I’m back in Islamabad. Got here yesterday morning and thankfully the PIA flight was on time despite the unrelenting rain. Though I’ve been to Karachi a number of times in my life, this time was very different. Not necessarily better or worse, but different.
The main difference was probably that this was the first time I have come to Karachi for a matter other than a family one. It was purely a professional visit and allowed me to see an entirely new side of the city. I didn’t get to do any shopping (so still no digital camera) but managed to see a lot of new places and meet a lot of new people.
I can’t remember ever seeing rain in Karachi before. Other than flooding the roads and reducing the traffic, it seems to have washed away some of the gray, drab look that’s usually present even in the best parts of this city.
One thing that I always experience is a serious loss of appetite soon after arriving in Khi, yet this time it seemed to improve and thanks to my colleagues from Islamabad and Lahore, there was no shortage of support in this area. We managed to find some good places to eat, including “The Village” which has no Islamabad equivalent.
Karachi is a very important city for Pakistan. It is the country’s major trade gateway, has the biggest population and is slowly becoming a cultural hub for the region. All technical and trade events are held here with only a fraction of them reaching Lahore or Islamabad. It is sad that such a metropolis can grind to a halt due to something as simple as rain. This was the major reason some of the people with me swore never to come to Karachi again. If the infrastructure, security and general standard of living can be improved, maybe then we’ll be able to visit more often.