In a country where no one is safe, can the government truly provide protection to anyone at all? Political and government aides have been summoned for a meeting by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif due to the sudden attack on a senior journalist Hamid Mir. The Government is being urged to provide protection to journalists due to the sudden increase of attacks on journalist lately, in Pakistan. During all this chaos, what the Pakistani citizens are forced to think is, can the government really provide protection to anyone let alone a certain group of people. If the government could not protect a national political leader (Benazir Bhutto) how can anyone expect the government to protect its citizens?
Mr. Hamid Mir was traveling in a white colored car, when he was attacked on Sharae Faisal near Natha Khan an area in Karachi (AKA, Business Hub State). The witnesses of the incident have informed media that the attacker followed his vehicle and kept on firing at the vehicle around 5:30 pm on Saturday. All of this took place in open day light without the slightest thought of being caught. This attack is another in many attacks on journalist lately. The government, actually acting this time because of the national and international coverage it received, can’t truly provide protection. I have visited Pakistan many times and the situation is extremely bad. Illegal weapons are easily accessible with the help of small bribes. The rate of corruption is extremely high and everywhere. Until, corruption is stopped there is no way for the government to provide protection. Corruption seeps down to every aspect of life in Pakistan. From the business owners to government related offices. It has been embedded into the society so much that, people can’t even imagine living in a corrupt free Pakistan.
I don’t blame the government for the corrupt state it has become because it’s the citizens of Pakistan who help corruption grow. The actual culture and mentality of the people has to change for corruption to stop. When people change their mentality that’s when they can change the system. People are so use to getting their way, by paying someone under the table that, people don’t want to take the legal route to anything anymore. A small example of this would be when a Pakistani citizen receives mail that has custom tax due on it. The citizen would go to the concerning official at the post office and instead of paying the custom tax and getting his mail he tries his best to give a small bribe to the post office worker, so he does not have to pay the custom tax. Another, daily example of corruption caused by Pakistani citizens is when a driver gets pulled over for a ticket, instead of accepting his or her mistake, they immediately pull out one to three hundred rupees (100 rupees = $1 US Dollar roughly) and slide it into the traffic police officers pocket, all while saying thanks and appreciating the fact that the officer took the bribe. Imagine requesting protection in a country where you are able to do whatever you want as long as you have the money to pay off people.
Requesting the government to provide protection is a joke. I say this because anyone with money can easily purchase illegal weapons in Pakistan. Journalists walk on thin ice especially in Pakistan. They make enemies on a daily basis with whom so ever they report on. The people they usually speak against can easily hire someone to attack them. Illegal weapons are easily accessible. They only way for the government to provide protection to anyone is if they give the person police protection which stays with them 24 hrs. Even then there is no guarantee that those police officers will not take bribes and provide an unlocked door to your home. Protection is imaginary and in the case of someone seeking it in Pakistan, I would say it’s even off limits to your imagination. If the Pakistani citizens truly want protection, they need it from themselves. It’s their habit of bribing everyone in any situation just to have it their way, which is causing all the chaos and uncertainty in Pakistan. If Pakistani citizens truly want protection they will need to change their ways first.
The government has agreed on giving journalist protection, even if this is the statement made on the media tomorrow, is it really fair to provide protection to one group. The job of the government is to provide protection to the entire country not just one group. If the government does agree on providing protection to the journalist that would automatically mean that it has accepted the fact that it is not providing protection to begin with. If you forget everything that’s been happening lately and just think about the fact of people asking for protection, this is completely against all standards of any free nation. Why do we need to ask for protection isn’t it the job of the government to provide it whether we ask for it or not. This means that the only way your democratic government will protect you is if you ask for it. This also means that people are not safe until some tragedy falls unto them and they ask for protection. It’s time for the people of Pakistan to realize that in order to bring change to the nation they must first change their selves. Requesting protection and even getting it does not mean you’re protected. The only way anyone in Pakistan will ever be protected is when the citizens take the first step and fight against corruption. Stopping corruption is the first step in ensuring your protection in any nation, not being the cause of corruption.