By Junaid Saleh Hayat
CHITRAL, July 7: Yesterday, when I went out on the road, I got lost in thoughts for a moment. I thought military had taken over the power and imposed martial law in the country. But no, it was not a military coupe. ‘Then what is all this’, my mind asked the question.
A military exercise or what? Has some one declared war against our beloved country or what?
None of these seemed true. I was confused with all these questions, but then after seeing a few billboards along the road, I was reminded that everything was normal and that entire ‘red-alert situation’ was only because of the visitation of some so-called ‘’VVIPs’’ for the Shandur Festival. There were security personnel at every step in all public places. If this is all what VIPs can bring along with them, then I think, it is much better without their esteemed presence!
The trend of VVIP protocol especially for military high-ups is in fashion these days in this country where more than half of the population live below the poverty line. A large number of Pakistani citizens can’t make both ends meet, yet there are some civil and military officers, rather czars would be an appropriate word for them, who are too much extravagant and careless with public wealth, wasting zillions merely on protocols and other luxuries. On the other hand, people are deprived of basic necessities of life!
This sort of show of power occurs only during the Shandur Festival in Chitral. It is unusual for us Chitralis, therefore, caught my attention. But in cities, it’s a common practice. Dozens of ‘VVIP caravans’ can be seen every hour, which is an direct punch in the face of this already economically crippled and politically troubled nation!! We hope one day these ‘VVIP catwalks’ would end and public treasure will be spent for the betterment of this country, and not on the enjoyment of a handful of people!