The other day I was sharing with my friends that the strength of our country’s foreign policy can simply be analyzed by the experience of a common citizen’s visit to Diplomatic Enclave in Islamabad, Pakistan. My office driver was telling me that before 1994 it was not an area with huge castle high boundaries and everyone could go there. He was telling me wonderful stories of hippies and foreigners whom he has been interacting with when he used to be a cab driver in Islamabad.
“We used to have one or two passengers for whole day and that would have earned enough money for us to spend a luxurious and healthy day”, he said.
I was picturing the past of whole area as “a wonderful and peaceful place to visit” while listening to his stories. Minutes later I was looking at senior citizens waiting for Shuttle Service on different road corners of Diplomatic Enclave. Those finely dressed men and women were standing by road side, waiting for bus as being common citizen they weren’t allowed to bring their cars inside the Diplomatic Enclave. Security concerns are rightly taken into consideration by concerned authorities but still revenue from Shuttle Service can be used by authorities to provide at least proper bus stops where our senior citizens can sit reasonably to wait for bus. How can we even expect the respect of Green Passport at foreign Airports when we aren’t able to negotiate the SOPs of consulates, embassies and Foreign missions residing in Pakistan to balance “respect element” for our own citizens? Hope to see some positive measures by Foreign Office, SP Security Diplomatic Enclave Office and CDA in near future to facilitate citizens in this regard.
By Raza Ahmed Sukhera