When apathy strikes

When apathy strikes

The call for a nationwide strike on Friday, January 1, 2010, given by several religious and political parties and councils to protest the Ashura carnage and arson in Karachi could have hardly come at a worse time. Dozens lost their lives and limbs in the suicide bombing (?) claimed by the Pakistani Taliban (?) – there are question marks on both accounts because the police have not confirmed either. Moreover, thousands of families were deprived of their livelihoods owing to the arson attacks on businesses that followed the bombing as law-enforcement personnel reportedly looked on. Now it seems that we are also bent on denying the daily wage-earners their livelihoods by calling for a shutter down and a wheel-jam.

Where has reason gone? Is this the ideal way to start the New Year after all the grief and loss that people have suffered in 2009? Do you support the call for the strike? Or do you think the country’s financial capital should resume normal functioning as soon as possible?

Murtaza Razvi is the Editor, Magazines, at Dawn.

The following reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.


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102 Responses to “When apathy strikes”

  1. azhar says:

    Surely strike won’t do any good. We should try our best to find ways so unfortunate incident do not occur in future.
    Processions moving miles of distances on roads with buildings/ bridge / connecting roads around it then practically it become impossible to provide foolproof security through out the country. If Ashura is performed at static alloted places with few passages then ofcourse unfortunate incident can be much REDUCED.

  2. Deep Thinker says:

    Pakistan’s enemy wants Pakistan to sink and when we have such strikes, they celebrate. Because its actually damages Karachi’s economy. Don’t support strike. Think about poor people they all have families like us.
    May GOD give some sense to strike callers.

  3. Syed Ahmed, Mississauga, ON, Canada says:

    I agree with the views of MUNIR AHMAD, KHIZER & SALMAN and many other commentators that wheel jam is not the remedy to the problem of extreme lawlessness.

    Ashura carnage and arson in Karachi is a worst chapter in Pakistan’s history. If you recall, after each major terrorist attack the government tightens the security all over the country. I am reading this since last few years and wonder the Pakistan should be like a Fortress where even a bird laden with dangerous material cannot sneak in. To the contrary the country is drifting from bad to worse.

    The solution to the problem is that the present government should be shown the door out and fresh and new blood be brought in from among the masses having no ‘Bradri’ with the ruling junta of today.

    How to go about – spread positive education on war footing and lift the literacy rate to 99%. Each educated man and women must educate minimum two persons. Many of the ills will take care of themselves.

  4. Katlu says:

    Pakistan is a super power economy. One day strike will not affect the economy.

  5. Munir Ahmad, Frankfurt /M says:

    During my 42-year stay in Germany, I have seen that Rallies and strikes are almost absent in Germany. Perhaps the people of Pakistan, specially the employees and workers, should learn from them how to work under all circumstances and to negotiate with the employers.

  6. Khizer says:

    Karachi business community has a wonderful legacy of economic leadership and entrepreneurship; they should come forward and set up a fund for helping the affected businessmen for restoring their businesses. Karachi business community needs to develop procedures and protocols to safeguard their economic interests. They cannot depend on politicians for any kind of help in this regard. All economic and commercial zones should be declared “no-rallies no-processions zones.”

  7. Lalesh says:

    In my opinion best way to help people who suffered is ask the people to donate (of free will) from their day’s earning instead of closing business altogehter what sense in that?
    We keep going backward!!

  8. salman says:

    For as far back as I can remember in my 34 years of life, there have been such strikes and protests in the city of Karachi. The result is a zero some game helping no one and hurting the city.

    It is quiet clear that no one really cares anymore. Everyone lives and works for self interest.

  9. whatif says:

    There has to be a distinction made between protest rallies and strikes. Protest rallies are expression of freedom of speech and assembly. A strike means you hurt the economy of the country.

    Precisely what the terrorist want to also achieve.

  10. auranzeb says:

    Strikes only play in hands of terrorist. But don’t forget also that so far religious party in this country have made it obligatory to damage it since Pakistan existence.

    Pakistan Zindabad.

  11. With so much technological advantage and heroic job done by City Nazim, the authorities are yet to catch main culprits behind riots who destroyed the main business hub of Karachi. The Provincial Interior Minister and Federal Interior Minister have no vision and ability to run their offices. The whole issue was mishandled because wrong people were appointed on key positions.

