Dear Bilawal Bhutto, with your protocol, you undermine the value of a common citizen’s life

Published: December 23, 2015
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A baby girl died today as she was refused emergency treatment while you inaugurated the medical facility.

Dear Bilawal Bhutto Zardari,

Let me start with appreciating the good work you did today. Thank you for taking out the time and inaugurating the new trauma facility at Civil Hospital. I am sure many citizens will benefit from it. And now let me address the more pressing issue. A baby girl died today as she was denied access to emergency treatment while you inaugurated the medical facility.

I may not be able to find a better and grimmer illustration of the word ‘irony’.

When you are chairman of one of the biggest political parties of Pakistan, you cannot act unaware of the difficulties your protocol causes to citizens. If you are out there to serve then do your job. You were not obliged under the law to become the Co-Chairman of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP). You may have been under political and family pressure, but you still volunteered for the job. You kept the job and you enjoy the perks which come with it, be it festivals or jalsas, and I am sure there are a lot of pressures and scrutiny that come with it as well.

There are possible death threats as well, which you invited when you willingly signed up for the job. There is a price of glory which you are out to achieve. There is always a price to pay for such things. But the important question is that do you realise the responsibilities which come with the job? Do you realise the gravity of your ignorance, or if I may, your arrogance? Do you realise the message you are sending down to the common men and women by failing to take cognisance of obvious things?

A child died today at the gates of a hospital. No one is saying you yourself did not allow the child inside. Perhaps if the child had been brought in in front of you, you may have escorted her inside yourself. But you cannot act unaware of the circumstances which result when your security advisers order your guards to keep the public far away. Difficulties to patients was a reasonably foreseeable outcome of your protocol, given how stopping traffic and harassing citizens is the most common and inevitable outcome of every security protocol. And that is the case with every security protocol. Be it your protocol or the protocol of the prime minister of Pakistan or the protocol of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) of Pakistan.

VIP treatment at the expense of the common men and women has become a cultural phenomenon. Walk on God’s earth with humility and don’t forget that your prime task is to serve the people with the job you have undertaken and voluntarily signed up for. Those with security protocols refuse to be patient, refuse to stand in line and refuse to follow rules. How dare any of you tell us that your time is more important than ours or your life is more precious than that of the common citizens of this country?

Perhaps if those who carry security protocols and specially their predecessors who did the same had dedicated more time to making Pakistan safe as opposed to making themselves safer, things would have been different in my country. I am not unaware of assassination attempts on politicians in the past. Quite a few have lost their lives but they signed up for the job. I have refused government and private security on various occasions, despite receiving several threats and I am not bringing that up to compare myself with you in anyway, but to make a simple point that Pakistan will not become better by making one life safe, it will become better with treating all lives equally.

The least you can do for now is open yourself to any investigation and legal proceedings arising out of this negligence and apologise to the parents of that child in person, like you should apologise to several others who have lost their kids to lack of medical facilities in Sindh during the last seven years since your party has been in power. I wish you get the glory you seek but I hope it is not at the expense of our lives.

Yours sincerely,

A common citizen.

Mohammad.Jibran.Nasir

Jibran Nasir

A lawyer and civil and political rights activist. He is the co-founder of Elaj Trust, Pakistan For All and Never Forget Pakistan. He tweets @MJibranNasir (twitter.com/MJibranNasir)

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

  • Faulitics

    He was probably shouting meaningless slogans like “Jiyo Bhutto” while this baby was dying.Recommend

  • I. khan (Can)

    A baby,s life is sacrificed for the sake of protocol and safety of Bilawal Bhutto, it happens all the times for Nawz Sharif family, Zardari family , Chief ministers, Chief Justices and even for our bravo Generals. It will continue and people will forget about this sad incident very soon.Recommend

  • Mohammed Nabeel Pervez

    While I am against this VIP culture, the guard who didn’t let the father in is at fault. I don’t see what could have happened if he had let him in. Bilawal or his party, i’m sure didn’t want that.Recommend

  • Fez

    Great article. Jibran Nasir is pretty much the most sensible person in all the country!Recommend

  • Ab

    Still people will go and vote these ruthless people who even don’t have heart. Nisar khoro what would you say if this was your child and he/she died like this?Recommend

