I woke up during night like each day as a habit during my sleep which has always been with breaks. Like my habit each time. Picked my phone. Read one message about Arshad Sharif dead. For a moment I thought it can’t be the same and has to be someone else. Then a stream of tweets started coming through and to my horror it got revealed that it was the same Arshad Sharif the news anchor who had to leave Pakistan a few weeks ago as there were threats. The moment of the news it looked that it was an assassination from the word go and today as I write this. It seems so as no clear answers or explanations are coming through about why and how he reached Kenya and how come a seemingly high caliber rifle with exploding bullet used to target the car and that too with a head shot of Arshad in night with an SUV (luxury vehicle in Kenya) tinted at that accuracy. They say when there is smoke there is fire, and it seems so. The US state department has even taken notice. How so ever the opposing media may try to spin the narrative the fact remains that Arshad was assassinated in mysterious circumstances and a bearer of truth is dead.
Perhaps, he has been freed from all the chaos he was seeing around himself and trying to fight it and maybe that’s the cost of Freedom in Pakistan. It may only be achieved after death.
Every day, they tell me that one day that this could be your fate too and I am hearing this for many years as I also have this in me to bring the truth to the notice and is disliked. The problem is I was almost freed of my pains couple years of age when I was put on a ventilator with a slight of glimmer of hope that I may even not survive. After 58 days of staying there when I regained consciousness. The only question remained why have I been sent back? Every day, I realize that I can end my agony by just ignoring it all. A choice Arshad always had. Bhut than I see around myself that off the few who are speaking out become quiet than the remaining 200 million Pakistanis enslavement would be ensured, and those slaves may consist of my children, my family, my friends, my enemies and their loved ones. Can I let that be?
The fact remains is that you would always be a target when you speak the truth. They tell me to surrender. They tell me to think off my family, think of my job. They tell me to get power and do what you desire with your heart.
The bit of Islam I have read tells me that when Hazrat Imam Hussein R.A. started his journey to Karbala to stand against atrocities of Yazeed. He was told at every juncture what awaits him. He persisted with a few and maybe with the hope more would join him in quest. Deceit, threat and hatred never let that help arrive, but he stood his ground. No help came. Even those who called from him from Kufa came. He stood alone knowing his fate and didn’t surrender. Neither his family told him to surrender. They all stood ground, women, children, young and old. They laid their lives because they wanted to give a message to the world that in face of adversity surrender is not a choice. Perhaps living is not a choice under such tyranny. I can’t even feel when the Imam saw his sons and his family perish around him till his last breath. The pain of a father, a husband and a brother. But the biggest pain he would be feeling at that time that tyranny won against the beloved grandson of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) upon him on that day. He was fighting stood his ground not for his own personal glory but for what was right. By today’s standards it may come to mind that he could have found a political way of dealing with Yazeed but how do you deal with tyranny by not getting yourself dirty in the process. It’s better to fight and win or fight till the last breath. He fought and laid down his life and left a message for the remaining times.
Today the choice is simple whether you become Hazrat Imam Hussein R.A. or rather live with tyranny. I think Arshad stood his ground knowing the fate and fought. One can’t even imagine what must be going in his mind as his vehicle got attacked. He knew he has been trapped by “Kufans” in his life. I am sure the pain would have gone soon as the fatal bullet blew his head. He got freed from his misery.
He left his children behind him, his loved ones. I spent the day thinking of what to do. Should I give up? Should I surrender too? Someone called me and told me to think of my children, my family and my career. But do I want to live like this? My nation’s constitutions the founders promised us this Freedom. Surrender is not an option. We need to keep on standing for the weak and oppressed. Maybe many more would be taken out. I am sure many more would stand up. At least when I would go; I would with the comfort that I did try to win this Freedom for my coming generations. I am sure I would smile. The picture of dead Arshad had that expression of exhaustion which will haunt many till time to come. But I am sure he went with his head high not otherwise.
The fight must go on. Be a Hussein in these times not a Yazeed. Pakistan Zindabad!
I read your blog, it makes us wonder why we didn’t heed the warnings of people like ayesha jalal and others who were constantly asking us to open our eyes.