I WENT, I SAW, I WEPT – and I still weep today as not much has changed


By Raheel Raza


– because Karachi was once my City of Joy

– because I had not visited for many years due to the turmoil and unrest

– because my brother was taken into custody in an extra judicial arrest

– because I naively thought there is still some semblance of sanity left and there would be justice.

– because I had forgotten that in the jungle, only might prevails over right

– because my family is still here, so a part of my heart is still here

– to rejuvenate my spirit and revitalise my soul – through interaction with my loved ones –

those buried here and those still living

– because the smells and sounds of this ghost city still haunt me

I came because I truly wanted to believe that all the horror stories I heard about my land of birth

are not true



– Not with my eyes but with my heart and mind.

– The raw and wounded soul of this battered city

– Violence and victimization; torture and treachery

– Corruption and cruelty; havoc and heartache

– More exposed guns and ammunition than I thought imaginable


– That there are no more Pakistanis  left – only Sindhis, Punjabis, Pathans and Baluchis

– That there are no more Muslims left – only Shias, Sunnis, Ahmedis, Wahabis and the “Holier-than-Thou”

– that every person has a price

– a brazen show of unlimited wealth

– heartrending poverty with hungry children on the street

– the rape and massacre of poor innocent people so that fear infiltrates the masses

– I saw decadence at it’s best,  embodied in:

!           far-out, freaky and funky fashion shows

!           weddings lasting shamelessly for four weeks

!           bragging begums in beauty parlours

!           clubs competing for clients at every corner

!           cheap thrills on cellular phones

!           proud politicians in Porches guarded by gun-toting lunatics

!           Pashminas and passion as part of the social scene

!           a mindless generation of MTV, PTV and ZTV kids

!                  families shattered by events they have no control over

I saw a nation without a conscience and without a voice



– for the people who cannot speak because they are victimized

– for those can speak but will not raise their voice


– for those who have sold their soul and their conscience

– for those who have no choices

– for the cause of martyrs on whose blood this country was built

– for the dream of Allama Iqbal and Mohammad Ali Jinnah: the founding fathers of this country

Most of all I wept for myself because the country I once called Home – Pakistan, Land of the Pure, is no more.



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