Picture of the Day: In Control

Posted on July 18, 2006
Filed Under Law & Justice, Photo of the Day
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Meet Zamir Ulhaq, 34 years old when this picture was taken (in 2001), originally from Faisalabad, directing traffic at Zarghoon Road, Quetta.

When I was very young (as young as my son now is), I wanted to grow up to be this man (or someone like him). And why not. This police cop wears a kool uniform, is obviously in control, has a whistle that he can blow whenever he wants, and people listen to him (well, some people, sometime).

Obviously, I did not know then just how difficult his job is and how under-appreciated he is. I do now.

(The photograph is by Vincent Laforet, first published in the New York Times, and found here).

P.S. I know my friend Suleman is going to say I am too soft on ‘tullas’ but I wanted to put this picture today, partly as a tribute to the ASI who stopped the arrogant MNA from Karachi.

9 Comments on “Picture of the Day: In Control”

  1. Rabia Bashir says:
    July 18th, 2006 5:58 pm

    It’s hard to even imagine how these people weather all the harsh times on duty so there is nothing wrong in being soft on ‘tullas’. Ofcourse they are hardly ever being appreciated for the kind of work they do. Everybody has seen them standing under the scorching sun, directing traffic (mostly out of control) and maintaining the traffic flow. If I put myself into their shoes, I think I’ll go deaf and dumb! With a full length of day doing all this with pollution and noise around you, what else one can be? What they get by the end of the month; a salary that is hardly enough to keep their stomachs full. If it hurts us, it surely does them too. It’s a job that requires full appreciation, credit and a good salary to keep them moving ahead.

  2. Mutalzalzaluzzaman Tarar Wattamaar says:
    July 18th, 2006 8:56 pm

    I’ll apologize in advance because my comment isn’t related to this story. But I really wanted to compliment you on your blog. It’s just brilliant. This blog will be added to my daily clicking ritual.

    It’s great to see like-minded Pakistanis who’re willing to rise above the pessimism that always seems to surround us. We have so many heroes that we run into our daily lives – it’s time we salute them and recognize their contributions to our beloved Pakistan.

    BTW, I see that you’re a fellow Shoaib Mansoor fan. Please let me congratulate you for having great taste. :-)

  3. Roshan Malik says:
    July 18th, 2006 11:17 pm

    In Islamabad, one finds lot of policemen on Kashmir Highway, seeking lift after completing their long duty, as most of them live in Police Lines (H-11) and there is no public transport on that route. Their working conditions are really very tough.

    There are numerous examples of these heroes as well. The policeman who came before the van of suicide bombers trying to assassinate General Musharraf in Rawalpindi, Pakistan.

    The effeciency of our police may be assessed on motorway police or national highways police as they have more resources and good package. Its services and performance is almost equalant to any effecient police department of rich countries.

  4. MSK says:
    July 19th, 2006 1:01 am

    Guyz, this is also not about this post, but itis very relevant.
    As you have all heard, the Indian government has banned a number of website domains which hosts blogs. Especially blogspot which is the biggest. They seem to be following Pakistan’s lead because Pakistan had also banned many blogging sites some months ago. Noow bloggers and blog readers in India are also learning from Pakistanis and collaborating with Pakistani bloggers to beat the ban. In Pakistan bloggers had immediately developed a tool at pkblogs.com which would allow bloggers to hide their blogspot address and go past the block placed by their service provider. Thousands of Indian bloggers are now using pkblog.com to beat their govt’s ban. So much that the site has gone down a few times because of overload. But now the same people who set up pkblogs.com have set up a new site specially for the Indians across the border called inblogs.net. An excellent example of the internet bringing people from the two countries to work together against the silliness of their govts.
    Here are some links.
    1) http://www.desipundit.com/2006/07/15/blogspotcom-blocked-in-india-by-some-isps/#more-4802
    2) http://teeth.com.pk/blog/
    3) http://ko.offroadpakistan.com/
    No. 1 is a site tells about the Indian blog ban and also tells people to go to pkblog.com. Search for that and you will see how many people are going there.
    No. 2 tells about the new tool developed for the Indian blogs by the people who made the site to go over the Pakistan ban.
    No. 3 is funny and tells that some people will never be satisfied and will only think conspiracy
    I guess the internet really does give people power

  5. Naveed says:
    July 19th, 2006 3:50 am

    this “tullas” report to duty in the morning and you see them at their checkposts (if these exist) till late evening….. Faiz celebrated this segment of the society the unheard heroes..(the famous “dehkhan kay naam”)..

    even if we have been victims of street-corner extortion by a small minority, these episodes are full of good humor…the common man on the street has innate sense of reality & fate & their unwavering belief in Allah

    the privileged class has a lot to learn from them in terms of work ethics…. those having access to local channels can check a series run either on Geo/ARY or Aaj (cannot recall which one) which runs a story of one individual and how he copes with his daily struggles on a meagre salary

    yesterday’s episode was about the guy having an argument with his wife… the guy brought two baltis of water from a nearby nalka…the wife blames the guy for taking a shower with one balti and the guy accusing his wife of “wasting” the other one to which the wife only points to the daily washing of their kids clothes hanging in the courtyard to dry

    this is reality tv pakistan style

  6. July 19th, 2006 3:57 am

    Thanks for thsi reminder of ‘reality’ Naveed….. your mention of Faiz’s ‘dehkan kay naam’, reminded me of an earlier ATP post:
    https://pakistaniat.wordpress.com/2006/06/19/picture-of-the-day-baadshah-i-jahan/

  7. Naveed says:
    July 19th, 2006 3:24 pm

    adil, please confirm if you have access to v.g.kiernan’s book containing select translation of faiz else it would be my pleasure to share a few gems with you

  8. Ismail says:
    July 19th, 2006 6:48 pm

    Does anyone know exactly what a traffic constable in Pakistan makes per month?
    It would be an interesting study to see just how much that is and whether a decent lifestyle can be maintained in that amount.

  9. iFaqeer says:
    July 20th, 2006 1:59 pm

    You need a study to tell you the answer?

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