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Just a hundred yards away

Updated July 16, 2013

Just a hundred yards or so separates the sea from the Karachi residence of the President of Pakistan. If this conjures up an image of a lovely tree lined path, weaving through a lush green garden, leading up to the sea from the President’s residence, then it is nothing but a fantasy. The reality is completely the opposite.

The area adjacent to Bilawal House is one of the filthiest in all of Clifton. Starting from the dirtiest market in town right adjacent to the high walls of this famous residence, there are pot holed roads, pools of dirty water, piles of burning garbage, stray dogs, scavenging crows, dug up grounds, abandoned construction and crumbling apartment buildings.

Here are some pictures of this neglect and indifference beyond the four walls of the high and mighty.

Rome was not built in a day, but this may not be built in a hundred years.

Look closely: how much wildlife can you find here?

Abandoned and rusting, like the rest of Karachi.

A graveyard of impounded vehicles.

For some the garbage is livelihood.

He is not Nero; he is just watching the enchanting scenery.

This man told me that the plastic bags sometimes get stuck in the animal’s throat and choke it to death.

Dubai (in the background), Pakistan (in the foreground).

Healthy, life-giving fumes rise from the garbage. The garbage is burnt regularly to make room for more garbage.

Post-nuclear holocaust?

Not exactly Bilawal House standard.

Excellent view of the reality outside the walls.

Food for the day by the residents of the rag shacks.

Crumbling buildings all in a row.

Distorted humans of Karachi.

Now if the President sat here and did some thinking.