Stories about VIP protocol

When blood becomes cheap and police are the monsters our children need protection from

Another day, another victim – a child no less! A short while after the death of Amal Umer – 10-year-old girl who lost her life after a crossfire between the police and robbers – the police in Karachi have claimed yet another young life. Seven-year-old Aqsa recently became the victim of a stray bullet, out of all places, while she was at her school! Perhaps what makes this situation direr is the fact that the school she was attending was next  to a police training centre, full of police personnel, which is where the bullet came from. Now that we have ...

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We, the 99% non-VIP population, are important too

The Sindh High Court (SHC) Judge is a very important person. You can tell that he’s very important because he has a nice car that travels at disruptively high speed among a convoy of other large vehicles. It’s very important for us, the ordinary people, to acknowledge that the SHC Judge is an important man who makes important decisions for this country; for which we should all be grateful. My reaction to the menacing approach of a security protocol is the same as countless of my docile countrymen. We sigh, and give way to the baraat (crowd) of armed men as ...

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Jibran Nasir’s defiance of power and the proverbial slap heard all across Pakistan

A slap is the ultimate insult. It demeans a person; humiliates them. While it’s physically not as painful, the psychological and emotional wounds are much deeper and agonising. The manner in which Mohammad Jibran Nisar was dragged, slapped and bundled in the police van yesterday, on the orders of a Sindh High Court judge for “not giving way” to his vehicle, is symptomatic of the fascism our society has faced for thousands of years in one form, shape or the other. The CCTV footage should be made public to verify what @MJibranNasir is saying & to punish the errant protocol officer of #SHC ...

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“Tera baap jaraha hai”: When police officers remind the common man of their place in society

How many times have you wondered why you are stuck in a traffic jam? And then received your answer in the form of a trail of police cars zooming by? I’ve cursed these cars more than I have cursed George RR Martin during the course of my life. Living in Karachi, it is hard enough facing the frustrating traffic every day, but to have these VIP protocols block the roads further adds to my misery. Recently, a video went viral on social media where a man was filming a VIP protocol driving in front of him. It showed the police vans stopping in the middle of the ...

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In Sindh, our children’s lives are not as valuable as that of a politician’s

After the Army Public School (APS) Peshawar carnage, schools throughout the country were under constant threat. Most vulnerable were the schools of Karachi where there were a few instances of letters, coffins and even bullets thrown in schools in order to intimidate the authorities and school owners and create an environment of fear and paranoia. However, the government did not mobilise its security apparatus to secure the schools and instead relied heavily on the schools to take care of their own security. Instead of withdrawing police from VIP protocols and deputing them in sensitive areas, the provincial government displayed insensitivity by asking the schools to beef up their security by employing the services of private ...

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Ten reasons why Pakistanis do what they do

Pakistan, ever since its inception, but even more so after the rule of Hazrat General Ziaul Haq, has been under the axe of western propagandists and bigots. The precipitous progress that the country is displaying and the threat that this presents to the developed world has them grinding their teeth. Thus they target us rather unfairly and portray to their public an image of ours which cannot be far from truth. It is to undo their nefarious designs that I, perhaps for the very first time in history, yearn to exhibit a picture of Pakistan like it really is. To this effect, a list of ...

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In Pakistan, the #VIPCulture has to go

Commuting in metropolitan cities like Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad often bestows upon you the unforgettable experience of being reminded how ‘ordinary’ you are. You may only use the road when it isn’t being used by a Very Important Person (VIP). When a policeman raises his hand or puts a picket to stop you, he may only be saying ‘stop and wait’ but what you actually hear is, “Wait, you ordinary, worthless citizen! Your time, life and business are of no value. Wait while the all-important VIP passes”. It is quite similar to how when kings and queens passed through markets and ...

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Stop using flashing lights, sirens and fake number plates, it’s illegal!

Karachi suffers from a serious law and order situation. Along with criminals, some of the rich and powerful citizens and state institutions also challenge the law for their own advantage. A number of private and government vehicles are illegally using emergency flashing lights installed on the roof or hidden in the front grills of their cars. They are seen casually flashing these emergency lights and impersonating as police vehicles, using the conventional red and blue colours. These cars are seen driven rashly, and the drivers continuously honk and harass others in traffic. Some of them are private vehicles with families sitting inside and one wonders what emergency ...

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The point of snap checking

On the eve of Muharram, a colleague and I were on our way home in a company car. We had just passed a bakery in Gulistan-e-Jauhar, Karachi when we noticed multiple security vehicles parked along the side of the road. About 10 officers were randomly motioning vehicles to pull over. It never crossed my mind that they would stop our vehicle as we were not speeding or breaking any other law that I was aware of. Our vehicle also bore, quite distinctly, the name of our media organisation. But then one policeman directed us to pull over and exit the ...

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Can’t have it your way

I once worked as a customer service agent for a reputable airline out of Chicago’s international airport. My job was to board the aircraft and resolve issues like lost children, racist groups and controlling wives and suited men throwing tantrums. I saw people of all breeds. Because Chicago is called the Windy City, flight delays due to weather were frequent. One night, a 7:00pm flight was given a 12:00am departure time. Passengers screamed and roared and we repeatedly apologised. Close to departure, the flight was cancelled. “I regret to inform you, Flight 2345 has been cancelled. We apologise for the inconvenience. Please ...

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