 – seethed with drug smuggling, kidnapping, extortion and daily bomb blasts. Sectarian street clans waged war with hardline Islamic gangs, and it was commonplace for elected political parties to also have their own armed militia wing.

In 2013, Karachi ranked – as per the World Atlas – as the sixth most dangerous city in the world. Other rankings had it even higher. But by 2018, it was listed past 50th. So what was the magic bullet?

“In 2013, I made the economic plan and a major part of that plan was doing whatever was possible from a law and order standpoint,” Zubair explained. “The Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the Army Chief knew that a brutal operation was the only way out of this mess.”

Pakistani officials decided that instead of using military units or the then-relatively weak local police force, the roughly 30,000-strong Karachi paramilitary security apparatus known as the Rangers would lead the charge. Although they had been in effect since the 1990s, the Rangers had little legal authority to use force. But laws were quickly amended, and officials embarked on a campaign to drum up full support from the federal government to guarantee that the Rangers would be issued the necessary personnel and weaponry to “undertake whatever was needed.”

By September 2014, Operation Karachi was locked, loaded and finally ignited. Karachi was divided up into “defense phases” to carry out the meticulously planned operation, of which eight phases have since been completed with a ninth phase to be announced soon.

“Our plan was not rocket science. We did what was needed. People were being killed day after day and the perpetrators were getting away with it,” Zubair said. “On 10 minutes notice, the whole city could be shut down, with people running to their homes amid the burning and looting. This was going on year after year, dozens of times a year. But for the first time in 2016, Karachi was not shut down a single time. That trend continued in 2017.”

Today in Karachi, students huddle in coffee shops by the seaside, and sneak prohibited beer and hookah into trendy clubs and restaurants. There is a renewed vigor for everything from mass-scale cricket matches to theater performances, film festivals, traditional dancing and cultural pursuits.
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan’s first-ever Venice Architecture Biennale pavilion is all about cities
And how complex and dynamic the country’s can be
By Ian Volner Jun 6, 2018, 1:45pm EDT

https://www.curbed.com/2018/6/6/17422574/venice-architecture-biennale-2018-pakistan-pavilion

Somewhere between the Olympics and the world’s biggest, baddest, design-school pin-up lies the Venice Architecture Biennale.

Every two years, a few dozen nations deputize a small circle of curators and thinkers to represent them at the show; many of the participating countries are regulars, with permanent pavilions of their own, often dating back to the early 20th century, and located in the leafy Giardini della Biennale near Venice’s easternmost tip.

But each edition of the exhibition also brings a batch of wildcards, never-before-seen entrants whose homelands have decided, for whatever reason, to throw their hats into the ring. This year, first-timers included Guatemala, Saudi Arabia, and Lebanon. And social media (full disclosure: mine included) took a special shine to the premier outing from the Vatican, a brace of inventive freestanding chapels by architects both well- and lesser-known.

There was one rookie nation, however, whose appearance at the Biennale was especially poignant, both for the character of its installation and for the mere fact of its being in Venice at all: Pakistan.

“This is a very political statement,” says Salman Jawed, a member of Coalesce Design Studio, the collaborative, multidisciplinary firm that helped bring the Islamic Republic of Pakistan to Venice for the first time.

The politics he’s speaking about are not, at least at first, overtly evident: Situated in a small public park not far from the Giardini, the Pakistani installation, titled “The Fold,” is a roughly four-yard-square cage of irregularly-spaced steel bars towering some twenty feet in the air.

Slipping into this rather forbidding envelope via a narrow passage, the visitor discovers a playground-like atmosphere within, a trio of wooden swings dangling from overhead beams, and a pair of wooden benches on curved, brushed-steel rockers. The contrast between stern exterior and playful interior gives a pleasant jolt. But understanding its polemical intent requires a little more digging.

As Coalesce partner Zeba Asad explains, in Karachi, “all the urban spaces are in the street.” The Pakistani capital is home to over 21 million people, most of them jammed into a relatively small wedge of the metropolis, with little room for parks, plazas, or other urban amenities.

Seen from one perspective, “The Fold” is an attempt to address this condition: The placement of the swings at odd angles means that users are constantly at risk of colliding with their fellow swingers, just as the children of Karachi must hazard cars, pedestrians, and one another as they play in the city’s crowded streets.

