Airport security, Pakistan-style

Published: June 25, 2010

The writer is a former TV morning show host (naveen.naqvi@tribune.com.pk)

You would think going off to Europe for a week would be fun, yes? Think again if you’re taking a flight out of Karachi’s Jinnah Terminal.

I’m one of those people who leaves home three-and-a-half hours before my flight is meant to leave. For a 6:15 am departure, means being in the car at 2:45 in the morning. There is some attempt to sleep — basically a three hour ‘nap’ or a euphemism for tossing and turning. In these less than ideal circumstances we are not amused by anything.

Cut to Sharae Faisal and the turn into Quaid-i-Azam International Airport. The fact that Pakistan’s so-called city of lights is now unable to power streetlights does not help visibility or my crankiness. My car takes a sharp turn on detecting a small green signpost. Ah, here it comes — the drive up to departures and the security check points along the way.

The forces-in-black have taken over airport security, I noticed. They could be the envy of many a fashion bloggers in their fitted black T-shirts, tan cargo pants and black commando boots. As my cab comes to a respectful stop, like a dark cloud three or four of them crowd around my cab. One of them carries what resembles a pocket radio with a long antenna protruding in front of him, and circles the cab while peering piercingly inside.

Another approaches the front window even though I am sitting at the back holding to the window my ticket, flipped open for the sake of convenience. But no, the man in the uniform is at the front window and without any warning, he begins to knock violently. ‘Open the door or roll down the window,’ he barks to an unfazed taxi driver. ‘How am I supposed to talk to you?’

I quickly wind down my window, and say, ‘Sir, I have my window down. I’m the passenger. Here’s my ticket.’

In all this, I had forgotten that I am a woman, and am therefore, invisible in this country. Oh ho. Me and my leaky brain. My companion, also a woman but clearly with more presence of mind, jumps out of the car, and asks what the problem is. Panic ensues. The forces in black are not prepared for this. One of them starts to apologise. Another looks cocky, and says that he needs to check the bags.

Apparently the pocket radio with the protrusion has indicated that we might be Pakistan’s first pair of female suicide bombers. I’m not sure about our intrepid man-in-uniform, but I am completely aware that the device does not just look absurd, it also does not work, which is why it has been shipped off to our great country. It seems that the third world is now the dumping ground for all useless security tech equipment. The antenna of this specific device picks up on all things liquid so if you’re mildly interested in hygiene and are carrying shampoo, conditioner or God forbid, face wash, it’s all over for you, my friend.

My friend unzips the cabin bag, and points to the laptop. ‘Maybe that’s the problem,’ she says.

‘Turn it on. Turn it on,’ snaps the cocky one while at the same moment the other says, ‘Forget it. Forget it. Please. You may go.’

Wisely, my friend follows the directive of the authoritative officer. Then the unthinkable happened. My poor pristine Mac, scrubbed and polished like a newborn baby was mauled. The screen flopped open, it was turned upside down, back and forth with the roughest hands. Mac will never be the same again.

I’m not sure what he was looking for, but apparently my laptop’s ‘backside’ revealed that we were not the terrorists we had seemed to be moments earlier. As my companion returned to the car, and we drove away, I glanced at the apologetic security person. On the left of his T-shirt above his heart was written in white ‘PAKISTAN,’ and circling it were the words ‘nice’ and ‘courteous’.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 25th, 2010.

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Reader Comments (78)

  • Jun 25, 2010 - 12:43AM

    That is terrible. It makes me forget what happened to me at Heathrow when they made me take out everything from my bag. I understand their need to take security precautions but if the risks are so huge why cant they invest in better equipment instead of wasting tons of money protecting politicians. Recommend

  • Jun 25, 2010 - 12:49AM

    I dont get it? Whats the big news here? You were stopped at a checkpoint while you were leaving for Europe. I am sure there are millions in Pakistan who would flip backwards to trade places with you even after negotiating their way through airport security. Recommend

  • sK
    Jun 25, 2010 - 1:28AM

    They were doing their job. What do you expect from a person who was nothing, incidenctly got inducted in the Police, which gave him crappy authority. Its hard for him to absorb that because he never had anything like that in his life. Let him exercise that. Atleast he let you go and didnt create any problems.

