Musings: Barricaded in Karachi

bar Barriers had always been present in many areas of Karachi, but suddenly new ones have starting springing up in every nook and cranny of the city. There are barriers, even in places where there is no plausible reason of having one. The intention behind these barriers is to limit the mobility for snatchers, robbers and dacoits (well that’s what scared to death idiots favouring barricades tell me), who are not deterred by these pieces of metal barring streets and doing what they want with the same fervour as before.

The only purpose these barriers are serving are limiting the mobility of the residents (who by the way do not have the least bit of common sense and happen to rejoice on being barricaded). Neighbourhoods have become mazes, where you have to look for ways to get out (or in, for that matter), wasting precious fuel (which is hard to get these days) and time (which Pakistanis seem to have in ample amounts to waste on such useless activities).

What actually happens is that barriers increase the hassle of moving around, even for those who live in those areas. Silence ensues on all barricaded streets, there is not a person in sight, and when you have to walk alone on such a street, even to the end of the street, you are much more at the risk of ill will than on a crowded but open street.

School vans refuse to come inside, which means small kids have to go to the ends of the areas to board their van, increasing the risk of something happening to them and no one being able to do anything. Reports have been heard of ambulances not reaching their destinations, because all the entries in an area were blocked, leaving the ambulance no option but to go back and leave an ill or injured person to deal with his fate on his own. So it is acceptable to have a loved one die because help cannot reach them, leave alone the “in time” or “after time” part. Even if you wanted to take someone yourself, taking out your car means waking up the whole neighbourhood to move their cars to make way for you.

God forbid, if a fire happens in such a barricaded area, with only one way out (which you will definitely forget in times of emergency), there is no way the fire brigade can reach the affected area and there is no way people can peacefully evacuate the area.. These barriers are death traps, but hey your cellphones are safe in you idiotic mind.

Barriers are NOT in any way going to stop ill willed from carrying out their activities, dacoities happen, cell phones still get snatched, and kids still get kidnapped. The only thing that has happened is you could run away before, now you have to stand there because “all the streets up ahead are blocked”.

Karachi is become un-livable day by day, all due to the people being spineless and gutless, and not having the common sense of seeing the increased danger. And believing that if a criminal sees a barrier, he is going to say “Oh my God, a BARRIER, I should run, away, lest this barrier comes alive and starts beating me” . Come on people, a metal rod is not going to stop them, it is creating favourable ground for them, because they know help can’t reach, people other than residents of the streets are not going to enter and there is a specific time when people leaving or coming back will be there, all other times the street would be empty, with no one to listen to pleas of help.

Wish you good luck with your barriers. I refuse to do anything with them, and will keep trying to leave these death traps, and pray that Allah Ta’aala helps me to move to a better barrier less area where I can move around easily and nothing hinders my mobility. To you your fears, to me my freedom.

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