Tag Archives: Lyari

Around town: Bilawal Bhutto visits Lyari

KARACHI: As a part of rallying support for the October 18 jalsa at the Quaid’s mausoleum, the co-chairperson of the Pakistan Peoples Party, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, paid a visit to his supporters in Lyari.

A large number of people from Khadda Market, Moosa Lane, Baghdadi and Kharadar, gathered around his vehicle to show their support. Bilawal also went to pay his respects at the Dhola Shah mazaar in Kharadar, a place his mother used to visit. The caretaker of the mazaar told Bilawal that he remembered the co-chairperson visiting the shrine with his mother when he was much younger.

Bilawal also visited the Abduallah Shah Ghazi Mazaar in Clifton. According to the Bilawal House spokesperson, PPP MPA Owais Muzaffar and the president of the party’s Karachi division, Qadir Patel, were with Bilawal in his bullet-proof vehicle during the visit. Several roads in the city were blocked and sealed by the police which caused a massive traffic jam especially in the Old City area.

Death threats

The life of Bilawal Bhutto, according to a letter issued by the Sindh home department, is in danger as militants from the Jundullah group are planning to target him in the near future.

Officials of the home department said that intelligence reports from the federal government suggested that there were serious threats to Bilawal’s life. They added that the method of attack, however, was not known to them.

In the letter issued by the home department, it was suggested that necessary measures should be taken to avoid untoward incidents.

These threats, sources claim, were made after the Pakistan Peoples Party decided to organise a jalsa to commemorate the seventh anniversary of the blast that took place on October 18, 2007 – when Benazir Bhutto returned to Pakistan after spending eight years in self exile. More than 139 people were killed while nearly 450 were injured in the attack.

The rally planned on Saturday will be held at the Quaid’s mausoleum. Bilawal, who is PPP’s co-chairperson, is said to formerly start his political career by addressing the gathering. Preparations for the jalsa have been underway for weeks and the government has decided to have around 20,000 policemen on duty to ensure that no untoward incidents take place.

Senator Saeed Ghani said that people from all parts of the country, including Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan, will be attending the event. He added that the party’s co-chairperson will also be making an important announcement at the public gathering.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 15th, 2014.


Working on the roads: Committee formed to solve Lyari Expressway issues

KARACHI: 

The National Assembly’s standing committee on communication decided on Monday to constitute a finance committee to resolve funding issues delaying the completion of the Lyari Expressway project.

MNA Sufyan Yousuf chaired a meeting at Commissioner House in which he stressed the need to finish the project by the end of the current financial year.

The meeting was informed that the completion of a 2.2-kilometre stretch of the expressway was facing hurdles due to financial constraints and encroachments.

It was subsequently decided to form a five-member committee comprising the federal and provincial finance secretaries, the Karachi commissioner, the planning and development secretary and the National Highway Authority (NHA) chairperson. The committee will coordinate with the federal and provincial governments to generate the necessary funds within a month in order to start work on the project.

Speaking to the media later, NHA chairperson Shahid Tarar said that notices had been issued to residents to evacuate their properties along the Lyari Expressway. He added that the government would provide the residents with compensation and alternate plots.

The meeting also discussed work on a road from Larkana to Moen Jo Daro, which too has been halted due a lack of funds.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 14th, 2014.


Raids: Rangers kill suspected gang member in Lyari encounter

KARACHI: An alleged gang member, involved in an attack on Rangers personnel was shot dead by the paramilitary force in Lyari on Sunday. Meanwhile, a dozen other suspects were detained during a targeted raid by the police in Manghopir.

The alleged member of a Lyari-based gang was killed during an encounter with the Rangers in Lyari. The encounter took place during an overnight targeted raid in Rangi Wara at the gangsters’ suspected hideout. According to the Rangers spokesperson, the suspects opened fire at the personnel in a bid to escape as soon as they reached the hideout. In the retaliatory fire by the Rangers, one of the suspects was killed while his companions managed to escape.

The Rangers spokesperson added that the deceased was later identified as Salman, who was associated with the Uzair Jan Baloch gang. He claimed that Salman was involved in numerous cases of killings, kidnapping for ransom and attack on a Rangers mobile on February 14, earlier this year. Weapons were also seized from the hideout.

