Lyari and the House of Bilawal, in verse
Image source: The Nation

Lyari and the House of Bilawal, in verse

Following on from my previous post about the security operation in Lyari and the People’s Aman Committee, I was back in Lyari yesterday. The PAC, for the meanwhile at least, feels completely betrayed by the PPP leadership. Asides from the politics, the PAC leaders kept on bringing up the issue of how the people of Lyari are treated like feudal peasants, even though there are no farmlands in the neighbourhood. How despite decades of support for the PPP, they only get jobs as ‘peons’ or drivers or security guards in the party.

This renewed feeling of bitterness was to some degree represented on the streets also – though to be fair, I didn’t get a chance to investigate whether this was universally felt in Lyari beyond the areas in the direct vicinity of PAC controlled buildings.

But representative of this feeling was a man on a street square who was writing a satirical poem about this betrayal by the PPP, post-operation. The poem is incomplete, but you can listen to what he had written so far, and read my very crude translation below. Written by Shahjahan Baloch.

From the House of Bilawal, some people will come Dressed as saviours, some torturers will come

Disrespectful ministers, low-pedigree lords will come In the appearance of friends, enemies will come

Some healers, some doctors will come In the name of medicine, they will bring poison

They will bring greetings from a killer They will bring a message in Benazir’s name

They will come bearing a handful of gifts And leave with a sack full for themselves.

They will celebrate, smile When they go back to the House of Bilawal.

They will bring Bija Teer to the streets And then decorate the darkness of the night

They will make their money and eat it themselves While they make us dance to Bija Teer Dila [Incomplete]