Karachiites want the Prime Minister of Pakistan and the Chief Minister of Sindh to know that they are terribly suffering as a result of cricket matches being held at the National Stadium. Not only do roadblocks, put in place for security purposes, create havoc in the adjacent areas but they also cause severe congestion on all nearby roads. Blocking Shara-e-Faisal, the main artery of Karachi, merely adds to the misery of thousands of motorists who spend hours stuck in heavy traffic before reaching home from work. It goes without saying that when motorists try to avoid Shara-e-Faisal and take a different route, it causes traffic mess on roads far and wide.
It is also important to understand that the two largest hospitals with the busiest emergency rooms are located at the Stadium Road. But, no emergency doctor, hospital staff, or ambulance can pass the containers that are used to block the roads and secure the players and others associated with the game. While we are all up for the revival of cricket in Pakistan, the initiative should not come at the cost of people’s lives.
To sum it up, the city of Karachi is not in the best of shape to hold high-profile events. I am sure that the bright minds at PCB could think of other relatively isolated venues in Karachi like Superhighway or National Highway where security could be provided without paralysing the city. They may even consider the Gwadar Cricket Stadium, where all necessary security to the visitors can be provided without causing pain to anyone. This can also be our opportunity to market the beauty of the city of Gwadar and the Balochistan province internationally.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 22nd, 2021.