Four men riding two motor bikes struck again and killed five persons in Nazimabad, Karachi today. Was it a target killing, a sectarian killing by some religious extremists or just a terrorists’ act? Whatever it was, it was horrendous to say the least. However, our leaders and commanders will pay the perfunctory lip service to the dead, attend the routine funeral prayer (if they find time) and announce some death toll money for the family and feel pretty pleased to have performed their jobs.

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The same catastrophe shall befall again. Don’t they know or is it some rocket science which they cannot comprehend that 99.9 per cent of all target killings are by the killers riding a motorbike? And don’t they know that it is always two people riding together, one doing the shooting and the other driving the bike? Don’t they know that a motorbike is a small, handy and extremely manoeuvrable vehicle and the killers weave their way through the heavy traffic and vanish in the nearby streets/bye lanes? Why can’t they just understand this simple fact and ban the pillion Riding in the cities where it is required? I know it would cause some hardship to commuters and probably our political rulers just for the fear of losing some votes. Therefore, for ease, commuters with children under 12 and ladies without veils could be exempted from such a ban. (Without veil because terrorists could use burqa). Only two male adults should not be allowed to ride together on a bike.

As I said it will cause inconvenience to some and quite an uproar but at times one has to take a bitter pill in order to eradicate the bigger menace. In pre-partitioned and early days of Pakistan, ‘doubling’ on a bicycle was an offence and strictly enforced. No one raised any objection to it. So, my dear law enforcing whiz kids, a ban on pillion riding could save many a family from becoming destitute. You ban it anyway on certain religious and other occasions. Why not do it for good? Life is much more precious and important than the pillion riding convenience afforded to a few.

COL. RIAZ JAFRI (RETD),

Rawalpindi, October 29.