Separately, around one dozen suspects were detained during a targeted raid conducted by the police in various parts of Manghopir. During the operation, the entire area of Pakhtunabad, Manghopir, was cordoned off of the vicinity for the duration of the operation that lasted at least two hours.

Around two hundred police officials, personnel and commandos took part in the operation. Police detained around one dozen suspects during the operation. The detainees included suspected militants, who were shifted to an undisclosed location for further questioning.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 13th, 2014.

 


Voice of industry: Plea for early completion of Lyari Expressway

KARACHI: 

SITE Association of Industry Chairman Jawed Bilwani has urged Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah to immediately complete the remaining development work on the Lyari Expressway to ease traffic congestion in the SITE area.

“Though construction work on the Lyari Expressway was completed 67%, it had been stopped about five years ago,” said Bilwani, who represents one of the biggest industrial zones in Karachi. “We hope that the work will be completed at the earliest.”

Owing to the partial development, there have been huge traffic congestions in and around the expressway.

“In view of this situation, we ask the government that the expressway going from Hasan Square towards Mauripur be made available for traffic from Mauripur towards Hasan Square (opposite direction) for two hours in the evening only for private cars, which will greatly ease the traffic congestion.”

Published in The Express Tribune, October 12th, 2014.

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Four blasts in Lyari leave 9 injured

KARACHI: 

At least nine people were wounded in four consecutive blasts in Lyari on Friday evening.

According to police officials, unidentified gang members from Aath Chowk, Lyari, fired Awan rockets which fell onto the Chakiwara Road.

As a result, over half a dozen people sustained injuries. Ambulances and rescue workers from different welfare associations reached the site and shifted the victims to the Civil Hospital, Karachi. Doctors described the condition of at least two people critical.

The injured included 50-year-old Rehana, three-year-old Ayesha, five-year-old Rafia, 30-year-old Ruqayya, 28-year-old Nazur and others.

SHO Azam Khan said that all victims were passers-by who became victims of the rocket attacks during the clash between the Baba Ladla and Uzair Jan Baloch groups of the Lyari-based gang.

An extra contingent of law enforcers, including the police and Rangers, reached the affected areas to arrest the culprits. Despite that, tension between the groups continued till the filing of this story and no culprit was arrested.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 11th, 2014.


Turf war: One dead, four injured in Lyari shoot-out

KARACHI: 

After laying low for a few months, gangs in Lyari have resorted to firing at each other once again.

On Friday, at least one man was shot dead while four others were injured in a shoot-out.

Situation in Lyari neighbourhoods, including Kalakot, Gharib Shah and Rexor Lane was tense following firing between the Uzair Baloch and Baba Ladla groups.

Both groups resorted to attacking each other with bullets and rockets. Sources claimed that the situation escalated when members of Baba Ladla’s group tried to take over areas dominated by their rivals.

“The firing started on Thursday night and continued till Friday afternoon,” said a resident of Lyari. “Law enforcers were nowhere to be seen when this was happening.”

A young man identified as Sheraz, 25, was shot dead during firing between both the groups on Mewa Shah Road. He was shot once in the head and died on the spot.

The body was taken to Civil Hospital, Karachi for the autopsy.

Police officials said that the deceased had no criminal record and was just passing by when he was shot.

Earlier, a woman and three children were wounded when unidentified men fired a rocket in the Kalakot area. The injured woman was identified as Kulsoom, 40, wife of Bahadur while the injured children were identified as two-year-old Azra, Abdullah, 6 and Sadiq, 8. Police officials said that the woman used to run a breakfast stall in the area and was busy at work when the incident took place while the children were playing there.

According to the police, the situation was under control. Patrolling in the area, however, has increased.

Encounters

Three suspects allegedly linked to an extortion group were killed during separate encounters with the police on Friday.

Two men were killed during an alleged encounter with the police near Noor Muhammad Goth within the limits of Gulshan-e-Maymar police station.

Police officials said that the encounter took place as the suspects arrived to collect extortion money from a trader, adding that the trader had also been attacked by the extortionists over refusal to pay the money. The police said that police personnel were already present in the area and tried to arrest the suspects. Both extortionists tried to escape under the cover of fire but were wounded when the police fired back. They were taken to Abbasi Shaheed Hospital where they succumbed to injuries.

