The journey back from work was an interesting one tonight, not to mention a rather long one. First came a make shift security barricade right after Kala Pul, where the police had blocked off 2 lanes and were only letting one pass at a time, and stopping cars for random checking. I was able to save a good few minutes by taking a side road and avoiding the ensuing traffic jam (note to the police, ensure there are no alternatives because it kind of defeats the purpose). Nothing much out of the ordinary as once in a while the police will inspect vehicles at this exact same spot.
The second barricade came on Khayaban-e-Ittehad, right in front of the Askari Bank building. There again was nothing seemingly out of the ordinary (if one considers random police checks to be the norm) however it didn't feel like a normal police check. The police were actually paying attention and not just harassing motorcyclists, moreover the police were aided by rangers who had created a secondary barricade and were looking inside each car. Moreover, the police were stopping buses and inspecting them from the inside - our police are never this efficient.
The third incident was even more surprising. As I passed the Khy-e-Muhafiz intersection on Ittehad a Toyota Corolla car with SP (police) number plates chaperoned by a police mobile passed me by. I instantly cursed the guy and thought of how much better it would be if the police focused all their energies on protecting everyone rather than giving preference to the VIPs. But then as I crossed Khy-e-Hafiz (about a kilometer down) I saw the SP car flag a taxi with 4 men and the policemen in the car and the mobile hurriedly got out. I decided against finding out what happened next.
Perhaps this was just a show of strength, a PR job to mollify the people similar to the police idiotically parading dozens of mobiles and motorcycles on main roads in the middle of the day. Here's a photo courtesy Karachi Metblogs:
However, this seemed more than that. The policemen on duty looked edgy and it seemed that they were acting on some prior information. This brings me to a quote I read somewhere regarding the FBI: "our successes are private but our failures public." I wonder how many private successes our law enforcement agencies have had but chosen not to reveal.
A few weeks ago our cleaner (jamadar) spoke of the police apprehending three terrorists from his area; apparently a bunch of boys playing cricket hit a ball on to a neighbour's ledge, when a boy climbed on the ledge to retrieve the ball he got a peek inside a room that contained guns and what looked like suicide jackets. He immediately told everyone and they called the cops, the police arrived and apprehended the residents who had recently rented the house. This all occurred in Neelum Colony right off Zamzama Park. There was absolutely no mention of this event on the TV channels or the newspapers therefore I don't know if this story is entirely true, and it does seem a bit far fetched. But if the story is true, I can understand why the police would want to keep quiet about it, you really don't want to spread panic nor do you want people finding out that a major terrorist plot was only discovered because a teenager hit a ball on the ledge - what if this batsman was like Ahsan and chose to only take stupid singles and not play a big shot?