They hate America but took away Kentucky Fried Chicken

Published: September 23, 2012

The KFC outlet near PIDC which was vandalised by protesters on Friday. PHOTO: MOHAMMAD NOMAN/EXPRESS

KARACHI: 

They came for the fried chicken.

Perhaps the men who came to pillage the Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) branch at PIDC didn’t like chilli garlic ketchup. That was one of the packets they left behind.

Everything else in the restaurant is gone – including the stock of chicken and other food, and Pepsi.

A branch manager and two baffled employees surveyed the damage on Saturday morning, trying to wrap their heads around what had happened.

“They’ve taken four split air conditioners… look, they couldn’t yank this one out so it’s still here,” said a kitchen staffer, as he looked at an AC hanging from its cables.

The KFC branch is flooded with water and shards of glass that crunch beneath the feet. “Look at the bathroom,” said an employee. “They’ve taken away the taps. That’s why it’s flooded!”

The delivery systems, most of the furniture and the computers at the popular KFC outlet have gone. Witnesses said that they saw the men balancing their newfound loot on their heads. The mob could easily build an entire restaurant from what it stole.

Abu Bakar, who runs Moosa Pan Shop and General Store at PIDC, said two freezers of soft drinks had been broken into. “Our loss is around Rs80,000 to Rs90,000.”

The pattern was repeated at all of the banks at PIDC. MCB, UBL, NIB, Allied Bank and Al Baraka branches have been gutted, and the National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) has suffered extensive damage. Sheraton’s windows appear to have been smashed, though they covered them up with wooden laticework.

“The cash in the ATM and the bank is safe,” said the NBP manager. “The material losses… all the furniture and the PCs. We haven’t done an assessment yet but we’re looking at up to Rs3 million in losses.”

An NBP employee, Farrukh, said he had been witness to every bomb blast at PIDC, including one in 1996. “Still I have never seen damage like this before,” he said, standing amid a pile of broken glass. “We just got about eight new Pentiums… they took them away too.”

Those responsible for the carnage broke through the grilles, smashed the glass and then systematically began to take everything of value. At all the banks, the ATMs were wrenched out of the walls and smashed in. There is no furniture, computers or infrastructure left.

At MCB, a customer idled around, trying to see if he could speak to someone. “I’ve been here twice just to get the assurance that the lockers are safe,” he said. “I have been told that they are.” At UBL, an employee said they would only be able to assess the damage once the surveyors came in. Throughout the morning, longtime workers at the banks came drifting in to see their office turned into a mangled pile of steel and rubble.

But while they were despondent, for some, it was a chance to profiteer.

Young boys snaked around, collecting the largest pieces of broken glass they could find to sell. “I’m going to take this to Shershah,” said Mullah Dad, as he balanced a huge sack on his back,

“I’ll get two or three thousand rupees from this.”

At NBP, the smaller pieces of glass were collected and dumped on a truck. “KMC should clean this up,” a staffer said.

A traffic police check post at PIDC has also been gutted. One officer tried to clean up the building, while another stared out. “I’ve been in the traffic police for 26 years. I’ve never seen anything like what happened yesterday. We had to run to save our lives.”

The blackened walls of the check post hid everything, including a wooden plaque with officers’ names. “The government will know how much the damage is, but it looks like around Rs200,000,” he said. At the Civil Lines police station, stand the burnt-out carcasses of the three police mobiles that bore the brunt of the protestors’ ire.

“What could we have done?” said a number of officers from the station. “There were about six or seven of us against their thousands,” said one. “We had no orders – only to look at what was happening. If we had shot at them, then you know how they would have turned against us.”

“Those boys – about 40 of them – were easily lifting up the containers! How are we supposed to control them?” asked an officer.

“They took the motor away from the PIDC check post. Our cars have been burnt, our men injured,” the other officer said. “No one ever cares about what happens to the police.”

Published in The Express Tribune, September 23rd, 2012.

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Reader Comments (54)

  • Emad
    Sep 23, 2012 - 11:38AM

    Is it Pakistan i am living in ? feels shame

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  • Dr.Hassan
    Sep 23, 2012 - 12:06PM

    One cannot find words to express grief and sorrow over such incidents…The protestors do not know what Islam is actually……

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  • shoaib
    Sep 23, 2012 - 12:19PM

    Obviously they came with a plan to rob and not to protest.

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  • Qasim
    Sep 23, 2012 - 12:22PM

    Wullah, what a true depiction of Ishq-e-Rasool, his teachings and sunnah?

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  • kumar
    Sep 23, 2012 - 12:35PM

    its muslims like those only diluting the name of holy islam i feel pity and sorry for u people u arent follwers of islam u are one just hooligan ..looting shops in name of protest. .. shame !!!

