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The sequence of events in the past few days leaves a lot of unanswered questions like the role of media, role of our police to appease those at the helm of affairs and issues such as positive role played by MQM and Jamat-e-Islami to mediate between the Federal government with PAT and PTI respectively; what I found extremely interesting was the recent phenomenon of “containerization”. In the first week of August, people of Lahore probably for the first time saw such a huge number of containers which were used to close and seal off arteries and roads leading to and leaving from the Model Town. People of Lahore had no idea that even after the observance of Youm-e-Shuhada by the PAT on Aug 10, the number of these containers would only keep on increasing. The number of these containers rose to thousands and these were used to block main arteries, toll plaza entrance and exit points of small cities all around Punjab and also started appearing in Islamabad and Rawalpindi in a huge number. The huge inconvenience caused by this strategy to the citizens is a separate issue but what I was left wondering that Punjab and Federal governments have not yet given out any information that what was the mechanism of engaging these heavy containers. Who were the people who had expertise in movement and handling of these containers and how much amount was paid to them through tax payers money. A small number of container owners disclosed that police forcefully seized their containers without making any payments but a big number of containers was provided by some contractors who heavily benefited form this huge exercise. According to a safe estimate, the amount which must have been spent on acquiring, transportation and handling of these containers lies somewhere between 2 – 3 billion rupees. With such a huge sum being spend out of tax payers money, the government owes an explanation describing who were the people who benefited from huge sum of money as well as what was the justification of this whole exercise as eventually on the morning of August 14, most of these containers were actually removed.

Fahad Azam

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The views expressed in this article are solely of the author and do not represent ARY policies or opinion.



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