The car I bought

Published: May 6, 2014

A black coloured two-seater pickup took a sharp turn and then drove slowly into a quiet, murky, dimly lit street.

It was approximately 2am and the temperature was about three degree Celsius accompanied by a pitch-dark chilly night. A black coloured two-seater pickup took a sharp turn and then drove slowly into a quiet, murky, dimly lit street.

The pick-up drove past the electric pole and pulled up near a house, where two men checked their guns and got out of the vehicle. One of them unloaded the pick-up’s boot while the other proceeded to climb up a 12 feet high electric pole which stood by the boundary wall of one of the houses. Upon reaching the top, the man took in the view of the house; it was a single story house with a little yard— with enough space to park a car— with maybe two rooms, a kitchen, a toilet and perhaps a bathroom.

When no activity was seen inside, the man beckoned his partner to climb up the pole and join him at the top. After another cautious glance around the neighbouring area, they started climbing down the wall into the yard and then walked slowly, to the window of the room.

The curtains of the room had not been dropped leaving the house fully exposed. One of the burglars threw the torchlight through the window panes into the sitting room. The two men then moved to the other room, pushing the door gently, but it was locked from inside. With a hard thrust from both the men, the door flew open with a big bang and was left in shatters near the side wall; the loud noise jolted awake the middle-aged couple sleeping inside.

“Don’t move or I’ll shoot!” the burglar yelled while the other threw the powerful torchlight on them.

“Who are you? What do you want?” asked the home owner, Abbas, frightfully.

“Put the light on,” the burglar roared holding a gun pointed towards the couple.

Abbas turned on the lights.

His wife, Zainab, started crying.

“Stop crying or I’ll kill your husband,” one of the burglars shouted.

Her eyes widened with fear as she tried desperately to control her sobs. Her husband’s hands were shaking, knees were knocking and lips were quivering in panic.

“P …P…Please, d… don’t kill us. What do you want? T…T…Take anything you want,” Abbas said trembling.

“We want the Rs500,000” said the burglar, “hurry, otherwise I’ll kill you.”

“F…F … Five hundred thousand. I… I don’t have… that much!”

Upon hearing this, the burglar hit him on the face hard. Abbas fell down to the ground and upon seeing this, his wife, Zainab started screaming loudly.

“Stop lying!” he said, “I want the money now, if you don’t give it to me, I’ll kill you both.”

“Stop crying. I swear to God, I’ll kill you.”

“Gag her mouth,” he directed the other man in the shadows.

“Please don’t do anything to her,” cried Abbas. “Talk to me! What do you want?”

The other burglar gagged his wife’s mouth with a dirty rag and tied her hands at the back with the rope.

“Give me the money!” the burglar yelled.

“I swear to God, I don’t have Rs500,000. You can even check my house. I don’t have it,” answered Abbas.

“You liar!” he put the gun on his head “where do you keep your money? Tell me now!”

“In the locker,” said Abbas.

“Open it.”

Abbas went to the locker and opened it. He took all the money out and handed it to the burglars. After counting, the burglar snarled,

“This is only Rs80,ooo. What about the rest?”

“This is all I have,” Abbas said nervously.

He knocked him down again and yelled,

“You liar, tell me where you’ve kept the rest of the money.”

“This is the only money I have. I swear to God. I don’t have anything else.”

“I’ll give you only two minutes or I’ll kill your wife.”

“For God’s sake, I swear I don’t have any more. This is all I have. I’m not lying. Please believe me.”

“Believe you? You mother f***r. You sold your car to a car dealer at 7pm this evening for Rs500,000 and now, you don’t have the money?! Why should I believe you? You couldn’t have put the money in the bank because the banks were closed. Now tell me, where have you kept the money?!”

“I gave Rs400,000 to a nearby money exchanger, as soon as I sold the car. He’ll transfer the money to my son who studies in the UK so that he can pay his tuition fee. With the other Rs20,000, I bought a mobile for him, which is on the shelf. I swear to God, I’m not lying. I can show you the receipt of the money exchange, if you want!”

Abbas walked to the shelf, grabbed his wallet and took the receipt out.

“OK. You f***g idiot! I was told that you had Rs500,000, not Rs80,000.”

The other man, now restless and agitated said,

“It’s fine. Let’s just take this and go!”

“No! We can’t go! I need to inform him, otherwise he will ask for his share too,” he snapped back angrily shoving his hand inside his pocket to get the mobile out.

After a few seconds he said,

“Hello, yeah it’s me. Can you come here now?”

