Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Memorial service for Peshawar victims at International Family church, Garland, Texas. 

The international Family Church called on members of the communities to join together for the Memorial Service for the Peshawar Victims. In times of tragedies, humanity comes together and I hope we do that when nothing is happening as well. 

A note about the event was released by Javed Samuel Gill, the interfaith community activist, who has earned a name for bringing people together for goodwill nurturance.  His note follows my short address:

Peace, Salam, Shalom, Namaste, Satsriakal, Jai Jinendra and Hamazor Hamo Ashobed.

I pray for the Mughfirat, salvation and Mukti for the victims,
and pray for their relatives and friends to have faith in God.

Bhagwan ke Ghar der hai, andher nahin,
Koi insaan es badi say chutkara nahin pasakta
Jab tak o es ki praischit ya repentance Na karay.

Why do we have these problems and conflicts?

The answer is simple; we don't know each other. Instead of clarifying the doubts, we build up myths about the other. We don't solve our problems through dialogue, we hold it and manufacture a mountain out of it, and spend our energies in taking revenge or pulling the other down.

God has offered solutions.

Quran's wisdom is so apt in this situation, in Sura Hujurat 49:13, God says that he has created us all into many nations, tribes and communities from one single couple. Indeed we are one large family and we have to learn to care for the other to build a safe and secure society. 

He has created each one of us to be unique with our own thumb print, eye print, taste buds and DNA. He gave us the free-will and obviously with that diversity conflict is bound to erupt.

God loves us and understands us, he then suggests, the best ones among you are those who take the time to know each other. Indeed knowledge leads to understanding and understanding to acceptance and appreciation of the otherness of the other.

It is time for us to know everyone; it is time for us to dialogue with our enemies to make sure we have legitimate problems to hate. There is no need to have enmity with the other without any basis.

I appreciate your Church, the International Family church for setting a good example of bringing people together during conflict; we need to do this during peace times as well. God is right, if we know each other, conflicts fade and solutions emerge for all of us to live in harmony. 

What can we do as a society?

The short term options are:

1.   Restore law and order, so that people feel safe to send their children to schools.

2.  Arrest all those directly involved in these massacres along with the accessories, and put them in Jail

3.   Rehabilitate the criminals, as humanly as possible. No killing.
Mouth aur hayat sirf khuda ke haath may hona chahiye,
kisi insaan, government, samaj or dicatator ke haath may nahin.

Long Term options are:

A.  Education- the right education that teaches us how to live with each other, Prophet Muhammad taught that - that is learning to respect the otherness of others.

B.  There is a Hadith, where Prophet says, if anyone is unjust to another human, be it Jew, Christian or any, by God, on the day of Judgment, I will stand up against him in favor of the wronged.

We, the Muslims have a serious problem on our hands that we need to address.

Of course Quran and the Prophet expressly forbid killing any human, including self. Unfortunately the misguided groups like Talibans and the ISIS are killing and forcing their will on the innocent public.

Shamefully, they find justifications for their wrong doing in the secondary books that are cooked up, and regretfully no one has dared to correct them.  We all are learning now that Ibn Hisham's Seera and some hadiths have not been authenticated, but those guys believe in them and equate it to God's and Prophet's words. That is the real problem!

As long as those unauthenticated and unverified Seera books and some hadiths are out there, these guys will keep doing what they see in those books.

How do we change that? We have to call on Muslims to individually and severally come together and revise those books. It cannot be pushed on any one, but has to go through a process of discussion and acceptance of the corrected versions.  There is no compulsion in Islamic tradition, and it has to go through the process. If it is forced on them, it will have an adverse effect on the outcomes.

This is the biggest responsibility on Muslims, and we have to shoulder it gracefully. I will do my share of the work and ask you to consider your options.

Let's pray;

Let's condemn the sin, but not the sinner - Amen

Let's pray that we do not harbor hate towards any humans -Amen.

Let's pray that we mitigate conflicts and nurture goodwill -Amen

Let's commit to building societies where no human has to live in fear of the other - Amen

Let's follow the genuine teachings of all religious masters - Amen

Let's follow Prophet Muhammad and become like him, a mercy to mankind - Amen

Let's follow Jesus and become the blessed peacemakers - Amen

I am please to invite you to the 8th Annual Holocaust and Genocides event, the details are at

Mike Ghouse

 From Javed Samuell Gill
Interfnational Family Church

Subject: Memorial service for the Peshawar Shooting Victims

Memorial Service for the Peshawar Shooting Victims
December 28, 2014

Many DFW area residents attended the memorial service organized by the Pakistan Christian Cultural Society at International Family Church (IFC) in Garland Texas.  This service was a tribute to remember the fallen children, teachers and their families.  People of all faiths, including Muslim, Sikh, Hindu and Christian came together to honor the victims of the massacre.   Javed Samuel Gill welcomed everyone and stated that in our grief we are one regardless of faith or denomination.

