This morning as I drove to the office in Islamabad, I was mildly surprised to find the Benazir Bhutto Shaheed Road sparkling clean and the trees and shrubs planted in the meridian were well trimmed and watered. Wow, I thought, it looks as if we have finally got a new and dynamic city father or maybe Shahbaz Sharif is due for a visit. But then from Stadium Road, I entered Islamabad and met the first police barrier. From then on, it was barrier after barrier even when I turned into the lane leading to my office, there was a double barrier to be crossed. Islamabad has become a fortress city. But is it the right policy? Is it not leading to the fortress mentality? There must be hundreds of thousands of police, para militaries, intelligence agencies and other security apparatus deployed but what are they doing? Creating hindrances for the public. Hiding behind bunkers and traveling in highly guarded convoys is not an option that this country can afford. Let the leaders be seen in public, let them show the people that they are fearless and that they are equally concerned for the welfare and security of the citizens. Come out of your forts and face the enemy like true Muslims and have faith in the strength of your countrymen.-MAHMOOD L. MALIK, Rawalpindi, via e-mail, July 6.