  12. pnpuri says:

    Ashura carnage was sad and unfortunate. What happened thereafter was equally sad. First was certainly an act of terrorism, but the frenzy and arson that followed was act of mad men and achieved the purpose of terrorists in further widening the gap between the two Muslim sects. Call of strike may not be answer to the problem but a peaceful observance of strike may assuage the feelings of many.

  13. hn says:

    Dr Baig said;

    “Strikes, marches, protests etc are means used to express frustration and unhappiness with certain action or activity of the govt. or a group/organization of people. In civilized and concerned communities this activity is noticed and actions are taken and or explanations are made to correct the mistakes and arrest the causes responsible for such display of frustration. Unfortunately, Pakistan is impervious / insensitive to such displays. Strikes are simply ignored and are not reacted and the public ends up in losing daily wages and productivity at work place. ”

    All civilized societies had their strikes on their way to civilization. Even if they are ineffective, a society that does not protest will not civilize. I content that strikes such as these are the first step to civilization of the society.

  14. Mushtaq Ahmed says:

    Shutter down strike calls given by leaders only cause tremendous loss to economy and hardships to poor daily bread earner.

    Leaders must conduct responsibly and stop giving strike calls. Have you ever heard of any leader in developed country giving strike calls to followers?

    Those who neglected/ failed to stop this carnage must be brought to book.

    Not only financial help but jobs should be provided to the bereaved families losing their bread earner.

  15. sushmith menon says:

    A strike plays into the hands of terrorists as they want exactly that i.e. a disruption of normal life.

  16. M. Mansoor Baig, Ph.D says:

    Strikes, marches, protests etc are means used to express frustration and unhappiness with certain action or activity of the govt. or a group/organization of people. In civilized and concerned communities this activity is noticed and actions are taken and or explanations are made to correct the mistakes and arrest the causes responsible for such display of frustration. Unfortunately, Pakistan is impervious / insensitive to such displays. Strikes are simply ignored and are not reacted and the public ends up in losing daily wages and productivity at work place. Our intellectuals/leaders have to come up with alternatives whereby we can express our frustration and not cause loss of wages or productivity.

  17. My dear Pakistani brothers tell me do the strikes give us any advantage? What we did gain by doing strikes in the so many incidents happened in our country? Only damaging our economy and wasting the national properties and our precious time. We as a nation must find out the elements behind all these bomb blasts and suicide attacks. Our religious Ulamas must come ahead and preach the people for not doing such acts which bring bad name to Islam and specifically to our country (Pakistan). When we will be working on the motto of founder of Pakistan, Faith, Unity and Discipline, our country could become prosperous. So I will request to all my country fellows let us deal the problems with wisdom instead of riots and strikes.

  18. Mab Turan says:

    A strike is a negative response. We should counter these crimes by daring to go about our business in normal way.

    In any case if the society or the state cannot break the terrorist networks then these strikes are useless demonstrations.

  19. hn says:

    The purpose of strike is to forcibly express collective opposition to an event in a show of strength against the perpetrators. This is bad for the day to day lives of people especially those who depend upon daily wages to run their family.

    Having said that if people had mobilized on their own against this event this would not have been necessary.

  20. Aamir says:

    I agree with the all of the above comments.

    Strike is not the answer. It only penalizes those already devastated by this tragedy.

    We as a nation need to overcome our religious and ethnic differences and be first and foremost PAKISTANI and work for its betterment.

  21. Ahsan Raza Khan says:

    That incidend was a demonstration of bad control on law and order situation whatsoever reason was.

  22. mustafa says:

    Need to develop the country not by strikes, blast, terrorism but only with dedication honesty and hard working. We should unite against any type of such activities. I appeal all the leaders of Pakistan and the countryman to unite and fight against these elements. Our slogan should be live and let live.

  23. zafar jafri says:

    Strike will only help the extremists as they know that crippling Karachi means crippling Pakistan. Karachi is the lifeline of the country.

  24. Kashif Nafees Siddiqui says:

    This strike is in response to a terror attack and loss of billions of rupees to the business community and our Treasury. What will the strike achieve? Further loss of business and revenue to the country!

    What we need to do these days is to work extra hard to generate the revenue we have lost and to show the people who cause such attacks that Karachiites and more importantly Pakistanis are resilient and will not succumb to such inhumane acts of violence planned or otherwise.

    Let’s rebuild Pakistan, let’s co-operate to save Pakistan from any and all acts of violence.
    Pakistan First!

  25. Omar says:

    It’s interesting that the religious parties are quick to call a strike here when they never condemn any other suicide attack. Can any group have done more to impede any kind of progress in Pakistan?

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