    I have seen examples where security stops people for no damn reason, interrogate with them for HOURS, as a result they end of catching a later flight, and this was not Pakistan.Recommend

  • Umayr Masud
    Jun 25, 2010 - 1:44AM

    If the airport security would’ve been sitting by the road sipping tea, would that have been better? I am quite sure there would’ve been articles written about how lax the security is and how poor citizens are never really protected. The radio look a like antenna device can actually be replaced by a coin toss but then again we would feel UNSAFE.
    At least they were doing their job, cut them some slack .. they have 12 hour shifts and with the arguments they have to sustain you seriously need to give them some space.
    BTW at Islamabad Airport a passenger was caught with a gun fitted inside the laptop, that is why they make you turn on the laptop. I have turned my laptop on around Singapore, Thailand, Morocco and yes in Pakistan. These are security procedures that help us (the people) have safer journey’s. And lets be honest we still don’t have strip searches yet. Recommend

  • Naeem Akhtar
    Jun 25, 2010 - 2:37AM

    why we people are so much insecure. We are always whining about discrimination gender discrimination , religious discrimination , political discrimination , provincial discrimination , sect discrimination … discrimination everywhere or probably its not everywhere but in our minds only. We like calling discrimination and then getting quotas and special rights for us. It is not discrimination it is just some easy methods to get limelight and money. We can not move in a positive direction unless we get rid of our complex.Recommend

  • Umair
    Jun 25, 2010 - 3:01AM

    Wow, you were stopped at the airport! I wonder who else undergoes such inconvenience and hassle? Except may be every living organism who wishes to travel on a plane.

    Pointless article.Recommend

  • blackfish
    Jun 25, 2010 - 6:15AM

    Naveen Naqvi, now isn’t this article just pure idiocy on your part… So they didn’t know your MAC, so they didn’t approach your window to check your ticket, so they looked intimidating…and you gather they are inconsiderate and this country considers Pakistani women invisible… Since this article is personal I feel a personal jab at you is equivalently JUSTIFIED… women like you with an over-blown sense of feminism/elitism derived from two undergrad courses are just pure annoyance! Look at your undertone (Europe, Invisible in this country, pristine MAC etc.), you reek of the Orientalism discourse… get your preferences right or leave MY (Our)country, given that you have already opted for foreign residency! Why? Because it’s utter disgrace to call you a fellow Pakistani/Karachite or anything! Recommend

  • Tribune Fan
    Jun 25, 2010 - 8:29AM

    Isn’t this the same writer who recently wrote about the painful and unfortunate terrorist attacks on the two mosques in Lahore? So if she had to go through a little security check to thwart exactly that kind of attack why is Miss. Naqvi making such a big deal?

    Just because you write, can afford to go to Europe, and apparently have a Mac doesn’t make you a her royal highness you know. Surely a red carpet treatment was not expected? And I am not the only one who would have been horrified if a couple of women had not gone through the little ‘inconvenience’ at the airport; if anything the guys need to applauded for not shirking from their duties.

    A completely pointless rant. Too much sense of entitlement pehaps? Sheesh.Recommend

  • Ali Haider
    Jun 25, 2010 - 8:52AM

    Are we supposed to be making fun of this?Recommend

  • Jun 25, 2010 - 8:58AM

    Airport Security is a mess, they don’t have any provision for a person who walks into the airport yet they are all attentive on people who are coming there in Cars/bike.

    I went to book my tickets and the guy there at the check-post interviewed me..‘What ticket?’, ‘Why are u going to Lahore?’, ‘Why are u going by train?’, ‘Why are u taking the tickets from here?’

    Arey matlab What the hell..Airport is near to my home..I can go there how many times i want to..are you gonna interview me every time.Recommend

  • Faras
    Jun 25, 2010 - 10:51AM

    Being stopped at airport security is normal…no big deal. Not sure what the point of the blog is. The security personnel are doing their job. If something bad was to happen, they’ll get the blame so stopping you for a routine check, in a similar manner to thousands of other travellers daily, is no big thing.

    And the reason they want the front door opened is to check the glove compartment.

    I agree with a few comments above me: completely useless rant. And to add the women bit in there, even more so.Recommend

  • s.zainab sheikh
    Jun 25, 2010 - 10:51AM

    this minor ordeal of yours, is nothing compare to what Pakistanis have to face at heathrow everyday!.Recommend

  • Sam
    Jun 25, 2010 - 10:59AM

    and i am sure every airport in the world will throw rose petals the moment you walk in!!! it is a global thing … why do we need to pin point Pakistan and sound so blase about it !! It is you people who are an embarrassment!!!Recommend

  • Jun 25, 2010 - 11:04AM

    Being a learned blogger Ms Naqvi should now realize that security is a worldwide issue, she will have to go through various security checks including body scan on other International Airports.

