Karachi Photo Blog

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

No shorts

Number 6: "Suspicious" couples are not allowed.

Army truck

in Karachi

Feeling cold

in Chitta Batta

Monday, February 27, 2006


The top most line in the left hand banner reads:
Unity between Shia and Sunny will do away with both Israel and America.

You wonder, How did Denmark sneak out of the fray?

Makli Sign

A little description of Makli in Urdu and Sindhi.

Starting anew

in Balakot

Still feeling sleepy

After a restless night in the queue.

Fed Ex Office

What good relations between India and Pakistan?

This is what people have to go through in the two countries to secure a visit visa to the other. An Indian consular office was scheduled to open in Karachi in January, but to this day there is none. Applications to the Indian Embassy in Islamabad are sent through an authorized courier service (Federal Express/Gerry’s). From what I have learned it looks like the Indian Embassy has asked Fed Ex to not send more than 35 passports everyday. Instead of dealing with long line of people everyday, Fed Ex lets people queue up on Saturday only, when 35 passport allocations are done for the whole week (35 on Monday, on Tuesday, and so on). That means 175 (35 times 5) passports are registered on Saturday. The window opens at 9 a.m. but the line starts forming from midday Friday (a day earlier). People spend night in the open and still many go home unsuccessful in their bid to be one of the 175 lucky people. Pathetic! And it is ugly out there. Frustrated by the long wait people push and shove and try to cut in the line. It is hard not to feel insulted.

Tariq Road traders too are indignant.

The last sentence reads.
Prophet-insulter, no matter where in the world he is, needs to be killed. [loose translation]

Sunday, February 26, 2006

New banners in town

A cheerful student

at the camp school in Chitta Batta.


Another Balakot picture

Red Wine

I got this glass of "Red Wine" in a restaurant in Karachi. It is actually a soft drink made up of grape and apple juices--Pakistan is officially dry.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Immoral activities

Rule #4 in this sign, posted in a public park, is of special interest. It says those involved in immoral activities will be prosecuted. You wonder what activities they have in mind.

Mandir across the road

Here is the Hindu mandir opposite Makli Necropolis. I'll visit it next time.

Buried indoors, buried outdoors

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Taking it in stride

Boy at United Pakistan earthquake relief camp in Chitta Batta

A Makli grave


Wednesday, February 22, 2006

The multidimensional cartoon controversy

Those of you who attended Karachi colleges in mid through late 80's would recall that the current Pasban leadership represented Jamiat-Tulba-e-Islam, student branch of Jamat-e-Islami, in those days. The handbill shown in the picture, from Pasban, was delivered at our door yesterday. It warns people against wily Jamat-e-Islami "using the cartoon controversy to push its own political agenda." I am not sure at what point in time Pasban leadership drifted away from Jamat.

A young student at camp school (Chitta Batta)

Salvaged door (in Balakot)

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


A young girl at the earthquake relief camp school.

Makli entrance fee


Recently visited Makli Necropolis. If you go to Thatta, from Karachi, using the National highway you will find Makli on the left side of the highway before Thatta. Many tombs in that cemetery are as dilapidated as this one.


This toilet facility was built by Oxfam and Sungi (a Pakistani NGO).

Monday, February 20, 2006

Old man, waiting to get his daily ration


Poster in Balakot

How to stop the spread of lung diseases.

Sunday, February 19, 2006


But she was ready to go to the school in the camp.



She wants to be seen in Washington D.C.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Little girls posing

Camps and mountains


The banner reads: "Prescription for Prophet insulters: Jihad, Jihad."
Banners like these, by a group called Jamat ul Dawwa, can now be found at various Karachi intersections.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Still smiling

I met this girl at the camp. Her loss made me cry. She is a spirited soul and I hope her high energy will make her conquer the obstacles she would find in her way in different phases of life.

Pakistan Earthquake

This is what most of Balakot looks like today.

Two days in Chitta Batta

I spent two days in an earthquake relief camp in Chitta Batta. I found this poster in Balakot.

[For those who cannot read Urdu:
The poster asks people to use proper bathroom facilities (as opposed to relieving themselves in open).]

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Insulters galore

See parts of the word 'Maulvi' whitened out?

Europeans who lived during the dark ages should be brought back to life to relive it in Pakistan (and the Muslim world). The accusations we see today are just another form of witch accusations they had in that era.

Where are the human rights organizations?

Are we Rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrready?

It is not going to be this busy tomorrow

Schools will be closed. Many businesses will be keeping a low profile. Only angry protesters will be running around torching Danish businesses, cars, and motorcycles. Them Satanic Danes!

Lesser Muslims we are not

Tomorrow is the big day: Tahaffuz-e Namoos-e Risalat Rally at 10 in the morning. If property has been set on fire and people have died in riots in every important and bA-ghairat Muslim city, why should Karachi let it go peacefully?

Karachi warming up to insanity

This afternoon I went around town taking pictures of banners that are there on all busy intersections.

Cancel your trip

Danish cartoonists and their family members are advised to cancel their upcoming Karachi sightseeing trip for the foreseeable future. We are very sorry for the inconvenience this last minute cancellation may have caused you.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Nastaleeq English

She is a stepsister of Roman Urdu (Urdu written in Roman alphabets).

Choo choo train

A typical Pakistani Railway Station

I am very fond of railway stations--of sitting back and watching people go their ways. But this pastime is not as enjoyable in Pakistan as it is in western countries. In countries with high employment rate you find a lot of people at railway stations playing your game--they are there to watch you. I hate people who stare at me. ;-)

An important public service message

I was not well situated to take this picture, and hence the awkward angle, but I thought the sign was too good to pass up.