In The Name of ALLAH The Almighty
Shandur Festival and VIP ‘catwalk’
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!
Junaid Saleh Hayat