King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia arrived in Islamabad today for an official visit. Though custom banners and welcome signs always go up from the airport to the government buildings part of Islamabad before a visit by a foreign dignitary, this time it was different. Most of Islamabad’s prominent buildings are currently under bright, beautiful lights and huge billboards show pictures depicting the King, our President and Prime Minister. The main roads are covered with flowers, flags and structures representing Arab and Pakistani culture.
There was a down-side to the visit however. The security precautions brought a large part of Islamabad to a standstill. The airport and large parts of the roads were closed to normal traffic for most of the day with the newly formed Islamabad Model Police in their brand new uniforms posted everywhere and looking after things.
I was on the road just after sunset and got stuck in the traffic. All traffic lights were turned off and the police was managing the rush hour traffic. It took me hours just to get from Islamabad main to Chaklala in Pindi. Just hope all this trouble was worth it and the visit is a success. Many more prominent visitors are expected in the next couple of months so it ain’t over yet.