Suroosh Alvi is a Pakistani Canadian journalist and film-maker who was among the co-founders of Montreal-based Vice magazine. He has done a documentary titled Heavy Metal Baghdad and a TV series by the name of The Vice Guide to Everything for MTV. He got together with Basim Usmani who does freelance production work and reporting at Vice Media Inc and also works as a Staff Reporter at a local news group.
They wanted to get a firsthand experience of Karachi, Pakistan’s largest city. A city which they refer to as, “One of the craziest cities on earth.”
The video is rife with all the elements of Karachi that are seen and heard in news.
They visited Lyari, a slum of Karachi that is often in news for violence, drug dealings and more notoriously as the home of the Baloch brothers, the dons of Lyari. They not only met up with them but got their help in getting in the midst of a so-called police vs. gangster operation. That wasn’t all; they also met with Nabil Gabol, a parliamentarian, a representative of Lyari. In the introductory clip, Nabeel is shown toting a Kalashnikov and proudly claiming, he does not believe in anything apart from his gun.
The third part of the documentary shows them with the police heading towards another trouble-ridden area of Karachi called Orangi Town, known to be the hide out for the Taliban and Taliban supporting elements.
They meet Choudhry Aslam, Senior Superintendent of Police with the Central Investigation Department (CIA) who tells them about the dangers of Talibanization in Pakistan and the operations the Pakistani security forces including the police have taken against them.
The fourth part of the series has the guys going back to the supposedly Taliban-ridden area of Orangi Town to get a feel of things themselves. They are not disappointed, they do land in the middle of what they feel is a Taliban hold and have to make a quick retreat.
They come to Karachi looking for its dark elements, and they get to see it all, the gangs, the killings, the dope injecting “zombies” as they call them and how they function. And yes, you are not really in Karachi if you don’t get acquainted with a target killer. So the boys did that as well!
What basically comes out of the videos is that the gang wars, the police operations, the politicians and the security forces, protecting the people and fighting against the terrorists are all staged up phonies. Nothing more. It’s all a game. Throughout it all you notice Suroosh mentally rolling his eyes and asking tongue-in cheek questions.
There are some serious s problems in the city. Serious and deadly and dozens of lives get lost on a daily basis. That is serious enough. What is being done to solve these problems? That is exactly where the joke lies!