Curse of VIP culture thrives in Pakistan


Chitral — Forty-five passengers booked on PIA flight PK 660 to Chitral on 7th Sept 2016 must not be surprised when they reach Islamabad airport tomorrow and are told, without a reason, that their flight to Chitral has been delayed. Eventually their flight will be cancelled and those of them who need to get to Chitral urgently will have to take the fourteen hour long journey at mid day. This will also be the fate of passengers booked on this flight from Chitral to Peshawar and from Chitral to Islamabad.

VIPWhy is this going to happen? Because Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif wants to come to Chitral tomorrow.
How can it be avoided? By advising the PM to either plan to visit Chitral on days when there is no scheduled PIA flight or, better still, to advise the PM to take the scheduled flight in the company of the needy passengers rather than a special PIA flight at the cost of getting their flight cancelled.

But there is more to this. Since the past five days everyone and their mikee’s ( word for uncle in Chitrali) are being persuaded to attend a political jalsa to be addressed by Nawaz Sharif that day. And the icing on the cake is that a helipad and a road is being constructed at village Gahiret to an unknown house which is suddenly going to get prominence because it happens to be the house of one of Nawaz Sharifs house boys and the Badshah Salamat will be visiting it on 7 Sept from this helipad and this newly constructed road to it.
The camouflage for all this, as we in Chitral by now know very well, will be a quick helicopter trip to the Lowari Tunnel of Gen Parvez Musharraf. — Siraj UlMulk, via Facebook, 06 Sep 2016.


  1. During the Afghan war, route of many international flights were diverted to pass over Chitral. One evening two old men were sitting outside their home in Garm chashma hills. After a number of airplanes passed overhead, looking towards the sky, one remarked to the other “Lali ay hami jihazan haaz araitam wa la”. (Pal, aren’t we thoroughly enjoying the airplanes passing overhead). Such is the naivety of Chitrali people. Visit of a VIP whoever he may be is a big ‘achievement’ for the people and considered an end in itself.