The Shopping Detector?

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A lot of commercial outlets are fast being taken over by Metal Detectors or some form of “security” or the other. Whether it is the airport or a hotel, it is sad the amount of security measures that are being put into place. I say ‘sad’ and not some other emotion, with good reason.

Incidents, good and bad, happen in every city in every country and Karachi is no exception. There is so much natural goodness in this city that has been overshadowed by all the negativity, that we seem to accept it as a part of our everyday lives if one more metal detector props up.

Passing through The Forum shopping mall the other day, I was really surprised to see the metal detector prop itself up in front of the main entrance to the mall. I was irritated enough to have to go through it every time I had to climb up to a meeting in the office buildings (since you have to go through a guard AND a metal detector), but I just refused to go into the shopping center. The guard at the front door was a terrible statement enough.

It’s a commercial, public place! Are they going to check every bag that I take in and out from there? I refrain from going to hotels until I really have to. I’m not going to open up my car’s privacy to guards who peek into the hood and boot (and lately the back seat, if you’re entering the Sheraton) – that’s my right.

I pray for all of our safety, but I will not compromise my privacy and my integrity for the sake of someone who wants to “show” that we are a safe nation. In case they haven’t noticed, the metal detectors make an ugly statement that we’re not and I don’t like that one bit.

18 Comments so far

  1. Ahmed (unregistered) on September 19th, 2007 @ 12:36 am

    I’m all for metal dectectors and high security in public places. They should have more of these. I would be rather safe than sorry.


  2. Hena (unregistered) on September 19th, 2007 @ 12:45 am

    I agree with Ahmed. If they put up metal detectors up everywhere else (amusement parks, airports, government buildings here in the states to supposedly protect themselves from “us”) then why not do it to protect ourselves from “them”? ..its just a protective measure. Even though I’m sure if someone really wanted to do something at The Forum, they would by-pass the metal detectors quite easily. But having them, is just a peace of mind for the public, something the goverment and/or shopping centers should be responsible for.


  3. Jamal Shamsi (unregistered) on September 19th, 2007 @ 1:06 am

    Alarm – Alert

    One policemen shot dead other seriously wounded under clifton bridge around 3 ~ 4 PM – the bag left behind by the culprit contain some timing device, switches, with a Kafan in it

    The peace and tranquality of Karachi is deafening for those who envy Karachi and Karachites,

    For US Karachities, we all need to excercise extreme caution at public places and when families are not accompanied by the male adults, in the evening shopping spree.

    Request all your family members and well wishers to keep cell phones active and last number redialled shall be of the HOME or someone Responsible,

    Also ensure that if any untoward incident occur in & around the area of their presence they MUST make 1st call (HOME) to someone who is waiting back at home.

    Ladies & Gentleman, am not trying to create terror or panic, but only requesting precaution.

    It is necessary in the highly volatile situation when 18 SOLDIERS are found beheaded in FATA, they were kidnapped only few days back., and JIRGA failed to make a truce.

    – The Supreme One keep us all SAFE – Ameen


  4. jacktheripper (unregistered) on September 19th, 2007 @ 4:22 am

    WE ARE JUST A BUNCH OF MOANERS.

    stop crying over everything


  5. Ablai (unregistered) on September 19th, 2007 @ 7:02 am

    In Turkey all shopping malls have it. In america you have to take of your shoes, belt, etc and go through the detectors on all airports.


  6. Olde_Tyme_Karachiite (unregistered) on September 19th, 2007 @ 8:21 am

    @rabia, exercise your right not to go to the Forum, and allow them to exercise their right to check your bags. Sure it’s a commercial place, and that’s exactly the sort of place that is being targeted. And yes, “incidences” occur on a daily basis all over the world, but at what point does one make a distinction between a random event and an ongoing escalating trend in violence, as seen in Karachi. OTK


  7. mansoor (unregistered) on September 19th, 2007 @ 9:25 am

    rabia: for one thing, once you get close to the carnage people here are capable of when they are on the trigger side of a gun.. you’ll start appreciating metal detectors all the more.


  8. Keep Walking! (unregistered) on September 19th, 2007 @ 11:00 am

    A good amount of KMB space wasted! Wake up girl, wake up.. what crap….


