Gabriela de Carvalho
July 4, 2016
Armughan Khan, 21-year-old, used these words to describe what the Fourth of July means to him, “a symbol of hope”.
The parade took place in Central Park Avenue and went all the way to Ryan Field. In a place full of people cheering for the floats that were passing by, Khan and his family paraded this afternoon to make noise of their own. “We are here to get people’s attention,” he said.
Khan wants people to notice what is currently happening in the streets of Karachi, Pakistan. “People are getting killed out in the open,” he said. “Our leader is not being able to speak to his own people.”
The 21-year-old activist said that what is happening to the people living in Pakistan resembles the fight the American people faced in 1776 to achieve their freedom. “We are getting our rights oppressed,” Khan said. “We’ve been fighting for years but now it’s getting to the tipping point.”
Khan’s family marched through the avenue carrying the Pakistan flag and posters with the face of the exiled Pakistani politician, Altaf Hussein. The people who were sitting at the sidewalk applauded Khan’s family.
“We are standing up for the [human] rights of the mohair people,” he said. “No one was listening but now we have a voice.” Khan marched on behalf of the Muttahida Quasi Movement (or MQM), a movement that fights for the under-privileged population in Pakistan, that lack of cultural benefits.
He has written multiple letters for the White House but has heard nothing in return. “Hopefully, someone will hear us,” he said. Khan has also sent letter to the United Nations and Congress people in hope of someone interfering the genocide that is happening in Karachi.
In Pakistan, they do not have freedom of speech. Khan said that the government has sanctioned any type of media, which makes it really hard for people outside of Karachi to know what its population is going through. “Now we have to fight for our rights against our own country,” Khan said.