Saturday, May 18, 2013

Karachi - Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Park

Date of visit: 16th May 2013

I was in Karachi when the late Benazir Bhutto was shot dead in Islamabad during her campaign back in 2007. She died on 27th December 2007 whilst we were stuck in a very heavy traffic due to sudden riots in Karachi city following her assassination. It was a cruel death and the aftermath was even terrible. My family was with me at that time. Later, we demob our selves and only returned when the company directed us to go back once the situation has calmed down.

After her death, her party, Pakistan People's Party (PPP) had won big in 2008 general election leaving a presidential seat left wide open for her husband, Mr 25%, Asif Zardari. The night PPP's won, again, I was stuck in a car after coming back from an event at our Consulate Office. It was another chaos as PPP's celebrate it in a strange way. They were using all sorts of gun that I've never seen (with wide open eyes) and shooting in the air while dancing and singing. We were stuck around the huge supporters right in front of Benazir Bhutto's house in Clifton for almost one hour. It was horror night.

Thereafter, the PPP started building a park in Boat Basin to remember her. The construction begun in late 2008 and officially opened by Senator Mrs Almas Perveen on 30th June 2010. It was not really open after that due to numerous repair works and for some reason, it was always closed whenever I visit in 2011 and 2012.

It was my lucky morning, when I asked Daim to stop and checked on 16th May 2013, during my mission of taking photography in Karachi City to replace the lost memories, it was confirmed open. 

With my camera hang on my neck, the guard tried explaining that photograph is not allowed. I merely nodded without even had a slight intention to follow what he said. It was wonderful inside despite a strong smell of the basin filled my nostril. 

The selections of flowers planted in the park are all to my liking. There's Gerber Daisy, Sunflowers, shrubs floral and Bougainvillea. 

Finally, I wish to record that the Boat Basin area was a very special place for me to hang out. I used to come here a lot after I discovered the place from Kamila Shamsie's novel "Kartography". Kamila is a Pakistani writer who wrote a numerous novel, she also attended nearby Karachi Grammar School just like Benazir Bhutto. I love her writing as much as I love Karachi. To end this entry, I would like to share 1 last photo of Boat Basin where, the local restaurant, Nihari Inn, the book store selling second hand books where I was a regula customer. Boat Basin is indeed a nice place to hang out provided you don't mind so much of the city's dirtiness and the smells.

Hope you have been enlightened with the photos and the story of the park. Thank you.

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