If we do not have any regard for the people around us, if we do not at least try to be as good as we can, then how can we sit and question why there is no progress or development in our country?
It is no secret that there’s a culture of flagrant disregard for most regulations in Pakistan. There’s no shortage of examples we see daily. Nowhere is this indifference to laws more prevalent than with traffic violations.
I recently applied for and got tested for my driver’s licence, and as anyone who has applied for any government documents can tell you, it can be a pain. I had to wait in a queue for three hours to get my learner’s permit, and wait 42 days till I could take the test and receive my licence, after which I would again have to wait another couple of weeks to receive the document in the mail.
The test itself is not remarkable; it’s a very basic skill
test where you have to drive forwards, make a left-hand
turn, and reverse back to the starting position. You have to
be a little careful but it’s most certainly not difficult.
Undoubtedly, many choose to forgo the licence and see
it as a mere formality. But you would simultaneously expect
that given that driving without a licence has one of the highest
fines (Rs 2,000, with a proposal to increase it to Rs
5,000), traffic police would certainly dish this out frequently.
Well, on that very day, waiting for my turn to take the
test I saw a certain individual take his in a black Suzuki Cultus.
He made the turn fine, but while reversing he knocked
down a couple of cones and failed. He was given his papers
back and told to come back in 42 days for a retest.
Right after this, with the very officers who had administered
the test watching, he sat right back into the driving
seat of his car and drove away.
I can never understand why anyone would even consider riding a motorcycle without a helmet. Every single day, you choose to take a gamble that a patch of loose gravel could end your life.
This is not even the most baffling example. Here, all he
did was spend hours waiting in a queue, was ill-prepared
for his test, and decided that he really didn’t care for these
On the other hand, something I can never understand is
why anyone would even consider riding a motorcycle without
a helmet; every single day, you choose to take a gamble
that a patch of loose gravel could end your life. Tell me,
is the extra comfort worth risking your life every day?
So what is it? The first example would say that we don’t
really care about the safety of others. The second example
suggests that we don’t even care about our own safety. I’m
certain these people are not nihilistic, but if we do not have
any regard for the people around us, if we do not even try
to be as good as we can be, then how can we sit and question
why there is no progress or development in Pakistan?
The writer is a student of science, engineering and technology