    I am afraid why she made a mountain out of mole hill, it was hardly a 3 min exercise, she being a public figure should have rather set an example by cooperating with the law and enforcement agencies.

    This is the dilemma of our nation, we indiscriminately criticize security agencies for not performing their duties but at the same time we are the ones who by not behaving with civility cause problems for ourselves, security people and for the nation at large.

    What’s the worst that could Happen if she had spared just 3 mins and cooperated with the security personnel ?Recommend

  • Masuud Qazi
    Jun 25, 2010 - 11:05AM

    When I started reading this, I thought this one would dish something interesting out of the airport security we have. From the customs to the immigration and so on.
    Okay, to be honest, was this supposed to be funny or what? A mockery of Pakistani-styled security at airports?
    Oh c’mon, give me a break Miss Naqvi. What was this, oh? I have a mac, that means should I write to do a brag? I live in England and just had a trip to Pakistan, who knows Pakistani airport security better than me?

    I hope you do better in future with your pen. I mean, seriously. Please.Recommend

  • Nadeem
    Jun 25, 2010 - 11:12AM

    Jeez lois….I am sure the writer would bend backwards to please the security personnel at JFk or Dubai…but at home everyone with a little “authority” need VIP treatment…and what is so special being a female, I don’t get it! She needs to get off her high horse and need an overdose of reality…terrible narration!Recommend

  • Saif
    Jun 25, 2010 - 11:18AM

    This is plain ignorance and typical illiterate behavior, expressed by the author.

    The current security situation of the country gives authority to all the security forces for ensuring the safety of personnel, in any way they want. Now, I don’t really get it; it was a check for the security, which required you to stay quiet and let the guys do their job. However, if this article is intended for plain humor, I appreciate your ‘writing skills’!

    Everybody, needs to be educated!Recommend

  • Jun 25, 2010 - 11:37AM

    They were doing their job and you should do yours as a civilian. I’m sure the writer went to a flight for the first time in her life. There are security procedures all over the world! Recommend

  • Erfan Afghan
    Jun 25, 2010 - 11:39AM

    Talk about Exaggeration. I have been to the airport and this is totally exaggerated. And the whole checking time is around 5 mins (Max). If you can’t wait for 5 mins for security check then think of this as a Traffic signal.As most of the readers has pointed out ” A POINTLESS RANT “.

    This doesn’t even fall in the category of issue. Recommend

  • Zeeshan
    Jun 25, 2010 - 11:47AM

    OMG! It doesn’t matter how many terror attacks are carried out in this country, security has no right to check the bags of an upper-class Pakistani woman. The horror!Recommend

  • ahmed
    Jun 25, 2010 - 12:45PM

    I forced myself into reading this article and believe me it was an irritatingly painful experience.

    How could anyone be so insensitive at a time when every second person at our airport happens to be a suicide bomber. You know what, if unluckily some suicide bomber manages to get a taxi and reach the airport then these very security guards will be the first to be blown into small tiny pieces.

    By writing this article you are not only making fun of these underpaid security personnel, but also the thousands who have already been blown into pieces on duty….protecting elites like you who only care about their macs and thier europe trips. Here’s news for you, that guy doesn’t know what a mac is and the only thing he thinks about is whether he’ll reach his home dead or alive after duty.Recommend

  • Ahmed Waheed
    Jun 25, 2010 - 1:42PM

    Its still worse for a guy travelling alone. They antennae guys check you – and your luggage – then customs people check you – and your luggage – then a guy feels you up while wearing an excuse of gloves and smiles at you asking you where you are going, almost as if he wants you think about changing your plans tonight. Then the rangers check you … and your luggage. Then your luggage gets scanned through an x-ray/alpbhabetagamma-ray/could-be-a-nuclear-power-plant machine.

