I have been living in Pakistan for approximately 4 years now and I live in one of the poshest most secure areas of Lahore i.e Cantt.
For the first 3 years, I was the neighbor of Lahore’s Core Commander; which was more of a hassle than a luxury.
Let me map it up for, you. The Core Commander’s house is around the corner of the road – covering maybe 10 canals or more, which is opposite to the Mall of Lahore and the road which is blocked is called Nagi Road, where unfortunately I resided. So on one end, we had the Core Commander’s house the other end was guarded with an Army security post and the whole road had villas on both sides. There wasn’t any third way in/out of it.
People who live in Cantt are familiar with the obnoxious security measures. We lived there but were never allowed to take pictures on the road ( we all know how beautiful LHR, Cantt looks in the monsoon!), we couldn’t walk on the footpath (because it was attached to His Highness’s house) & of course, when his protocol was due to pass the surrounding shops, would shut down for a couple of hours ‘only’, until His Highness crossed/reach his destination.
I left Nagi Road a year ago and shifted some blocks away. I usually visit Nagi Road to meet old friends. But lately, the rules have become unbearable.
Today (7th May 2015) I had to stand for about 30 minutes or more in the horrid Summer heat of Lahore and wait for some “Sahab” to come and assess me before I could walk in around the lane to my friend’s place. This “Sahab” said we can’t allow friends to go in as the rules have changed, Sorry!
Let me explain to you the “Security Protocol”. Army guards the entrance of the road, it has pickets, a watch-house, and all those scary security things. So when you want to enter Nagi Road to meet anyone, other then His Highness Core Commander of Lahore, the attendant there would check your ID card, ask you some questions; who do you want to meet, where are you from, why are you here, what is your name, how long with you take, flan flan; because its a question of “National Security” and its for your own good.This takes 10-15 minutes and when he is done, you will be asked to wait for some other guy who is their head and the process continues. If this guy sees you suitable he would let you in, but you cant stay the night there, only residents can with whom they have a list. In case you are allowed in, they keep your ID card at the entrance for safe keeping.
On previous encounters, I would usually fight my way in. Shouting at them about how this place is also owned by me, I am a taxpayer, I have a right, etc etc. But today I have dismissed all my rights. As “Sahab” simply said this is a matter of security and we cant let you in!
WHO THE EFF ARE YOU PROTECTING HERE!! High Highness’s ASS?
WHO is going to secure me! IF only IF we were protected in such a manner I would bet Pakistan wouldn’t be in the state it is today.
Yes! Precautions are good and matter a lot but not ONLY for Nagi Road or Cantt alone. People are imprisoned there just because this one guy needs to be secured for the security of the city, country.
I stood for 30+ minutes just to be dismissed rather rudely. I didn’t feel like I pay these people precious Tax money to protect myself. I felt like they own me more than I own myself.
The rage I feel is ufffffffffffffffff………….. And if you are reading this His Highness Core Commander of Lahore. I am so disappointed and do whatever you may now!!
Originally written in 2013