Dr.Salik Lamuel Gill opened the service with a prayer which was inclusive of all faiths.  Dr. Imanualla Khan recited a poem in English while Professor Habib Saddiqi shared his views on extremism in Pakistan today.  After another prayer by Pastor Javed Iqbal, the senior Pastor of IFC,  Javed Mirza spoke about the need to be wary of extremism in our backyard.  He stated the need to look at our neighbors and friends to see who promotes extremism so we can return to equality and promote peace as a society.

Mike Ghouse spoke on pluralism and how we can tolerate and appreciate the differences in each other rather than persecution.  Reverened Alexander Robert prayed for the victims and especially those left behind.  Younis Ejaz, a renowned poet of the Dallas Teaxs, recited a heart felt poem in which a child asks his mother to not pack him parathay for lunch but to get him pen and paper for those children who want to learn but cannot.  Rehmat Raza  also recited his poem for the victims. 

Anjum Anwar, president of PSNT, who hails from Peshawar stated how she plans to go back to her hometown to elevate education which is in dire need.  The lack of education and resources is the cause of not valuing human life.  Shazia Khan and Omkar Singh also shared their views.  The most passionate oration was that of Irfan Ali who spoke about massacres of Shias, Ahmadies and Chrisitans.  He stated that coverage of events such as these are usually minimized or not reported at all.   Other distinguished guests who came to pay respect to the deceased were Nadeem Akhtar, Gulam Wariach, Junaid Qudsi and family, Azhar and Sheeba Gill,  Azhar Bukhari  among others.  After the service Eram Gill wife of Javed Samuel Gill stated that if more people in Pakistan held the views that were shared today the people of Pakistan would be invincible.

# # # 

Thank you

Mike Ghouse
(214) 325-1916 text/talk

Mike Ghouse is a public speaker, thinker, writer and a commentator on Pluralism at work place, politics, religion, society, gender, race, culture, ethnicity, food and foreign policy. He is a staunch defender of human rights and his book standing up for others will be out soon, and a movie "Americans together" is in the making.  He is a frequent guest commentator on Fox News and syndicated Talk Radio shows and a writer at major news papers including Dallas Morning News and Huffington Post. All about him is listed in 63 links and his writings are at and 10 other blogs. He is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Peshawar Massacre

My heart goes out to the innocent children. I have been trying to get my thoughts together about the death of innocent children, what possessed these loonies to take it out on children? How do we rid this ugliness from our societies? Where did we go wrong? I don’t see this as Peshawar’s problem; it is our problem, the problem of the entire world. Terrorism has to be choked, contained and removed, how do we do that?

The Pakistani flag will be flying half and here in Dallas, we are gathering up for a candle light vigil on Saturday. It reminds me of the columbine and new town massacres, loonies opening fire on children. 
How can we stop this?

This is the first time, I have gone completely speechless, did not know what to do. Did not write, unlike the times I have done before including the 9/11 day. 

I will find solutions to this and write about it.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Thanksgiving Special Award to Dallas Pakistani Journalist

16th Annual Thanksgiving Celebrations & Awards Night in Dallas

Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson of Texas presided over the proceedings of the 16th annual thanksgiving celebrations and awards night on Saturday, November 22, 2014. It is a bridge building event between communities.

We ought to be thankful to Native Americans, who did not put the electric fence around Americas to keep the illegal aliens like Columbus and other Europeans from entering America without a visa.  Today, we are a nation of immigrants, other than the natives; almost all of us are immigrants from one to several generations. 
The event was organized by America Together Foundation, World Muslim Congress. And the Foundation for Pluralism, all committed to building a cohesive America where no American has to live in tension, discomfort, apprehension or fear of the other.

The purpose of celebrating this event was to thank God for guiding us to learn to respect the otherness of others, and accept the God given uniqueness of each one of us.  And more importantly it is to familiarize the new immigrants with the festivities.  You’ll be surprised to find that many of them have not even seen the thanksgiving meal and its fixings. It was not a part of their study for citizenship and apparently no one has done this as a public event. 
“Congresswoman Johnson represents the aspiration of fellow Americans; justice and liberty for every American in his or her pursuit of happiness, and she fights for that relentlessly – Is that the kind of congressperson we want?, well here she is.” Mike Ghouse welcomed her amidst a thunderous applause. 

To paraphrase Congresswoman Johnson, “we have made sacrifices to respect the human rights, civil liberties and freedom for our new generations and now they have those rights.   On the map of the world, ours is still the best country.  The immigrant community has always played an important role in the development of US." 
It was a delight to watch the Congresswoman carve the symbolic turkey, and sharing what thanksgiving means to her; to count your blessings.  For many a immigrants it is an introduction to the American way of life and who else can do a better job than the Congresswoman? Through her efforts and against all impediments, she has realized her American dream. 

Chef Ali of Spicy Cuisine in Irving prepared delicious vegetarian and non-veg meals with a fixing of thanksgiving delicacies. 

