What it is like to live in Sindh, Pakistan?


What it is like to live in Sindh, Pakistan?

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Answer ( 1 )

  1. I lived in Karachi, Sindh for the first 40 years of my life. Sindh is one of the 4 provinces of Pakistan. 140,915 square kilometres (54,408 sq mi). As of 1998, the last time a proper census was conducted, the population of the entire Sindh province was 29,991,161, 48.75% of which was Urban. It is generally believed that Karachi alone represents 10% of the country’s population, being its industrial and business hub. The current expected urban population of Sindh is easily 20 million. If the %age remains constant, the overall population of Sindh today should be around 40 ~ 45 million.
    Karachi is the most cosmopolitan city of Pakistan. It is THE city of Pakistan in terms of financial and social activity. It is extremely heterogeneous, representing every single ethnic and cultural nook and cranny of Pakistan. Karachi is estimated to provide for more than 50% of all of Pakistan’s national revenue.
    Sindh is a massive mess. It suffers from many decades of mismanagement and ultra bad governance. There are small pockets of well maintained civic life, but otherwise, it is an extremely backward place to live in. Probably 10 ~ 15 million of Sindh’s populace has a semblance of a decent life. The rest live in an abject absence of basic civic services, security, or justice. The rule of law is tentative, at best, and molested most by the rich and powerful, to suit their whim and fancy.
    So how do people live like this? They do because the existing generation(s) have seen nothing else. Given the extreme lack of education, let alone quality education, and exposure to the world, these people have seen nothing better. This lifestyle, to them, seems like the way people live everywhere in the world. They do know of fancy buildings and riches and modernity exists elsewhere in the world, but it is alien and fanciful and unachievable to them as a DeLorean. Most people equate modernity with immodesty and a lack of social bonding. Decades of brainwashing, by those who benefit from the status quo, have embedded in their minds that if they were to seek the lifestyle of the Europeans or the Americans, their society will fall through this black hole of cultural destruction. Therefore, people continue to live in the pitiful state they are in, happy that they are preserving their culture and purity.
    Foreigners can easily go visit Karachi, as long as they do not act too crazy. Like any large city in the world, Karachi has its criminal elements. But with some basic safeguards, tourists will remain safe and enjoy the local urban lifestyle. Try and not explore the rural areas, or if you do, have ample security available. It may be extremely rare, but getting kidnapped in a third world country can’t be fun.
    Karachi has the best foods. If you land in with the right crowd, (i.e. some senior politician or bureaucrat or landlord), you’ll find rave parties, booze, and the ability to go anywhere and do anything. If your host in Karachi is a middle-class person, you’d get to see the REAL Karachi. The daily struggle of life in a large, mismanaged, ignored metropolis. If you intend to go to the rural parts of Sindh, you MUST arrive as the guest of a Landlord of reasonably strong repute or power. That will be the only way to see Sindh’s rural locales safely. There, you will find life as it was for rural locations a hundred or so years ago. People living in dilapidated conditions, mostly living on subsistence farming or as small traders, and generally passing every day without a goal or aim except to put food on the table and a roof over their heads. It may have been 5,000 years since Moen Jo Daro thrived as one of the most modern locales of that time, but apart from the ubiquitous electronics you’ll see there, the lifestyles and living conditions haven’t changed much.
    I am a Pakistani at heart and I don’t shy away from that fact. It is my sincere belief that, as a nation, with a little honest effort, we could be far, far better than this. In my opinion, it is NOT unpatriotic to clearly identify our problems and shortcomings and voice them, in a serious forum, with an aim to highlighting the truth and maybe, just maybe, bringing awareness to those who can help.

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