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Wall chalking: Bad reflection of our culture

This article aims to shed light on the issue of wall chalking in Pakistan.
Research has been carried out to know whether wall chalking helps in
creating awareness of different things people or not. It can be gathered that
60% of the general public think that wall chalking is a way of creating
awareness and the other 40% think that its not the tool for creating
awareness. Pakistanis basically indulges in wall chalking due to lack of
platforms for them to express their emotions, combined with a lack of
awareness. Advertisements are done through wall chalking to avoid the
expense, and the government cannot root out the problem since it itself
consists of political parties largely involved in wall chalking for political
purposes. There are laws against wall chalking and illegal.

Most of the people agree that it is a heinous activity that destroys the
beauty of the city to a great extent yet we see that the citys walls are filled
with all kinds of wall chalking. Hence, everyone would like to see this source
of ugliness vanished but does not know what to do since our government is
also not taking any hard action against this issue. And these are the people
who think that wall chalking is not the best way of creating awareness.

Wall chalking is one activity that has rendered almost every boundary wall of
streets. The outcome of wall paintings, chalking and sprayings is an overall
increase in pollution. When this exercise is undertaken with some reference
to artistic considerations, it reflects the creativity of the people in a certain
context. When unrestrained tarnishing of built surfaces is done, it displays
the inherent conflict, contradiction and confusion among the various classes
in society.

In modern times, paint, particularly spray paint, and marker pens have
become the most commonly used graffiti materials.. Wall Chalking may also
express social and political messages.

An example of things written on walls:

Zaroori hay zaroori hay, Mahajir sooba zaroori hay

Koi dekhay na dekhay shabeer tw dekhega
Ek se barh kar ek zaleel, amreeka aur israeel
Dunia ka pehla Perfume Chowk, khushboo sub k liye etc etc etc

Yes, you can find out these kind of chalking everywhere in Lahore.
Even the political parties find wall chalking a source of awareness for public.
Chalo Chalo Nishtar Park Chalo or Amreeka ka jo yaar hay,
ghaddar hay ghaddar. Many unethical things are often posted on walls
which are not acceptable at all. We arent among those nations who keep on
spending their money over institutes and universities or colleges, but that
nation who already is literate and educated enough to write on the
notebooks, but on the walls so that each and everyone get a benefit of
whatever one has learnt.
Wall chalking is a tool which is often used by people for creating awareness
of different thing because its the cheap way of advertisement.
This method is mostly used by lower class or middle class people. During the
survey carried out on wall chalking people said that it is a tool for awareness
but its the wrong tool of creating awareness. Educated people say that wall
chalking must be stopped and a more educated Pakistan must be

The graffiti promised a cure for my sons disease, it was all a lie!
Man-Pasand shaddi (Marriage of your choice) Kia aap be-aulaad hain? (Are you
childless?) Kamzor jism ko mota banaein (Beat weakness and get healthy) Photo: Sana
Urooj I am sure every single person in Karachi is immune to all these appealing statements
painted on walls catching our eyes almost daily. The system is usually blamed for such cheap
marketing tactics but it is in fact, Karachiites signature trend purposely created. Graffiti,
defined as wordings or images scribbled on a wall, actually originates from ancient Romans and
Egyptians in the form of cave paintings and was used as a manner of self-expression. It has
transformed ever since in ...

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April 26, 2014

Welcome to Pakistan

Mahwash Badar


Common sense, not so common in Pakistan: 12-month-old baby told to appear in

court, whats next?

Pakistan would make developmental psychologists all over the world proud. Asian
children (namely those from Hong Kong, Singapore and Shangai) seem to be smarter to the
world. But children in our part of the world (vis--vis the subcontinent) are not far behind. Our
kids are more social and streetwise, owing to the joint family systems prevalent in a collectivist
society such as ours. Our skins are thicker and our minds are sharper. But our police seem to
have gone one step ahead of us in this analysis, unfortunately. Sure our kids are smart, but
criminally smart? Apparently, our law enforcement authorities think so. A few ...

