Shandur Festival and VIP ‘catwalk’

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!]]>

5 Replies to “Shandur Festival and VIP ‘catwalk’”

  1. Dear Zakir Hussain, of course, Pakistan can progress a lot if this ”VIP Raj” and show-off ends one day and all citizens are considered as VIP! Billions of rupees have been wasted just on this protocol show-off thing!!
    Dear Shams Hak, thank you for agreeing on that issue!

  2. Unfortunately, this is malady of Pakistani social culture that influential feel pride and joy by making the life of common citizens miserable. We are paying tax and contribute to national purse, while these people squander the same money and treat the citizens like subhumans. How to overturn this state of affairs? The only way is create awareness and confidence among the people (youth) to take active part in politics and change the system. These Civil/Military VVIPs are the worst enemies of Pakistan. Try to get rid of them at our level best.

  3. Very right, appreciated.
    I only differ with its implication in present scenario on security status.
    Otherwise protocols must be restricted to formal occasions where required.

  4. My dear brother Shams, for God’s sake, don’t pretend to be unaware of this cheap practice of wasting government money on protocols in the name of ‘’security’’ for the so-called VIP citizens. I hope, you know that all citizens are equal and have equal rights according to law. If so, then why some citizens are treated as ‘’special’’ while the 99 percent are not given their due rights?? Is security not important for the 99 percent people? Are they not important to you??
    Look dear bro, we all are concerned about the security situation not only in Chitral, but also in all of Pakistan! And we all want it to improve. And it can really improve to a large extent and Pakistan can become a peaceful country if such an enormous amount of money is spent on improving our military machinery, education rate, and other factors that play vital role in developing a country!
    If someone highlights a negative point, we should have the guts to accept it. Can you deny the fact that this country has lost billions of rupees merely on protocols?? Can you say ‘No’??
    I am a patriotic Pakistani and I and any other patriot will be upset to see that wild behavior of a few so-called VIPs with my country’s public wealth!
    This is not an ‘Islamic Repulic of VIPs’!! Pakistan belongs to all of us! So all are equal and should have equal rights! Our country cannot develop until and unless all citizens are treated as VIP and are given equal rights!
    I hope you understood my motive behind writing that article!
    Kind Regards

  5. Please for God sake don’t mix security issues with protocol.
    What the hell military has to do with polo, just they are trying to keep the environment in a peaceful manner where everybody can enjoy.
    Polo festival is neither the mandate of Army nor FC (Chitral Scouts), but we know without them it will not be possible. In 2006/7 once President Generel Pervez Musharaf was visiting there, just an hour prior to his arrival a group of Taliban were arrested with explosives and suicidal jackets, and they were shifted in a military chopper to an undisclosed location. That’s how the situation is. Once high-ups visit any area chances of such activities cannot be ruled out.

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