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I am writing these lines with a view to expressing my deep concerns over the use of the term “Lyari Gang War” that is widely employed by media in relation to the incidents of violence and other crimes in Lyari, Karachi.

I believe that this term is derogatory, inaccurate and unfair to the residents of Lyari, who have suffered for decades from the atrocities of the criminal gangs and the neglect of the authorities alike.

Lyari is one of the oldest and most densely populated areas of Karachi with a rich history and culture. The entire landscape of Lyari is strongly characterized by the presence of people from a variety of cultural and ethnic backgrounds and identities.

Unlike other big or small neighborhoods of this city of teeming millions, the levels of political activism in Lyari have never declined. Lyari is also known as a hub of sports activities, particularly football. Unfortunately, however, Lyari has been plagued by poverty, unemployment, illiteracy, drug abuse and lack of basic amenities.

The term “Lyari Gang War” is a derogatory label that implies that all the people of Lyari are uncivilized, violent and criminal. This is absolutely untrue and unacceptable. Unfortunately, this term also ignores the historical, social and economic factors that have contributed to the rise of crime in Lyari. It also reinforces the negative stereotypes and prejudices that many people have about Lyari and its residents.

I urge media to stop using this highly objectionable term forthwith. I also urge media to try to identify and highlight the root causes of crime, victimization and fear of crime in order to contribute to efforts aimed at bringing about a durable peace in Lyari.

Saeed Sarbazi, a resident of Lyari and President of Karachi Press Club

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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