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  • Zalim Singh
    Sep 23, 2012 - 12:49PM

    its hallal, right?

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  • abid
    Sep 23, 2012 - 12:54PM

    shame on those people who have robbed and destroyed govern. properties.These goons should be tried in court of law and money should be recovered from them similarly like the way it is done in London riots , Mumbai Riots and Malaysian Riots. Those didn’t come out for the love of Prophet(P.B.U.H) in fact they come out to loot and it is a shame that government has not arrested all of them and yet not recovered the losses they did to national exchequers.

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  • Amitabh Bachan
    Sep 23, 2012 - 12:54PM

    Well These Corporate Multinationals are the New face of Colonialism “The Corporatocracy” and People all over the world are starting to hate them …. May be that has something to do with it.Recommend

  • Ali S
    Sep 23, 2012 - 1:03PM

    NFP said it best in his column: “It’s official. We’re not a nation. We’re a mob”. The only way that these people will understand anything is by naked aggression, we need ‘danda’ and an iron-fisted ruler to run us like a civilization – next time issue shoot on sight orders to Rangers. Once a handful of these thugs are dropped dead, they’ll think many times before doing this again.

    Ishq-e-Rasool Day should be for reciting durood and making dua’s.Recommend

  • Rehan f
    Sep 23, 2012 - 1:18PM

    Whether they were real protestors or fake, government should catch them with iron hand. I have my office there and I know there are multiple cameras installed. Police should get the video and catch as much as they can identify by face in those clips.

    That’s a shame what they did in the name of our beloved Prophet Mohammad (PBUH). They should be charged with criminal charges.Recommend

  • Sajjad Shaikh
    Sep 23, 2012 - 1:25PM

    HOLD ON ANTI PAKISTANIS! Along with the five deaths, at least 16 others were injured as a direct result of related violent acts. An estimated £200 million worth of property damage was incurred, and local economic activity was significantly compromised in UK 2011 Riots.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2011Englandriots

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  • Mohammad
    Sep 23, 2012 - 1:27PM

    No one but we the Pakistanis have caused a damage to Islam which is not recoverable, even the Muslims in other countries are not at all happy for the picture of Islam we are sending out there to the world…

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  • Javaid R. Shami
    Sep 23, 2012 - 1:36PM

    If this is how we express our love what do we do to express our hate?

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  • alicia
    Sep 23, 2012 - 1:52PM

    I am more angry at the government. First they gave a whole day for people to engage in such activities. I don’t know what else they expected. Everyone knew this would be a day for mob rule and looting’s. Then the government failed to provide adequate security.

    Also I have never been so ashamed of the Pakistani nation. I had a little hope that since this was supposed to be a religious day they would show some restraint. Or maybe they would think once or twice about the man they were claiming to love by celebrating this day. But NO!! Who cares about America or Islam or the movie. As long as we are some how able to make profit in the disguise of these protests or anything else. WHO cares?

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  • just_someone
    Sep 23, 2012 - 1:55PM

    Who can resist the Colonel’s chicken? :)

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  • Sep 23, 2012 - 3:09PM

    very shameful act on Friday during protest…………This was not a protest for “Holy Prophet” but it was protest for their own desires……………shameful

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  • Aftab Nabi
    Sep 23, 2012 - 3:21PM

    bcoz Chicken was not American..:D :DRecommend

  • Saadiya
    Sep 23, 2012 - 3:58PM

    They should make an ad with this material . What about bringing in sharia laws for those who were caught stealing that day – chop of their hands and lets see Islamic justice as well !

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  • Khurram Malik
    Sep 23, 2012 - 4:59PM

    I was laughing out loud when my Fundamentalist friend defended burning of KFC stating that KFC actually stands for ” Kaafir Fried Chicken ” and that is they reason Pakistanis in general should boycott KFC in Pakistan.Recommend

  • Enlightened
    Sep 23, 2012 - 5:15PM

    If US grants them visa, all these anti-US hooligans will happily migrate to America.

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  • BRUISED INDIAN
    Sep 23, 2012 - 5:46PM

    @Amitabh Bachan: You’re such a two faced person! On the news article of the American Senate quashing the anti – aid bill to Pakistan you seemed jovial and happy and here you are bashing colonialism? Unka Paisa is ok but unke Corporates are not?

    Read your comment here: http://tribune.com.pk/story/441129/bill-seeking-pakistan-aid-suspension-defeated-in-us-senate/

    @Sajjad Shaikh: Man, this keeps getting better and better! London Riots cannot be compared to what happened on Friday… complete contradiction to what ‘That Day’ would have supposed to be. Realized one thing for the past week or so, people like you love to prove wrong with even more wrong.

