LAHORE: VIP movements across Lahore have a devastating effect on the lives of the common people, who are unable to move about freely in their own city. Whenever a politician or a government official has to go somewhere, traffic is blocked. I along with many other individuals encounter this problem almost every other day. Recently, the prime minister was in Lahore and he had to go to Defence and as a consequence the whole of Tufail Road in Cantonment was blocked. People who had to get to their work after the lunch break were not allowed to do so, even all the pharmacies and drug stores were made to close down.
My office is located in Cantonment and I was not allowed to get back to work. On the insistence of the traffic police I got off my car and agreed to walk all the way to my workplace. However, the behavior of the traffic police officials who were on duty was rude to say the least. Our ministers and what not may be very important or busy individuals but they certainly are not above the law. They have no right to make others lives miserable only for their own sake.
Our senior state functionaries often make statements about the importance of rule of law but seem to have no qualms acting in a manner that contradicts what they say.
I agree that some protocol is necessary for security reasons but in Pakistan, civilian traffic is completely disregarded, to benefit those in power. It is really unfair to obstruct the flow of traffic for as long as 30-40 minutes.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 12th, 2010.
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