Welcome to my home on the web, running on a small laptop in my living room.

This site is a work in progress.

  • Bookmarked Animal Resistance in the Global Capitalist Era …

  • Reading Dispossession and the militarized developer state: financialization and class power on the agrarian-urban frontier of Islamabad, Pakistan.

    “The site was the I-11 katchi abadi, one of Islamabad’s largest and oldest informal squatter settlements, which had been earmarked for demolition by the capital’s bureaucratic managers in the CDA, as part of a wider ‘anti-encroachment’ drive targeting other residential settlements and roadside vending stalls.

    15,000 residents of I-11 abadi were given one week’s notice to vacate their homes of decades, following which they were besieged militarily for days. Eventually, their homes were forcibly demolished and dozens of residents were arrested under the Anti-Terrorist Act for their attempts to resist.”

    They razed our homes — Hassan Turi on the demolition of katchi abadis in I-11 Islamabad in 2015

    Accumulation by dispossession is a concept presented by the Marxist geographer David Harvey. It defines neoliberal capitalist policies that result in a centralization of wealth and power in the hands of a few by dispossessing the public and private entities of their wealth or land.


    Katchi abadis are home to nearly 50% of Pakistan’s population.

    Urban indicators199620062013
    Percentage of urban population living in slums243050
    Percentage of urban population with access to adequate housing506060
    Percentage of people residing in urban areas with access to improved drinking water8591
    Percentage people residing in urban areas with access to adequate sanitation606572
    Percentage people residing in urban areas with access to regular waste collection30505

    Table from a Ministry of Climate Change report.

    The political economy of war and ‘counterterrorism’ — the vast majority of the abadi’s residents were Pashtuns who out-migrated from war-weary north-west Pak–Afghan border zones into cities like Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi over the past three to four decades.

    Military personnel, civil administrators, mainstream politicians and the corporate media regularly invoke threats to the ‘development’ of Pakistan’s cities from this growing underclass.

    As the demand for real estate, malls and roads on the part of the city’s upwardly mobile segments grows, the latter buy into tropes of ‘security’ and ‘rule of law’ peddled in statist and dominant media narratives.

    In short, a distinctly urbane, middle-class aspiration to partake of more ‘development’ translates into support for military-style operations to cleanse the city of undesirable elements

    “The dialectical other of the military’s real estate adventures in the 80s was the massive influx of refugees from both Afghanistan and the Pakistan side of the Pak–Afghan border into cities like Karachi and Quetta, as well as Islamabad. Later characterised by the epithet ‘internally displaced persons’ (IDPs), this perpetually dispossessed mass would settle on city outskirts in what were effectively refugee camps, slowly but surely building shanty homes whilst generating precarious incomes, mostly in the service sector. I-11 katchi abadi was one such settlement.

    “In contrast to propertied classes, the toiling classes do not enjoy security of tenure, the threat of coercion against their ‘illegal’ occupation of notionally ‘public’ land hanging like the proverbial sword of Damocles over their heads.

    At particular conjunctures, this threat materialises into reality, dispossession and development hence forming dialectical parts of a contradictory social totality, the systemic and systematic processes inherent to capitalist accumulation playing out dramatically for all the world to see.”

    “In the aftermath of the I-11 abadi demolition, the Pashtun evictees suffered the ignominy of being denied rental accommodations in the wider Islamabad-Rawalpindi metropolitan area following a widespread propaganda campaign led by the CDA and ICT administration to warn landlords against taking on Pashtuns as tenants.”

    “We made these homes through hard toil, working day and night to supply Islamabad’s elite with basic needs. This city cannot function without our labour, rich people’s homes and offices cannot survive. But they don’t care. The only thing they care about is the land. Who cares about working people like us?”

  • Posting to my WordPress blog from a Mastodon app 🌝

  • The A.I. Dilemma

    Bookmarked The A.I. Dilemma by The Center for Humane Technology.

  • The Real-World Costs of the Digital Race for …

  • What Twitter Does to Our Sense of Time

    Bookmarked What Twitter Does to Our Sense of Time by Jenny Odell.

  • First attempt at making sounds in Bitwig Studio

  • Me and a comrade were distributing pamphlets for a survey by Karachi Bachao Tehreek when we saw a protest across the street. Turned out it was by the residents of Mujahid Colony where demolitions had just begun that week.

    When I ran up to take pictures and document the protest, these kids started clowning me and running away with their placards 🥲

  • June 2022 – Hunza, Gilgit-Baltistan

  • Watching Udita, a film about the exploitation and struggle of garment workers in Bangladesh.