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  • Outlaw
    Sep 23, 2012 - 5:56PM

    Protest for a good cause, ends up in a loot. No wonder we are in such a state. I am ashamed of being a Pakistani. We blame other for blasphemy, haven’t we done the same?

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  • Me
    Sep 23, 2012 - 6:00PM

    These are professional gundas they’re not ppl who hate any country or love any country. They’re looters not ppl with a cause. Title of article does not indicate this but if you read the article and notice the names of places looted you realise the violence or damage was done for the purposes of looting only, pity law enforcement is so weak that they could not control the criminals.

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  • Hamza Sherdil
    Sep 23, 2012 - 6:12PM

    Absolutely shameful act. How does this kind of act justify the cause of the “protests”? Bounty of $200,000 on these protestors.

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  • Anum Talat
    Sep 23, 2012 - 6:28PM

    Expressing love and respect for someone means respecting his thoughts, actions and speech,and it can be done by daily life. Our love for Prophet (PBUH) pops up when someone ridicules him, not in our dail;y life.. What a shame….

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  • Haanish Khalil
    Sep 23, 2012 - 6:45PM

    how riduculous!!
    P.S.lttle bit funny :P

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  • Adnan Khan
    Sep 23, 2012 - 7:05PM

    They didn’t steal from an American franchise. No, no. They “liberated” the halal (Muslim), Pakistani chickens from the freezers of the infidels.
    .
    [That's how they would've reported it, if American journalists had to write this piece for ET.]Recommend

  • Cautious
    Sep 23, 2012 - 7:58PM

    I guess the Quran doesn’t have anything that condemns theft? Always amazes me that people use religion to justify acts that are clearly condemned by the religion they are defending. Hypocritical bigots using religion to justify their criminal actions.

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  • Aftab Solangi
    Sep 23, 2012 - 8:36PM

    bcoz chicken was not American :DRecommend

  • What the...?
    Sep 23, 2012 - 8:46PM

    thats what we get in a nation in whch there is such a wide gap between the filthy rich and the dirt poor :(

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  • What the...?
    Sep 23, 2012 - 8:48PM

    They came…they pillaged…they took fried chicken :P

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  • SamreenZia
    Sep 23, 2012 - 9:10PM

    I don’t think this is about Islam. this all is about the hunger and poverty and even exploiting the opportunities on the right time. The same thing happened After Benazir Bhutto death. That was not sorrow on the loss of a great leader, that was how can one get the best out of everything. No matter what, in a country where the wealth distribution is almost negligible, at least cases like these should bring up the unemployment and the suffering of the poor on the limelight where rich are living luxuriously and even one piece of bread is not available to the poor. Nothing can be more foolish than appending the cause of these cases to the sentiments of people.

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  • Marium Gul
    Sep 23, 2012 - 9:43PM

    it’s surprising to me that people are ‘ashamed’ and ‘shocked’ at ‘the protesters’ taking advantage of the opportunity to make a few bucks – perhaps the comfort of your sheltered homes hazes your ability to realize the factors – the gap between the rich and the poor escalating at the rate that it is, the lack of job opportunties for the latter and the ever increasing price of basic necessities of survival – that drive our fellow citizens to resort to such behaviour

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  • Sep 23, 2012 - 11:26PM

    what about american f-16 and french submarines throw them throw them….:-)

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  • Sep 24, 2012 - 2:02AM

    A great service done to the Holy prophet (MPBH), Islam and Pakistan by these people.31 people lost their lives, property destroyed and bad name earned in whole world by their deeds.Shame.Poverty and unemployment is in every third world country and is not a genuine reason for looting in the name of religion.

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  • rome
    Sep 24, 2012 - 2:06AM

    ashamed and surprised to read that nobody even talking abt the reason behind this behaviour, was it from criminal people or people from political parties or just simple poor person who daily life is miserable by the way, and they are the ones who do all the hard job nobody of our E.T readers will touch. were is the senses nowdays. literate people with no IQ i would say.

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  • Wipe Out
    Sep 24, 2012 - 2:41AM

    @Sajjad Shaikh:
    The London Riots were RIOTS with people rebelling against their own police and government because the police had shot an innocent man. And then it spun out of control and mob mentality kicked in.

    I think, ours being “Ishq-e-Rasool” day, and a protest against foreigners thousands of miles away, it is ridiculous and shameful that it turned into nothing but a looting frenzy against our own.

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  • PakArmySoldier
    Sep 24, 2012 - 3:00AM

    Good ole’ Mullahs.

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  • Mahmood Alajmi
    Sep 24, 2012 - 9:10AM

    This is wrong line of reasoning as pursued by Western media. They conveniently ignore the stark reality and the writing on the wall: No Pakistani hates America per se. American products demand is at their peak in Pakistan: Soft drinks, Jeans, Computers et al. It is America’s killing of innocent women and children in Waziristan that is totally against all norms of humanity. Then you have the gall to call yourself champions of humanity! What’s next? Hitler being the saviour of Jews ?

