I DRIVE a small Diahatsu Mira. On Jan 10, at around 7.30pm, I was stopped by a large number of police officials at the Star Gate on Sharea Faisal. They first asked for my driving licence and CNIC to give the impression that they were randomly checking driving licences. When I provided them with the required documents, they told me that my car had tinted glasses, and that was illegal. I informed them that it was a Japanese car, and these were original glasses, but it was too logical a reason for them to digest.
The policeman argued that these cars were meant for Japan in accordance with the laws of that country, and not for Pakistan, and, as per the local rules, they cannot allow tinted glasses. The glasses, including the windshields, on all Japan-manufactured cars on roads across Pakistan have a slight tint. I pointed this out to the senior police official, who was pretty uncouth. He said he could not see anything inside the car. I told him it was because of the absence of streetlights. But, again, it was too logical a reason for him to digest.
After a lengthy argument, which did not yield any results, I ended up paying a fine of Rs1,020. Later, I came to know of a friend who suffered the same fate in the city’s Gulistan-i-Jauhar area.
Apparently, in December 2022, the police force was ordered to apprehend and penalise all cars with tinted/dark glasses. The question is why such orders are passed without looking at the type of vehicles. The import of all small cars has been facilitated by the federal government. If there is anything illegal, the federal government should be penalised. But, again, this is getting a bit too logical to suggest in the country.
While I was there arguing my case with police, several mighty four-wheelers and other ‘high-end’ vehicles passed us by having jet-black tints on their glasses, but none was stopped. Maybe the problem was the size of my car.
Does the policy expect all people to pay fines and get the glasses changed? That will cost a lot of money and depreciate the price of the vehicles owing to tinkering with its original material. Does anyone realise the implications of the order?
The order is causing gross inconvenience to people, especially senior citizens like me, who cannot pay this amount every day.
Published in Dawn, January 29th, 2023
Dear visitor, the comments section is undergoing an overhaul and will return soon.