Archive for September, 2014

All over the world, the governments make sure that its citizens are given proper respect and their integrity, freedom and self respect is honored in the country and specially in abroad. Recent history has witnessed quite a lot of such events as countries went to any length in order to protect the honor of their citizens.

In case of Pakistan the Ganges flows in reverse direction. Pakistanis in their own country are mortified, humiliated and insulted by its own government sometimes in the name of  blocking of the roads and keeping the commuters waiting in long queues on roads so that the men in power (who have no other qualification to be in power, other than they have plundered money) and all the times, keeping them stranded on roads leading to cantonment, ordering them to turn the headlights off, coercing them to put the vehicle in first gear and drive at almost zero speed so that a cop has no difficulty looking at citizens of ‘free’ Pakistan with a suspicious eye, entering the land of despotism of military.

I won’t discuss how foreigners in Pakistan roam free, carry illegal weapons and even kill citizens of ‘free’ Pakistan and then leave the country without any charges and that government and military who control each and every movement of the its own citizens seems helpless when it comes to prosecution of foreigners. A foreigner may open a restaurant and bar Pakistanis to enter it. It happens only in Pakistan.

In rest of the ‘free’ world, the citizens are allowed to go to any embassy of any country to apply for visas etc but in Pakistan the common citizens of ‘free’ Pakistan have to follow the below steps to earn insolence from foreigners which starts the moment when a person leaves his home for diplomatic enclave in Islamabad.

  1. You are welcomed with a lot of illegal and ‘legal’ barriers on roads in Islamabad. Police check points are spotted everywhere and traffic is put in a zigzag way at almost zero speed. Police looks at you with a suspicion.
  2. You learn that in ‘free’ Pakistan you are not allowed to enter the diplomatic zone on your own car or on cab unlike rest of the world.
  3. The cab or Toyota hiAce drops you at a point called Diplomatic Shuttle Service (DSS).
  4. At the main entrance of the DSS a policeman asks you about your purpose of coming there as if the ‘suspect’ would respond by saying that he came here to eat pizza. You are then asked to show your ID which you show and then you are allowed to enter that area. (start counting how many times you have to prove your identity).
  5. Now if you have documents (passports, bank statements etc) you are not allowed to take them inside in a bag. The security guard standing at the second entrance beside the scanning arc (like at airports) directs you to another counter where you have to deposit your bag, take documents out, take a receipt of bag deposit and only then you are allowed to pass through a scanner where you again tell the security guard the purpose of visit, while being hand searched.
  6. It is the time to stand in a queue to take the ticket of shuttle service. The person at the counter is not at all polite. You will be asked to prove your identity, pay Rs200/- for shuttle service fare .
  7. You are not done yet, now you are directed to another counter to deposit your mobile phones. Turn your mobile phone off, stand in long queue again and, deposit your mobile phone and take the deposit receipt.
  8. It is the time to enter the waiting lounge. Another scanning arc welcomes you. You once again prove your identity, hand searched by a security guard, tell him that you are not carrying any mobile phone with you and only then you are allowed to enter the waiting lounge.
  9. After the shuttle get ready, you have to stand in queue and get ready to ride the bus.
  10. As soon as the bus enters the diplomatic enclave, you witness the heavy guarded gates with blade wires wrapped all over the walls of the area. The bus stops near the barrier and a person with handy-cam in his hands enters the bus and makes the video of every passenger while another security guard seeks each person’s identity again.
  11. Barriers opens and the shuttle bus enters the enclave and passengers are started to be dropped at respective embassies.

What happens to the citizens of ‘free’ Pakistan inside the embassies is another story as to how they have to make queue outside the embassy or consulate and again they have to prove their identity and how the visa officers insult them.

But where the state is not able to provide the proper and due self-respect to its own citizens and it design such measures as to suspect each one of them the expectation from foreign missions to offer courtesy to them is a far cry.

This country seems to be being gradually designed for ruling class only and not for common man.

On the second annual convention of All India Muslim League at Amritsar on 30-31 Dec 1908, Syed Ali Imam demanded from the British rulers, the eradication of insolence and feeling of inferiority and mortification between the rulers and the ruled but hundred years on, and people of ‘free’ Pakistan are still searching for honor. White rulers left the country and it was substituted by black rulers who still consider this country as some colony and its citizens as subjects of the ruling class. The laws which were designed to rule the slaves are still implemented.

The counter argument to above is that, Pakistan is in a state of war and there is terrorism threat and that is why such measures are taken. Agree with that, but question arises if such derogatory measures of putting fetters and gags on its own citizens to limit their movement, which is their prerogative,  has changed anything? Just last week there was an attack on naval installations and recent bomb blasts in the Islamabad courts and fruit and vegetable market, speak volumes of the effectiveness of such colonial measures, flouting the tenor of the human rights and doing flagrant violation of the constitution. The only way out is to adopt long-term, sustainable measures using technology but this won’t make our current rulers and bureaucracy feel rulers.

 

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TO, Asif Durrani (Pakistani Ambassador to UAE)

amb.a.durrani@pakistanembassyuae.org

Dear Sir,

Today I read the shocking and dismal news on Gulf News about Pakistani children not going to school (http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/uae/education/around-20-000-pakistani-children-in-the-uae-don-t-go-to-school-1.1382466).

It is another stigma on us. On one side the news says that schools are being run on fees alone? where is Pakistani Foreign Office here? Why Government of Pakistan is unable to provide sufficient funds to the Pakistani schools? Why is our ambassador so helpless in demanded funds from Pakistan?

The Pakistani community in UAE is the most vibrant one in whole world who send quite big amounts every month to Pakistan and this is how Government of Pakistan treats them.

Please write a strong letter to Mr. Sartaaj Aziz or Mr. Tariq Fatimi or directly to PM regarding issuance of sufficient funds in order to grab land, build new classrooms and open new branches. This will be the best investment of GoP in this region. Government of Pakistan may increase the fees to 50 more AED and for needy the Pakistani community here can help the needy people. but if you are thinking that by donations you will be able to make new classrooms etc, it is a far cry rather without government’s help it is impossible.

I am ready to help in this cause. Please let me know how can I?  Please create a fund in this regard and let us know the account details so that we can participate in this cause.

Other Issues:

While I write to you on this issue, I would like to raise other burning issues as well:

  1. I have been staying in UAE since 2007 and most of the beggars, I met here, were from Pakistan, giving a bad name to the country.
  2. The number of Pakistani women being traded for sex here is increasing exponentially. Every now and then we read news about in papers.

Please urge government back home to take such necessary measures as necessary to prevent the above issues. Due to such acts of Pakistani community the other nationalities have started to abhor Pakistanis in almost every walk of life. I am a witness of this shift of acknowledgement since 2007. With every passing day, Pakistanis are losing respect. It is the governments, foreign missions and embassies who earn respect for its citizens. People of a country feel more proud, confident and secure when they know that their embassy is on their back. But in the case of Pakistan it is vice versa. Even in their own embassy, Pakistanis are treated like third class citizens and the embarrassment, insolence and humiliation starts as soon as one steps inside the embassy.

I hope my these words shall not fall on the deaf ears of the men in power and our embassy would play its role in eradication of the feeling of inferiority and mortification of my countrymen in UAE.

Best Regards,

Mursalan Haider