Congresswoman Johnson presented the awards to four community leaders and delivered a beautiful keynote address on gratitude,while highlighting the need for events like this to bring people together regardless of their political, religious, racial or and social affiliation to build a safe, secure and a cohesive America.

Mike Ghouse, president of the foundation shared the real life stories that exemplify thanksgiving; stories about Appaiah and the hospitality in Saudi Arabia. How each one of us can restore the spiritual balance within and live a productive, meaningful and a purposeful life. The Appaiah story was published in 
Huffington Post Link , and the Saudi story, all pictures, and notes will be

The attendees were represented by people of different faiths, races, political orientations and other uniqueness’s. They cheered on when Mike Ghouse, chair of the event asked. Whether you are Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, Gay, Lesbian, Black, White, Native, Immigrant, Republican or Democrat, how many of you like to see your Congress person represent you with equal care and consideration? How many of you would like to see your congress person treat you with dignity and respect regardless of who you are?  Well here she is, Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson.”She delivered a beautiful key note speech about Gratitude. 

The following individuals were recognized for their outstanding contributions to building bridges in the communities we live – the title conferred upon all of them was “Pluralist” – meaning someone who respects the otherness of others.
Every society has heroes – that is men and women who have gone beyond their normal self to serve the communities at large, and it is our responsibility as a society to acknowledge, cherish and honor them.

Here is a brief introduction of the recipients; detail profiles will be available at
Raja Zahid A. Khanzada – a Journalist for his “Commitment to truth in Journalism.” He reports for the top news media conglomerates in Pakistan and has been a catalyst in a process of “forgiveness” of the robbers – where they surrendered their guns in return for acceptance in the society to live and breathe a normal life, and be the contributors of the nation. It is sort of what President Obama is doing with the undocumented aliens, a noble thing to do.  Raja is a relentless pursuer of education with three Master’s degrees and a degree in Homeopathic medical sciences and holds certification from American Alternative Medicine Practitioner Board in practice of alternative medicine.  He amazed everyone when he asked his mother to receive the plaque.


Amina Rab – a community activist and leader for “Building Bridges.” Amina is deeply committed to building bridges between the Muslim community and other communities.  It is not her job, but a passion to build bridges. She 
is the President of the Council on American Islamic Relations- DFW chapter and is the first woman to serve on the North Texas Islamic Council, and is a founding Board member of Texas Muslim Women’s Foundation.   She is a Scientist in the healthcare industry for 20 years.  Amina is an entrepreneur with a home based business, a mother, a grandmother and a community Activist with a passion to promote peace and justice in the world.  
Anne Marie Weiss – a community leader for “Bringing the DFW communities together.”  Anne Marie single handedly started the DFW international in early nineties – she had the vision for making the Dallas/ Fort worth an international Metroplex, even before it was declared as such.  Today, DFW International has become an exemplary institution in America. There is nothing like it.  Where can you find connections to every cultural, religious, social and ethnic group in one place? None in America! She has put Dallas Fort Worth on the world Map. If you see the demographic statistics of nationalities and ethnicities in Dallas, it was her effort.  It is her selfless devotion to the belief that DFW should genuinely reflect its diversity. 

Sante Santhanam Chary –is a national figure in “Connecting the World Leaders.” Sante is one of the very few Americans, perhaps the only immigrant who has met, shook hands and shared a message with 7 American Presidents and 8 Indian Presidents/Prime Ministers. 
Sante is continuously forging political and business ties between the United States and India and in September this year, he got the US Senate to pass a resolution creating “2014 U.S.-India Partnership Day” to honor Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the US.
He has set a new world record by collecting over 55 contemporary signatures in solidarity on a USPS issued First Day Envelope with Mahatma Gandhi’s stamp on it. Sante is a healthcare entrepreneur with a focus on physician staffing services to small towns in the US.  He is a graduate of The Harvard Business School and the Thomas Jefferson School of Law.

We are one nation.

Collectively, we are one nation under God represented by every race, religion, political orientation, nationality, ethnicity, language, sexual orientation and culture. Everything that God has created in the universe, we have it here in America. Indeed, we are God’s own country.

As Americans together, we see God as one, none and many and in every form; male, female, genderless and non-existent, being and non-being, nameless and with innumerable names. Our organization, America together Foundation is committed to preserve this pluralistic heritage of America.

Most of the problems we have in our nation can be traced to one thing – not knowing and being judgmental about others. Whether it is Ferguson, Homophobia, Anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, Misogyny or whatever evils creep on us, they gain ground because we don’t know each other. 

How do we come out of these and create a cohesive nation where no one has to live in apprehension, discomfort or fear of the other? At America Together foundation we have plans to bring about this change.

Mike Ghouse, President of America Together Foundation
Mike Ghouse 
(214) 325-1916 text/talk
Mike Ghouse is a public speaker, thinker, writer and a commentator on Pluralism at work place, politics, religion, society, gender, race, culture, ethnicity, food and foreign policy. He is commentator on Fox News and syndicated Talk Radio shows and a writer at major newspapers including Dallas Morning News and Huffington Post.  All about him is listed in several links at and his writings are at and 10 other blogs. He is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Nostalgic Karachi - Clustered diversity in 50 Pictorial history

Posted at :

Enjoy the Nostalgic diversity of Pakistan
Before you scroll down, have you reserved your space for this evening's dinner program?

