During my last visit to Lahore I was surprised to see the amount of cars with customised number plates. What has now turned into a trend, is considered impossible in developed countries. If you stand on the roadside, you can observe that almost every third vehicle has a customised number plate. Auto markets are also full of fancy number plates, and no action has been taken against them. The excise and taxation department frequently publishes advertisements in Urdu and English dailies, but it is always a half hearted effort. 

As the army chief said that we are fighting a battle for our survival - vehicles running around with fake number plates is a serious security lapse. They can easily be used for criminal purposes. 

Our traffic wardens do not check such vehicles because they do not have the will or courage to stop some high official or politician. They are aware of the aftershocks. 

The government should immediately direct motorway police to disallow entry on motorway and national highways to any vehicle without proper number plates or put heavy fines. I am sure this step will curb this practice to some extent. 


Australia, September 2.