    And all this for 7kg of hand-carry. FML. Pakistan Zindabad.Recommend

  • Nina
    Jun 25, 2010 - 2:01PM

    My seven year old son could write a more intellectually stimulating article! What a waste of space!Recommend

  • Saad
    Jun 25, 2010 - 2:24PM

    Worth reading..I was going to Malaysia and the security guys at Jinnah terminal stopped me at the airport, opened my bag and suspected there was something crappy inside the shan tikka masala I was carrying with me. I mean that’s just ridiculous. They should at least have some sense on which items to suspect and which not. Recommend

  • Fazal Ashfaq
    Jun 25, 2010 - 3:08PM

    Instead of getting out of your car to shout at him, try being polite to the guy in return instead. He is doing his job knowing that the next car that comes up could very well blow up in his face.Recommend

  • Jun 25, 2010 - 3:36PM

    I just wanna say, leave this country if you can’t cooperate. I am proud that we have strict security checking at airport. Sam is right about people like you “It is you people who are an embarrassment!!!”Recommend

  • qasim
    Jun 25, 2010 - 3:36PM

    I am still waiting for the day when the writer comes up with an intellectual driven creative piece. So far, all her articles seems to be a page from her personal diary. Aaj kya kiya aur aaj kya howa!

    Just that she get paid for writing such pieces indicate the monopoly of these so-called writers who still feel that by visiting Europe and Owning a Mac makes them stand in line with the cream of the World. What a pity!

    Lets wait for her next article where she inform readers that what a beautiful city Karachi is and there is no city like this in the whole world.Recommend

  • Meekal Ahmed
    Jun 25, 2010 - 3:49PM

    Miss,

    Consider yourself fortunate. Your encounter with security was a walk in the park.

    Every time one of your jihadi’s does something dumb, those of us who live in the USA (or the west generally) get screwed over. Mr Shezad announcing that he is a soldier of Islam and is guilty 100 times over gives all of us the willies and especially me because unfortunately I have to travel overseas shortly.

    Finally, whatever the security procedures in Pakistan, the fact remains that PIA is still not allowed non-stop flights to points in the USA. That is what the Boeing 777-LR (Long-Range) was purchased for. Recommend

  • Tilsim
    Jun 25, 2010 - 4:01PM

    Macs can take quite a lot of abuse..Recommend

  • Saif
    Jun 25, 2010 - 4:11PM

    I have seen these local people acting very politely and fearfully in other countries. Recommend

  • Rima
    Jun 25, 2010 - 4:30PM

    We should thankful for the fact that our officials are concerned enough. As long as they are ensuring our security, I dont think we ought to make petty things like this a big issue.

    We are willing to strip down when going abroad, willing to be xrayed to the point where you’re entire body is up on display, but this we cannot do?
    Recommend

  • Babar Ali Pasha
    Jun 25, 2010 - 4:41PM

    if they dont do proper checking then there is a problem and if they do proper checking then there is a problem too… make up your minds people !!!!Recommend

  • BB...
    Jun 25, 2010 - 4:42PM

    Lay off guys…
    Each to his own, remember?
    Individual experiences…Recommend

  • Jun 25, 2010 - 4:59PM

    Very well written Naveen! I have been traveling recently, and literally they don’t let go off any opportunity to literally insult the passengers .. I seriously don’t know who supervises these guys who treat everyone as criminals ..

    Even the customs people talk to the passengers in the most insulting way possible .. and no matter what you do they make sure they make you feel like a suicide bomber or a drug smuggler by the time they let go off you ..

    Insanely depressing…Recommend

  • Jun 25, 2010 - 5:14PM

    wow!

    some of the vitriol is uncalled for…i read this as a light piece…

    am presently on the road and have passed through eleven airports on four continents…and thanks to our card carrying houri-seeking die-hards, airport security is thorough in most countries…incidentally, the laptop was separately checked everywhere…the last airport i left (after three very thorough security checks) in mid air the pilot was informed of a threat and the plane returned to the airport, where we were quarantined, re-checked, taken to the tarmac and had to identify the luggage….yes…it was annoying… the heat, the humidity, the delay…but in the end it was for our safety

    i file it under hazards of travellingRecommend

  • Saif
    Jun 25, 2010 - 5:16PM

    I have been to Airport many times, and never encountered a single personnel whose behavior can be described as ‘an insult for passengers’. I mean it; personnel ranging from Customs to ASF to local Police patrol, they do BEHAVE in that area. Yes, a little exception can be made for people at traffic desks :-).

