As violence rages, Lyari set to celebrate culture day -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

As violence rages, Lyari set to celebrate culture day

Karachi: The Katchi Rabita Committee and the Lyari Resource Centre held two back-to-back press conferences on Friday, expressing fiery and issuing contradictory statements on the Lyari issue.

The LRC, the first one to speak at the Karachi Press Club, announced to hold Lyari Culture Day on March 2 despite the volatile situation in the area.

Through the culture day, the LRC spokesperson said, they wanted to show people that the Baloch were a vibrant and strong entity. The LRC also urged the media to give “proper coverage” to the celebrations.

“We want to give a message of love, peace and unity. Nothing less,” the LRC spokesperson said, adding that the last such event was held at the Sea View but this time it would be arranged at a football ground situated opposite Lyari General Hospital.

When asked that how could they celebrate when “mutilated bodies of young men” were being found in Balochistan every other day, LRC representative Hassan was quick to respond, saying that the culture day was being celebrated with the “consent of our Baloch brothers in order to uphold our tradition”.

Another question pertained to the fluctuating law and order in Lyari, which Hassan said was being “highly exaggerated”. The LRC mainly focused on inviting the media to give coverage to the “good side of Lyari”.

The press briefing by Kutchi Rabita Committee was more blunt and forthright, as the members spoke about the “constant insecurity” of living in a troubled neighborhood. A KRC representative said that their women could not go out owing to constant abductions and calls for ransom money, alleging that the members of defunct People’s Amn Committee have been running illegal businesses. He mentioned that some 70 people belonging to Kutchi community lost their lives since 2009 during the unending war between the “gangsters” roaming freely in the area, saying: “The worst part is that the Balochs are destroying themselves more than us”.

The KRC reiterated its stance of being with the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) for the longest period of time and of not breaking the alliance.

Sitting beside Hussain, Akhtar Kutchi kept quiet for most part of the briefing until someone asked him whether KRC was deriving support from Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM).

Denying the charge angrily, Akhtar said that almost all the 170 sub-castes of Kutchis happen to be Sindhi speaking and loyal to PPP.

The KRC, however, expressed its disappointment over the “double-policy” of the government in dealing with the Lyari issue.

The KRC said that despite the ongoing rivalry between the two communities they did not support a suggestion to divide Lyari “since we are not goons and neither we want lands; we only want peace and a respectable life”.

Regarding the recent operation in Lyari, the KRC said it was a complete waste of time, alleging that the law enforcing agencies used to tip off the gangsters who get ample time to run away.

Hussain Kutchi did admit to keeping arms for his protection, saying: “It is a question of protecting our dignity now than our lives”. Before leaving, the KRC urged upon the government to take emergent measures to tackle the growing violence in Lyari.

Source: The News