She wailed loudly as she saw her son at the prime of his youth laid dead. His only fault that he persisted with what he believed in . His only fault that he wanted equal rights like any other Pakistani. His only fault was to seek a bright future for himself and his kin. His only fault was that he tried to raise his voice against the system which was supposed to equally accessible for all but became hegemony of a few. His only fault was that he was born in Karachi. His only fault was that he was not son of a soil. His only fault was that he was a Muhajir. His beaten up, tortured body like hundreds got discovered from bushes somewhere in District Malir or surroundings. Like hundreds of many other bodies been found. His only fault was that he was not a son of a General or an Officer or a Punjab based politician. His only fault was that he challenged. Result is that there he laid dead. His wailing father. His wailing mother and sister. He was gone. One more life sacrificed for the Pakistan which Quaid e Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah envisaged. One more life shut up. One more gone . As they say one more sent six feet under.
I have not written for a while. I didn’t feel like. I asked myself a few days ago. Is it worth it ? Friends calling to stop writing and think about my family and the second life given to me by Allah. Telling me virtually every day to shut up. Some others calling anonymously telling me the same worth it. My wife telling me that it’s not worth it and that I should think about our two daughters my career. My mind agreeing with them in a way hence I stopped. But I am a man who goes by instinct and my instinct tells me not to stop. Not to be afraid and take a stand. Take it proudly because if I don’t then my two daughters end up living with the same frustration as I live in today as we do not have the luxury of a foreign nationality as this Pakistan as where we all would live in and die so this place has to be in line good enough for my two daughters and many thousands out there. So that they can have a safe and progressive future happily without worrying to leave for abroad. Without fear of persecution . Without fear of tyranny. This is where we live. This is where we take a stand. This can only be done if we all without fear take that stand.
A few nights ago I felt like watching the old Nishan e Haider Television dramas and came across of one depicting the last few days before the martyrdom of Major Tufail. How he ended up fighting to liberate areas captured in present day Bangladesh . How he fought the hegemony of the feudals of the area conniving with India to deprive the locals of the basic rights like “ Water” (as depicted in the drama). What was so touching that how a simple life the Major lived and how he was dedicated to his cause and ended up giving up his life in Bangladesh and this was in 1958 at Lakshmipur District of East Pakistan . Now Bangladesh. He died defending Pakistanis and the local inhabitants whom we now remember as Bengalis. Ironic isn’t it that more than a decade later our armed forced were fighting both the Indians and the Bengalis in East Pakistan including the Lakshmipur District where the Major reddened the mud of the motherland with his blood. Ironic isn’t it. Wonder what the later Major Tufail Muhammad would be thinking up there on his sacrifice perhaps wasted in my opinion due to the sad policies of our politicians and establishment.
Since Major Tufail thousands of our soldiers have been martyred. Many more injured. Many women widowed and children orphaned. Many many more in number of civilians ended up as they say six feet under in one piece or sometimes many due to the rubbish policies of the few whose only objective is to satiate their own personal agenda again in my opinion not that of Pakistan. The graveyards keep growing. I just wonder sitting as I write this piece today (every blog I write now a days is with the hope that I get a chance to write another one) whether Major Tufail Shaheed’s family got the hundreds of acres of land and his family got to the upper echelon of power like some others have been rewarded for perhaps lesser sacrifice. I hope that whether senior officers get the reward for planning but the hundreds of our young Captains, Majors and down below also get those rewards and their families opportunities to survive. They tell me sometimes that we civilians do not understand the mechanism of how Army operates and that what I mention does exist. Well I wonder a specific few are only visible whilst the hundreds or thousands of unsung heroes and their posterity are invisible. I seldom come across a well established family from an ex Army background coming from a Martyrs family and hear about it. Anyways, I just hope that our martyrs get what they deserve apart from just Songs and Poetry and now a day’s Tweets .