“Why?” asked the person on the other side of the line.

“Because the situation is different here from what you explained to me…”

“Okay, I’m coming,” the person cut the phone.

Within two minutes, someone knocked at the main door. Abbas rushed to the door and could not believe his eyes. In walked a policeman, dressed in full uniform. For a moment, Abbas breathed a sigh of relief. He thought the officer was going to be the knight in shining armour who would put this entire ordeal to an end. But boy was he wrong!

“S… S… Sir…,” Abbas tried to say.

“Don’t talk here, let’s go inside,” the policeman barked angrily.

“Hmm… Now, what’s the problem?”

“This man only has Rs80,000 not Rs500,000. He says he gave the rest to a nearby money exchanger who will send the money to his son with which he will pay his tuition fee. Here is the receipt. And with the remaining Rs20,000 he bought a mobile for his son,” the burglar said.

“Where is the mobile?” the policeman asked.

“Here you are, Sir,” said Abbas, baffled, as he handed him the mobile.

The policeman slipped the mobile in his pocket and asked,

“Where is the eighty thousand?”

“It is with me,” said the burglar.

“All right, that’s it.”

The policeman in the meantime turned to Abbas and in a low voice, reeking of a threat, said calmly,

“If you ever speak a word of this to any one, I will make sure these people come back just to kill you and your wife. Is that understood?”

With that, the policeman and the burglars together, left the house through the main door and drove off in different directions.


Muhammad Younas

A human rights activist and freelance UK based journalist.

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

  • kanwal

    Yeah it happens. frequently. I remember that near my street in Karachi, there was a police station. And many times, the neighbourhood people saw petty thieves who stole from houses in the area, climb or enter the wall of the police station. the policemen on duty used to explicitly deny anything of this sort ever happened.but everyone knew who was behind the thefts. Recommend

  • Supriya Arcot

    Increase the pay of the police ( and other security forces ) I say . Then they wont stoop so low for their income.Recommend

  • Necromancer

    WTH did I just read, sorry to hear that but be careful next time and avoid cash in Pakistan, ask for a pay order it is safer.Recommend

  • Wohi…

    nope. good and bad is not decided by the compensation this universe give back to you.Recommend

  • Hamza

    So does the low income justify this crime of police and other security forces?Recommend

  • MR AJ

    Police can be hero or a BIGGEST CRIMINALS than a Burgular…Every Police Shall NOT BE RESPECTED !!!!!!!! This way The SHO of that Area should be FIRED or else Take him to court !!!!!!!
    Next time if police ask you anything…WE HAVE RIGHT TO ASK THEIR POLICE ID !!!!!Recommend

  • taha

    no may be we should install cameras ,tracking devices and huge number on police officers so they would that they are also being watched by some onw , and if they harass some one , these devices could be used to know the truth and those who are guilty they should be shot in because half of the criminal are created by those rouge copsRecommend

  • Billa

    I know someone whose two German Shepard dogs nearly ripped apart the legs of two burglars who turned out to be policemen Recommend

  • Seriously

    Is this a real story or just a fiction?
    Did he complained to higher authorities? any action taken by Administration?Recommend

  • Seriously

    Pay has nothing to do with this,even a rich is greedy and a poor is satisfied with what he have.
    Greed can;t be cure by increasing the salary or pay,if people like this have power they will abuse the power.Recommend

  • Spock

    You will have to pay policemen at least 5 lacs a month if you want to stop them from looting people. Why would they settle for anything less when they earns 5 lacs easily?Recommend

  • Adpran

    If you pay a greedy man 5 lacs a month, then he will start thinking how to get 10 lacs a month. If you pay this greedy man 10 lacs a month, then he will start thinking how to get 20 lacs a month.

    You should learn more about human nature.Recommend

  • Samir tariq

    Seriously??? Dude, this was one of the weakest and really a badly written piece. It was evident that the whole story was first constructed in Urdu and later forcefully translated into poor English…The structuring is hilarious and unintentionally funny…Here are some “gems”
    “with maybe two rooms, a kitchen, a toilet and perhaps a bathroom”!!!! (lol..or maybe a shower room, jacuzzi a possibility too…gimme a break)…
    another one: “her husband’s hands were shaking, knees were knocking, and lips were quivering”…(and what else..eyes were closing, head was twitching, back was paining too????)…
    “P P Please…D D Dont kill us” (my God….Was anyone really editing this before publishing or “T T They were S S Sleeping”)
    And lastly, Money Exchanger?? Really!!!!

