Privileged pockets in Islamabad


Muhammad Amir Saleem

Is it a crime to be part of a middle or a lower middle class family? Does it disqualify a person to avail immaculate civic amenities or environment? To be rich, politician, bureaucrat or feudal, makes one eligible for all superior quality civic services! This is quite noticeable in different sectors of Islamabad, how the standard of public facilities varies considerably and conspicuously. Walking on pavements in different sectors in Islamabad, signifies a distinct type of class difference, for instance, F-8 sector has footpath made up with beautiful red bricks or blocks. While, all G sectors, excluding G-5; diplomatic enclave and the most prestigious edifices of government of Pakistan, have simple concrete built walkways. Winding green belts in the mid of the roads also speak this difference loudly.
Timely, efficiently and regularly, trimming and maintenance of grass and trees is done in all F and E sectors. Whereas, the same efficiency and regularity loses its pace, when it comes the turn of ‘G’ and other outlying sectors of Islamabad. Some green belts in the G-Sectors are devoid of any vegetation. Some mosques, in F-8 Sector, can be found, having the Air Conditioning facilities, and one cannot feel sweating or heat while saying prayers during inclement summer season of Pakistan, but contrary to this, a single mosque in whole G-7 sector does not contain this extra luxury. Ghettos are the part of all major cities of the world. Similarly, Islamabad has slums, almost, in all sectors. But slums’ dwellers have all types of business activities in G-7 or G-8 Sectors eg barbers sitting under trees, vegetable stalls, taxi-stands, LPG filling centers, motor-bike and bicycle mechanics sitting along either side of the roads.
This scene is uncommon in F-6 or F-7 sectors, despite, they have very large shanties. Is the scenic beauty a sacred cow for the inhabitants of the latter? I am not against any entrepreneur skills; everyone has a right to do legal and fair way to find his or her sustenance. The super health and high fitness level is the foremost longing, only of the rich. All parks or walking tracks are superbly maintained; tracks, lights, security, parking and trimmed undergrowth so and so forth, in these posh sectors. As opposed to this, in G-7/8 sectors, the dilapidated state of parks speaks volume about this very psyche.
One can experience; no light system, no security, no parking area, uneven walking/jogging-tracks full with boulders of different size and totally covered with undergrowth or grass; and are maintained near every major general elections – rather to say after long 5 years. The solution is quite simple; sack corrupt officials, appoint qualified city planners and last but not least, make pockets of residential places of the aristocracy in underprivileged areas, so that they developers may pay some extra heed to change the fate of these areas.