The Price of Being Poor in Pakistan

Alena SadiqKarachi is bleeding. Why is the government action both late and inadequate? Is it not their responsibility to provide safety to every citizen of this country? Are they not supposed to protect the lives of their people? It seems as if Faiz wrote this specially for the heartbreaking situation in Karachi:

Na mudda’ee, na shahaadat, hisaab paak hua Ye khoon-e-khaak nasheenaan tha, rizq-e-khaak hua

(No witness, no complainant – so the case was closed; It was the blood of lowly folks, down the drain it flowed)

Eight-year-old Sumayya, whose uncle, Imran Ali, was injured in a shootout by unidentified gunmen, looks at him as he is brought to a hospital for treatment in Karachi August 23, 2011. The ongoing wave of violence has claimed nearly 100 lives in less than a week, local media reported. REUTERS

Is the fault of those dying everyday that they are the poor? Is the government unconcerned because these lives are of men and women from the working class? What is their fault? That they were born poor? Why did the deaths of dozens in Karachi not have the same reaction as the abduction of Shahbaz Taseer? My heart aches for the people of Karachi, specially the poor who are being mercilessly killed.

A childhood marked by violenceThe children of Karachi are living a childhood of violence. Watching your father die before your eyes, seeing your brother fall down in front of you and witnessing your uncle get hit by a bullet, as young Sumayya did, can leave a young mind scarred for life. They will grow up thinking that this world is governed with the power of the gun, they will believe that there is no justice in our society, and they will feel provoked to do to others, what was done to their families. These children do not deserve this life of horror. Every child in this country deserves an education, healthcare and a peaceful childhood.

 These kids remind me of Nadine Ghouri’s documentary series on children living in war zones, such as Afghanistan and Congo. Her series were called ‘Children of Conflict’. Karachi’s children are becoming children of conflict. The government must act, and the people must make them act, to save these children from disaster. I am praying for Karachi, for the long-suffering Balochis, for the poor of this nation, for a tolerant society, for the safe return of Shahbaz Taseer and most of all, for my home, Pakistan.

Karachi's Children of Conflict

SEPTEMBER 9, 2011 / Alena Sadiq / DOWNLOAD PDF

5 thoughts on “The Price of Being Poor in Pakistan

  1. Pingback: Opinion: The Price of Being Poor in Pakistan | The Open Wall

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