Don't miss a Pakistani American receiving the
Thanksgiving Award Tonite, come and cheer him up.
Event: Interfaith Dinner - 16th Annual Thanksgiving Celebrations and Awards
Guest of Honor: Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson
Date: Saturday, November 22, 2014 at 7:30 PM
Spicy Cuisine Banquet Hall (old Haveli) 1800 Valley View Ln, Irving TX 75061
Reserve your space at:
Food: Vegetarian, halal/kosher    

Mike Ghouse

Clustered diversity

Karachi confuses people sometimes even those who live in it.
The capital of Pakistans Sindh province, it is the countrys largest city a colossal, ever-expanding metropolis with a population of about 20 million (and growing).
It is also the countrys most ethnically diverse city. But over the last three decades this diversity largely consists of bulky groups of homogenous ethnic populations who mostly reside in their own areas of influence and majority, only interacting and intermingling with other ethnic groups in the citys more neutral points of economic and recreational activity.
Thats why Karachi may also give the impression of being a city holding various small cities. Cities within a city.
Apart from this aspect of its clustered ethnic diversity, the city also hosts a number of people belonging to various Muslim sects and sub-sects. There are also quite a few Christians (both Catholic and Protestant), Hindus and Zoroastrians.
Many pockets in the city are also exclusively dedicated to housing only the Shia Muslim sect and various Sunni sub-sects. Even Hindu and Christian populations are sometimes settled in and around tiny areas where they are in a majority, further reflecting the citys clustered diversity.

 Police commandos petrol Karachis violent Kati Pahari (Split Mountain) area. One side of the hill is populated by Mohajirs and the other by Pakhtuns.
Police commandos petrol Karachis violent Kati Pahari (Split Mountain) area. One side of the hill is populated by Mohajirs and the other by Pakhtuns.
Most of those belonging to clustered ethnicities, Muslim sects and sub-sects and minority religions reside in their own areas of majority and they only venture out of these areas when they have to trade, work or play in the citys more neutral economic and cultural spaces.
The survival and, more so, the economic viability of the neutral spaces depends on these spaces remaining largely detached in matters of ethnic and sectarian/sub-sectarian claims and biases.
Such spaces include areas that hold the citys various private multinational and state organisations, factories, shopping malls and (central) bazaars and recreational spots.
Whereas the clustered areas have often witnessed ethnic and sectarian strife and violence mainly due to one cluster of the ethnic/sectarian/sub-sectarian population accusing the other of encroaching upon the area of the other, the neutral points and zones have remained somewhat conflict-free in this context.
The neutral points have enjoyed a relatively strife-free environment due to them being multicultural and also because here is where the writ of the state and government is most present and appreciated. However, since all this has helped the neutral zones to generate much of the economic capital that the city generates, these neutral spaces have become a natural target of crimes such as robberies, muggings, kidnapping for ransom, extortion, etc.
The criminals in this respect usually emerge from the clustered areas that have become extremely congested, stagnant and cut-off from most of the state and government institutions, and ravaged by decades of ethnic and sectarian violence.
Though the ethnic, sectarian/intra-sectarian, economic and political interests of the clustered areas are protected by various legal, as well as banned outfits in their own areas of influence, all these outfits compete with each other for their economic interests in the neutral zones because here is where much of the money is.
 Karachis long Shahra-e-Faisal Road. One of the citys neutral zones.
Karachis long Shahra-e-Faisal Road. One of the citys neutral zones.
Just why does (or did) this happen in a city that once had the potential of becoming a truly cosmopolitan bastion of ethnic and religious diversity, and robust economic activity in South Asia?
This can be investigated by tracing the citys political, economic and demographic trajectories and evolution ever since it first began to emerge as an economic hub more than a century and a half ago.