  • Parvez

    The problem lies in the politicisation of the police force.
    The article is written to give the impression that all police in Pakistan are bad……..and that is not justified. Dirty cops are found around the world.
    Sitting far away in the comfort of the UK and penning petty stories that reflect poorly on your native country…..comes across as shoddy and yes, I am aware that this is the Poetic License section.Recommend

  • Quetta wala

    Who will pay for these cameras, devices etc. You?Recommend

  • Motiwala

    Believed every word the author wrote. And what you wrote
    In some cases the bank minions will pass the info to accomplices.
    If a large sum is withdrawn/taken out. Then these thugs follow you home, or wherever,.. to rob you.Recommend

  • Malik Abdul Rehman

    his son studying in UK and he lives in a small house a 500,000 RUPEE car ,apparently cell phones are not available in UK and apparently tution fee in UK is as low as 2400GBP…………….where do you live parallel universe?? GOD you can’t even fabricate and then people yell about how much talent our country has gotRecommend

  • Arif

    police is the root cause of all the security issues .the law and order condition will never improve unless we have transparent and honest police forceRecommend

  • Sane

    Really? Do you live in Pakistan?!!Recommend

  • Supriya Arcot

    Well .. its a fact ( at least in the subcontinent ) that the police ( at least the mid and lower echelons ) don’t get paid well. That is one of the reasons they stoop to ‘extra’ income. Nothing justifies taking bribe but if we fight this cause of low pay , then the menace will reduce a wee bit at least . Other than this , I cant think of any practical solution to this problem.Recommend

  • Adpran

    I agree that we must appreciate police with sufficient payment. But if we just increase their salary without build their mentality, it would be useless.

    High rank police officers in my country, Indonesia, get good income, mostly from allowance. But few of them now are in jail due to corruption.Recommend

  • sterry

    I think the police get a bad reputation because people try to hide their own cheating. For example my uncle tried bribing a poor policeman when my uncle was at fault. When the poor man said no, my uncle threatened him and harassed him until the policeman gave in. Then my uncle had the temerity to call the policeman corrupt! This is what is wrong in Muslim society and why most Muslim countries are in such bad shape from Tunisia to Iraq to Central Asia and Somalia. Cheating applies to everything and one type of cheating does not excuse other cheating.Recommend

  • sterry

    When UK Muslims who have access to free government housing, free state welfare and job opportunities prefer to stay unemployed in ghettos and do nothing but collect other peoples’ tax money, what makes you think you can change such behavior in their home countries? Let’s face it, Muslim people need to change their thinking and behavior and it has nothing to do with any particular country, job or issue of money. The fundamental issue is to understand that all cheating is wrong.Recommend

  • Karachi boy

    hahah absolutely what I feel a total troll on the part of the editorial team and the author, I used to write such rubbish in 6th grade but still it wasn’t this “d d d d d rr drr drramaticc”Recommend

  • Parvez

    The problem in Pakistan lies with the politicisation and training of the police force…….if the police were to function independently as a police force, a lot would improve. Once results are established…..then wages could increase.Recommend

  • gp65

    If paying a better income stops corrutption, can you please explain the corruption of our politicians? Plus have you considered how high the income would actually have to be in order to replace the type of income they might be getting by facilitating kidnapping and such blatant crime?Recommend

  • gp65

    There are many agents and many fake schools that facilitate move to US. Those schools do have low fees. SO the situation described here is not as absurd as you are making it out to be.
    Having said that, this did appear in the ‘Poetic License’ section – which means that this is fiction.Recommend

  • gp65

    This has appeared in the poetic license section. This means it is fiction.Recommend

  • Hasan Abdal wala

    You need to include yourself. You are doing the same thing.
    Collecting money on welfare. Sanctimoniously.
    Nobody believes your names. It sounds fake.Recommend

  • Sohail

    Please this does not happen at all. Ever!Recommend

  • sterry

    Whether you choose to believe it or not, I am not on any state social assistance or welfare because I work and pay taxes. That’s what bugs me! I think the problem I have with the system is that it allows many immigrants and refugees to spend their whole lives on welfare and never contribute to the system. You will see entire ghettos of Arabs in French cities or Belgium and Holland who have no intention of working. In Germany you will see the same type of Turkish ghettos and in Scandinavia, the Iraqis, Iranians, Somalians and Afghanis are all defrauding the system. My fundamental problem has to do with all the cheating which appears to be a common issue in the culture of people in these countries. Since they do this abroad, it doesn’t surprise me that they behave this way in their home countries.Recommend