The VIP culture in Pakistan

The death of Bisma has once again riled public sentiment against the ‘VIP’ culture that is rampant in our society. This time the incident that resulted in the unfortunate demise of Bisma was the visit of the chairperson of the Pakistan People’s Party to a public hospital in Karachi due to which Bisma’s family was allegedly denied access to the hospital’s facilities.

VIP

In the aftermath of this unfortunate incident the chief minister of Punjab offered Bisma’s father a government job. This is not a new tactic and we have seen it employed by various VIP’s to compensate victims of their actions like the case of Tahir Malik in Lahore in 2014, who was shot in cold blood after coming in the way of former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani. Money was given, the case closed and the uproar surrounding the incident gradually fizzled away.

Such an attitude reflects the reprehensible thinking of these so called ‘VIP’s and the sad class divide in our society where power, influence and opulence supersede the sanctity of human life. A society where government funds are openly used to cater to the whims and the desires of politicians while the majority of the country is subject to abject poverty.  Even their response to these incidents is atrocious and is tailored to placate public outrage while neglecting the heart of the problem which is the VIP culture. In Holland the Prime Minister himself comes to work by coming to his office via bicycle citing the need for government official to act responsibly. This attitude, coming from the Prime Minister of the world’s 16th largest economy, when juxtaposed with the attitude of our politicians is a sad reflection on our politicians.

Sure the country has security concerns and the government should provide security to prominent individuals but these VIP protocols are too excessive. Rather than being used to ensure safe passage these protocols serve as an exercise in vanity on the part of politicians boosting their ego’s and sense of importance. This is the cold reality of the situation and symptomatic of living in a society where there is a deep stratification within our social structure. So as power and influence continue to be saturated within the hands of a few select individuals we will keep seeing more victims of this VIP culture slowly emerge over time.

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