VIP protocol: Thanks for the extra sleep!

Published: April 10, 2012

Blocking roads to ensure safe and free flow of traffic for our VIPs while the general public is stuck in huge traffic jams for hours. PHOTO: REUTERS

Over the last few years, Pakistanis have become accustomed to measures that are routinely taken to ensure security for VIPs of the land. Of these measures, blocking roads to ensure safe and free flow of traffic for our VIPs while the general public is stuck in huge traffic jams for hours has now become an accepted part of our culture.

This indignity, inflicted on us in the name of providing foolproof security to senior political and military figures, has no roots in Pakistan’s original culture. It has been imposed on the citizenry, much like inflation, corruption, unemployment and poverty. However, this imposed culture does have some redeeming features which should be freely acknowledged.

Firstly, being stuck in a traffic jam caused by VIP movements has resulted in a sharp rise in the income of beggars, who take full advantage of the situation and make a killing by going to each vehicle by turn, begging them to spare some change.

Secondly, this phenomenon has provided the citizens with the opportunity to take long naps while sitting in their vehicles and waiting for the traffic to clear up. This free-of-charge ‘service’ is provided to all without discrimination as people from every caste, creed, religion and ethnicity can make use of it.

Thirdly, those who enjoy taking long drives can cherish the opportunity to indulge in their favourite activity as many of the U-turns are blocked, compelling them to travel a couple of  extra miles in order to reach their destinations.

It is indeed strange that despite all the ‘benefits’ that this imposed culture brings with it, people all over the country and especially those of the capital Islamabad, who probably get to enjoy these ‘services’ more than those of any other city are constantly appealing to the concerned authorities to relieve them of the ‘joy’ they go through every time a VIP is on the road.

Read more by Shazia here.


Shazia Mehboob

The author works at The Express Tribune.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Parvez

    Liked the subject but…………………………….you really have to work on the satire angle.
    One point made by politician Fauzia Wahab of the PPP on a TV talk show was that if the leaders did not behave like, this the general public would not respect them. My instant reaction to this was as expected but later I had to admit that she had a point.Recommend

  • Late Reactor

    This is a good insight of traffic jam, have somebody calculated the cost of this practice in term of money?
    I am not talking about ambulances, personal emergencies etc etc, I am talking about the energy that we waste just for nothing.
    If we are ready to consider Fouzia Wahab point of view, why we are not starting a new custom of giving standing evasion to all our well known leaders, although so called but unfortunately they are, in the morning in front of their residence like old days SHAHNSHA’s?Recommend

  • An ET Regular


    Wanted to know how you get time to comment on every single article.what do you do for a living?Recommend

  • Hmmm

    And what’s your point??Recommend

  • Parvez

    @An ET Regular: Come to think of it, I am faltu. Recommend

  • http://islamabad Maryam

    oh no , thats no true for islamabad….
    i guess pindi people might be having issues…..

    coz the highway directly goes towards the presidency and the islooites have never had any problem.Recommend

  • Hassan

    What a worthless article! I’ve never experienced a traffic jam as long as to fall a sleep. They usually last for a few minutes and they are necessary And by the way, that is not a picture of Pakistan above, so it seems like we’re much better than whatever country that is. Recommend

  • Hmmm


    A request – dont use Isloo for Islam(abad) – that’s not the respect the word demandsRecommend

  • http://- Abid P. Khan


    A request – dont use Isloo for Islam(abad) – that’s not the respect the word demands”

    On what basis have you issued this fatwa against Maryam?Recommend

  • Hmmm

    @Abid P. Khan:
    That’s not a fatwa if you read it clearly – it s REQUEST not to substitute Islam with Islam. I hoe that clearsRecommend

  • http://- Abid P. Khan

    I did read, what you wrote. Your reaction to Maryam using the pet name of a city is tinged with religious overtones smelling of fatwa.Recommend