The rocker-benches perform a similar maneuver, obliging the sitter to negotiate with anyone beside them so that neither will slide sidelong into the dirt should their neighbor stand up. As a metaphor, the installation is at once a teasing critique and a tongue-in-cheek celebration of Pakistan’s jostling urbanism, giving exhibition-goers a taste of Karachi without sparing them its vexing particulars.

Stepping into a swing herself, Asad demonstrates its operational logic. “You have to go forward for me to move back,” she says. “We have to talk to each other or it would be a disaster.”

Not just an urban critique, the installation also makes a broader case for dialogue, compromise, and coordinated action at every political scale: The globe, no less than Karachi, is a crowded place, and the designers identify patterns and prescriptions that could apply to either, layering a second metaphor atop the first.
Riaz Haq said…
Sindh govt join hands with World Bank on various projects worth $10bn

https://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2018/10/02/sindh-govt-join-hands-with-world-bank-on-various-projects-worth-10bn/

Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah said that his government’s policy is very clear. He is working for transforming governance economic growth, sustainable development and human capital development. “I am committed to achieving these goals through accountability to the core of government, encouragement of economic growth, liberalisation of the agriculture sector and through strengthening population management and early childhood development,” he said.

Several projects including Karachi Neighbourhood Improvement project worth $86 million, in which the provincial government has to put in $14 million to start the project, Karachi Urban Management (KUM), a $200 million project, Karachi Urban Mobility project worth $400 million, Karachi Water and Sewerage project worth $640 million also came under discussion. These three projects had needed some provincial government approvals and to finalise investment plan to start the project.



KARACHI URBAN MANAGEMENT PROJECT:

The World Bank has proposed $200 million for Karachi Urban Management Project. The chief minister said that the objective of the project is to enhance urban management service delivery of Karachi Metropolitan Corporation and other districts metropolitan corporation (DMCs).

The proposal is to provide performance-linked block grants to six DMCs and KMC for local level infrastructure and municipal services. A capital development grant was proposed for KMC for flood management and rehabilitation of urban drainage infrastructure.

The chief minister directed P&D Chairman Mohammad Waseem to call a joint meeting of local bodies and secretary local government to finalise the KUM Project so that necessary recommendation could be firm up for final approval.

KARACHI URBAN MOBILITY PROJECT:

The World Bank proposed $400 million for Karachi Urban Mobility. The project is aimed at improving urban mobility, accessibility and road safety in Karachi. Under the project, the WB would construct Yellow Line corridor, including the development of infrastructure rehabilitation and BRTs construction system.

The chief minister approved the project and directed P&D chairman and Transport secretary to move forward with the project by completing all the required formalities and also sends the concept paper to Economic Affairs Division.

SINDH WATER & AGRICULTURE TRANSFORMATION & RESILIENCE PROJECT:

The goal of Sindh Water & Agriculture Transformation & Climate Resilience project is transforming water management and agriculture production towards higher levels of water productivity and improve climate resilience. The WB has proposed $300 million and the provincial government share would be $150 million.

Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah said that under project rehabilitation of canal system on the right of Dadu and Rice Canal and on the left bank of Akram wah, Ghotki Feeder and the Fulleli system would be made. He also added that under the project advance irrigation reforms have been proposed and masterplans for the monitoring system of right bank barrages would also be evolved.

TRANSFORMATION AND REVITALISATION OF THE FISHERIES SECTOR PROJECT:

Transformation and Revitalisation of the Fisheries Sectors (TRFS) will cost about Rs150 million. The chief minister said that the goal of the project was to transform and revitalize fisheries and aquaculture by improving management, competitiveness and community.

The project would introduce sustainable management systems, including spatial planning, vessel registration and licensing and data management. The chief minister said that under the project private sector participation would be incentivized and would build value chains. He added that the project also aims at improving nutritional food security and livelihoods for women and families and strengthening institutions.
Riaz Haq said…
Can a revival in #Karachi spark change in #Pakistan? #Violence is declining sharply, but poor basic services plague businesses. #water #sanitation #Transport https://asia.nikkei.com/Spotlight/Cover-Story/Can-a-revival-in-Karachi-spark-change-in-Pakistan

https://www.riazhaq.com/2018/09/can-pti-help-fix-pakistans-financial.html
Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistani to make #Netflix original series debut with Omer Shahid Hamid's The Party Worker. “A story based in #Karachi's #political/#mafia past. In fact there is a novel by Omer Shahid Hamid on it: the party worker.” #MQM #Killing #Extortion https://www.thenews.com.pk/latest/450564-pakistan-to-make-its-netflix-debut-with-omer-shahid-hamids-the-party-worker

Pakistan is now making its debut on Netflix with an original based on the work of well reputed Pakistani author Omer Shahid Hamid.

