Wednesday, March 29, 2006

A couple weeks back there was a tragic fatal accident on the streets of Karachi where a young woman in her mid twenties, who was a passenger, a friend of a friend lost her life. The driver who was apparently under the influence of alcohol.

This is a serious issue in Karachi, and much of Pakistan where alcohol readily available through local boot legers. Alcohol is served openly at most parties these days, where a good majority of the party goers will indulge in a shot or two. If you are one of those people who don’t drink, then you most certainly will feel out of place.

Officially Pakistan is considered a dry-zone, being an Islamic Republic, where the majority population is Muslim and followers of the Islamic faith which prohibits drinking of alcohol the authorities and on the most part the general masses tend to turn a blind eye to the drinking issue.

This issue of driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol is one which must be addressed by the respective authorities; laws need to be drafted where DUI offenders are punished to the fullest extent of the law. All at the same time the launching of a drunk driving awareness campaign would be in order.

This was published as a letter in Daily Times, Sunday 22 Jan 2006.

This was also posted on my journal. Where the following comments were posted:

This is indeed a big issue here in Pakistan. Since alcohol is illegal, driving while intoxicated is not seen as an additional offence. It's tricky to launch a DUI campaign because that will be seen as "endorsing" alcohol, as long as you don't drive after drinking. Puts the public officials in a difficult situation.

I completely agree, these instances must be highlighted and severly punished to set an example. Many people don't see anything wrong with driving after a few shots.
--Monis Rehman, CEO Naseeb Networks

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