I am a retired military officer of 62 years of age. I have a booklet type driving license issued 42 years ago. I decided to get it converted to a modern card type license, for which I visited the Motorway Police licensing office in Islamabad. After paying the fee, I got my particulars registered and was shown into a room for medical examination. The person in-charge of medical examination, without subjecting me to a preliminary medical test, told me to go to PIMS for the medical examination. I told him that I being a retired military officer can also avail such an exam at a military hospital. However, his bureaucratic reply was firm and absolute: only an examination at PIMS or Poly Clinic would satisfy him.

A visit to PIMS was an eye opener. I was required to get myself examined by at least 3 medical specialists, and the lines before each of them were hundreds of patients long. I was probably the fittest person at the hospital, who walked 6-8 KM every day and was free of any disease, and yet was overburdening an already overburdened hospital to meet a bureaucratic requirement. The long lines bogged me and I gave up the idea of getting a driving license from the motorway police. The fee paid is unlikely to be refunded by the Motorway Police.


Islamabad, February 18.