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  • Beenish Pervaiz
    Sep 24, 2012 - 10:25AM

    I am wondering why all you guys who are posting comments about these rioters and why did NOT one of you step up and stopped these crazy guys from wrecking property. We know we are living in a time of gutless wonders, you all talk you all blame but for citizens to unite and protect & for men to safeguard their families. mothers, sisters and children you need courage and that seems to lack in most of you.

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  • M.Ahmer Ali
    Sep 24, 2012 - 10:40AM

    We do have hatred feelings and attitudes only about/for US’ leaders’ dual-faced,double-standard,prejudicial and hypocritical policies regarding the muslims of the world most especially importantly Asian muslim countries,Yemen and Libya and the muslim world not about/for the Americans and this is the main difference between the thoughts of Western people and Asian people in this regard…Recommend

  • Mulla from Lal Masjid
    Sep 24, 2012 - 12:19PM

    Those who came in streets and fought for Islam will get 72 hooris for sure.
    I request to each and every of my pakistani birather that they immediately destroy foreign properties in pakistan.
    Those who call you gunda and hooligan will face worst of fate when at time of Kayamat.

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  • Nasir Khorasanee
    Sep 24, 2012 - 4:30PM

    @Sajjad Shaikh:
    The difference between the London riots and what happened in pakistan is that the Police caught almost everyone involved in the rioting and looting and prosecuted them. The courts worked overtime to dispense quick justice and to date people involved are being identified and arrested. I bet there will be no prosecution of anyone in Pakistan…

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  • salman
    Sep 24, 2012 - 5:28PM

    What else do we expect from a mob , i was on city streets all day .. all i saw was young men in shalwar kameez and beards reaching their bellys .. going mental on every thing. Recommend

  • Saadiya
    Sep 24, 2012 - 8:49PM

    Hey kumar bro : this behaviour is better than the one in your country by so called educated politicians. So look at who the hooligan is

    http://www.ndtv.com/video/player/left-right-centre/policewoman-thrashed-by-protesters-in-odisha-can-hooligans-be-allowed-to-get-away/245940

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  • moonjely sony
    Sep 24, 2012 - 8:50PM

    thank you prime minster, when is the next holiday for french cartoons?declare it as soon as possible.becos i need some wash room fittings, a led tv , music system and a new laptop and desk top.

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  • tausif
    Sep 25, 2012 - 4:09PM

    this is weakness of our law enforcement agencies.

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  • Morons
    Sep 26, 2012 - 12:42AM

    Pentiums are not new anymore…just saying..

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  • Sexton Blake
    Sep 26, 2012 - 12:52AM

    Pakistan does have a whole batch of problems that appear, on the face of it, to be different from other countries. However, are they really that different. Most of the Western countries, and Pakistan is closely allied to the West, have been following incredibly foolish economic, defense and social policies that leave one shaking his/her head in disbelief. As a result the poor people, who are the majority, are living a very tough life, and Pakistanis, who tend to be poorer than people in some other countries, are doing it tougher. When the economic situation continues to become worse and worse (government economic stats saying otherwise are usually incorrect) the morality of people tends to drop due to the harsh conditions they are living under, and survival becomes the order of the day. As a result, unfortunate situations such as the Kentucky Fried Chicken attack occur. I cannot say what the answer is, but a good start would be for the world leaders to drop their war mentality. The US has spent several trillion dollars on war in recent times, and Pakistan has spent a considerable sum. This money if it had been spent correctly would have improved the lives of hundreds of millions of people. Alas, it did not happen and an opportunity to make the world a great place to live in has been lost. The unfortunate aspect to the whole thing is that I do not see any leaders on the world horizon who will make a difference. Perhaps in Pakistan’s case Imran Khan may be the solution? Quite obviously, new thinking is required.

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  • sonumkapoor99@yahoo.com
    Sep 26, 2012 - 2:59AM

    i am feeling shame as being pakistani. what we have done to this country.police should have killed those who have done looting shops.

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  • Aijaz Haider
    Oct 16, 2012 - 11:30AM

    @Beenish Pervaiz: Everybody was waiting for you.

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  • Aijaz Haider
    Oct 16, 2012 - 11:38AM

    The punishment for dacoits and looters, in Islam, is death. Hand-cutting is for theft and robbery. These acts of looting call for death penalty. Islamic hudood / punishments are exemplary.
    Regards.

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  • Saad A. Shah
    Oct 17, 2012 - 8:28PM

    Actually, a chicken is a chicken… whether from kfc or quetta kakar hotel!!!!

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