Then and now

My pleasant association with Nisar Shaheed Park, one of the biggest parks in the Defence Housing Authority (DHA) area, goes as far back as 25 years, starting since the late 1990s. I started with a brisk walk of 4-5km every day shortly after I retired from government service.

After 25 years, I have slowed down, and this year it has reduced to a gentle stroll. Now I visit the park twice or thrice a week with a stick in one hand and the other hand placed on the shoulder of an attendant. I feel sorry that no doctor can do the magic of reducing the weakness that my legs have contracted with my advancing age.

However, it is even more saddening to see the deterioration marking the once beautiful views of the park. Its greenery is fading away, benches are broken, bathrooms have turned filthy, and there is no DHA staff one can talk to and lodge a complaint with.

A few years earlier, there used to be DHA offices close to one of the gates, but they have been replaced with offices of real estate agents representing DHA Quetta, DHA Multan and DHA Gujranwala among others.

Recently, I questioned a guard posted at the gate about the deteriorating situation. He replied that the park was being transferred to the cantonment board. I have been hearing this rumour for the last two months, but nothing has happened thus far.

In the meantime, the sufferings of the people are continuing unabatedly.

SALIM AHMED

KARACHI

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