Birth of a trading post... and Paris of Asia

Karachi is not an ancient city. It was a small fishing village that became a medium-sized trading post in the 18th century. British Colonialists further developed this area as a place of business and trade.
Paris of Asia? Karachi (in 1910). Karachi was always a city of migrants. Hindus and Muslims alike came here from various parts of India to do business and many of them settled here along with some British. In the early 1900s, encouraged by the citys booming economy and political stability, the British authorities and the then mayor of Karachi, Seth Harchandari (a Hindu businessman), began a beautification project that saw the development of brand new roads, parks and residential and recreational areas. One British author described Karachi as being the Paris of Asia.
A group of British, Muslim and Hindu female students at a school in Karachi in 1910: Till the creation of Pakistan in 1947, about 50 per cent of the population of the city was Hindu, approximately 40 per cent was Muslim, and the rest was Christian (both British and local), Zoroastrian, Buddhist and (some) Jews.
Members of Muslim, Hindu and Zoroastrian families pose for a photograph before heading towards one of Karachis many beaches for a picnic in 1925: Karachi continued to perform well as a robust centre of commerce and remained remarkably peaceful and tolerant even at the height of tensions between the British, the Hindus and the Muslims of India between the 1920s and 1940s.
A British couple soon after getting married at a church in Karachi in 1927.
A group of traders standing near the Karachi Municipal Corporation (KMC) building in the 1930s.
Karachi Airport in 1943. It was one of the largest in the region.
Karachis Frere Hall and Garden with Queen Victorias statue in 1942.
A 1940 board laying out the Karachi city governments policy towards racism.
Lyari in 1930 - Karachis oldest area (and first slum): Even though Karachi emerged as a bastion of economic prosperity (with a strategically located sea port); and of religious harmony in the first half of the 20th century, with the prosperity also came certain disparities that were mainly centred in areas populated by the citys growing daily-wage workers. By the 1930s, Lyari had already become a congested area with dwindling resources and a degrading infrastructure.

Shifting sands: Karachi becomes part of Pakistan

Karachiites celebrate the creation of Pakistan (August 14, 1947) at the citys Kakri Ground: The demography and political disposition of the city was turned on its head when the city became part of the newly created Pakistan. Though much of India was being torn apart by vicious communal clashes between the Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs at the time, Karachi remained largely peaceful.
A train carrying Muslim refugees from India arrives at Karachis Cantt Station (via Lahore) in 1948.
Hindus prepare to board a ship from Karachis main seaport for Bombay in 1948. To the bitter disappointment of Pakistans founder, Mohammad Ali Jinnah (a resident of Karachi), the city witnessed an exodus of its Hindu majority. Jinnah was banking on the Hindu business community of the city to remain in Karachi and help shape the new countrys economy.
Commuters board a tram in Karachis Saddar area in 1951: As if overnight, the 50-40 ratio of the citys population (50 Hindu, 40 Muslim) drastically changed after 1947. Now over 90 per cent of the citys population was made up of Muslims with more than 70 per cent of these being new arrivals. A majority of the new arrivals were Urdu-speaking Muslims (Mohajirs) from various North Indian cities and towns. Since many of them had roots in urban and semi-urban areas of India and were also educated, they quickly adapted to the urbanism of Karachi and became vital clogs in the citys emerging bureaucracy and economy.

Karachis rebirth as the City of Lights

Karachis Burns Road in 1963: It grew into a major Mohajir-dominated area. By the late 1950s, Karachi began to regenerate itself as a busy and vigorous centre of commerce and trade. It was also Pakistans first federal capital. It was the only port city of Pakistan and by the 1960s it had risen to become the countrys economic hub.

Karachi 1961: Brand new buildings and roads in the city began to emerge in the 1960s. The government of Field Martial Ayub Khan that came into power through a military coup in 1958 unfolded aggressive industrialisation and business-friendly policies, and Karachi became a natural city for the government to solidify its economic policies.
The II Chundgrigar Road in 1962: It was in the 1960s that this area began to develop into becoming Karachis main business hub. It began being called Pakistans Wall Street.
1963: Construction underway of the Habib Bank Plaza on Karachis II Chundrigarh Road. The building would rise to become the countrys tallest till the 2000s when two more buildings (also in Karachi) outgrew it.
Saddar area in 1965: Trendy shops, cinemas, bars and nightclubs began to emerge here in the 1960s and it became one of the most popular areas of Karachi. With Karachis regeneration as an economic hub, its traditional business and pleasure ethics too returned that consisted of uninterrupted economic activity by the day and an unabashed indulgence in leisure activities in the evenings.
A Pakhtun rickshaw driver at Karachis Clifton Beach in 1962. Though the Ayub regime moved the capital to the newly built city of Islamabad, the economic regeneration enjoyed by Karachi during the Ayub regimes first six years attracted a wave of inner-country migration to the city. A large number of Punjabis from the Punjab province and Pakhtuns from the former NWFP (present-day Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) began to arrive looking for work from the early 1960s onwards. But with the seat of power being moved from Karachi to Islamabad by the Ayub regime, the Mohajirs for the first time began to feel that they were being ousted from the countrys ruling elite.
A 1963 newspaper clipping with a report on how Pakistani pop fans gate-crashed their way into a bar at the Karachi Airport where members of the famous pop band The Beatles were having a drink. They had arrived in Karachi to get a connecting flight to Hong Kong.
A local pop band playing at a nightclub in Karachi in 1968: It was during the Ayub regime that the term City of Lights was first used (by the government) for Karachi as brand new buildings, residential areas and recreational spots continued to spring up.
Western tourists shopping in the citys Saddar area in 1966.
A donkey-cart owner and his son in Lyari (1967): Karachi once again became a city of trade, business and all kinds of pleasures, and yet, the industrialisation that it enjoyed during the period and the continuous growth in its population began to create economic fissures that the city was largely unequipped to address. The economic disparities and the ever-growing gaps between the rich and the poor triggered by the Ayub regimes lopsided economic policies became most visible in Karachis growing slums.
Many shanty towns like this one sprang up in the outskirts of Karachi in the 1960s. Criminal mafias involved in land scams, robberies, muggings and drug peddling in such areas found willing recruits in the shape of unemployed and poverty-stricken youth residing in the slums.
Police and military troops patrol the streets at Karachis Club Road area during a 1968 strike called by opposition parties against the Ayub government. Resentment against Ayub among the Mohajir middle and lower middle-classes (for supposedly side-lining the Mohajir community), and the growing economic disparities and crime in the citys Baloch and Mohajir dominated shanty towns turned Karachi into a fertile ground for left-wing student groups, radical labour unions and progressive opposition parties who began a concentrated movement against the Ayub regime in the late 1960s (across Pakistan). Ayub resigned in 1969.

