I HAD the first awakening of the dire state we are in when I had to catch a flight from Jinnah International Airport for my summer vacations. The barricades, the checkposts and armed security guards could have made me easily believe that I was in a place like Iraq.
I put my queasiness aside, just like targeted killings, muggings and day-to-day issues of present-day Karachi I and many others like me have learned to ignore.
Alas, there is only so much we can push aside. On my way home the other night, I happened to take the route whereupon my eyes fell on four-star hotels. For every driver, the entrance to these hotels is always a nightmare with all its security measures, again a sight I have got myself accustomed to. Container on top of container lined the hotels’ walls as if waiting for an attack.
Fear so deep has engulfed the nation that none of us realises how strikingly we resemble a war-torn nation.
We have the symptoms of chaos from growing corruption, the never-ending robberies and entrepreneurial kidnappers.
Yet amidst it all, we continue to live, oblivious to everything around us.
They say no man is an island, yet the people of Karachi have learned to be their own island, only bothered if the storm hits their doorsteps. In this I include myself, for with the deteriorating state each of us has adapted a self-preservation mechanism.
The question is: How long will we go on like this? Will voice rise, that too usually for the wrong things? Will our future generations ever get to see the Pakistan we saw as children?
SAHAR JATOI Karachi