Next door to the president
Living in Karachi is not easy for anyone. Imagine how hard it is for those of us living in the vicinity of a politician. Members of the ruling party have been taking over my area.
Living in Karachi is not easy for anyone. Imagine how hard it is for those of us living in the vicinity of a politician. The street where I live has always been over-run by members of the ruling party but now the smug party workers have legally bought a house as well. The house is to serve as the party’s ‘media centre.’ And disturbingly it is not the only one. The party in true ‘Borg’ like fashion has started to assimilate the area by buying out all the houses in the lane. Resistance is futile; the house I live in could well be next in line.
Perhaps they honestly believe that they can garner votes this way. After all the move is reminiscent of another party, which often raises similar populist slogans. It too bought out all the houses in the suburban neighbourhood of its head quarters and cordoned off the area. When I see my road teeming with ruling party workers I wonder if they are optimistic believers in democracy, victims of party propaganda or perhaps they are beneficiaries of the Benazir Income Support Programme - a programme which has been, according to allegations, used by the party to redirect public funds and keep supporters in a happier state of mind.
The main road in front of Bilawal House has been cordoned off for a long time. No one seems to care that a road on public property paid for by tax payers has been blocked. This is no under the table deal but a blatant abuse of power for anyone to see.
While security is certainly important, it needs to be said, if these people are creating a better government, they are doing so at the expense of many individuals. Whenever President Zardari comes to Karachi, guards are ordered to cordon off the area so that means I have park my car ten minutes away from my house. Who then looks after my security?
Published in the Express Tribune, June 17th, 2010.