In an unrelated incident, a alleged extortionist was killed during an exchange of fire with the police in Lyari. The police said that four members of a Lyari gang reached Khadvi Lane Mill on two motorcycles to collect extortion money. One of them was killed during an encounter with the police while three others managed to escape. The body was taken to Civil Hospital, Karachi for the autopsy where he was identified as Yasin alias Jogi, son of Yousuf.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 4th, 2014.


2 alleged Lyari gang members killed in encounter

KARACHI: Two alleged members of a Lyari gang were killed in an encounter in the area on Sunday, Express News reported.

In a joint raid by police and Rangers, security personnel entered a hideout in Chakiwara area of the neighbourhood to arrest two wanted criminals.

The alleged gang members reportedly opened fire at police and tried to escape, however, were killed in retaliatory firing.

The deceased were wanted by police for last two years in various criminal cases.

Security forces also recovered ammunition from the hiding place.


Calling the curtain on Lyari Film Festival

KARACHI: 

In a town often marred by violence, the Nosach Films Academy recently organised the first edition of the Lyari Film Festival (LFF) in collaboration with the Women Development Foundation Pakistan (WDFP) and the Karachi Youth Initiative (KYI).

The four-day-long event, which began on September 17, was aimed at training the youth of Lyari in the craft of filmmaking. More than 40 short films were screened at the festival, most of which were produced by Lyari residents themselves.

LFF saw a good turnout on all four days, as people from different walks of life showed up for the screenings. “One of my friends screened his film on the third day and I was very excited about it,” said Owais, a student of Mass Communication at a university in Karachi. “I would go out of the way to support any good cause coming out of Lyari, especially if it’s promoting arts and culture,” he added.

The driving force behind the event was students and faculty members of the Nosach Films Academy, which was established in 2010 with the support of KYI to provide the youth of Lyari training in filmmaking. The final part of their training required them to either submit a short film, feature film or documentary, which, if selected, would be showcased at the festival along with other submissions. Among the films that have been screened at the festival are Jalebi (not the upcoming feature film), Sheermaal, Wheels and 2×1=2.

Notable celebrities, including silver-screen legends Mustafa Qureshi and Nadeem Baig, graced the event with their presence. Qureshi, who was the guest of honour on the opening day of the festival, spoke about the Pakistani film industry. Lamenting over how Pakistani cinema has suffered during the last few decades, he encouraged budding filmmakers to take initiative and make films in all languages and on diverse topics.

“Upcoming filmmakers should make films exploring new themes and topics. I encourage them to make films in different languages such as Balochi and on topics such as Lyari,” said the acting virtuoso, who is known for his stints as a villain. “We need people who can tell our own stories because, eventually, they will shape our identity on a global front.”

Qureshi commended the efforts of the organisers and was full of praise for the people of Lyari, referring to them as “treasures we never made use of.” Baig lauded the aspiring filmmakers, stating, “It is heartening to see such quality work being done as these youngsters are the next generation of filmmakers who will put Pakistani cinema back on the map.”

Ahsan Shah, a graduate of the Nosach Films Academy, whose documentary Wheels and short film Azmaan were screened on the opening day of the festival, commented on the obstacles he faced during the process of filmmaking. “The people of Lyari are full of ideas and full of talent, but there is a serious lack of equipment and resources. Despite that, we are producing quality content,” he said, adding,“My request to people is that don’t give us resources, give us a platform and we will prove our mettle.”

Published in The Express Tribune, September 21st, 2014.

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Reprisal death?: Army man kidnapped, slain in Lyari

KARACHI: 

An army man was kidnapped and killed allegedly by gangsters in the crime-infested neighbourhood of Lyari on Thursday.

“Lance Naik Tariq Younus was allegedly kidnapped by gangsters on Wednesday and his body was found dumped near the Old Slaughterhouse area of Lyari on Thursday,” SSP City Shiraz Nazir told The Express Tribune. The victim was a resident of Hazara Colony, Lyari and posted in Sindh Regiment at Hyderabad.

Tariq Younus, who was home on leave, had gone to a nearby market to get his cell phone repaired when he was kidnapped by the alleged operatives of the Baba Ladla Group.

“We have information from many sources that Baba Ladla group’s Sikandar Siku, Lala Orangi and Sohail had kidnapped Younus and they were seen by people at Tannery Road,” the SSP said.

