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─ Photo by Hussain Afzal
─ Photo by Hussain Afzal
─ Photo by Hussain Afzal
─ Photo by Hussain Afzal
─ Photo by Hussain Afzal
─ Photo by Hussain Afzal
─ Photo by Hussain Afzal
─ Photo by Hussain Afzal

The walls of Karachi Press Club — which had recently been painted with colourful murals of several progressive civil society activists and journalists — were vandalised last night allegedly by members of politico-religious parties.

The messages left by the vandals were spray-painted over the portraits of nearly all women activists featured on the wall.

Though the vandals remain individually unidentified, the walls have the initials of politico-religious parties Pakistan Sunni Tehreek (PST) and Tehreek-i-Labbaik (TLY) sprayed on them.

A call for executing Asia Bibi, currently on death row as a blasphemy accused, was written in large black letters next to the portrait of Yasmeen Lari, a prominent architect, historian and humanitarian aid worker.

─ Photo by Hussain Afzal
─ Photo by Hussain Afzal

Lari's portrait had been defaced with crude marks spray-painted on her face. A line in Urdu below the painting read:"Immediately arrest and hang Shaan Taseer or you'll be responsible for the consequences."

Shaan Taseer is the son of slain Punjab governor Salman Taseer, who was gunned down by his guard for speaking against Pakistan's blasphemy law and in favour of minorities' rights. Shaan recently repeated his father's stance on the blasphemy law, and has been criticised heavily by the religious right for his views.

Read more: Taseer’s son gets death threats over Christmas message

The portrait of Zubeida Mustafa, a renowned journalist and the first woman in Pakistani mainstream media, had been defaced with the words "Curse on the Jewish media" sprayed across her face. Her quote: "Women's lack of empowerment condemns us to social problems," had been defaced with a profanity.

PST's initials could be seen spray-painted on a mural honouring Perveen Rehman, who was killed in 2013 allegedly for standing up to Karachi's powerful land mafia. She had been working on documenting land-use around Karachi, and this may have upset entrenched criminal elements in the city.

Her quote: "Development should mean human development," has been sprayed over with a religious slogan.

The mural dedicated to Fatima Surraiya Bajiya, a playwright and social worker, had likewise been defaced with profanities directed at the Taseer family and demands to release Khadim Hussain Rizvi, who was among more than 150 individuals arrested by authorities in Lahore yesterday for trying to gather for a pro-blasphemy law rally on the day of Salman Taseer's death.

Comments (31) Closed

Javeed Jan 05, 2017 07:05pm

It is time "The State" act aganist these ignorant people. This is why education is the backbone of a progressive society.

ali Jan 05, 2017 07:05pm

Shame!! We created them...lets face the music. Govt all the world will take action if this would have happened....but don't expect any in the land of the pure!! Where are we headed to????

Imran ali Jan 05, 2017 07:05pm

i thought karachi operation was against fanatic militants ....

Rehan Jan 05, 2017 07:12pm

So much for the success of Karachi Operation. Where were the law enforcers, when an act which must have taken a while for these perpetuators was conducted.

Lucrative Jan 05, 2017 07:24pm

National Action Plan should be implemented with full force and such criminals must be punished or live their lives behind the bars.

Bewildered Jan 05, 2017 07:25pm

A big question mark on Karachi Operations! Is rangers asleep?

Patriot Jan 05, 2017 07:33pm

Someone should seriously take action against this mindset.

Pakistani Jan 05, 2017 07:36pm

These semi literate savages that our madrassas are churnig out are a risk to Pakistan and the rest of the world.

Their financing needs to be shut down

Sal - Canada Jan 05, 2017 07:42pm

This is vandalism of the highest order. The culprits not only need to be caught and punished but also need to pay for cleaning and fixing theses beautiful wall paintings.,

Uzair Jan 05, 2017 07:42pm

what a shame Successful Karachi operation !!! yesterday we came to know that crime was actually increased in Karachi and today we have this news!!