The 42-year-old writer who is also currently serving as a police officer announced on Twitter that he has already signed a film or series deal with the streaming giant for his acclaimed book The Party Worker.


The author publicized the news while a few curious souls on Twitter were discussing what Pakistan’s Netflix original would be like if there was one.

Responding to the tweet was a user who brought the attention to Hamid’s novel: “A story based in karachi's political/mafia past. Infact there is a novel by omer shahid hamid on it: the partyworker.”

Jumping in on the conversation was the ecstatic writer who wrote: “Funny you should mention it. Just signed a film/series deal for #ThePartyWorker #netflixherewecome.”


Omar Shahid Hamid
@omarshamid
Funny you should mention it. Just signed a film/series deal for #ThePartyWorker #netflixherewecome #ifallelsefailsHumtvzindabad

Rafia Jaffar
@RafiaJaffar
Replying to @SudrishK
A story based in karachi's political/mafia past. Infact there is a novel by omer shahid hamid on it: the partyworker

206
3:21 AM - Mar 29, 2019
Twitter Ads info and privacy
83 people are talking about this
Hamid’s book The Party Worker is cautiously divided into chapters dedicated to each character of the book that deliver their own perspectives and give birth to varying consequences to the eventual truth.

The book is set amidst the chaos and violence that lingers in the air of Karachi.
Riaz Haq said…
#Karachi revitalization drive to remake #Pakistan. NED University study found that traffic congestion costs Karachi $2 billion a year. Data from municipal corporation showed more than 3 million #motorcycles currently in use with 25,000 added each month. https://reut.rs/2HQeAZa

The modernization of Karachi’s old downtown is one of a string of projects aimed at revitalizing Pakistan’s largest city and economic powerhouse, which has long been plagued by traffic congestion, water and electricity shortages and rampant crime.

But experts say the politicking by local parties and wrangling between different levels of government that have stalled Karachi’s growth for decades continue to hold back development.

Public transit programs, including a shiny new bus service and the revival of a long-closed inner city rail service, are among the projects stuck in the gridlock.

Both transport schemes have been held up awaiting authorization from Islamabad to invite bids to supply new buses and begin laying railways tracks, according to Sindh province’s Transport Minister Awais Qadir Shah.

Muhammad Sualeh Faruqui, CEO of the federal development corporation in charge of the bus project that is expected to move 250,000 commuters daily, said an agreement between the provincial and federal government should be finalised soon.

But no movement has been made on the bus or rail projects since Reuters spoke to Faruqui in January.

On Saturday, Prime Minister Imran Khan announced the allocation of 162 billion rupees ($1.15 billion) for Karachi’s development, to be primarily spent on transport and sewage projects.

“We need to make a master plan for Karachi and define the limits of the city and whether it will expand beyond its current area,” Khan said.

CONGESTION CRISIS
In the 1960s, Karachi boasted the tallest building in South Asia, an operational inner-city rail service, vibrant nightlife, and booming tourism.

But more than 50 years later, the city’s infrastructure has failed to keep pace with a population that has sky-rocketed more than 300 percent, leaving many public services such as health, transport, and water either provided by an informal private sector or controlled by organized crime.

The city nevertheless remains key to Pakistan’s shaky economy, now on the verge of its 13th IMF bailout since the late 1980s, accounting for 20 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), according to World Bank figures.

“Improving Karachi’s efficiency and Karachi’s economy, improves Pakistan efficiency and Pakistan’s economy,” said former finance minister and Karachi resident Mifath Ismail. “It is the only port city in Pakistan and it’s the hub of all international trade.”