Now coming back to where I started this that with every passing day I have started to belief that as our ancestors fought off the British colonization whilst some laid in bed with them . We have ended up under supremacy of a new kind of ruling elite or colonization as gradually from the Pakistan of Quaid e Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah this is becoming Pakistan of policies of offices behind tall walls . Reminds me of the Indian movie “ Mard” starred by the famous Amitabh Bachan where the British colonists and their cronies were shown brutalizing locals for rewards and powers in torture cells letting them to die or executing them. Its Déjà vu in comparison to it and looks like the same cronies who were kicked out after British left have come back in power and avenging their enemies posterity for they being edged out of power for a few decades. Since we the Muhajirs form the bulk of those who resisted British and their cronies pay the price in our blood , sweat and honor today. It’s not restricted to us even Sindhis and Baluchs pay their own debts for the mistakes for raising their voice.
Sometimes I wonder if the struggle of rights which was started as long ago as 1968 for Muhajirs later formalizing into APMSO in 1978 have been reduced to just survival , justifying everyday to the posterity of the cronies (of British Empire) and their cronies about our loyalty to Pakistan (where I find it as a disgrace needing to do it after all our ancestors sacrificed) , recovering or crying for our missing sons, burying them , accusing each other of being enemy’s agents as Muhajirs, languishing in Jails for our views and ideology, just abusing Altaf Hussein for getting goody or brownie points in front of establishment , or being afraid that one night a few trucks of LEA’s will pull over to arrest and infact vanish anyone who raise their head to challenge the status quo for Muhajir rights. Muhajir politics is being mocked and tarnished. It pains me to see the sacrifice of the thousands going down the drain without we achieving our birth right as Pakistanis and additionally being from the posterity of the founders of Pakistan. This is what they have reduced Muhajir politics to . In one word “ Survival” .
Simply in my perspective they want infighting amongst Muhajirs for short term gains (of course financial) so that Muhajirs don’t ask for their rights in CPEC, they don’t ask for a separate Administrative province for themselves, they don’t ask for participation in National Financial awards, they lose focus on abolishment of Quota system, they don’t focus on the upcoming census so that they can be further degraded as a Minority. I wonder how in Pakistan which is so Tribal how can Muhajirs ensure a safe future in a brutal society if they don’t unite and keep united as a community on one point agenda.
Lately the detractors look like winning but they have not won as yet. The battle for survival still goes on. The War for rights is far from over. Perhaps it’s time that all the community irrespective parked in any party or faction unite. Without accusing each other of being more loyal or less. Just under one point agenda. “Muhajir Rights” . I am sure the recent misgivings will go away when all sides realize that in totality they are the only ones at a loss.
I am sure there are still many in our ranks like Major Tufail Muhammad Shaheed. I am sure they will not want their sacrifice to get wasted in the future. I am sure they have not forgotten the blood reddened auditorium of APS with the blood of our children and that the fight is with the real enemy of Pakistan both foreign and domestic. It’s not against your own people . Altaf Hussein and his MQM have always shown allegiance to our country and its armed forces. The only party which did a rally in their favor after years of persecution. The only community which has borne all the onslaught without firing a single bullet. The only leader i.e. Altaf Hussein who saluted them. Yes! we are not in the Army like many from Punjab or KPK. Perhaps as they say that we are not merit. But we have sacrificed in many forms for this nation equally and intend to do it continuously. I am still sure that like the young boy who stood for his principles. Altaf Hussein is a true Pakistani whose only mistake is that he challenges the status quo. But he is a true Pakistani. We are all patriots whether we wear a uniform or not. We all serve our country in various forms . The objective is one to make Pakistan great again and that could only happen on merit without hegemony and tyranny and with healing and with forgiveness and lastly unity.
Will this dream of mine ever transpire. Till there are people like Major Tufail Shaheed in our ranks . Perhaps people like us . Perhaps patriotic politicians , honest politicians than why not. Why not! Pakistan Zindabad!