CHITRAL: Yesterday, I stepped out of my house and what I saw before my eyes made me think that, perhaps, the military had taken over. Or that, perhaps, a military exercise was going on, that we had not been informed about. Confused, I walked ahead and then chanced upon some billboards. I then understood what had happened. My city was preparing for the annual polo festival at Shandur and since many VIPs would be passing through it, the entire area was filled with security personnel.
The trend of VIP protocol, especially for senior military officers, seems to be in fashion these days in Pakistan, despite the fact that more than half of the population lives below the poverty line.
Even millions of Pakistanis, technically above the poverty line, can’t make both ends meet. Yet, there are some civil and military officers who have no qualms about wasting taxpayers’ money on such things. At least, in Chitral, it happens once a year only, right before the Shandur festival.
Junaid Saleh Hayat
Published in The Express Tribune, July 10th, 2012.
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