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What it was like to lose a son to rampant city violence

July 30, 2013, 10:16 pm | This story has an Influence Score of 1555

By riazhussain

We live in the 21st century. Today, we are proud of our technology, which seemingly has brought unprecedented ease of living and comfort to us. We consider ourselves better educated than our forbearers. Even though we have democratically elected governments and have gotten rid of tyrant monarchs and ruthless despots, we still hear of acts of barbarism being committed even today. Intolerance continues to plague our personal and collective life.

This story begins in 1987 when in the family of Mr. Ahmad, a factory manager, a second child was born, named Sameer. Mr. Ahmad was happy that God had given him two sons. Things went on smoothly for some years. Then, he began to have breathing difficulties, but ignored his health issues until it became too difficult for him to continue his job.

He left his factory position and started his own business. He ran a small flour mill, but earned very little. He could barely fulfill the financial needs of his family. Mr. Ahmad wanted to support the education of his children but he was having difficulties. Sameer grew up and was fond of exploring the world around him. He would often to go nearby villages and hills to know more about life. 

Sameer was interested in the military service. He took the recruitment test and succeeded, thus achieving the first milestone of his life.

He joined the national military services. At that time, he was nearly 20-year-old. He began to serve at Quetta, one of the major cities in Pakistan and an important military location. The city is surrounded by four hills that make it a natural fortress. There is a beautiful lake (called Hana Lake) and a cascade outside the city.

Sameer liked to be at the resort. He enjoyed the freedom to walk by the banks of the lake. Furthermore, he liked the semi-arid climate of the city. He had many friends in Quetta with whom he would spend his leisure hours of the evening. They used to sing songs, crack jokes, tell tales, so time would appear to fly. Amidst all the happy moments spent with his friends, our young soldier would hear rumors and news of violence paralysing his native city. When he returned home during his first vacation, he married his cousin. Sameer was happy with his life. The vacation ended and he had to go back to his duty. He left his wife with his parents and went to Quetta.

After his marriage, life in Quetta appeared to be dull and dreary to Sameer. But he had to carry out his duties. Letters from his family fueled his desire to go back. He would often have dreams about being back home and living happily with his family. But, he had to wait for months before he could actually go back. Time appeared to move sluggishly. Days and nights had become longer. He waited patiently. At last, there came time for the next vacation.

It was 2007. He was now 20-year old. He was happy to be with the members of his family again. He reunited with his childhood friends. They remembered their youth together and had fun at parties. At one of these gatherings, Sameer came to know that one his friends had been bullied and had received death-threats from some powerful group. Sameer wanted to help him. One fine morning he went out telling the members of his family that he was going to do some shopping at the nearby market.

When he did not return home in the evening, his family began to worry about him. They went to his friends and informed the police. The next day the police notified the family that they had found the dead body of their son. The news gave the family a wave of shock and numbness. None was prepared for the news.  They brought the body home.

Sameer's body had bruises and injuries which had been caused by torture. He had been shot in the chest. The police could not trace the unidentified murderer or murderers. Mr. Ahmad’s relatives thronged his house for the funeral and burial, after which the relatives went back leaving the family alone.  

His father bore this bitter grief of sudden and unexpected death of his son with patience. The soul of Sameer’s mother was ripped apart at this immense pain. She could not stop her tears. It was the death of her hopes for the bright future of her child. The tragedy rendered Sameer’s wife emotionally broken.

Three months later, in the unspeakably nightmarish circumstances, Sameer’s wife gave birth to their son. The baby brought the restless family back to life. The tears began to subside. They called him ‘little Sameer’ as the baby was bearing close resemblance with his deceased father. Now, the child is a source of life and hope for his elderly grandparents.

Sameer's murder leaves many questions in our mind. The police could not trace the murderer or murderers. The perpetrators may be able to escape the justice system, but they cannot escape the laws of the nature. The world and the universe follow certain laws. 'The Sun rises in the east' is such an axiom. Yet another observable one is 'As you sow, so you shall you reap'. It is not just a proverb but a powerful truth that has been operating in the world for centuries, no matter how esoteric it may appear.  



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