Sleaze city: Fun and fire in the time of melancholia

Chairman of the left-wing PPP, ZA Bhutto addressing a rally in Karachi just before the 1970 election. The PPP became the countrys new ruling party in 1972. After the end of the One Unit (and separation of East Pakistan), Karachi became the capital of Sindh. Bhutto was eager to win the support of Karachis Mohajir majority. In various memos written by him to the then Chief Minister of Sindh, Bhutto expressed his desire to once again make Karachi the Paris of Asia.
Karachis Three Swords area in 1974. It was beautified during the Bhutto regime but today has become a busy and congested artery connecting Clifton with the centre of the city. It was during the Bhutto government that the citys first three-lane roads were constructed (Shara-e-Faisal), dotted with trees; the Clifton area was further beautified; foundation of the countrys first steel mill laid (in Karachi); and the construction of a large casino started (near the shores of the Clifton Beach) to accommodate the ever-growing traffic of European, American and Arab tourists.
A 1973 Karachi brochure for tourists who were visiting Karachi in the 1970s.
Tourists gathered outside a Tourist Information Office in Karachis PECHS area in 1972.
A newspaper report on the 1972 Language Riots in Karachi: Bhutto failed to get the desired support of the Mohajirs. This was mainly due to his governments socialist policies that saw the nationalisation of large industries, banks, factories, educational institutions and insurance companies. This alienated the Mohajir business community and the citys middle-classes. Also, since Bhutto was a Sindhi and the PPP had won a large number of seats from the Sindhi-speaking areas of Sindh, he encouraged the Sindhis to come to Karachi and participate in the citys economic and governing activities. This created tensions between the citys Mohajir majority and the Sindhis arriving in Karachi after Bhuttos rise to power.

The insomniac metropolis: The city that never slept

Karachi in the 1970s gave a look of a city in a limbo - caught between its optimistic and enterprising past and a decadent present. It behaved like a city on the edge of some impending disaster or on the verge of an existential collapse.
Most Karachiites would go through the motions of traveling to work or study by the day, and by night they would plunge into the various chambers of its steamy and colourful nightlife …
From elitist nightclubs …
… to seedy low/middle-income dance and drink joints, Karachiites looked to escape a melancholic existence by heading towards the citys many recreational outlets in the 1970s.
A 1973 press ad (in DAWN newspaper) of one of Karachis many famous nightclubs of the 1970s, The Oasis.

Nishat Cinema 1974: Cinemas in Karachi were usually packed with people in the 1970s.
Playland 1975: One of Karachis most famous recreational and amusement areas for families was the (now defunct) Playland.
Students at the Karachi University in 1973.
A group of students at the Karachi University in 1975.
Urdu news being delivered from Pakistan Televisions Karachi Studios (1974).
Crowd at a cricket Test match being played at Karachis National Stadium in 1976.
Karachis congested Merewether Tower area in 1976. A badly managed economy (through haphazard nationalisation), and the reluctance of the private sector to invest in the citys once thriving businesses strengthened the unregulated aspects of a growing informal economy that began to serve the needs of the citys population. The flip side of this informal economic enterprise was the creeping corruption in the police and other government institutions that began to extort money from these unfettered and informal businesses.

The rupture

Protesters go on a rampage during the anti-Bhutto movement in Karachis Nazimabad area (April 1977). In 1977 the city finally imploded. After a 9-party alliance, the Pakistan National Alliance (PNA) that was led by the countrys three leading religious parties refused to accept the results of the 1977 election; Karachi became the epicentre of the anti-Bhutto protest movement.
A policeman beats up a protesting shopkeeper in the citys Saddar area during the PNA movement ( 1977). The protests were often violent and the government called in the army. The protests were squarely centred in areas largely populated by the Mohajir middle and lower middle classes. Apart from attacking police stations, mobs of angry/unemployed Mohajir youth also attacked cinemas, bars and nightclubs; as if the governments economic policies had been the doing of Waheed Murad films and belly dancers! The bars and clubs were closed down in April 1977.
Future MQM chief Altaf Hussain on a Karachi University bus (1977): As the PNA protests led to the toppling of the Bhutto regime (through a reactionary military coup by General Ziaul Haq in July 1977), within a year a group of young Mohajirs were already exhibiting their disillusionment with the PNA revolution. In 1978 two students at the Karachi University Altaf Hussain and Azim Ahmed Tariq - formed the All Pakistan Mohajir Students Organization (APMSO). They accused the religious parties of using the Mohajirs as ladders to enter the corridors of power while doing nothing to address the economic plight of the community.