    Welcome to Pakistan, everybody!Recommend

  • Uzma Ghaus
    Jun 25, 2010 - 5:22PM

    i think most of the commentators have missed the point the author was making. Firstly I believe the author is pointing out, there is a growing paranoia all around the world, and Pakistan which is run by corrupt officials who make it their right to take away any.. and i mean any rights we might have .
    They say these people have tough jobs, yes they do, but being a woman in this country where you are faceless, have hate crimes amassed against you and are silent for most of your life, its a completely different ball game. I agree that checking is important, but that itself is the problem. Imagine what the ordinary poor below average income Pakistani goes through on a daily basis. The amount of money they give on average to the traffic policeman in the form of bribery, why?? Driving anywhere with my husband is a nightmare these days, because we are flagged down and questioned. And we are harrassed, not questioned! There is no security IN pakistan, so please let us not create a hue and cry for the so called ‘valiant’ security guards at the airport, who put people through misery given half a chance.Yet I am sure they would never stop a foreigner, why? Because.. Pakistan is no longer the Pakistanis country. And most definitely a country where the rights of women are dying more and more everyday.Recommend

  • teefie butt
    Jun 25, 2010 - 5:50PM

    I would recommend NYC’s JFK, Dubai International, LAX, and Hong Kong airport for a bit of a reality check. “security” folk at all these airports aren’t charming princes but underpaid “normal” people. I dont know about anyone else but airport security would be a nightmareish gig for anyone. imagine dealing with thousands of people who somehow think they are above all this. Recommend

  • Sadia Hussain
    Jun 25, 2010 - 6:03PM

    I am a little confused here! why is it ok at JFK and “insulting” @ Khi airport?
    Oh and the prospects of a female suicide bomber are very much plausible!!Recommend

  • J.G
    Jun 25, 2010 - 6:30PM

    is that we only like to follow the rules of America or the Europe while we are there but we don’t like to act same here, if some thing happens here then i m sure that the columnist will write a column that our security forces are not that efficient this n that…why we are in complex…. Recommend

  • Dr. Altaf ul Hassan
    Jun 25, 2010 - 7:32PM

    This is the extreme that she is complaining of some thing she considers as insulting and humiliating but is getting such a harsh response from her readers.I dont think if she is wrong in expecting some dignity,respect and honour at security check points.I do not justify the attitude of security personnels as per her description or is it impossible to conduct all this in a gentle wayRecommend

  • Shazia
    Jun 25, 2010 - 7:50PM

    Whatever the issue under discussion may be, it is really great to see so many people speaking up in favour of their homeland :)Recommend

  • Sharjeel Jawaid
    Jun 25, 2010 - 8:13PM

    Not quite humorous, rather sarcastic!

    I am a regular traveler and find the security bar higher with the passage of time, however I have never been put off by the security measures at Karachi Airport or for that matter at the road checks in Karachi.

    I have found the soldiers courteous and reasonable in their behavior and conduct.

    A large number of citizens in Pakistan are doing their job, including the security forces. It does not give a good feeling to see such persons or institutions being ridiculed.

    Since public memory is quite short, may I also point out that hundred of such security personnel have laid down lives in the line of duty. We come across such incidences almost every other day.

    Let us salute these honest souls and have some compassion for their families.Recommend

  • Rehan Ali
    Jun 25, 2010 - 10:07PM

    I hail from a family of frequent flyers and make my way to JIA (jinnah international airport) at least once a week. The personnel on duty have always been courteous and not like the ones described by the author. The standard procedure of checking the car is nothing new and usually when you are stopped at the checkpoint you unlock your vehicle. The door is opened with a smile and usual glances at the dashboard et all. In my endless visits to JIA only once was I requested to get out of the car and was body searched.
    Recommend

  • Syed A. Mateen
    Jun 25, 2010 - 10:29PM

    Security all over the world is tightened due to terrorist activities.

    There are numbers of cases which have been foiled in the past by Security Personnel at different airports.

    It is the duty of the Security Personnel to check each and every passenger thoroughly who so ever is travelling.

    No body is above the law.

    All passengers travelling inland or abroad must cooperate with the Airport Security Force to make their job easy.

    After all ASF check the passengers for our own safety and to make sure that no untoward incident should occur in the country.