Police had killed a ringleader of the Baba Ladla gang in the area on Wednesday night and the murder of the army man could be in retaliation for the police action, he said. Police and Rangers have begun a search operation in the area following the body’s recovery.

In another incident unidentified armed men shot dead a doctor at Korangi No 1.5.

According to Zaman Town SHO, unidentified assailants came on motorcycle and gunned down Abul Aziz, 42, in his clinic. The police official said the doctor practiced alternative medicine and had shifted his clinic to Korangi from Shah Faisal Colony a few months back.

The Majlis-e-Wahdatul Muslimeen (MWM) has condemned the unabated targeted killings. The spokesman for the party called the incident a failure of the Sindh government and the law enforcement agencies. “Dr Abdul Aziz was a Shia from Gilgit which is why he was targeted,” said the MWM spokesman Ali Ahmer.

Armed men shot and injured a police constable, Mumtaz, and a passer-by in Juna Market. He was having tea at a roadside stall when assailants targeted him and fled unchallenged, said a police official.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 12th, 2014.


Political games: Upset with PPP, Lyari looks towards PTI

KARACHI: The residents of Lyari have become increasingly disgruntled with the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leadership due to the ongoing operation in the neighbourhood and are showing support for the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), The Express Tribune has learnt.

These new wishes of the Lyari residents came to the front when a large number of them made an appearance at one of the PTI sit-ins on Sea View earlier this week. During the 2013 general elections, PTI was the second largest party to emerge from Lyari as it managed to secure those votes that were considered ‘silent’.

However, PPP leaders have denied they are feeling the pressure. “No, we are not going to join PTI,” MNA Shahjahan Baloch told The Express Tribune. “There is no pressure from any side but from the general public who are not happy with the ongoing operation,” he explained.

Meanwhile, sources said that the PPP leadership is unhappy with the participation of the Lyari residents in the PTI sit-in. It was also learnt that a few of the local PPP office bearers, including Adnan Baloch, who contested the PS-111 seat from Lyari, have been suspended.

“The party has taken aggressive action against Adnan,” claimed a PPP leader from Lyari, who wished not be named. “Why should we continue our support to the PPP?” he asked. “There is huge pressure from the public. We have to decide whether we are with the people or with the party.”

PPP Karachi division general secretary Najmi Alam admitted that they have taken action against Adnan Baloch. But the PPP will not be disturbed if a few people decide to join PTI, he said. “Lyari is still a PPP stronghold,” he added.

As far as the residents are concerned, they feel they should have a say in the party they support. “There are people who support Imran Khan but that does not mean decisions should be imposed over the people,” said a young man from Nawa Lane, Muhammad Shakir.

Another man standing outside a paan shop near Aath Chowk, Sheraz Baloch, claimed he was already supporting the PTI. “I cast my vote in favour of the PTI and will be happy if the party takes more interest in Lyari,” he said.

But there were others who were loyal PPP supporters. “Those who are joining the PTI are not part of Lyari,” claimed Abdullah Khan who lives near Mirza Adam Khan Road. “A majority of the people still support the PPP and, if you see any anger, it is all because of the wrong policies of the [PPP] leadership,” he explained.

The people who call the shots in Lyari are, however, hinting otherwise. “We’ll join the PTI soon,” claimed Habib Jan, the senior activist of the PPP and the convenor of Friends of Lyari, while talking to The Express Tribune. “Uzair Bhai [Peoples Amn Committee chief] is also on board on the issue,” he added.

Habib recalled how the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz wanted Lyari to join their party before the May 2013 elections but they voted in favour of the PPP. “It was a big mistake,” he said.

PTI has confirmed that Imran Khan will visit Lyari whenever he comes to the city, claimed Habib. “We are in contact with the PTI leadership and the PPP leadership is not happy with this decision,” he said. “Why should we continue to support the PPP, which has always ignored its voters?”

The residents are, however, taking these developments with a pinch of salt. “There are not ideological but personal differences [between the PPP and the PAC men],” said a shopkeeper from Nayabad, Abdul Aziz Memon. “The politicians received the support of the criminals before the elections and now the criminals are trying to get the support of the politicians,” he explained. “I don’t think the PTI will get a warm welcome if such people join the party.”

Published in The Express Tribune, August 28th, 2014.