A study by the NED University of Engineering and Technology found that traffic congestion costs Karachi $2 billion annually. Data from the local municipal corporation showed more than 3 million motorcycles currently in use with 25,000 added each month.
Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan #ImranKhanPrimeMinister commits $1 billion investment in #Karachi port to boost #trade. Karachi is Pakistan's major maritime link to the outside world and handles over 60 percent of the country's imports and almost all of its #exports. @AJENews https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/04/pakistan-pm-commits-investment-karachi-port-boost-trade-190417153021418.html

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has unveiled a billion-dollar investment programme to improve infrastructure in the country's most important port city, Karachi.

Karachi is an economic hub and handles more than half of Pakistan's imported goods.
Riaz Haq said…
#Karachi vice: Meet #Pakistani cop who channels #police stories into gritty #crime novels. Cop Omar Shahid Hamid is one of #Pakistan's most popular English-language authors.His father was killed by a notorious hitman, his partner was murdered by #Taliban. https://gn24.ae/8627f21f6eba000

Personal tragedy haunts the hard-boiled novels that are turning top cop Omar Shahid Hamid into one of Pakistan's most popular English-language authors.

For nearly two decades Hamid has worn a badge in Karachi, the mega port city on the Arabian Sea that for years was rife with vicious political and extremist violence.

Now a deputy inspector general, he is also fast becoming one of Pakistan's most recognisable writers, publishing four books in quick succession since 2013.

His work has even nabbed the attention of major streaming outlets on the hunt for new original material from South Asia, including Netflix, which has already seen major success with similar material in TV series such as Sacred Games, about Mumbai's corrupt underworld.

Hamid said the secret to his success is his unflinching accounts of political corruption, contract killers, and crooked cops alongside nuanced portraits of Karachi's divided neighbourhoods.

"Books like mine wouldn't work if I pulled punches," he tells AFP.

"It's that grittiness, that uncompromising reality that I think a lot of readers enjoy."

At times the reality has hit dangerously and heartbreakingly close to home.

Hamid did the bulk of his writing while he was on sabbatical after being advised to leave Karachi and take a break from policing in 2011 when he was threatened by Islamist groups.

Close to reality
Weeks after the release of his first novel "The Prisoner", his mentor and police partner Chaudhry Aslam - the inspiration for one of the book's protagonists - was killed in a Taliban-claimed suicide blast.

In his third novel "The Party Worker", Hamid portrays the rise of a brutal hitman who killed at the behest of a fictional political party ruling the city with an iron fist.

For Karachi insiders, the character mirrors the life of feared hitman Saulat Mirza, who served as the feared enforcer for the once-powerful Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) party - and whose list of victims include Hamid's own father, Shahid.

"It's less a thing of making a sketch of Saulat Mirza," explains Hamid, calling the character a "sketch of a particular type of young man... who kind of in the last 30 years or so essentially gave their lives away to these ideologies thinking they were doing the right thing."

The goal is not to excuse such actions, he insists.

"Understanding the motivations of someone is a positive tool if you're someone who has worked as an investigator in counterterrorism for a very long time," says Hamid.

"What he has written is fiction but it's very close to reality," says Faheem Siddiqui, Karachi bureau chief for Geo News.

"As a crime reporter, I know what had happened in the city. It took a great deal of courage to write about these events."

Hamid's plots go beyond his own losses to appear at times like thinly disguised retellings of the seismic moments that have rattled Karachi in the last 30 years - from the murder of American journalist Daniel Pearl in 2002 to the killing of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto's brother Murtaza.

Dangerous city
Once a quiet port nestled on the Arabian Sea coastline, Karachi was transformed by the flood of refugees from neighbouring India after partition in 1947, setting the stage for disputes that needle the metropolis to this day.

Years later the port became a conduit for weapons, narcotics, and a new flood of refugees from war-torn Afghanistan, transforming politics and ratcheting up violence to make Karachi one of Asia's most dangerous cities.