  9. JAY (unregistered) on September 19th, 2007 @ 11:29 am

    Just follow the rules, it is laid for your own safety. It is not a question of compromising your privacy, once you enter a public place it is not private anymore. If you go to America or else you would deff appreciate there efforts to curb problems through security checks but if it is done is Pakistan it becomes a privacy issue. pheww…


  10. Inspirex (unregistered) on September 19th, 2007 @ 1:49 pm

    I used to work there about a year and a half back, and only the office block had scanners, the security concious firms (including mine) installed their own scanners at their own floors too…..but never had i seen the mall with the scanner until recently.

    The side enterance to the mall had a guard with a hand held scanner, which he used at his discretion, only on certain people.


  11. Me (unregistered) on September 19th, 2007 @ 3:47 pm

    Rabia,

    So you’re happy to die in a bomb blast (God Forbid) but are too annoyed to get your bags checked? It’s about time you wake up! Would you have same thoughts for bag checks/body scans at airports all over world? I live in Australia and recently was grocery shopping and while coming out of this big store, the guy at the door asked me to get my bags checked (there was no scanner and no beeps). I had 2 big bags plus a back pack and happily got all of them checked. We should appreciate such efforts, they’re for our own safety!


  12. d0ct0r (unregistered) on September 19th, 2007 @ 4:35 pm

    that mall is among the prime targets.. remember the latest harry potter launch was disrupted at the last moment when a live bomb was diffused minutes before it was to explode..


  13. Balma (unregistered) on September 19th, 2007 @ 7:36 pm

    * remember the latest harry potter launch was disrupted at the last moment when a live bomb was diffused minutes before it was to explode..

    **** Was it MQM ?


  14. Balma (unregistered) on September 19th, 2007 @ 7:38 pm

    Jamal Shamsi,

    What does it mean by ‘untoward’?


  15. Imran (unregistered) on September 19th, 2007 @ 11:55 pm

    Say it together people: “I’M SO STUPID.”


  16. Notonebuttwo (unregistered) on September 20th, 2007 @ 8:28 am

    I have been through metal detectors and had my bag beep, when the wand passes over it. Each time, they hand me my bag WITHOUT looking inside. This has happened at these malls, at the hotels and at office buildings AND AT THE DRIVER’s License office. This is all show and pomp. They may not be able to prevent an attack. It’s just to create a kind of placebo effect/ false security amongst the people. These guards are not really serious about safety, so then yes it DOES become just a harassment. If they actually opened up my bag to see what had beeped I would have felt relieved, but when its happened at numerous occasions and no they never check, what good is all this?


  17. Notonebuttwo (unregistered) on September 20th, 2007 @ 8:29 am

    I have been through metal detectors and had my bag beep, when the wand passes over it. Each time, they hand me my bag WITHOUT looking inside. This has happened at these malls, at the hotels and at office buildings AND AT THE DRIVER’s License office. This is all show and pomp. They may not be able to prevent an attack. It’s just to create a kind of placebo effect/ false security amongst the people. These guards are not really serious about safety, so then yes it DOES become just a harassment. If they actually opened up my bag to see what had beeped I would have felt relieved, but when its happened at numerous occasions and no they never check, what good is all this?


  18. Ramla A. (unregistered) on September 20th, 2007 @ 3:32 pm

    None of these precautions have exactly stopped crime. I haven’t yet heard of, “bomber apprehanded at a security checkpoint, and came quietly.”

    Terror and crime have changed their nature and face. At the would-be Harry Potter launch party at Park Towers on July 21st, a car bomb was found only because the bomber had a change of heart and called in to report the car and the bomb.

    Nowhere in the world have these hideous security measures solved any problem. From taking out an unauthorized hardware from my office [i.e. no one asked me if the notebook I was getting away with was indeed my own. In fact out of respect for security guards, I stop by their counter and insist upon them checking me in, while other people are sauntering in…]- to seeing criminals do their bang bang, these security measures are behind the time.

    They provide a mental paralysis whereby one sits and thinks, oh we have security measures in place. Many of these systems are inefficient and bust-ible.

    I have sought CPLC’s help on a matter, and realized in many ways, I knew more about security and investigatin that they did. I managed to track down a hacker and a crank caller before they did.

    Finally, crime management is becoming an elusive art as technology and techniques are available to all. Crime can never be managed by Thought Police or metal detectors. It is reduced by changing people’s heart and training them to be better humans. It’s also not a no-brainer case of “poor poor people doing crime.” Remember the rich guy robber who was caught in KHI.

    Rabia, you are correct. This stuff is pointless. It’s an opium for the scared who think, “now we’re protected.” As if.

    P.S. No one was ever protected in an ever-defensive position.



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