My phone started to ring frantically from an unknown number. I picked the call inquisitive who was there on the other side. Generally, when a call like this would come from such numbers, I would always dread bad news. “Is it Danish Kazi speaking?” asked the caller. After acknowledging sought who am I speaking to and the purpose of the call. “Can you please help me? I have been given your number and was told that you can help” asked this seemingly young male in Urdu from the other side. I composed myself and reduced my anger as I knew how to deal with threat calls as I would receive them quite often. Sometimes for what I write and sometimes for what I say per my political belief. “How can I help?” I asked. “Please check the WhatsApp I have sent you; it’s a video of my kitchen and you would see all boxes are empty and have a family of 6 and we are starving for last 2-3 days. Can you please help?” as I recall the caller saying all this in a shaking voice. “Can I ask your name, and do I know you?” I asked “You may not remember but I used to work in one of the offices when you were in Karachi” said the caller who by now gave his name. “Send me your CNIC and some other details and let me see what I can do?” I asked him before I hung up. It’s becoming quite common in Karachi that people have started to suffer due to not only the economic recession in place but on top of it the political mess in the city due to interference. More and more people are being pushed below their existing economic levels and struggling to make ends meet. Not all are asking around for help.
I got up for office the next day and in the evening, I saw this horrendous news of a man killing his girls and his wife and attempting suicide. Now it’s not clear what could be the reason was it the case of some other family dispute but the first thing which everyone stated saying that the man could be in financial distress which could have led to this. Only God knows better but that made me think what if this was true. I picked the phone and arranged whatever I can afford to arrange for this caller. The reason for telling you all this not to portray that I am a saint, but people are in distress. Pakistan and especially Karachi have been badly affected. The political turmoil, economic turmoil including recession and COVID and on top lack of stability; people resorting to this is always painful. It hasn’t happened for the first time, and I think the way our economy is taking a nosedive would not be the last as well. Such stories are becoming very regular unfortunately.
So, is the leadership of the nation worried about this? The key leaders are enjoying or traveling abroad most of the time on national exchequer and taxpayer money. Does anyone have empathy towards this as they squabble over the struggle for power and their egos? The state seems oblivious whether be establishment or even judiciary. No one seems to care. Most of them would be having their kids studying abroad and they would be soon settling with them once they retire and even if they choose to live in Pakistan; their status would be miles away from the issues of a common man. Our economy is at its lowest ebb, and no one cares.
I read it somewhere that right before the French revolution when it was informed to the rulers that people are struggling to find bread to eat. The response was “Why don’t they eat pastries?” we all know how brutal the French revolution was. We see what happened in the Chinese revolution and so forth. People don’t realize in the echelons of power that they would be victim when the agony hits its peak. The nation needs jobs, health care and well-being apart from the luxuries of our rulers. But there is no one out there who seem to live a humble life. Be it Civilian or non-Civilian officials. People are watching and I just hope they don’t become suicidal each time and cause havoc.
Why I write this today? a year ago someone called me for help for a medical procedure and you can say either was lazy or didn’t had money to support. Few days later I found out that person died. I feel guilty for not helping. Though not my fault but what the feeling is remorseful till now. I am sure no one else would like to go through the same. It’s simple whatever you earn try to help with 3-5% of your income around you those who need your help.
As I write this, I would appeal to the people reading this pick those calls and help before it’s too late and many may need help in your close surroundings whilst you worry about the world. Let no one be able to commit murders and then attempt suicide. Imagine what was the mistake of those kids who were killed because of the follies or bad luck of their main bread winner or the lack of empathy of those around who didn’t help. So, help.
We have a new regime coming in Pakistan and I feel that the new chief is a humble and godly man. I am very hopeful that empathy would prevail, and things would go for better though the hole in the economy is deep as investments fly out and economy weakens.
Hope! it turns out well for the nation. Pakistan Zindabad!