A very important person (VIP) is a person who is accorded special privileges due to his or her status or importance. Examples include celebrities, heads of state/heads of government andother politicians, major employers, high rollers, high-level corporate officers, wealthy individuals, or any other notable person who receives special treatment for any reason. They enjoy special protocols and many more perks of a luxurious life and that too by government, not by themselves. VIP culture in Pakistan has been a matter of concern for common people. Most of us have experienced the matter first hand at different occasions and places. A very common aspect of the VIP culture is the road blocks mostly in the capital cities like Islamabad and Lahore. Whenever a VIP has to travel via road, the security reaches the spot well ahead and traffic police stops the normal traffic well before that specific person is to pass and it is again on route after such time that they get away safely. The wait for such a long time is very torturous for many people who might have some important stuff to do themselves.
The protocol of this type is given mostly to the ministers and other political leaders. The major reason for all the protocol is their safety as the authorities reveal. That may not be the only reason if we analyze some other portions of the world and some past incidents. If we sneak into our country’s history, we find some examples of such cases. There was a baby born in rickshaw as the mother was on the way to hospital for delivery in Multan as the protocol of for0mer Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani stopped the traffic. It is hard to imagine the pain that woman bore during that period without the proper facilities.
Failure of the special protocol provided to VIPS is not something impossible. Former Prime Minister of Pakistan Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto was a victim of the failure of the system. Some say that it was an inside job but whatever the case may be, that was an indication that there can be such an incident in the presence of all the security that is arranged. Even the first PM Shaheed Liaqat Ali Khan was also assassinated and the protocol proved to be of no use to his life. Some historians also relate the death of our beloved Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinah to the failure of the protocol. On the other side, when we investigate for similar protocol in many developed countries, we don’t find one at such scale. Their leaders are found walking side by side the common people and they don’t feel the need of such a protocol. In Pakistan, I have not seen any nominated leader doing so personally. Even when the ministers visit some backward areas of some victims of natural disaster, the security and protocol is found with them. The main reason being the fear of life in our country seems a valid reason for the protocol.
Death is inevitable and no one can escape that. The VIP protocol can become a reason of death as well. If the VIPs travel like normal people with no protocol, most of the people will not even notice them and will keep doing their own stuff. There are many other benefits of skipping the protocol as well. The most important one being the fuel saving. With all the deficiencies and shortfalls of the natural reservoirs, it is one of the most important demand of time. The money they waste in consuming all the fuel and the wages of their guards, if used somewhere else positively, it can reduce problems like poverty very fast.
Other than protocol, the special facilities provided to them also cost the government a lot. Taking the example of the daily budget of nominated houses like PM House, Governor Houses, Parliament, etc. that are just for the luxury, they can be accommodated in many other ways. Daily budget of food of these houses if reduced to make the normal good quality food and enough to feed all, not waste it, can feed many other homeless and poor people who don’t get to eat to fill their appetite. Same goes for clothing and all other luxuries that can be turned down to live a simple life and develop the country together.
A very simple question comes to my mind when I think of the VIP protocol. How many lives have been saved by the protocol and how many attacks have been neutralized?
We all are well aware of the current security and political situation of Pakistan. The country that was built on the name of Islam. Islam teaches equality for rich and poor, but why is that when a common man is killed, some unknown family faces a tragedy, they get a very different response from the authorities than if same or even less has happened to the people related to a VIP. VIP culture is indeed dominant in Pakistan and it has been so for a time long enough to open our eyes. VIPs might consider the protocols and all other facilities are necessary for their survival, but I would like to tell them that it’s not. They will be better without all that and even happier.
Threats and all the danger is from the people hating the person, not from the ones who love them. A simple way to eliminate the threats is to eliminate hate, not the haters. The most effective weapon for that purpose is affection. Money and power can only buy people, but affection wins their hearts.