    Let us all beat the terrorism by cooperating with the Airport Security Force.Recommend

  • blackfish
    Jun 26, 2010 - 2:02AM

    why are we not criticizing the writer anymore???Recommend

  • Aroob Akbar
    Jun 26, 2010 - 2:29AM

    I did not find anything in the security personnel’s conduct whatsoever to warrant such an outrage.
    Recommend

  • Saiyid Ghazanfar Hasnain
    Jun 26, 2010 - 3:15AM

    I am a frequesnt traveller to Europe and within USA.
    No doubt the security all over the world have been enhanced, including Jinnah International Airport, Karachi.
    I believe compared to lot of other airports, JIA security personnel are lot courtious and deals with passengers with dignity.

    The author was describing her personnel experience. Don’t consider it as NORM or a news item. Please try to read it like a story which could be part of fiction and stop bashing her more.
    I am pretty sure she got the message and next time she will be extremely careful in writing to a forum which is extremely vocal.Recommend

  • Aroob Akbar
    Jun 26, 2010 - 3:25AM

    *In all this, I had forgotten that I am a woman, and am therefore, invisible in this country. Oh ho. Me and my leaky brain*

    Oh ho. It took you so long to realize that? We all know by now from your ‘articles’ that Pakistan sucks. Indeed that is the irony; with all the Paki-bashing that you have have indulged in is there still no other country in the world willing to accept you?

    —-

    And dare I say that just because a person is born with a silver spoon does not mean that a different set of rules will always apply to her than the one that apllies to mere mortals. Yes, even in Pakistan!Recommend

  • Yasir Ali
    Jun 26, 2010 - 6:28AM

    What a stupid article. The same person would not utter a word if metted out a humiliating treatment at heathrow or some other international airport. But just because it happened in Pakistan, it is blown out of proportion or made too sound like poor Naveen had to go through so much agony. I’ll be agonised if this newspaper pays her for writing utter rubbish article. She certainly needs to work harder on choosing good topics to write on. Recommend

  • Saif
    Jun 26, 2010 - 9:49AM

    Look, this is not about commenting (criticizing) the author; even if people are criticizing, its solely good for her.
    All that is pointed out over here is; the current security situation (even if quantified) shows such threats to our particular nation and countries, that no other country in the world is facing today. In such circumstances, if someone indirectly manipulates people (intentionally or unintentionally)for avoiding or harshly dealing with security personnel operating at such sensitive places: we are beefed!

    I don’t know how many teenagers and wannabe’s have read this article and taken the effect, but if we are reflecting a message to general audience that our own security, which is for our own safety, should be eased up or should be done in a ‘polite’ manner, or all of us should be dealing with these specific security personnel in a rough manner, we are fools. Yes, we are fools.

    I swear, for all the times I have been to terminal, not a single security personnel reflected a behavior that can be stated as my insult. Even if i insulted over there in front of my family or friends or business colleagues, no big deal!

    Let me rephrase: Even if they insult me like this in order to fulfill their duty, I’d love to get insulted in order to ensure the security and safety of my own damn home!Recommend

  • Asim
    Jun 26, 2010 - 4:26PM

    You were in this country you have to respect the rules whether you like it or not. We are in no means perfect but with the stuff that has been going on try and show some respect to the people who have to perform such duties. They are under the stick not you.

    The guy approached the driver of the car because that’s how it always is. Instead of staring at the security guards you should asked the driver why does not he know the score and why did he not have his window open. It was respect shown as he did not approach a woman directly not rudeness.Recommend

  • Mukhtar Ahmed
    Jun 26, 2010 - 7:02PM

    As a nation we are hostile to security checks.We must not forget that these security checks are for our own security.There was no reason to be outrage on matter that relates to security. In fact it is only during these checks that you find the anti state elements and trouble makers.

    Let us change our attitudes.Even if you reach airport two hours before the departure it is OK.Let us appreciate the good work being done by the airport security.Recommend

  • Jahanzaib Haque
    Jun 27, 2010 - 1:11AM

    @Feedback Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback, it is valuable. We hope to develop a space which allows maximum dialogue and minimum attacks against a person, group – yet at the same time allows criticism (negative and positive) to come through. Taking the time to leave us comments regarding our ongoing attempts to improve the policy is laudable. We will be building future systems based on them. Best regards (Web Editor)Recommend

