A president puts people first, not his comfort!

Published: August 23, 2012
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Living in Quetta and Karachi, I have often witnessed people becoming angry whenever a VIP comes to visit as all routes are sealed causing massive traffic snarl-ups. PHOTO: REUTERS

Living in Quetta and Karachi, I have often witnessed people becoming angry whenever a VIP comes to visit as all routes are sealed causing massive traffic snarl-ups. PHOTO: SHAHBAZ MALIK/EXPRESS Living in Quetta and Karachi, I have often witnessed people becoming angry whenever a VIP comes to visit as all routes are sealed causing massive traffic snarl-ups. PHOTO: REUTERS

It was a normal day in the city and roads were open for traffic. Not a single person could be found expressing resentment over the visit of the most important person of the United States of America, in the wake of foolproof security measures that had been taken.

Yes, I am talking about President Barack Obama. He visited Kirkwood Community College where I am currently enrolled in a programme to learn about American culture and language. President Obama addressed a large audience in a hall located on the premises of the college, which stretches across 680 acres. However, while security was on high alert and people were thoroughly searched before entering the hall, no inconvenience was caused to the general public.

“So, there will be no classes?” I asked a teacher prior to the president’s visit. “No, classes will take place,” she said with a broad smile. “The only area that will be sealed off is Jones Hall where the president will deliver his speech.” I was surprised to witness that the president’s visit did not create any problems for the general public and not a single person complained about the visit causing traffic jams or any kind of disturbance. “He is the president and he is supposed to provide relief to the people … not annoy or disturb them,” another teacher said.

The teachers were stunned when I informed them that in Pakistan, a woman gave birth to her child in an auto rickshaw in Quetta because she could not reach the hospital in time due to the fact that all roads had been blocked in order to ensure security for the president.

I know that people may find it amusing to compare the US with our poorly governed country. But our rulers need to learn from developed countries when it comes to taking the safety and comfort of citizens into consideration.

Security was tightened in the college with the deployment of snipers, secret service personnel and police, but in an organised manner.

Living in Quetta and Karachi, I have often witnessed people becoming angry whenever a VIP comes to visit as all routes are sealed causing massive traffic snarl-ups. The VIP security arrangements should be organised in a way that should not cause any inconvenience to ordinary citizens.

 Read more by Shehzad here. 

Shezad Baloch

Shezad Baloch

A research journalist and former Express Tribune correspondent. He tweets as @shezadbaloch (twitter.com/Shezadbaloch)

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

  • Sane

    Dear Writer you probably do not know the difference between the king and the president. America has a president while we have a king. Giving birth in a rikshaw may be a smaller issue. Here many have died in ambulances as one of our kings blessed us with his motorcade and security on road to save one person and let die the ‘Riaya’ (Public). ‘JabTaj Uchhlay Jaen Gay…Jab Takht Giraey Jaen Gay….Hum Deikhain Gay.Recommend

  • paki

    @ sane : na kbhi taj uchhlain gay na kbhi takht girain gay.. hum khch nahi daikh sakain gay.
    sab aesay hi rahay ga because we all are morally corrupt.Recommend

  • Akhter

    Avaam what Avaam we are But insects for the royal familes (the zardari’s,Sharifs etc) we live but to serve them and their autocracies after all they are lifelong chairpersons of their parties, we are of no significance and never will be! As a great person once said ” please do not disturb yeh zaruri kaam sey sauw rahe hain”Recommend

  • Hinah

    Thanks to the author for telling us what politicians should be doing (we never realised on our own).

    The subject matter of this article had so much potential & so many different elements to it which could have been explored and delved in to so as to provide a fuller, well rounded view.

    The article would have definitely been a worthier read if the author had pondered over the issue even a little bit.

    @Akhter:
    Kleptocracy, Kakistocracy ….Recommend

  • Xtc

    DevilsAdvocate – Cedar Rapids’ population is 130,000. Population of Karachi is 18,000,000.
    In Cedar Rapids’ crime especially homicide is rare. Karachi has one of the highest crime rates in the world.Recommend

  • Parvez

    The difference is in the mindsets of both the people and the leader.
    In the US the leader is chosen by the people, from among the people, for the good of the people and as such there is a mutual respect. Can we even remotely claim to have something similar in Pakistan ? If we did our leaders too would have no need to behave the way they do.Recommend

  • sid

    in America there is no Taliban…………the threat level is differentRecommend

  • Farooq

    Obama is a Poor President of rich country while Zardari is the rich President of a poor country……………..Recommend

  • A.Sathyamurthy

    In South Asia all VIPs and elected legislators assume royalty and act like kings, looking down upon the public as scum. In the West the leaders are aware of the rights of the people. When will we learn? This kind of maturity in the leadership in Asia is a dream that is not likely to come true for generations!Recommend

  • Opzzzzzzzzz

    @Farooq:
    Wrong Pakistan is a Rich country that is why a Criminal is our President he only Became rich by making people like u a Fool .
    Thats is why he is rich > when he or any Minister have to go somewhere or even pass , they maybe passing by in the evening but the roads get blocked in the morning causing many difficulty to go to Office & schools . so if we miss a day at work is he paying our bills , No but the bills get higher every month .
    forget other countries President Lets look at our OWN .Criminals are running & ruining this Rich Country Pakistan Recommend