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FIR Against Protestors of VVIP Protocol – Arif Alvi Responds

FIR Against Protestors of VVIP Protocol – Arif Alvi Responds

Amna Khan

The 13th president of Pakistan Arif Alvi has recently raised ire for his extensive security protocol while traveling in Karachi. Although he himself seemed to feel bad about the unfortunate turn of events which lead to a protester being arrested unfairly. Mr. Alvi thusly joined in the criticism too, condemning the idea of booking citizens for raising a voice to defend their rights, which is basically what PTI in its essence stands for.

President Alvi took to Twitter where he said, “An FIR against the person protesting security is ridiculous. When people are inconvenienced, they do react.” Ironically the members of the FixIt campaign of PTI politician Alamgir Khan were claimed to be affiliated with the protesters and the Sindh Police registered a case against them at Tipu Sultan Police Station. The president duly expressed his ‘embarrassment’ on Twitter insisting that the authorities had ignored his request and provided protocol anyway,

“The long chain of official cars following me is despite the fact that I asked all officials present at the airport not to embarrass me with a huge protocol. One or two cars in front and one or two cars behind may satisfy their security needs. This did not happen. We have to try harder.”

(This is not the original security detail)

Subsequently, an FIR number 488/2018 was registered against the ‘unknown’ person for obstructing the president’s protocol. The case was filed by the Traffic Section’s SO sub-inspector Muhammad Saleem under Section 186 of the Pakistan Penal Code – obstructing public servant from discharging public functions – and Section 353 – use of criminal force to stop a public servant from performing his duty. Fortunately, both offenses are bailable. The police also alleged that any miscreant could have taken advantage of the situation and succeeded in any nefarious designs to threaten our national security. The officer on duty claimed that the Supreme Court had granted permission to halt traffic for up to two minutes for VIP movements and that the traffic police blocked vehicular movement keeping these orders in mind so that the citizens are not too inconvenienced and the VIP’s protocol may move freely too.

The protesting citizen has however not been identified yet but a video uploaded online will come in handy for the police. Alamgir Khan the founder of FixIt and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s candidate for the NA-243 in the by-elections vows to continue his struggle against VIP culture.

He lambasted that the undue action was both unnecessary and unethical. Dr. Alvi arrived in the city from Islamabad on a regular flight of Serene Air, however, outside the airport he was provided with a convoy of more than 30 vehicles. The security protocol not only blocked the main arteries of the city connecting Sharah -i-Faisal but also left many commuters frustrated and protesting in the scorching heat. The protocol of the Sindh governor, chief minister, IG police and chief secretary who went to receive the president also multiplied the problem. The president replied to several twitter comments apologizing and siding with the citizens of his country, “We should look into this and I will not become a nuisance for my own neighborhood where I have lived all my life. I do not begrudge security but when it becomes painful for the common man we have to draw a line somewhere.”

However, the PTI leaders said that it was the responsibility of the Sindh government to reduce the president’s protocol. “The president has already announced that he is surrendering his protocol, it’s for the Sindh government to implement it.” A senior Sindh official has contradicted this statement by clarifying that they would not reduce the security until and unless the president’s protocol requested for it and it was there duty to provide due measures against probable threats without any official refusal prior to the President’s arrival.


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