  • talha usmani

    Well how can you question the feudal lord of poor people like this. Don’t forget that they are masters and every common man in Sindh is enslaved to them. How dare can we speak, the most important thing is that baby feudal is hale & hearty. Rest can burn in hell.Recommend

  • K N khan

    Any one who markets his dead mother’s name in politics who changes his family name to markets his politics one may expect a very shallow and low person that is what this son of Zardari the so called Bhutto isRecommend

  • Parvez

    Wonderfully well written…..you have been forceful but polite but the people you have addressed it to will fail to comprehend your message because to do so one must have a smidgen of shame……and Jibran, the lot you address have none.Recommend

  • Common Pakistani

    One word for the advocaters of Baby Bilawal’s protocol: Lanat. Recommend

  • http://futurecmo.org/ Babar Khan

    There’s a typo in the conclusion. It should read

    “Yours sincerely,

    Someone whose actions exclaim louder than words.”Recommend

  • James o Brian

    Bilafil is a stooge, for zardari, all these so called leaders are chor.Recommend

  • Ayaz khanzada

    Dear writer it is, indeed, a thought provoking blog. But emphasis on the word ‘apologise’ as you suggest the stalwart Bilawal to go for consoling the bereaved parents; is like you have missed the entire tone of your message. It is to some extent a timely embargo you have put on Mr. Bilawal while leaving the green card in his hands to carry on such acts and keep on apologising for sins as a redemption at the moment. What I often regret on is our folly that these vips when apologise for whatsoever pain the inflict on us will be their last sin and they will never practice tyranny onward. How long will we let them compensate their misdeeds like this even they kill our beloved ones?Recommend

  • Gullu

    There is a chateau on the outskirts of Paris, that is calling his name.
    Baby Bhutto need to pack his bags and take the next Emirates flight
    to Paris. His mother, Mohtarma, bought it for him and the cabal. When
    she was languishing in luxurious exile. The weather is nippy cold, it’s
    the Holiday Season, perfect time for Baby Bhutto to say adios to Pakland.
    Hopefully for ever. And never again disgrace the motherland with his presence.Recommend

  • Gullu

    Agree with you. Party of Dead People. Headquarters in Garhi Khuda Buksh.
    [the graveyard near Larkana, Sindh]Recommend

  • Noman Ansari

    Ala Jibran. Ala.Recommend

  • Moz

    PPP had been advertising trauma centre inauguration for months. Media
    waited for Bilawal to come and inaugurate the trauma centre, and they
    turned this good occasion into a bad one simply because Bilawal was
    inaugurating it. They hate PPP from their core, which is fine. But that
    bias was on full display on our tv screens. How do I know that Poor man with his sick girl
    wasn’t purposely directed to that location at that time?Recommend

  • Despicable

    Did you say Dear Bilawal? My foot.Recommend

  • Hakuna Matata

    Even if the poor man with his daughter was purposely directed, it’s an Er. He should have been able to get through. Also, there is a reason an Er is referred as one, it’s a frigging “Emergency Room”. People who are there, don’t plan on being there. Recommend

  • Salman – SK

    Oh, yes!!! Please blame the 6 month old girl for choosing the time to get sick at the same time which was announced before her birth for the inauguration. The feudal class has blamed the peasants for their own miseries for thousands of years.Recommend

  • Salman – SK

    Fish always stinks from the head. The bosses are the ones who instructs and train the guards. Don’t blame the guards. They are trained to stop people from entering. Even the PA posted outside a low level official do not allow the common man to enter his boss’ office. That is our culture. The common man means nothing, just fodder for the rich and the corrupt.Recommend

  • Uzair

    Pathetic state of Pakistani population is due to its impotence and failure to organize themselves against the political and economic elites. They are content following elitist leaders who keep the entangled in mundane issues.Recommend

  • Anon

    Dear Jibran,

    He doesnt care! What more does he have to do to convince you of this?Recommend

  • Bibloo

    It’s amazing how low people will sink. To protect their Lords
    and Masters. With excuses. Pure peon mentality from Sindh.
    The other half lives in Punjab. And bows to their feudal lord
    Sharif.Recommend

  • Indian

    Bhuttos and Gandhis please do us a favor, do us no favor.Recommend

  • Fahim Roshan Siyal

    . Mr. B. Bhutto like this… Just observe the photo.. Why u people have ignored the fact that Mr. B. Bhutto is waving farewell to this innocent with a ‘SMILE’.. i do have more tears then words for this…Recommend