Prosperity, piety, plunder

The American contingent parade past spectators at the 1980 Karachi Olympics: Zias dictatorship managed to strengthen itself soon after the Soviet forces invaded neighbouring Afghanistan in December 1979. Once the US resolved to oppose the Soviet invasion, it (along with Saudi Arabia), began pumping in an unprecedented amount of financial and military aid into Pakistan.
Foreigners enjoy a cruise on the waters of Karachis Kemari area in 1982.
Future US President Barak Obama visited Karachi as a visiting university student and stayed with a roommate of his in Karachi (1981).

Apart from the fact that Karachis university and college campuses exploded with protests against Zia (and then violent clashes between progressive student groups and the pro-Zia right-wing outfits), the city largely returned to normalcy and its status of being Pakistans economic hub was revived.
The continuous flow of aid helped the Zia regime stabilise the countrys economy. But underneath this new normalcy something extremely troubling was already brewing.
Since most of the sophisticated weapons from the US (for the Afghan Mujahideen) were arriving at Karachis seaport, a whole clandestine enterprise involving overnight gunrunners and corrupt police and customs officials emerged that (after siphoning off chunks of the US consignments), began selling guns, grenades and rockets to militant students (both on the left and right sides of the divide) and to a new breed of criminal gangs.
From the northwest of Pakistan came the once little known drug called heroin, brought into Pakistan and then into Karachi by Afghan refugees who began pouring into the country soon after the beginning of the anti-Soviet Afghan insurgency in Afghanistan…
The Taj Mahal Hotel 1982: A number of newly-built hotels sprang up in Karachi during the economic boom of the early 1980s. However, many critics were of the view that most of them were built with black money.
Poverty and drug addiction saw an alarming increase in Karachi in the 1980s.
1985: School and college students chant slogans against the government and Karachis transport mafia the day after a Mohajir student, Bushra Zaidi was run-over by a bus. The accident sparked a series of deadly riots between the Mohajirs and the Pakhtuns of Karachi.
Front-page news reports about the deadly 1986 Mohajir-Pakhtun riots in Urdu daily, Jang. As the armed student groups fought each other to near-extinction on the citys campuses, the violence, now heightened by sophisticated weapons, became the domain of criminal gangs in the citys Baloch and Pakhtun dominated areas. Most of these gangs had been operating as hoodlums peddling hashish, smuggled goods and running illegal prostitution dens in the 1970s. After the sale of alcohol (to Muslims) was banned in April 1977, they added the business of making and selling cheap whisky to their enterprise before they discovered the profitable wonders of selling guns and heroin. They were sometimes also used by political parties, as well as intelligence agencies for various political reasons. 

Military personnel arrest a rioter in Karachis Orangi Town area in 1986. Working-class and lower-middle-class areas like Lyari and Orangi were the first two sections of the city to be hit by gang violence and heroin addiction in the 1980s.
The suddenly rich: Huge bungalows came up in the citys posh localities in the 1980s. A booming economy based on the continuous flow of financial aid arriving from the US and Saudi Arabia and generated by a somewhat anarchic form of capitalism paralleled urban prosperity with growing class disparities. It encouraged a free-for-all rush towards grabbing the chaotic political and economic fruits of such an economy.
Team of PTVs social satire show, Fifty-Fifty often parodied the rise of greed and corruption and the social idiosyncrasies of the nonveau-riche that emerged from the 1980s anarchic brand of capitalism.
Mohajir Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief, Altaf Hussain, speaking at a large party rally in Karachi in 1987. The mohajirs claimed that Karachis transport and real estate businesses had been taken over by gangs of Afghan gun and drug mafias and that the Mohajirs were being forcibly ousted from various areas of the city by refugees arriving in Karachi from Afghanistan. MQM decided to organise the Mohajir community into a cohesive ethnic whole.
A 1987 hoarding in Karachis Mohajir-dominated Nazimabad area. The deadly 1986 riots triggered the gradual formation of the citys clustered diversity (see first section) as Karachis various ethnicities began to reside in areas where their respective ethnicities were in a majority.
A wall in Lyari plastered with PPP posters in 1988. Lyari remained to be the partys main support base in Karachi. It also saw a number of anti-Zia protests throughout the 1980s.
Ziaul Haq during a visit to Karachi's busy shipyard: In the early 1980s, though Karachi did return to becoming the countrys economic hub again, this time much of its booming economics was based on a parallel black economy fuelled by the large amounts of money floated by drug, land and gun mafias. Instead of addressing such issues, the regime stuck to offering moralistic eyewashes through highly propagated and hyped postures of piety and certain draconian laws that were imposed in the name of morality and faith …
Women activists protesting against Zias moral policing outside the Sindh Chief Minister House in Karachi (1986).
Chairperson of the PPP and Zias leading opponent, Benazir Bhutto, waves to the crowd during her wedding ceremony (held in Lyari) in 1986.
In 1987 a massive bomb exploded in the busy Saddar area of the city, killing dozens of people. This was the first such incident in a Pakistani city and Karachiites were left shocked and badly shaken. The regime accused communist agents.
As the exhilaration of the superficial and contradictory economic boom experienced by the city in the early and mid-1980s began to recede, Karachi looked like a city in shambles with a rapidly growing population and a crumbling infrastructure. Its slums and many low-income areas were now crawling with drug peddlers and drug addicts and its lower-middle-class areas taken-over by armed youth, patrolling the streets, extorting money in the name of protecting the areas from possible hostile infiltration by members of enemy ethnicities. Prosperity had mutated into becoming paranoia.

