A quiet Eid in Lyari

Eid promises to be a subdued affair for Lyari, still reeling from the recent tragedy.


Residents believe Lyari’s youngsters haven’t seen how Eid used to be celebrated in the area. PHOTO: FARAHNAZ ZAHIDI/EXPRESS

KARACHI:


As Eid arrives for the residents of Lyari, the smell of the explosives is still fresh in their minds. They have not yet washed off the bloodstains of their loved ones.


The recent bombing in Lyari that claimed at least 11 lives, including seven children outside the Bazinjo Chowk football ground on early Wednesday, is a wound still raw. The Baloch community in Lyari has appealed to its community to not celebrate Eid with zeal to express solidarity with the people who lost their loved ones.

“On Eid day, we have to visit our loved ones’ graves for Fateha and visit their bereaved families,” said outlawed Peoples Amn Committee leader Zafar Baloch, while talking to The Express Tribune.

Majority of the neutral residents of Lyari remain scared as they fear more violence during Eid and the days to follow. Most of the residents haven’t even bought new clothes.

A common grief

The two arch-rivals in the strife struck Lyari will share a commonality on Eid day by tying ‘black ribbons’ around their arms to express solidarity with the mourners who lost their loved ones in the recent spate of violence and in tit-for-tat killings since the elections in May.

Lyari’s cultural charm has been the multi-ethnicity, and it was once known for its sports, politics and the art.

The Kutchi factor

In the aftermath of the May 11 general elections, Lyari faced another ugly surge of violence as the Baloch community and the Kutchi community collided with each other. The friction claimed dozens of lives and displacement of thousands of people belonging to the Kutchi community to Badin and other parts of the province.

“Before this, 60 per cent of the population of the Kutchi community was in Lyari; now there are only 20 per cent left,” said Kutchi Rabta Committee leader Hussain Kutchi.

Members of the Kutchi community plan to visit the displaced families in parts of Sindh. “I will ask them to come back,” said Hussain Kutchi.

Those were the days

“Lyari’s young generation has not seen what Lyari was in the peaceful past when the whole city liked to celebrate Eid in Lyari,” said Abdul Hai Baloch, a resident of Lyari’s Chakiwara locality.

“Those were days when the last ‘ashra’ (ten days) of Ramazan would be the peak for Lyari’s youth for Eid preparation,” he reminisced.

According to him, it is only on Eid days that the people of Lyari hug each other. “We are divided. Hatred has ruined us,” he explained.

“On Eid, I request group leaders to curb differences,” said Saad Mohammad Yaqoob Lasi, a resident of Moosa Lane, adding he will pray and request all to offer special prayers on Eid for peace in Lyari.

Diehard optimists continue to hope for a better tomorrow. Hassan Kutchi, a resident of Jumma Baloch Road, said that Eid is the ideal time to show strength and unity. “I will celebrate it. Let’s give a message of happiness,” he said.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 9th, 2013.

COMMENTS (6)

Baloch | 7 years ago | Reply

I lost my two nephews in this blast. Eid Mubarak Pakistan.

Mary Ann Beth NJ USA | 7 years ago | Reply

The senseless killing in this poor area should be on the conscience of every Pakistani man & woman. As you celebrate your grand Holiday remember the mother & father who has lost a family member and ask yourself do you care, probably not as long as the loss is not in your family. I am surprised at the silence of you people, you just take this like you sip your tea. This proves to me & the rest of the world you, your politicians & your military will not & cannot handle this terror regime. So send in the DRONES...as you refuse to handle a disease in your country. STOP with the hysterical protest about the DRONES, if you as citizens refuse to act to end this senseless killing unknown to yourself you make the case for DRONES. if you rant AGANIST DRONES then please enter the library of "COWARD" a country that cannot protect its citizens is a country that is afraid.

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