KHALID YOUSAFZAI (UK) Jan 05, 2017 07:59pm

This is the first step to depict the ignorants in our country who have nothing at stake, but the ink that they waste on walls and dirty our country. When we were small kids, this never happened because of the absence of such ignorants.

Mansoor Ali Khan Jan 05, 2017 08:06pm

Result of our mullahs and madrassas being given a free hand and left uncontrolled..

Hassan (Karachi) Jan 05, 2017 08:12pm

I have seen the same graffiti on Defense moor (Korangi/Sunset Blvd Defense Phase 1/2 signal) in Karachi.

Princess_of_DHUMP Jan 05, 2017 08:11pm

Where art thou, Rangers?

Ijaz Jan 05, 2017 08:28pm

Arrest the leadership of PST and TLY.

Jalbani Baloch Jan 05, 2017 08:36pm

The State should act swiftly and arrest the leaders of the parties on the charges of instigating and abetting their activists to engage in such distasteful act of intimidation, otherwise, arrest of individuals would not discourage such people in repeating their offences. This is the only solution, if pursued with all sincerity, can be helpful in maintaining peace and order in our country.

Nasim Jan 05, 2017 08:37pm

Mr. Prime Minister and Army Chief,

Crush these monsters and make an example of them. State protection of these elements must end otherwise there will be no more Pakistan.

Renegade Jan 05, 2017 08:43pm

Madrasas must be closed and all religious preaching/education must be done schools

Raza Jan 05, 2017 09:02pm

@Bewildered so is the Police and PPP Govt

Raza Jan 05, 2017 09:03pm

@PrincessofDHUMP where is the police dear PPP Sindh Govt ?

Philosopher(from japan) Jan 05, 2017 09:08pm

Yet ch nisar claims the success of nap.

asif Jan 05, 2017 09:37pm

It seems we are doomed already.

Sab Se Pehle Pakistan Jan 05, 2017 10:26pm

This is what happens when the so called across the board operation is not truly across the board. Targeting selected areas of one particular most loved political party of Urban Sindh has given minimum results. There are still safe heavens in Urban Sindh and Street crimes are on a record high.

Sajjad Jan 05, 2017 10:40pm

@Rehan - Karachi operation is against terrorists and I fail to understand why some sections of the society are not acknowledging its success. This particular case is sheer vandalism and can only be addressed unless religious political groups lose public sympathies.

Khan Jan 06, 2017 01:24am

Why are Pakistani so intolerant of women in the public sphere? Male insecurity is no justification for curtailing women's progress.

Syed Daniyal ahmed Jan 06, 2017 02:12am

Should look into the cctv footages to find the real culprits otherwise the speculations will further create more divisions within Pakistani society.

Syed Daniyal ahmed Jan 06, 2017 02:11am

I believe that the target of the NAP were the liberal militants and not their religious counterparts. The motoo gang and the rest of the non-state actors will destroy Pakistan.

Jan 06, 2017 02:35am

So sad to hear about these acts of criminal and malicious vandalism by a small minority of politico-religious fanatics.Also disappointing to know that silent majority is either ,unwilling,unable or frightened to stop this for fear of reprisals and threat of violence.The authorities responsible to maintain law and order are corrupt and inefficient . The country needs leaders who are honest and possess integrity. More imprtantantly we need to be educated.Therefore the aim and priority of the government should be - to quote British Labour leader- Education,education,education.

SYED HASSAN HASEEB Jan 06, 2017 02:38am

is this the good result of karachi operation

Chicago Jan 06, 2017 02:45am

Why can't we arrest these party leaders??? put some kind of a camera to watch all illegal activities. Wall chalking should be banned anyone caught should get severe punishment. Where is police and rangers.

Ayub Jan 06, 2017 06:32am

This is due to lack of proper understanding or misunderstanding of our holy religion Islam.