Frustrated, urban, political warlords – Newspaper

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FOR the last more than 38 years, I have been working as a small businessman in Multan. I work hard to survive in these testing times. I provide employment to my staff and, as a responsible citizen, pay income tax as well as other taxes regularly. I have lived my life with dignity and pride.

A few months ago, there was a theft at my house and a robbery at my workplace. I managed to lodge FIRs after a lot of struggle even though it was my basic right. As if this all was not enough, one day I faced a rather odd incident at the entrance to my residence. I could not park my car inside the house due to debris and bricks that had been unloaded right in front of my house. The next day, I came to know that the debris and bricks had been placed by an influential former member of the National Assembly (MNA) from the Shujabad suburb of Multan.

I knocked his door to request him to place his material at the right place. The former ‘lawmaker’ did not appear at the gate despite knocking, and did not respond to calls I made on his mobile phone. Instead, a group of unknown miscreants came out of the house and started shouting and abusing, besides physically intimidating me.

They threatened and warned me not to clear the entrance to my own house. They posed themselves above the law and kept warning me to obey them blindly. The poor dwellers of the area did not have the courage to confront them, and remained inside their homes all through the incident.

The goons disappeared, telling me that I am an old man, or else, they would not have spared me. I could not understand the reason for such violent and thuggish behaviour. The incident was a shock and humiliation for me. I could not expect such humiliation by a so-called lawmaker, who was apparently ‘elected’ by almost 400,000 voters.

Was his behaviour a reflection of the frustration the former MNA might be feeling due to the failure of May 9 plan, or was it a revenge from the general public for being not able to complete his term? If they could attack state institutions, such people will never think twice before unleashing violence against us, the common man.

They are not mentally stable and can cause harm to any law-abiding citizen to satisfy their inflated ego. Such self-styled VIPs need counselling. They really do. The state should hold such ‘influential’ urban ‘warlords’ to account.

Haleem Saeed
Multan

Published in Dawn, November 12th, 2023

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