"

Riaz Haq said…
#India ranked number 5 among the world's top 20 most #dangerous countries, according to InterNations's latest Expat Insider Survey, a comprehensive report on what it’s like to live and work abroad in 64 countries around the world. https://www.forbes.com/sites/laurabegleybloom/2019/09/05/20-most-dangerous-places-to-live-2019/#6c4f8d497022

1.🇧🇷 Brazil
2.🇿🇦 South Africa
3.🇳🇬 Nigeria
4.🇦🇷 Argentina
5.🇮🇳 India
6.🇵🇪 Peru
7.🇰🇪 Kenya
8.🇺🇦 Ukraine
9.🇹🇷 Turkey
10.🇨🇴 Colombia
Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan’s #MQM party received funding from #India , claims ex-head of diplomatic wing Anwar. He says MQM has been receiving funds from the Indian government and he was asked by its leadership to coordinate with Indian contacts to receive it. GulfToday



https://www.gulftoday.ae/news/2020/06/21/pakistan-mqm-party-received-funding-from-indian--government-claims-former-head-of-diplomatic-wing


The former head of the diplomatic wing of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and the Coordination Committee member Muhammad Anwar has alleged that the party has been receiving funds from the Indian government and he was asked by its leadership to coordinate with Indian contacts to receive the funding.
He denied having anything to do with the murder of Dr Imran Farooq and said that it was Nadeem Nusrat who introduced him to an Indian diplomat in early 90’s. Nusrat, MQM’s former Coordination Committee member, now lives in Washington and runs his own organisation.

Speculations have also existed that the MQM received monies from India’s spy agency RAW (Research & Analysis Wing) but this is for the first time that a former senior office-bearer like Anwar has officially accused MQM of being involved with India’s spy agency over a period of time.

Anwar revealed in an exclusive interview with The News and Geo at his home in Edgware London that "it was sometime in the early 90’s when Nadeem Nusrat came to me and told me that he would like me to meet an Indian diplomat. He asked me to meet the Indian diplomat alone but I refused and told him that he should accompany too. It was at 7 o clock in the evening and it was raining heavily that day. Nadeem Nusrat, on my insistence, went with me to the meeting but stood outside the venue.”

Anwar said he told the Indian diplomat that he will discuss issues with him only in the presence of his senior, Nusrat. The Indian diplomat told Anwar he had instructions only to speak to him and not to anyone else. "I told him that I will not speak to him on my own. After making a call to someone and after about half an hour’s argument, he received permission and then Nusrat joined us too. This is how I got connected.”

Anwar said that it was never his decision to meet Indian diplomats and deal with them. "I confirm that I was obeying orders of the party. I was asked to do what I did and I was connected by MQM with the Indian contacts. I never had any vested interests. We were towing the party line on India.”'

Anwar said that his own colleagues in MQM — Pakistan and UK created a bad impression about him, projected him as the only bad person whereas the reality is that each and every person in the leadership position shared responsibilities and all decisions were taken in consultations with each other.

He said that the MQM-Pakistan leaders were projecting themselves today as holier than thou but he said that the Karachi based leadership was responsible for large-scale killings and destructions in the city. "The so-called civilised leaders that you see on TV these days were the ones who were always offering to Altaf Hussain to inform them who to maim, kill and burn. I am ready to share details with authorities about their deeds. Over the years, they have blamed me only to launder themselves as clean guys. That’s not the case.”

Last week, Anwar was named as absconder, with Altaf Hussain and Iftikhar Hussain, in the Dr Imran Farooq murder case by Islamabad’s Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC).

He said that the judgment quotes Khalid Shamim as saying that in 2005 he called Dr Imran from Dublin and spoke to them both over the speaker and in the same conversation, Anwar allegedly asked him to kill the slain MQM leader.

---
Anwar said the late Asma Jahangir called MQM’s office on May 12, 2007 and told the London office that MQM people were involved in killing innocent people and pleaded to the party leadership to stop the carnage in Karachi during Pervez Musharraf’s government.
Riaz Haq said…
#Karachi a victim of poor planning, bad governance – and floods. "...the same story is repeated in varying degrees across all the cities of #SouthAsia – Rawalpindi, #Mumbai, #Delhi, Patna, Kolkata, #Dhaka and on and on."
#climatechange |The Third Pole https://www.thethirdpole.net/2020/08/31/poor-planning-poor-governance-poor-monitoring-flood-karachi/


Many parts of Karachi went without electricity for 50 hours, prompting Sindh’s Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah to ask, “What kind of service is this?” Internet and mobile phone networks were disrupted all over Pakistan’s largest city.

Women, children and the elderly waded through waist-deep sewage to reach rescue boats as rain continued to pelt down; the boats had to navigate around floating furniture, submerged cars, motorcycles and even shipping crates pushed around by the force of the floodwater.

