My friends call me fortunate when I tell them that I live in Karachi’s most secure location, opposite Bilawal House, Clifton. They think I live in peace, serenity and tranquility but little do they know about the hardships I have to face every day, especially when the ‘Inflicted’ President is in town. My life cannot get more topsy-turvy when he plans to bless us with his visit. Where people dread unforeseen disasters, I ask the Almighty to keep him in Islamabad till eternity.
The moment Mr. Zardari sitting in the president house, Islamabad decides that he wants to visit Karachi, his team of ‘mind readers’ start making preparations for his visit. All roads leading to the Bilawal house are cordoned off, shops closed, barriers erected overnight and all human and animal activity is strictly prohibited within a radius of 2km leading to the most protected property in Karachi after the US consulate of course.
Living in the apartments opposite Bilawal House, I have to face severe hardships everyday commuting to and fro from my heavenly abode. Before the bomb blast at CID headquarters in Karachi, all road cuts leading to the apartments and commercial area opposite the Bilawal House were blocked with concrete barricades forcing residents to go all the way to the end of the main road in order to enter the lanes leading to their homes.
Seeing them suddenly spring up a couple of days after the blast, I wondered what could have invited this road blockage…scratching my head for a long time made me remember the Tehreek-e-Taliban chief’s statement that the president house is next on the hit list. Perhaps the chief forgot to mention that it was the President House Islamabad and not the Bilawal House, but then fear is fear it knows no boundaries for the inflicted dignitaries.
When erecting concrete barriers on all road cuts were not enough, they were permanently sealed a few days back thus removing all misconceptions if there were any, in the minds of residents who someday dreamt of enjoying a smooth drive back home. Every morning hundreds if not thousands are directly or indirectly affected with roads blocked by tankers, tables, barricades, tree branches and bricks. Every day I make sure to ask one of the thousands of law enforcement personals posted for the inflicted president’s security about his departure, I am sure not even his army of minister’s, advisor’s and cohorts are as eager as me to see him back in Islamabad.
Finally a humble plea…Mr. President, please spare us of your visits to Karachi. If you are really eager to visit the metropolis, you can use a Chopper which can pick and drop you off right at the entrance of the Bilawal House. You can probably ask the Pakistan Army to provide you with F-16 fighter jets which can escort your helicopter safely to and from anywhere you wish to go. As far as your army of ministers, advisors and well wishers are concerned, who all want to meet you in the middle of the night for unknown reasons, can use the same chopper to meet you. After all we humble taxpaying citizens would be happy to see their hard earned money going up in the smoke of a Chopper rather than facing everyday hardships. Spare us Mr. President, please spare us…what did we do to deserve this?