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November 3, 2011

The Way I See It

Ema Anis

social activism
wall chalking
Asim Butt

In defence of graffiti

Santosh Kumar is one name I will never be able to forget all my life. This is not because he is
someone special in my life; it is because I see his name painted on the walls of Karachi almost
every day. He is the man with a cure for every problem: Santosh Kumar: Jadu tonay ka mahir.
(Expert at casting spells) Santosh Kumar: Pat mangni jhat biya. (Engaged in a jiffy, married
in no time) The walls in the city have been used for this cheap and effective advertising for
decades. However, what people dont know about street art is that it ...

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July 11, 2010

Welcome to Pakistan
Absar Ahmed Khan

political slogans

Graffiti culture in Pakistan: how to control it?

Graffiti that adorns the walls on the streets of Pakistan has multiple reasons behind it and is a
host to multiple opinions too. For some people, it is a means of livelihood, for others it is an
outlet for their thoughts. At the same time, it is used for political motives such as political
marketing. Graffiti, (which is also in a way another kind of vandalism), is often used by low-
level companies as a no-loss mode of marketing. When I approached different people regarding
this issue, I received a number of different responses. One activist of a major political party


ACT, 1995

(Act II of 1995)


1. Short title, extent and commencement.

2. Prohibition of expressing matters on walls.

2A. Cognizance and summary trial.

3. Removal of existing expressions on walls.

4. Power to make rules.

(Act II of 1995)

[13 February 1995]

An Act to prohibit expression of matters on walls in the Punjab.

Preamble. Whereas it is expedient to prohibit the expression of matters on the walls in the

It is hereby enacted as follows:-

1. Short title, extent and commencement. (l) This Act may be called the Punjab
Prohibition of Expressing Matters on Walls Act, 1995.

(2) It shall extend to the whole of the Province of the Punjab.

(3) It shall come into force at once.

2. Prohibition of expressing matters on walls. Whoever affixes or causes to be affixed any

poster, bill, notice, placard or other paper or means of advertisement on a wall or writes on any wall
with chalk or paint or in any other manner whatsoever or expresses or describes any matter on any wall
in any manner whatsoever with the intention to attract public attention to that matter shall be punished
with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months or with 2[2][fine which shall not be less
than twenty five thousand rupees or more than one hundred thousand rupees] or with both.
Exception. It shall not be an offence under this Section, if the owner or possessor of the
wall expresses any particulars relating to himself or his business thereon.

[2A. Cognizance and summary trial. (1) An offence under this Act shall be cognizable and


(2) A Magistrate of the first class shall conduct the trial of an offence under this Act in
accordance with the provisions of Chapter XXII of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 (V of
1898) relating to the summary trials.]

3. Removal of existing expressions on walls. Within a period of thirty days from the
commencement of this Act every Local Council shall cause to be removed all matters expressed
on the walls within its jurisdiction the expression of which is prohibited by this Act.

[4. Power to make rules. The Provincial Government may make rules for carrying out the

purposes of this Act.

#ReclaimingOurWalls: Graffiti to be removed from walls in city

By Our Correspondent

Published: April 6, 2015


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He was of the view that wall chalking should be discouraged. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

KARACHI: The commissioner of Karachi is aware of everything that goes on in the city.
He is aware that a lot of people use the citys walls to advertise things such as curing
impotency and Baba Bangashs magical love potions. This time, he says he has had enough
and wants them removed.

During a meeting at his office on Saturday, he included removing wall chalking as a part of the
clean and green campaign being carried out by the citys administration.

It is the worst example of the manifestation of our social behaviour, said Dr Fateh Muhammad
Burfat, a professor at the sociology department of Karachi University. He added that when you
travel by train from Karachi to Lahore, you can find this kind of absurd, phallocentric wall
chalking at every stop.

He was of the view that wall chalking should be discouraged and the government must take strict
action against the inappropriate graffiti. In every civilised society, it is prohibited to
commercialise the walls with [such] cheap advertisements, he said.
According to Burfat, wall chalkings have been used as a form of protest against the established
political and social system. People express their anxiety, opinions and fears through this
discourse of aggression and expression, he said. Since wall chalkings advertisements,
political slogans and other messages make the urban landscape look ugly, the authorities
have launched a drive against it.

The commissioner, Shoaib Ahmed Siddiqui, said that the city administration has asked all
political and religious parties to step up and remove graffiti from the citys walls to help keep
Karachi beautiful, clean and green. He added that the campaign against wall chalking will
continue in different areas of the city till everything was removed. Whitewash will be used to
erase all types writings on the walls along with the advertisements.