The students and teachers of all the institutes in Pakistan are informed that there is permission required to enter Islamabad! Maybe we need a visa? We had never heard such information, but were informed of this, when our college arranged a tour to Islamabad. On April 27, we were stopped on certain check posts by the Islamabad traffic police, and were compelled to grease their palms. We were asked as to why we had not obtained permission for our tour to Islamabad from a certain magistrate of Islamabad? Does anyone have information about this?

The teachers and students all showed their CNICs cards as well as their institutional identity cards, and an authority letter, duly signed by the principal of the educational institute, allowing them to take a tour to Islamabad. At one check point, the driver of the vehicle greased their palms with some meager amount. At the other check point, we were stopped again, but this time fearing a reaction from the college students, who by now were very angry, they allowed the touring students to proceed. On the third check point, the same incident happened, a senior police person in no ambiguous terms demanded money to settle the issue, saying that otherwise they would all be taken to the nearest police station.

I write regularly for newspapers and was just stuck dumb by the whole incident, on this third stop, I got off the bus and informed this senior officer in uniform, that I was a journalist and would write about this, on hearing this he allowed us to proceed. The whole incident left a bad taste in my mouth and all the students and teachers by now were very upset. Why are we treated like this in our own country, and especially our Capital? Do the authorities know of this? I am sure all the money collected is shared among all the police in Islamabad! How much longer will we just stand around doing nothing and accept such behavior?


Charsadda, April 28.