With broken walls, Pindi’s graveyards infested by unwanted visitors

Resting places for the deceased become a safe haven for drug addicts


Our Correspondent June 17, 2019
PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

RAWALPINDI: With the condition of all big and small graveyards in the garrison city presenting a shabby look and large holes in boundary walls where they exist, it has allowed a very different type of people to take up residence in them — drug addicts.

There are as many as 53 graveyards in Rawalpindi. Of these 31 are located in areas controlled by the Rawalpindi Municipal Corporation (RMC) while the remaining 22 are located in areas controlled by the two cantonment boards. However, all of these graveyards are in dire need of attention from the government.

The administrative committees formed to look after the graveyards have also apparently failed in their responsibilities with drug addicts occupying corners in graveyards.

Moreover, wild bushes have sprouted all over these graveyards, making it difficult for people to navigate narrow pathways between graves and to even find the grave of their relative.

The graveyards also lack proper lighting, as a result, it becomes difficult to hold funerals at night or for people to visit the graves of their loved ones at a later hour.

While wild bushes thrive, there are no trees in the graveyards to offer shade. Citizens also face a lot of difficulties while performing ablutions as there are no proper arrangements for it.

Citizens Committee Chairman Zaheer Ahmed Awan told The Express Tribune that he had visited all the graveyards in the city and had informed the relevant officials about the deteriorating condition of the graveyards, but no one seemed interested in doing anything about the issue.

“We have forgotten how to respect the dead and the last resting place for them because we do not remember that we all have to die one day as well,” he said.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 17th, 2019.

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