Wandering In A Ghost Town
Yes that’s what describes Islamabad right now after the assasination of Benazir Bhutto. I had the chance to wander around in a few sectors of Islamabad like F-6, F-7,F-8, F-10, G-7,G-10 and G-6 and all of it reminds you a scene from the old wild west movies. The markets are all closed with a few shops open in the sub sectors market catering to supply for basic neccessaities of the citizens. The petrol pumps have been sealed off with pavements, no gas is available in the whole of Islamabad anywhere, and there is Islamabad Highway Patrol roaming around in the city. At a few places I did find some batteries of military personal, mostly rangers. The roads all are blanketed with a defeaning silience. Overall the mood of the city is calm, yet there is an air of strange melachony all around.
All major business have suffered, with major private and public offices closed for work. Some companys who work for overseas clients have asked their people to work from home. Many students have suffered as some had examination in the last week of December which had to be called off. I got a chance to talk to a few people on the road and it seems that most of them were taxi drivers or some shopkeepers who were apparently sitting outside their shops to guard them just in case mob hit the malls. There are some angry protesters pelting stones towards policemen on the seventh avenue. However overall there are no major signs of aggression.
This is not by any means how the city planned to embrace the new year. I just hope there is better in store for us as we try to deal with this tragedy which is one more of those tests of our resolve as a nation.