People in Karachi were taken by surprise recently when swarms of locusts thronged different parts of the city. While these locusts are notorious for destroying crops, Pakistan’s central and local authorities ruled them out as a threat. Instead, authorities suggested the insects could be enjoyed as delicious snacks!
Dubbing the recent locust influx as a migration process, Sindh Minister of Agriculture Ismail Rahu told citizens to prepare biryani and karahi with these insects. According to a report by Dawn, the minister told a media briefing that citizens should not be scared of locusts as “one can cook biryani and karahi of it. Enjoy grasshoppers’ dishes and benefit oneself.”
He also said that “the people of Karachi should not worry as it is a harmless activity and has almost come to an end. A team of the Sindh agriculture department with experts is monitoring the situation and so far nothing damaging has been reported in any part of the city”.
As locusts attack Karachi, minister of agriculture Ismail Rahu tells people to eat tiddi biryani. Simple. pic.twitter.com/DEnYXdrdvH
— Naila Inayat नायला इनायत (@nailainayat) November 12, 2019
Social media was flooded with locust videos as concerned citizens took to Twitter to share live scenes of the scary pest attack, wondering why the government wasn’t doing enough to control the situation.
Rabies Aur dengue kay baad ub locusts Karachi phonch Gaye pic.twitter.com/xa6yOMIq87
— omar r quraishi (@omar_quraishi) November 11, 2019
— Ayesha Mysorewala (@ayeshamysore) November 11, 2019
— Asim Jofa (@asimjofa) November 11, 2019
Known as Tiddi Dal in Pakistan, many even started to share jokes and memes after the minister’s unusual remark.
— Mumtaz (@Ankiaanon) November 12, 2019
Interesting times! #Karachi night life after the sudden arrival of #Locusts! Try it, as it costs nothing except a newfound skill to catch and cook – forgetting the skyrocketed price of #Tomatoes. pic.twitter.com/Tvnk3RfwwX
— Sikandar Ali Hullio (@HullioSikandar) November 11, 2019
— Mustansar Hussain (@Mustans64823815) November 12, 2019
— rumaisa waqar (@WaqarRumaisa) November 11, 2019
— Javerya (@Jia_theWinner) November 11, 2019
— Rizvi Tweets (@Shah_Rizvi97) November 11, 2019
They are halal. They have proteins. They have minerals. They can be fried, roasted, smoked and dried. Karachiites have always prided themselves on the taste and variety of their cuisine. Here is another opportunity to trump Lahoris. Bring out the woks and the frying pans #locusts https://t.co/2965cF6lq4
— Osama Siddique (@DrOsamaSiddique) November 11, 2019
— farrah raja (@farrahraja) November 11, 2019
The Quaid-e-Azam Trophy match, played between Sindh and Northern at the National Stadium, was also interrupted briefly when millions of locusts descended on the stadium, Geo TV Pakistan reported.
To control the situation, the authorities ensured that fumigation was carried out in areas where the insects were seen in large numbers.