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A Day With The Islamabad Traffic Police

Written by Akshaf Lohani

In this article you will find out a lot of things about our traffic police wardens who suffer the harsh comments of the public. Many of your misconceptions about the Islamabad traffic police will be cleared and probably you start to understand that they only perform their duties.

We as a citizen are liable to obey all the laws of our state, whether we like it or not. We have strong traffic rules and regulations for all to obey in order to have a healthy and safe travel but few of us abide the law.

In Islamabad, the capital city we have a department that is known as Islamabad Traffic Police department who look after all the traffic related matters. These include accidents, law and order, roadside safety and other issues.

On these issues  a “chalan” or “fine” is given to those who disobey simple traffic regulations like not putting on your seat belt or wearing a helmet to protect your head while on the bike, breaking a traffic signal, driving on the wrong way etc.

However, there are cases when people argue with the traffic police wardens that it was not their fault whereas the traffic warden is not blind because he sees them breaking the signal on purpose causing risk to other people’s lives. They start arguing and start threatening even when they are at fault. Whereas the traffic warden tries his best to convince them that they are at fault and should be thankful that they did not hit anyone or were responsible for any damage to public property.

As a result of arguing the defaulter starts calling his relative police officers or some high government authority official which becomes a threat for the police warden because he can lose his job. Over what? Only for doing his duty properly.

This is the most illiterate thing one can do, calling the traffic warden a liar and start threatening him that you will make him lose his job, won’t do any good to you.

Women drivers use other different techniques of not getting fined for their fault. The cases as such are many where they claim to be a woman driver and not be fined but wardens don’t compromise much. Good job! Men and women are at least equal on the road.

Here we can see the warden fining an overloaded Suzuki transport van. The driver at this point did not argue much because he knew he was at fault.

There are some talks in between us that these wardens get a fix percentage out of the fine they do! Yes, there is 15% commission for these traffic wardens on each fine, but nobody knows that they do not get it at the end of the month or the year. After inquiring from a lot of traffic wardens throughout Islamabad I came to the conclusion that they in real do not get their commission.

There is a case listed in the High Court that was filed by all the traffic wardens combined against higher officials or the management that says to give these wardens their fair share of the fine they make but at the end of the year this percentage amount comes in the official bank account of ITP but never reaches to the deserving candidate.

The reasons are unknown, but one warden claimed that the higher officials take out some amount from it and the rest of it goes back in the total ITP fund. This case has been listed for quiet sometime now and has not reached its final decision. In the end, I can say that it’s been stated in the same way as the legendary Sunny Deol said at the court scene “Tareekh pe Tareekh di jarahi haai judge sahib!!!”

One surprising thing that I got to know from the wardens that ITP is no different from Islamabad Police because individuals from Islamabad Police are picked in ITP from time to time and their duties keep on changing from ITP to IP.

In the above mentioned events I have mostly shared my verbal communication with ITP wardens while standing with them at the side of the road for an hour or two. But there is also my experience when I as an individual was blamed for breaking a law which is not actually a law.

The first time I saw the non-serious attitude of ITP when I was travelling from G13 to G9 on Kashmir highway. There are people who drive on the wrong way from G11 chowk that touches the Kashmir highway. They travel on the wrong way of Kashmir highway on a side with their lights full on at night causing disturbance to the incoming traffic. Although they are driving at a side but it irritates a few of us law abiding citizens. To my surprise a bike and a car passed by me driving on the wrong side 9pm at night and I myself was driving behind an ITP police car that looks something like this.

Now I was thinking that the ITP wardens in the car would stop them and fine them but they didn’t and when they stopped at the G11 signal I knocked their window and they looked at me with surprise and fear because I was all packed with a bag on my back on my bike, at first he hesitated and then he opened his door and asked what is the problem. I told them the whole story of a bike and a car on the wrong way and why didn’t you stop them, to my surprise he said “I didn’t see any bike or car on the wrong way”, instead of arguing with the police warden I just said okay and went away.

The second time something like this happened when I was going back home from H9 and I came out on the Kashmir highway next to Sunday bazar, that dirty road which leads you straight to G9 chowk. At reaching the chowk what I saw was there were several ITP wardens standing on all four sides of the chowk and there was a convoy to pass on by. I recognized the protocol and stopped right in front of the ITP warden, he out of what sense did this stupid act of putting my bike key to off, I asked him why did you do that? Because I do not like people touching or messing with my personal belongings and my bike is my travel buddy so how dare he, anyways he said “your light is on”, I asked him that you could have asked me nicely to turn it off I would have done that.

He went away then the convoy passed on by after 5 minutes, I started my bike again and he came in anger and pulled out my bike keys and said “did I tell you to start your bike?” I got angry this time and said even if he puts me behind the bars this protocol shit has got to go once and for all. I asked him to return my bike keys as the protocol has passed, but he said “No” and that “your bike will be taken to police station, I have called for a police van especially for you” I said you are threatening me he said yes my name is this this and I am threatening you, where ever your from whatever you do your bike is going in the police station and your license will be suspended.

I just stood there for a while, the traffic started moving again, I took my bike to a side and an aged man asked the traffic warden to return me my keys. Whereas I asked all the people who were there and watching the scene that this is what we pay tax for.

To my surprise everyone was ignorant except that one guy who came forward asked the ITP warden to return me my keys. I got my keys back from that aged man and until then I had also made a short video of me asking people about paying taxes and then why waiting in the traffic halt for some damn official who needs more security than anyone else.

Now my question in the end is for all the people out there. Are you willing to pay fine to ITP wardens without arguing?  Or would you just bribe him for Rs.100 and get over with your misery of standing in a long line of traffic fine defaulters.

About the author

Akshaf Lohani

Akshaf Lohani is an engineering student at IUIC, he is a talented photographer, writer and actor. Currently he is working with SelectWord as a contributor, according to him writing has endless limits and one can describe anything in words beautifully.

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