By Nadia Khan (from Karachi)
I have parked the car near a roadside shop in one of the most famous vicinity of
That's the beginning of Kundas system – a way to get electricity illegally and hence without paying any bills or charges at the end of the month.
Beside residents, number of commercial organisations pay an under-hand amount to KESC area lineman and get their factories connected with main power stream illegally. The reason is quite obvious – free electricity, no bills, no hassle to go to KESC office for regular connection & long waiting even in some cases it takes a year or so to get authorized connection legally or simply to pay commercial tariffs.
"There's another technique to run the electric meter in reverse direction, so the more electricity you consume, bill will be less as meter is counting in reverse order," says Ahmed Siqqidui, a local resident of Malir district. "There are other means & ways, probably taught by KESC linemen or Pakistani janta is quite sharp in inventing illegal ways, to stop the electric meters," says Razi Bano of
Beside this poor class and commercial organization owners, the feud-political elite class is also involved in electricity theft as & when needed. So when Khursheed Shah federal minister resides in Karachi, when arranged the marriage ceremony of his son, all the street lights of his area including his villa remain powered up –even during day time- for 10 days. Obviously the connection wasn't legal and famous Kunda system was used for this theft. I have been told that it is a common practice that for marriage ceremonies most of the electricity is used directly from the poles – with no meter & no bill.
Since the departure of Musharraf, the residents of
Mutahidda Qoumi Movement (MQM) claims itself as the sole representative of
Until very recently, when the ship of KESC was about to sink, they came out with an idea to acquire Fatwa (religious decree) against electricity theft but somehow it didn't gain momentum in mass as it appears that there are dual standards. Elite or political class will not be charged against any crime, including slighter electric theft, but charges will be imposed on poor's without any notification. That has witnessed that whole society is marching towards mass-corruption and when it comes to personal gains no one care any moral values.
There are other political parties active in Karachi such as PPP in Leyaari district or a powerful group of Awami National Party (ANP) presence is there in areas such as Sohrab Goth or Banaras or Lasbela areas but the question remains same – none of the political figures have this much courage to ask masses to avoid electricity theft. Likely, this could be asked by someone whom himself is not indulged in such commercial crimes, but none. This paints the very grim portrait of Pakistani society – where the majority is moving towards larger corruption.
Either it is a rickshaw driver, or a fruit seller, or political activist of MQM, or interior minister, or the President of Pakistan – all are dependent upon National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) otherwise all type of crimes they committed, in past, are always there for their opponents' to implicate each other!