The meteorological department totalled August rainfall in Karachi at 484 millimetres (19 inches), with the highest daily rainfall of 130 mm at PAF Faisal Base on August 28.

“Last year, through the three monsoon months, the PAF Faisal Base recorded a total of 345 mm of rains; this year in just two months, over 600 mm rain has been recorded there,” Sardar Sarfaraz, the Pakistan Meteorological Department’s Karachi head told The Third Pole.

“The rains are unprecedented; and in all likelihood, this seems like an erratic event, with the last such intense rain recorded in 1931,” said Sarfaraz. “I cannot say with finality that this rainfall can definitively be attributed to climate change.”

---------
Noman Ahmed, dean of the Architecture and Management Sciences department at Karachi’s NED University, said some encroachments happened in connivance with different government agencies, while some were “organic”.

“For example, the encroachments on Gujjar Nala were facilitated by the KMC functionaries by providing inappropriate leases [on its edges – in areas that were not supposed to be inhabited in the first place],” Ahmed said.

“The alignment of the nalas [drains] have clearly been demarcated in all land-use plans available with the different civic agencies,” said Ahmed, and therefore selling plots of land was nothing less than a “criminal act”.

He did not blame those who had bought the plots. Ahmed said people had started building on the dry bed of Gujjar Nala because for decades there was nothing more than a thin stream. “They occupied the land without knowing how vulnerable they were to sudden inundation, and this is what happened in recent rains.”

Architect and heritage consultant Marvi Mazhar also attributed “unplanned and unregulated growth, lack of monitoring and corruption” as major reasons for the havoc the rains wrought on the city of 16 million, which has been heavily “concretised, with not enough soft ground left for water to be absorbed”.

The problem has persisted despite court judgements, including an order from the country’s chief justice that all illegal construction be removed from Karachi – whether on or off the drains.

Describing the removal of encroachments as “a very tricky affair”, Ahmed said that very often debris left behind by a demolition crew causes more obstruction to water flow than the original buildings.


“These drains can actually be added into beautification plans with plantations on either side, and run across the city like in Amsterdam,” said Mazhar. Instead, she said, they are seen and treated as an eyesore with garbage thrown alongside them, which invariably slips into the drain thereby choking it. She held both residents and the government responsible for the indifference shown towards Karachi’s garbage.

Now Prime Minister Imran Khan has said he wants a “permanent solution” to problems associated with drains, the sewage system and water supply.
Riaz Haq said…
South Asia cities face $215bn-worth flood risks

https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand/special-reports/1323591/south-asia-cities-face-215bn-worth-flood-risks


As global attention focused on hurricanes Harvey and Irma, more than 41 million people across South Asia battled floods and displacement.

From Afghanistan in the west to Bangladesh in the east, floods could cost South Asia -- home to a fourth of the world’s people -- as much as $215 billion each year by 2030, according to the World Resources Institute’s global flood analyser launched in 2015.

“Companies with operations on coasts, next to large rivers, on low-lying flood plains and in urban areas with poor drainage and sanitation are at greatest risk,” said Tom Hill, executive director, crisis and security consulting, at Control Risks in New Delhi. "More rain and extreme weather will not only hit businesses in South Asia, but also global companies that source their products and raw materials from the region."


At least 1,200 died last month as water swamped cities like India’s financial capital Mumbai, its technology hub, Bengaluru, Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka, Pakistan’s financial heart, Karachi, as well as swathes of Nepal and India’s eastern states of Bihar and Assam. In the coming decade, devastating floods are expected to increase as changing weather patterns worsen risks in the region, climate researchers say.

Already floods affect more than 9.5 million people in the region each year, with GDP worth $14.4 billion and $5.4 billion at risk in India and Bangladesh respectively, according to WRI.

In 2016 alone, Asia reported losses worth $87 billion from 320 natural disaster events, the world’s biggest reinsurer Munich Re reports. Of this, $77 billion were uninsured losses.

Popular posts from this blog

Declining COVID19 Reproduction Rate in Pakistan Now Among the World's Lowest

Karachi's NED University Alum Raises $100 Million For Silicon Valley FinTech Startup

Antibodies Testing in Karachi Reveals COVID19 Exposure Runs in Double Digits