Future of Karachities is bleak as ethnic violence increases

Ayaz Khan Boneri, a 47-year-old private security guard, is among millions of people who see a bleak future amid rising ethnic violence and inflation in the metropolis.

He recently joined a private security firm as security guard, which is a source of bread and butter for his family. “This is the lone earning source for my children, wife and mother”, he told Daily Times outside the office of a private company, where he guarded along with three of his companions.

One month earlier, Boneri used to drive a rickshaw and earned about Rs 300 per day for his family’s livelihood. “The rising ethnic and sectarian violence has ruined the life of common man”, he exclaimed.

Boneri lives at Dera (a shared house), situated in the old Sabzi Mandi area, where a shanty settlement was established long time ago and a large number of Afghan refugees and Pukhtoon labourers dwell here in different Deras.

Boneri informed that he had three children, a wife and the mother, who were sent back to hometown due to financial crisis and rising violence. “I don’t know what my security firm charges for my deployment, but they just pay me Rs 7000 per month which is very low for a family to meet daily expenditures in Karachi,” he said.

According to unofficial statistics, there are 600 private security companies operating across the country and least 500,000 private security guards were deployed at different offices. While the companies were making good profit from the sense of insecurity that thrives, the security guards say that they are on frontline but were being paid meager salaries.

Abdul Rehman, 58, a retired army recruit and a security guard at a five-star hotel in the red zone area, feared he might be targeted by an emotionally motivated suicide bomber. “I know I will be the first to be killed by the suicide bomber.

They targeted and killed the security guards at the American consulate and other places. But I cannot leave this job. I am staying in order to get my pension when I turn 60. Then I will be able to get 25 dollars a month as a pension.”

Like, Ayaz Khan Boneri and Abdul Rehman, there are hundreds of labourers, who live in South Asia’s biggest slum area, Orangi Town, and work at different places as they carry the fear of death.

One such worker, Ahmed Ali, who works at a factory, had a close call near Banaras when the ethnic violence broke out. Unidentified armed men opened fire on a passenger bus he was boarding and killed six people near Katti Pahari area.

“God saved my life”, he said simply. The working class of country’s economic hub, Karachi, have been demanding all stakeholders of the city to play their due role in stopping the growing ethnic violence, which has claimed thousands of lives during past two years.

Spell Bounder

I'm journalist in Pakistan,And working in this field about 20 years.