Terrorism deals a blow to Melody Food Park - Pakistan Today

Terrorism deals a blow to Melody Food Park

A horrendous suicide bombing at Melody Market in 2008 and the Lal Masjid operation in 2007 have dealt a blow to commercial activity in Melody Food Park to such an extent that many traders have been forced to shut down their businesses.
Besides, many labourers have become jobless. “The Lal Masjid operation and the suicide attack near Melody Market three years ago not only took the lives of hundreds of students and police, but also caused our economic murder,” said Muhammad Sharif, a restaurant owner in Melody Food Park. He said Melody Food Park, once considered a great source of entertainment for people, was no more as popular a dining spot as before.
Built in 2002, the Melody Food Street where thousands of people turn up to enjoy a variety of foods offered by numerous shops now presents a deserted look. In its early days, some 7,000 people dined daily at the park that boasts 31 big restaurants offering a variety of quality food, but now 7,000 people hardly visit the place in a month.
Restaurant owners blame inflation, the Lal Masjid operation and a terrorist attack near the market for a decrease in the number of visitors who now prefer to visit safer places instead of coming to Melody Food Park where security arrangements are minimal.
“The bloody Lal Masjid operation has scarred people’s souls and resulted in a sharp decline in our business,” said Raza, a shopkeeper.
Having said that, everyone loves the place, be it a stallholder, a restaurant owner or a visitor. Visitors and restaurant owners blame the authorities for dwindling public interest in Melody Park. They maintain if hundreds of police officials can be deployed at government offices, they must also be deployed at public places.
There is no proper security at Melody Park. A security guard in plainclothes sits at the entry gate with a stick in his hand instead of a firearm.
A spokesman for Islamabad police told Pakistan Today that the Eagle guards on their bikes and police officials, including the SHOs of the police stations concerned, patrol the area on a daily basis. He said; “It is not possible to deploy police personnel at every nook and corner.”
Talking to Pakistan Today, several visitors complained that at daytime it is difficult to find an empty space to park their vehicles.
A CDA spokesman dispelled the impression that there were civic problems in the park, saying the increasing terrorism and changing trends were the main reasons behind a decline in the visitors to Melody Park.

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