KARACHI: Motorcycles are the chosen mode of transportation for many people from the middle and lower-middle classes, as they cost much less than other vehicles to purchase and maintain. However, citizens from these socioeconomic classes become disturbed whenever the government announces a ban on pillion riding on the occasions of religious, national or political events, in order to avoid or thwart terrorism-related incidents. In support of the war on terror, operations like Zarb-e-Azb have been put into action, mostly in the northern parts of the country. Such operations were also extended to Karachi. Now, whenever any major event comes up on the calendar, or when tensions in the city are high, the authorities haphazardly place a ban on pillion riding. This especially affects the people of Karachi, as motorcycles are a common mode of transport here. For many families, the only vehicle in their possession is a motorcycle.
These bans may thwart terrorism incidents temporarily, but this method is not a permanent solution as terrorists can strike even when there is no such ban in place. The police and law-enforcement agencies have to come up with long-term plans to secure the city so that citizens do not have to face problems and be inconvenienced. The authorities concerned should take drastic measures to reduce the chances of terrorism, rather than ban pillion riding, which only raises multiple problems for the common man.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 6th, 2015.