  • Haya
    Jun 27, 2010 - 1:49AM

    Mac will never be the same again? Recommend

  • Brig (R) Naveed Nasar Khan
    Jun 27, 2010 - 4:40AM

    As a former DG ASF (Airport Security Force), I could not help noticing Naveen Naqvi’s article on her security check experience while driving up to Jinnah International Airport, Karachi. This was probably part of a series of security checks subjected to passengers by the ASF, before they board an aircraft. I was not really perturbed by her article, probably because I was used to hearing continuous flow of such complaints, objections and reservations of people in the past. However, I am glad to read the comments generally offered by most readers, who stand in support of an effective security at airports. In my humble opinion, ASF is doing an excellent job in the most professional manner. They are courteous yet firm in their handling of passengers. What they need is complete cooperation from everybody, so that they are then able to make airports and flying safe, especially under the current threat environment in the country.
    ASF is responsible for safeguarding all airports in Pakistan, which includes guarding the restricted areas of airports, parking lots, all areas within the perimeter fence including the runways, screening and scanning of all passenger baggage and frisking of all passengers, staff and crew members boarding an aircraft. This is no mean task, considering the huge volume of passengers and their baggage, airline crew and airport employees who undergo security checks each day. Consider for a while the fact, that while no other place in the country including a few high security zones have been spared from the terrorist attack, the airports and air travel have.

    We, therefore, need to show more patience and tolerance towards personnel of airport security force, who are trained to carryout this thankless job round the clock, for our own safety.
    Recommend

  • blackfish
    Jun 27, 2010 - 6:23AM

    JH finally came through! YAY!!! Thanks Tribune editors…Recommend

  • cidpusa
    Jun 27, 2010 - 7:12AM

    You all know the security problem worldwide.
    Relax and deal with the people politely.

    I went to the airport and was waved by security to go ahead just because i cooperated.Recommend

  • Jun 27, 2010 - 9:15AM

    **

    VERY VERY FINE

    ** Recommend

  • Hasan Zuberii
    Jun 27, 2010 - 12:56PM

    I wonder why a normal stuation can be so hard to digest to our celebrities and elites … why do we forget that t is still better then many “Civilized” countries.

    Why forget that our ex-Premier Superemo Gen. Musharraf and Former First lady Also had to go through strict security checks at NY & Heathrow …a man who served the masters so well

    I personally think they are still polite to women and it is part of our cultural norm, not to talk to a women directly … if only the author knew about it.Recommend

  • Rehan Ali
    Jun 27, 2010 - 2:02PM

    Punjab University Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran was travelling to participate in a four-day conference on distance learning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) from May 23 to 26 and was stopped by the US Customs officials at the Logan International Airport, Boston MA, for questioning – ranging from information about his late parents, baggage contents, any gifts given by somebody before boarding to examination of his credit cards including those expired. Still not satisfied, the authorities even checked him on Wikipedia.

    But than the vice-chancellor was not a woman nor is Logan a Pakistani Airport. Recommend

  • Saleh Dada
    Jun 27, 2010 - 4:32PM

    It is ok to get 3rd degree from a foreigner but when local law enforcement does routine check you have a problem. Recommend

  • Alina
    Jun 27, 2010 - 6:51PM

    . As a female myself, I think it was courteous of the officers to have maintained a respectable manner of performing their duty.

    Oh and this is by far the most exagerated article I have ever read, specially the bit about mac being “mishandled”.Recommend

  • Hammer man
    Jun 28, 2010 - 1:23AM

    I’m sorry. I didn’t get the objective of this article.
    was it about the MAC being molested or how effective the airport security is ?Recommend

  • Haris Chaudhry
    Jun 28, 2010 - 8:28AM

    ummm.. oh noes! I am so annoyed at the ASF treatment of the author. Last time I used Jinnah Terminal, the ASF hospitality team provided me with fresh linen, silver cutlery, a cheese sandwich and wet towels. But may be because I was a ‘visible’ man and not some invisible woman from this land of pure. I was also given a clapping monkey as a gift for my 4 year old by ASF who was annoyed at seeing ‘cocky’ tall men in black trying to wave those radios with antennae at our car. But, the great thing was that I wasnt carrying a Mac – I just had my pathetic Toshiba notebook which was fortunately not molested at all. After I finished eating my sandwich at the security gate and my driver finished his ‘dood patti chai”, the head of the ASF came to us and asked to sign a survey form designed to ensure that travelers had a pleasant and enjoyable stop at the security gate. Once the ordeal finished, the ASF jawans lined up on both ends of the street and clapped as my driver slowly drove past the jawans. I hope a week in europe holidaying allows you to unwind from this brutal treatment. Please dont forget to be back to this country of annoying security procedures. We will be so much poorer without you.
    RegardsRecommend

  • M.Bukhari
    Jun 28, 2010 - 12:30PM

    I always advise my fellow traveler’s to have all documents and carry on within hands reacg so that the ASF can quickly and efficiently check that you’re legit and not some terrorist (there are female terrorist in this world as well)… Yes security forces can seem rough and discourteous and I admit I get a little annoyed..But the fact is that they are trying to do their job and being difficult never helps. It only creates more delays.

