PLAYING fire with fire instead of dousing it, I met a taxi driver during one of my sojourns in Karachi. Naturally, conversation followed during the thirty-minute ride.

Usually, it’s a dialogue to understand why they continue to support the party they used to affiliate themselves with, or why they are choosing newer avenues, a glimpse at grassroots shifts in the political scenario.

This man, however; spoke to me of security measures he takes. He explained the inconvenience of not keeping a cellphone due to the possibility of being mugged, and a secret place to stash his earnings for the day.

Most would argue it’s a security threat for the rich when, in fact, it’s taxi drivers, for whom, with a fluctuating daily wage, a hundred rupees could mean starving a family or having something to eat.

Many of them now refuse to go to certain places, outskirts and certain areas where mugging crimes are higher, some choose specific times of the day when in desperation. The poor robbing the poor — Robin Hood should be turning in his grave.

Nine-year-old girls losing their lives, pandemonium in a marketplace, a businessman’s greatest fear — what is held by the next page? And whose hand shall spill the ink? It’s not who to blame for what happened, it’s who to blame for the absence of a tangible solution.

VISHAL FARID RAZA Karachi

Updated Dec 21, 2012 02:43am

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