Gangs of Islamabad

Published: August 12, 2010
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Colleges in Islamabad are now home to multiple gangs.

Colleges in Islamabad are now home to multiple gangs.

ISLAMABAD: It all started with Mrs Khalid Butt finding cigarettes in her son’s room. This was all the more worrisome for being discovered around the same time that he had stopped asking her for pocket money.

After questioning his friends, she was even more traumatised to discover that her son, an O-level student, had joined a group of boys who called themselves the “Sheesha Gang”. The gang was involved in a number of anti-social activities that included purse snatching, smoking, hooliganism, vandalism and female harassment.

“I was shocked. I immediately changed his school and started monitoring his activities,” Butt told The Express Tribune.

Many college-gangs operate in the twin cities, including Tiger Student Federation, Muslim Student Federation and Pakistan Student Federation, among others. Some of these gangs are even backed by influential political parties.

A student of a college in Rawalpindi said these gangs were involved in various violent activities that included but were not limited to threatening, street fighting and extortion.

One group, for instance, called itself 98 and indulged in one-wheeling on roads of the twin cities. One wheeling is a dangerous activity where the motorcyclist drives his bike on the rear wheel while the front wheel is suspended in the air.

Syed Naveed, a member of 98, said, “Wheeling is my passion and my bike is my wife.” He blamed the lack of recreational activities for youth in Pakistan for his “dangerous” hobby.

Another gang, Mr 49, is involved in wall-chalking and writes various messages on walls of different houses with the intent of scaring the residents of the neighbourhood.

Kamran Ahmed, who works as a clinical psychologist for the United Nations, said the main reason behind youth involving themselves in anti-social activities is the lack of opportunities to prove themselves.

He added that lack of positive challenges for the youth, their tendency to take short cuts in life, eagerness to break norms, family pressure, peer pressure, a sense of failure and loneliness all contributed to their tendency to join anti-social gangs.

“[The lack of ample opportunities] leads to frustration, which leads to them indulging in such activities,” he added.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 12th, 2010.

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Reader Comments (10)

  • Aug 12, 2010 - 2:14AM

    This seems frustrating. I believe parents are not playing any role is this regard, sending their children to expensive schools with huge pocket money & buying them cars and bikes is one of the reason that leads these teenagers to act immoral activities. From parents! there should be proper control on everything. Recommend

  • Aug 12, 2010 - 11:53AM

    This article is a clear indication of the wrong path our youth is choosing to release its frustration.This is high time now that parents must interact with their children on frequent basis and not only keep an eye on their friends and activities but also try and come up with meaningful activities and involve children in them. Reading & writting habbits are diminishing and its time now that they be revived.Similarly outdoor sporting activities also need to be revived as they not only keep the children health but may also save them for mingling with anti social element present in the society.TV programs should not contain the element of vioence or eve teasing but should be design more in the direction to depict our true culture of Love & peace. May Allah keep our kids safe. Recommend

  • ali hamdani
    Aug 12, 2010 - 12:18PM

    Violence is condemned by the citizens of Pakistan and especially in major cities which portray the International image of the masses. We must curb violence in Islamabad and all acts linked to it.Recommend

  • Toufiq Ur rehman
    Aug 12, 2010 - 1:17PM

    Good story…but why schools allow students to make Gangs.Mostly parents not focus on their children activity.They don’t know where their children s are ……………… Recommend

  • Waqqas Iftikhar
    Aug 12, 2010 - 2:07PM

    From time immemorial kids have got into scraps like these as long as it doesn’t get into serious addiction or death, this tug-of-war between parents and teenagers may even spawn some great art.

    See ‘Catcher in the Rye’ – Salinger, insolence and rebellion were going on long before today’s large ‘pocket money’ and ‘spoilt kids’ and ‘immoral activities’

    p.s. Mr 49 and 98, these kids know their ratios dont theyRecommend

  • Aug 12, 2010 - 2:28PM

    Great piece….So much of youth destruction and violence is there among the young gen…parents paying little attention to them and getting more materialistic….this leads to youth destruction…..Recommend

  • Aug 12, 2010 - 3:29PM

    Welldone Sehrish, no doubt its unique report.Recommend

  • Mansoor Khalid
    Aug 12, 2010 - 4:55PM

    Societal violence has now taken many shapes in our society. It is important that we celebrate the principles of liberalism and rationality to get back what we have lost.Recommend

  • Rahim Baksh
    Aug 12, 2010 - 10:25PM

    Really interesting article and published well on time means on World Youth Day. This is a negative side of our youth just because of lack of opportunities and exposures.I request writer to write on youth exploitation,in our country. there are many people who are hiring them and ask them to work for them without paying and acknowledging them. And when they see their work done they kick them out.ALL THE BEST!Recommend

  • sharooon
    Aug 13, 2010 - 9:47AM

    good job sehrish ,in the current country situtaion and lack of apportunities,corruption has made our youth confused and it is more being confused by the government authorities .Recommend

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