Murder of a Nation

Hakim Mohammad Said was murdered yesterday for the sin of living for the destitute, for the sin of being born amongst a people who are loathe to survive in the plan of Providence. Now, the politicians, the philanthropists and the man on the street will go on to inordinate lengths describing how good a man he was, what remarkable contributions to mankind had he made, how sorely he would be missed---all hypocrites. I know who killed Hakim Said and so do you. However, neither I can tell nor can you. If you and I are a part of a nation hell bent on annihilating itself through self-immolation then this is you and I who killed Hakim Said. However, in destroying a legend, we have done much favour to Hakim Said. Imagine, if you can, the pain he suffered every day, the dilemmas he faced every day, the agony he lived through every day of life in Pakistan. I know it for I knew him. His heart cried everyday at the sheer hypocrisy of a nation gone awry. He could not help for he was a man of values--something you are born with. I will tell you one incidence only to elaborate. For almost a quarter of a century, he served the presidium of the annual congregation offering tributes to my father (Niaz Fatehpuri); he would protest being called to stage and when he did he always said that there are more qualified scholars in the audience to deserve being at the presidium. A few years ago he became the Governor of Sind and that year just around the time of my father's anniversary celebration, he was called to attend a meeting with Hosni Mubarak in Egypt. No one called to remind him of the dates of celebration, he knew it from the invitation card. On the day, we knew he could not be there and the ceremony arrangements commenced without him. Only minutes to spare, the Governor's motorcade pulled in and he walked in without any escorts or hoopla and sat quietly in the audience. He was immediately summoned to the amazement of the organizers. Later I found that he had ditched Hosni Mobarak to attend a ceremony that was close to his heart but more important than that he knew we were waiting for him, his own people. Now that is a character that is truly rare but such was this man, truly rare, humble, and caring.

When I heard of the news of Hakim Said being shot dead I wept not because of his death for death is inevitable but for the nation, of which I am a part. The bullet that pierced his heart also tore the fabric of a society already at the edge of anarchy. Whereas Hakim Said joined the elite group of Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi, the nation of a people he belonged to was murdered. Pakistan shall no longer be a peaceful country, it shall never live in peace and ultimately it will wither away for there is no longer a dreamer living who once loved this country, its people and had hoped that through some miracle of God, the nation will turn less savage that it needs to be. He was wrong.