Reports have emerged that the outgoing CJ Chaudhary has filed a request for special security arrangements; including the provision of a bullet-proof car. Chaudhary’s demands cannot be entertained given the fact that as a retired government official, he has no right to any special treatment by the administration. He is now an average citizen and hence does not deserve any extra tax rupees that could be used for the good of the public, and not just an individual. His argument for deserving extra security will inevitably be about the enemies he made during his service to the country. By that logic, every civil servant, beat cop and parliamentarian, current or otherwise, deserves special treatment too because they are just as likely to rouse feelings of antagonism in the line of duty. Not only that, but all journalists, businessmen, lawyers and countless other professionals working in this country know that they can lose their lives with the blink of an eye. They all have enemies, and just because the Chief Justice is supposed to be at the top of the ladder does not mean his life is more valuable.

The brutal murder of the son of a retired police officer reported in the papers yesterday, is evidence of the threat against other retired officials is very serious, and needs a solution. Providing bulletproof cars for all and sundry however, is not worth it, and the state should focus on making Pakistan more secure for all of its citizens, and not just for the powerful few. The illusion of safety will only translate into reality if the overall security situation in Pakistan sees a considerable improvement as a result of a conscious and concentrated effort by the government.

The request seems even more frivolous given its timing, considering that the new Chief Justice just rejected the offer of a protocol on his route in Islamabad, fearing that it would disrupt commute across the city for the public. His sentiments must be appreciated, but given the presence of a motorcade accompanying CJ Jillani across Lahore, one wonders whether his instructions have been heeded. Either way, CJ Jillani comes out looking braver and more concerned for the general public, a laudable image for a public servant to portray.