    Whether I’m in Jinnah, Heathrow or Pearson following security protocol is necessary. Unless there is a great misconduct..Bite your tongue and deal with it.Recommend

  • Asad
    Jun 28, 2010 - 12:53PM

    please remember that pakistan has not faced a single case of flight terrorism (and hijacking), I recall, at least in past decade due to such security by the same force.
    being a sophisticated woman or media personality does not exonerate anyone from scrutiny. security force can not carry routine checking with smiling face in musical environs.
    if not been checked “properly”, the same author would have written an article as “Airport Security Lapses, Pakistan-Style”
    Recommend

  • A.A
    Jun 28, 2010 - 6:33PM

    For a second I thought I was reading some thing from Dan Brown’s novel…Your article got so much thrill…I thought something big is going to happen at the end…BUT NOTHING :(Recommend

  • mk
    Jun 29, 2010 - 2:09AM

    i think the lady companion of yours shouldn’t have jumped out of the car in the first place! I have had run-ins with the security personnel the karachi airport as well where i thought there were being overly aggressive (wasting my time!!) with their search..anyway, i realized that i was in the wrong to be offended as they are trying to do the job and meet the security challenges our beloved country faces! So next time be polite, don’t jump out of the car, and let them cary out their routine drill! Recommend

  • Amina
    Jun 29, 2010 - 2:56AM

    I rather like the fact that security can be a tad bit unfriendly, it assures me they are doing their job! They are there to protect lives not give pedicures!
    And I am feeling slightly embarrassed of my Mac now! Recommend

  • Zain
    Jun 29, 2010 - 6:02AM

    ahaha…this article makes me laugh…the men were doing their job as they were instructed to do, show some appreciation for god sake. on one side we crib about people of pakistan not performing their duties and on the other hand people like you ms naqvi write and i quote Open the door or roll down the window,’ he BARKS to an unfazed taxi driver, the emphasis here on the word BARK. Rather then helping in what ever way you can to get rid of the problems which has caused all this security hassles you have the audacity to question its consequence. Recommend

  • blackfish
    Jun 29, 2010 - 7:56AM

    So, after all thats been said, do Tribune editors get the reaction of the author on the comments that their article has received?? Let’s face it, these comments/replies are akin to our feedback and unless this feedback is getting back to the author, how is it useful?Recommend

  • whitewhale
    Jun 29, 2010 - 10:37AM

    OMG!!!! a Pakistani policeman touched my white mac!!! its tainted forever!!! I must burn it and get a new one!! i know i know i’ll be strip searched “politely” on my return but they are only looking out for my security!Recommend

  • zee
    Jun 29, 2010 - 1:51PM

    plain absurd … wts the point of all this ?? they were js doin their job.. its a security procedure .. if u were in a foreign country and they were doin this to you , i bet you d ve been ok with it , now coz its pakistan you are whining bout they not being courteous enough and gender discrimination.. Recommend

  • Arsalan Khalid
    Jun 30, 2010 - 1:08AM

    Haha. This has to be one of the MOST hilarious blogs I have read for some time. LOL at the “barked” and the MAC parts ( oh my god!, how dare someone touched it; they MUST be sued at the very least) By the way are we living in the good old 60s where every thing is goody good? I think even back then we had security procedures. Recommend

  • KK
    Jun 30, 2010 - 6:59AM

    Better than racial profiling that occur in many western airports.Recommend

  • Atif Zeb
    Jul 29, 2010 - 3:51PM

    suppose at airport there are two queues One where officials are checking the passengers and other where your are free to board without any checking and you are free to choose any queue. Which queue you will choose? just think about that. ASF sometime bothers but it is acceptable and i think they are great guys whatever they do.Recommend

  • Anisa Shaikh
    Aug 3, 2010 - 6:38AM

    …I wonder how Shahrukh Khan have felt when he was DETAINED at a U.S. airport last year? Now thats something to whine about!Recommend

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