Friday, July 8, 2011

Friday Feature-Another ban on double sawari(pillion riding) in Karachi

Asalamu Alaikum,

Two days ago here in Karachi the police imposed an indefinite ban on double sawari or pillion riding(second person behind the driver on a motor cycle). It was announced on all news channels about an hour or two before the ban went into effect, and there have been several reports on different news channels about the difficulties it has caused. Many people seem to be upset that there was such short notice, if they were working and had no access to a TV, how would they know about the ban?

It is an effort by police to curb rising incidences of "target killings" in the city. Mostly it seems a lot like security theater, like making people remove their shoes in an airport. It will probably do very little to stop the killings, and will increase hardships for people who rely on being able to ride pillion. For example a family that has only one motor cycle, and several brothers need to be able to use it. If they can't ride pillion then how can one person drop off another and then go on to his own errands?

The ban does not affect several groups of people-women, children, the elderly, and journalists. So Tariq, Saad and I can travel together, but Tariq and his brother could not. Alhamdulillah we have two motor cycles so they can each take one, and not have any problems. The only time we have had any trouble with the bans is when Tariq's father is in Karachi, as he does not drive at all. MashAllah he does not look elderly/infirm or anything and he and Tariq have been pulled over before because no one believes that he is old enough to be exempt from the bans!


Umm Aaminah said...

Subhanallah. My concern when I was in India wasn't drive-by shootings but rather the way the women's dupattas would hover FRIGHTENINLY close to the wheel! Honestly, it scared me many times.

I can see where this will be a big problem, leading to personal inconveniences, more pollution and traffic jams.

Seems like the government didn't really do their homework, eh?

Thinking said... carefull though...