Descent into chaos

A young MQM supporter wearing an Altaf Hussain T-Shirt in Karachis Liaqatabad area (1989). When the MQM swept the first post-Zia election in 1988 in Karachi, this was the first time (ever since the citys status as capital of Pakistan was withdrawn in 1962) that its representatives became a direct part of the government at the centre and in Sindh. The PPP had been returned to power in the election and it formed a coalition government with the MQM.
Benazir and Asif Zardari meet Altaf Hussain in 1989 to form PPP-MQM coalition governments in the centre and Sindh. The new government struggled to come to grips with the shock that the countrys economy and politics experienced after generous hand-outs from the US and Saudi Arabia began to dry out considerably at the end of the so-called anti-Soviet Afghan jihad.
A Pajero belonging to a leader of a religious leader in 1990 in Karachi: The cultural dynamics of the society had been radically altered. Amoral and cynical materialism nonchalantly ran in conjunction with a two-fold rise in the need and impulse to stridently exhibit ones piety.
Najeeb Ahmed the Karachi President of the PPPs student-wing, the PSF during a press conference in 1990. He was killed in an armed ambush: The permanent matter of Karachis ever-growing population, depleting resources and tensions between its various clustered ethnicities soon triggered a wave of violence as MQM and the PPP went to war in the streets and campuses of the city. The violence in Karachi became the pretext of the dismissal of Benazir Bhuttos first regime and the controversial election of Mian Nawaz Sharif as the new prime minister in 1990.
Nawaz, Altaf and Jam Sadiq at a rally in Karachi in 1991: Sharif vowed to turn Karachi into an economic hub again and for this he chose a former PPP member, Jam Sadiq Ali, as Sindhs new Chief Minister. Jam had been a member of the PPP till he was ousted by Benazir in 1986. Sharif used his grudge against the PPP to undermine the partys influence in Sindh. In Karachi, Jam gave a free hand to the MQM. Though MQM used this opportunity to launch a number of developmental projects in the citys mohajir-majority areas, at the same time it unleashed its activists against Jams enemies (both real and imagined).
COAS General Asif Nawaz (left) and Nawaz Sharif in Karachi in 1992: By 1992, with the countrys economy still showing no signs of recovery, and the corruption that first began to rear its head in the 1980s was continuing to grow, Karachi now truly looked like a crumbling city held hostage to the whims and tantrums of the MQM-Jam nexus. Alarmed by the situation, the military forced Nawaz to launch an operation against extortionists and MQM activists. Nawaz reluctantly agreed and in 1992 the operation was launched.
Cops encircle a dead body of an MQM activist in Karachis Burns Road area during the Govt-Military operation in Karachi in 1992: Karachi would see a total of three intense operations against the MQM across the 1990s. This decade is still said to be the most violent in the citys history. Hundreds of civilians, cops and members of paramilitary forces lost their lives.
Pakistan playing against South Africa at Karachis National Stadium during the 1996 Cricket World Cup.
A pop concert at Karachis KMC Complex in 1996.
1996: By the end of the 1990s, the citys infrastructure had almost completely collapsed, crippled by ethnic and political violence, strikes and curfews. Major businesses began to move out from the city, factories began to close down and incidents of extra-judicial killings, revenge murders, extortion and kidnapping became a norm. Heaps of garbage dumps unattended for months symbolised what had become of this once Paris of Asia and a bastion of economic ingenuity. The turmoil in the city finally came to a sudden end when General Pervez Musharraf toppled the second Nawaz Sharif government in 1999.

A brief interlude: The lights shine again

Musharraf distributing gifts to a child from one of Karachis slum areas in 2003. This was the year when the MQM regrouped and regenerated itself and got into an alliance with the Musharraf regime.
A fashion show being held at a Karachi hotel in 2003: In the first five years of his dictatorship, Musharraf managed to inject a sense of stability. Ethnic violence greatly receded, the economy bolstered, and neo-liberal capitalist manoeuvres strengthened the economic status of the middle-classes.