Monday, April 20, 2009

NADRA Head Office Islamabad

This is one of those times when I hate myself of not being a writer, a poet, a painter or a photographer, basically not being an artist, What artists do so easily is to say what they want to, by having a minimal use of words, They say “A Picture Worth a Thousand Words” No, not all pictures do that, only the good one does, A good poet or a writer can say stories in his single phrase, a painter can paint “History “ on a simple piece of white paper. I hate myself when I need to say what I want to, and couldn’t do it just because I am not good with words and in vocabulary in general, I feel like being a “Dog” who wants to say so much but all he can do is just to move his tale. May be this is why education and knowledge are the great things, they allow you to express yourself freely.

Last Saturday was one of the better and sad days of my life, let me start with the good points.

Good Part of the day:

Today I went to the Nadra headquarters Islamabad, It is a big office and I was literally lost in there, My NIC was expired so I had to renew it, my friend who is working there helped me out and called me in “NADRA Head Quarters” as he said it will be easier for me, which it was, I was happy about the security and stuff plus the staff was so professional and behaving good despite there were a lot of people complaining to the wrong guys but the staff was polite in answering them.

Everything in the NIC making process is automated and it is working simultaneously like I was issued a time slot in which I had to go there, and when the gentleman fill my name in his computer for confirming my arrival, on that very second my name was called as “Nawaz saab kon hain, please idher a jain”, so it was not only automated but the people were quite alert as well, It was a small room and all the processes like taking Finger prints, post personal information and Pictures done inside that room, that means you don’t need to go around the building and everything is done inside that small room.

There were kiosk machine through which you can pay your utility bills by entering your NIC card like a credit card in ATM machines, These machines will be placed all over Pakistan soon.

My friend there told me that the NIC will soon become an smart card for the people who can actually buy their Phone card plus the Prepaid Electricity through their NIC, Overall I was very happy with all this as in an under developed country it’s a very good working example of technology adaptation and actually delivering by using it.

Bad Part of the day (which actually destroyed all the fun):

The current NADRA head quarter is actually in the “State Bank Building” the old “National Assembly of Pakistan” which by the way passed the 1973 constitution, I didn’t know it, I saw the old Assembly hall and that just killed me, they are using that hall as a garage cum a part time Tennis court. The furniture and all the garbage is there, it is being used as a Junk yard.

Don’t get me wrong, I am no fan of politics and I usually don’t like politicians, I am not even a student of politics. But there was something in that room which made me feel it, I was feeling proud to be standing in there, for a second I felt as I was the part of the 1973 constitution making effort, I can smell the greatness that room is possessing, I remember this strange feeling when you think of yourself being so small and yet in that very instance so great or privileged, I felt that before as well when I was offering my Umra in harum, I was watching Kaaba and felt being so small in front of it and yet so big that Allah allowed me to visit his place the feeling of being the privileged one is great and I still remember that.

There was the chair on which “Bhutto” use to sit, and the 12 feet handmade picture of Quaid-e-Azam, The whole rostrum of the speaker, The press gallery, it was simply amazing, This was the place where the Law of my country was made. This was the room where the constitution of Pakistan which protects mine and every Pakistani’s rights was made. This room worth my tears, I was trying not to cry, I am not an emotional man, I make fun on everything and that includes religion and patriotism sometimes. But this is just not a go,” YOU CAN NOT USE MY CONSTITUTION HOUSE AS A JUNK YARD DAMN IT”

I don’t understand the logic behind it, people who are doing great work, they have 100s of offices all over Pakistan, they can’t find a better place for the junk in a building which was big enough that I was actually lost in it? WHY THAT ASSEMBLY HALL MAN?

There are usually two kinds of people in governments, One who are idealists and do extra care for such things may be sometimes even unnecessarily, and others are who prefer to call themselves as professionals and pragmatics and weigh everything in terms of money and worth, This is the Peoples Party Government in Federal today, The 1973 chair of Bhutto doesn’t worth anything to them? Sell it out, you will earn millions idiot.

I am no fan of Bhutto, I am not even a voter of Peoples Party, in fact when I use to talk about old politics with my friends I use to say Junejo was the best prime minister Pakistan has ever produced just to minimize Bhutto’s image for fun, But regardless of no.1 position Bhutto was definitely one of the best our politics has ever produced, How can you throw his chair like that?

The handmade picture of Quaid, put it in the Islamabad museum in “Pakistan Monument”, if you don’t need it give it to me, I will place it above the picture of my father.

But this furniture, the Stage of the speaker, the chair of Bhutto and even the picture of Quaid is not important when it comes to that room, That room is my “Loh-Mahfooz” That room is where my Quran (way of life, law book) was written which gives me the rights and protects my freedom. That room is the place where my rights were debated and protected where my freedom was defined.

I humbly request to D.G. NADRA to do something about it, you really don’t need to be a scientist to arrange that junk somewhere else, PLEASE, PLEASE renovate that place, it is our national asset don’t make it a garage.

And Sir “WELL DONE” for all the good work, but when you will restore that assembly hall again I will THANK YOU.

A not so serious Pakistani

Nawaz Ali