Dear PTI, remember when you vowed to end VIP culture? Well, meet Faisal Vawda!

Published: February 1, 2017

Faisal Vawda riding a motorbike in Zamzama, Karachi. PHOTO: TWITTER/@ZeshanMalick

Although Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has been in existence for over 20 years, but politically it really arrived in 2011 with one big rally in Lahore. The sheer size of the rally finally created a perception that it was “viable” to vote for the party and following that many who had merely ”respected” Imran Khan before, threw their weight behind him.

An overwhelming number of these “new” voters belong to Pakistan’s white collar urban middle class which has become the core support base of the party. Over the past five years, it is no surprise that PTI has ended up articulating their political concerns.

The dominant political concerns among this class are “corruption”, “patriotism”, “governance” and the end of the so-called “VIP culture”. Many PTI supporters, young and impassioned, often raise these issues on social media and are often judging leaders of other parties with excessive harshness, giving them titles such as corrupt patwaris etc.

On Twitter, prominent journalists are even mistreated and trolled if they take an opposing view with respect to PTI. Liberals in particular are hated and accused of being “sell-outs” and “anti-Pakistan”.

PTI trolls’ entire behaviour reeks of excessive self-righteousness and gives the impression that all except their party are seriously flawed. Given the strength of their negative opinions about other political leaders and parties, one would expect that their beloved party would be setting an example of moral uprightness on the issues it highlights.

For example, the so-called VIP culture is one such issue. Many PTI supporters think that it is a serious issue which should be highlighted in the national political discourse. Several of my friends (as many are PTI supporters) were literally crying with rage when in December 2015, the news emerged that a 10-month-old girl named Bisma had died due to Bilawal Bhutto’s protocol. On social media, just like during the Thar crisis, Bilawal Bhutto was once again called a murderer and the VIP culture was blamed for most of Pakistan’s ill. PTI Chief, Imran Khan, went one step ahead and announced that in order to set an example, he would stop using protocol.

After Bisma’s death, one of the PTI leaders to visit the aggrieved family for condolence was PTI leader, Faisal Vawda.

So one would expect this party of die-hard “patriots” and “principled” citizens to set an example of what they preach. Sadly, this is not so. Recently, a video has been making rounds on social media, showing Faisal Vawda riding a heavy bike through Zamzama in Karachi while being escorted by his protocol of four police vehicles.

The utter brazenness of this act is amplified by the fact that he was not on any official duty and was merely out for a drive on his heavy bike to enjoy Karachi’s rarely pleasant weather. Furthermore, he was diverting the already scarce police resources in a city where the crime rate, despite coming down due to the recent Karachi operation, still remains high.

He claims that his life is under constant threat, and yet how a police escort could protect him when he was riding an open bike defies my imagination. It was, in short, nothing but an arrogant display of power and prestige – the real reason why we have excessive protocol in Pakistan.

He even had the audacity to claim that people are merely “jealous” and are making an issue of a “routine” ride.

  • Arif Syed

    A very meaningful article on VIP culture and protocol. IK has to reshape his top leadership in Party otherwise the same thing gonna happen with this party like Paksitanis did in past.Recommend

  • salman

    Who gave this guy 4 vehicle protocol? As far as I’m aware, PTI are not in power in sindh?
    10/10 for bashing PTI
    1/10 for selecting the correct target to bashRecommend

  • Parvez

    Classic case of shooting yourself in the foot ……. with PTI they have done it so often, one has to wonder as how are they still standing.Recommend

  • Taimoor khan

    Dear raza i m not a pti supporter but the criticism on him is not right.faisal vadwa is a businessman and billionaire and he is riched by family he hasn’t earned this money from politics or by corruption there 4 protocles vehicles with him 2 black vigo’s are his own the guards sitting in it belongs to private security company white pickup is also of private security company and the guards are also from private security company he pays for this security and protocol from his own pocket only 1 police mobile is escorting him and i m sure he gaves police mobile expense from his own pocket rest pti is against the vip culture on taxpayers money if some one wants to have protocol and security on personal expense so pti doesn’t have any issue with that and it is every pakistani citizen right be it politician or anyone to have security or protocol on personal expense.Secondly no roads were blocked nor any problem was being faced due to his movement by people.And u should also keep in mind the he was attacked in the past still he hasn’t asked the security from government which is his right after being attacked rather he is having it on his own expense.Recommend

  • Nadir Sadiq

    I am a die hard supporter of PTI but I do not like this attitude. The party was formed to do away with old “Nawab” culture yet, members are doing the same. If the members are so afraid to come out in the public either don’t contest the elections or stay home. The money spent on keeping you safe can be spent well on some better purpose.

    Imran Khan is this the party I am supporting?Recommend

  • Ahmar Bilal Butt

    The guy isn’t even wearing a head helmet..!?Recommend

  • Parvez

    Does he need one ? …… with a head with little in it……I doubt it.Recommend

  • Duniya Hasan

    His pimple face doesn’t need protocol instead he needs acne surgery.

  • Adnan

    He is paying for the protocol, not on the tax payer money. What is the big deal?? Even you can too hire police van to protect yourself if you tend to spend some extra bucks.Recommend

  • Ahmar

    Like leader like followers?

    I remember when the followers were being beaten and tear gassed on the streets on 1st November, Captain Saab was doing push ups in Bani Gala afraid of going out and getting hurt. Mummy Daddy party full of show offs.Recommend