Malir Cantt & Helmets for Rent

I had a chance to visit Malir Cantt. on Sunday to see someone admitted at Combined Military Hospital. Getting inside the cantonment is always a hassle. One has to submit his ID card or driving license at the Check Post to acquire a small physical token. You have to get out of the cantonment from the very same gate to claim back your document that is kept as a guarantee.

A few years ago, the ‘jawans’ posted at these gates would accept anything as the ‘document’ – colored photocopy of your national ID card or service card. Later, they got tough and only original cards would do the job. Since the sad conclusion of Lal Masjid operation, the scrutiny has been further enhanced and it now takes 15 minutes at best to cross the ‘check post’ and the process can get as ugly as being asked to get the school kids’ bags being checked for contents.

Once inside the cantonment, you would see clean roads and surroundings that are the hall mark of army maintained colonies. The roads carry clear instructions on maximum speeds and other traffic signage and various instructions for the public. One of the rules that are strictly followed is the requirement of the motorcyclists wearing helmets while they are inside Mali Cantonment. With the same requirement existing in the city as well but never enforced properly, casual or incidental violators of the rule in the rest of the city face the problem of being unable to enter the area.

Seeking this as a business opportunity, someone has put up a stall just a few meters before the Check Post and has a colorful array of ‘hard hats’ hanging by his stall. These ‘hard hats’ are acceptable as helmets at the Check Post and hence those who happen to be short of the requirement can ‘rent’ them for their visit to the area and return the same on their way back.

Either the hard hats are cheaper than the normal motorcycle safety helmets or they have been purposefully chosen so that the ‘rented’ crowd can stand out of the others and can be reminded to return them back! I could not find out how much do they charge but could not help appreciating the small scale business idea!

10 Comments so far

  1. Raza (unregistered) on July 16th, 2007 @ 11:39 pm

    Yeah, not to mention it saves the people a lot of hassle of going far away just to get a helmet.

    I have been living in Cantt for a long time (17yrs!) and getting in has always been a hassle for civilians who are irked by long queues at check posts and thorough checks of their vehicles and belongings… but they’re needed as Army has caught a lot of stuff (beer, weapons etc.) being smuggled inside Cantt. on more than one occasion.

  2. MB (unregistered) on July 17th, 2007 @ 12:46 am

    ARMY catching beer etc ?
    Why would they catch a product they use most ?

    It may well be just a coincidence else the main aim to to catch any other weapon or related stuff.

  3. Kashif (unregistered) on July 17th, 2007 @ 2:30 am

    Ah, the ever enterprising Military! I am sure the hats were put on rent by someone form Military Inc.

  4. Tamed~. (unregistered) on July 17th, 2007 @ 3:24 am

    they are the biggest QABZA group of the country

  5. zee (unregistered) on July 17th, 2007 @ 7:00 am

    Can not help but to agree with what TAMED and MB said. ARMY men use beer like anything! And yes, they run one of the biggest land mafia around Pakistan!

  6. iD (unregistered) on July 17th, 2007 @ 7:07 am

    what an idea
    halmets for rent!
    funny but thoughtful

  7. ShahidnUSA (unregistered) on July 17th, 2007 @ 7:46 am

    Send them back to their Baracks where they belong! Peacefully

    And dont fight again with eachother (whispering)

    Dont give them the excuse to comeback :)

  8. Raja Islam (unregistered) on July 17th, 2007 @ 10:40 am

    You have to deposit 200 Rs to get these helmet which is refundable.

  9. HASSAN' (unregistered) on July 17th, 2007 @ 2:16 pm

    I study in PAF-KIET n I use to this thing. ppl rent helmet from a local shop for Rs 10.

  10. Cheeta (unregistered) on July 20th, 2007 @ 3:01 am

    I have to say that Army is one organization of Pakistan we should be proud of. They run everything professionally and should be a model to emulate for our other institutions. Just a look at the cantonments shows the organization and discipline which all of us Pakistanis need to have. After all the Army is also made up of us Pakistanis..but just see what discipline and organization do when applied on the same Pakistanis who otherwise are like a chaotic horde and are self destructive (like we see from the comments made by some morons on this thread).

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