I do not know such an apt and incisive criticism and more humiliating snub that could have ever been slapped on the system supposed to provide justice to people.
Do you know the pain is most excruciating when a mother feels it for her deceased child? Let’s lend ear to this grieving mother. Watching me with her mournful and tearful eyes, the sorrowing mother handed me an open letter addressed to the new Army Chief.
Dear Army Chief,
I am a mother of an innocent child who was in his refreshing youthful days, was run over by a scion of a so-called blueblood. The loveliest of all, my child was killed for no guilt of his own. He was just another son of just another mother. If not my sonny, there could have been some other child. And, some other mother would have been grieving in my stead.
After the wrongdoers, i.e. representatives of nobility, i.e. all powerful in wholly polarized society, i.e. people flush with resources robbed me of my son, I was left alone and forlorn. It was not just gloom and melancholy that surrounded me and caused an ever-existing agony but also I sat face to face with gross and harrowing reality of life gaping wide in front me.
Every day that dawned on me brought yet another pain from the highbrowed prince. The intense browbeating doubled with cash offers culminated with me standing in front of the judge, when I was compelled to accept the blood money.
When I took blood money from the killer elite, I felt extremely sorry for my poor son. Henceforth, I can’t help my tears. I looked upon myself as the most degraded and meanest person that has ever existed in the whole world. I took money as surety for my other children; but, God knows that I abhorred myself the most.
My Dear Army Chief,
Not only that, I am the two mothers who were shot to death in June 17 massacre in Lahore area of Model Town. By the way, do you want to know who killed us so brutally that they considered not for a single moment that we are women? Do you want to know who assassinated us for just no reason?
Sir, you must know that we were killed by those who wear black and yellow uniform after taking oath that they will protect us. For your kind information, these public watchdogs were on the rampage at the behest of most unpitying despots. If you are my Army Chief, pave the way for me to get justice hitherto denied by influential people.
My Dear Chief Protector,
I am those mothers who were left with no other option but mourn their beloved sons on the heels of June 17 carnage. Do you know that these youths were the only hope of light I have ever had. But now, I have but a charred snuff that has its smoke emitting from my desolate heart.
Sir, I beseech from the core of my heart to reveal me the identity of my dears. I have the unremitting right to ask and you are under an abiding obligation to answer as to “Why were my angel-like sons killed in the grisliest manner?”
Have you seen the gory sights on your television screens? You must have seen. Such sanguinary scenes could not have escaped your notice. I bet on this. Was the situation exactly like when a most ferocious army besieges a town of its arch rival? It is an occasion when no mercy appeal is granted. There were bullets being sprayed all around with rings of gunshots, blaring of armored personnel carriers, earsplitting honking ambulances and whatnots.
Being a proud mother, I must say and you will attest to the fact that every single one of my darling babies has injuries of gunshots and full-force baton battery on their chest and front side of their bodies, not on their backs. I am proud of my sons who were neither abject cravens and milksops nor rash with goofy Dutch courage. They were responsible and duteous citizens.
I seek justice for my sons –though most-delayed so far. I beg of you sir. My sons are martyrs of this soil, like others. They were like any other brave soldier of Pakistan’s armed forces. Kindly go and testify the fact yourself that not a single one from my sons—deceased or wounded—had any gunshot injury on his back. Everyone welcomed the attack on their unarmed chests. I beg justice despite the fact that the representatives of profusely privileged class filed an FIR against my endeared sons after wounding them in vehement cudgeling.
My Dear Army Chief,
I am those mothers whose children were burned alive in Karachi’s Baldia Town factory. Do you know my children? They were laborers. They were craftsmen busy with earning bread and butter for their households. Is it a crime to do so in Pakistan, sir?
The tears that blazed a trail down my cheeks request you to answer as to “What was their guilt, sir?” Is it an offence in this Land For The Pure to keep oneself occupied with honest means of earning?
Sir, I see my innocent but support-less sons and daughters in my restless and nightmarish dreams. They hold my hands in theirs, and kiss them. I see wistfulness silently smoldering in their eyes. I see them speechless with their lips twitching and quivering. I see the teardrops that had already welled up in their downcast eyes start rolling down their cheeks. My poor souls do not try to hold these tears back. The sudden sense of their innocence, and guiltless demise just washes over me and I break into loud pensive wail. My helplessness overwhelms me even more. I see myself speechless too. I see the shimmer in my children’s eyes speak to me. The melancholy in the eyes of my children wanted nothing but justice. They want untroubled future for the succeeding generations.
The restless and discomforted souls of my children sought their motherland to be free from all ills and evils. They want it to be such land where no bad blood or indiscriminate massacre ever takes place. Is it possible for my children’s dream for this land to come true, sir?
Dear Army Chief,
I am mother of those unnamed and unidentified bodies that are found disgraced lying around the city wrapped up in a gunnysacks. These my children are buried unclaimed and disrespected. Sir, bone and flesh of my children served as firewood that is set ablaze in sectarian strife, political belligerency or any other lava-spewing flashpoints. Dogs of war want some or the other ever-burning turmoil in the country with whatever orientations it may have—political, religious, sectarian or anything that may become a springboard for massive bloodletting.
I earnestly plead with you to let the flags of love, patriotism and passion for amicable co-existence be aflare in the breeze for our future generations.
My Dear Army chief,
I am a heartbroken mother of those righteous souls who were decimated by sinister bombings and most ravaging terroristic incidents. I am mother of innocent children who were studying at Army Public School Peshawar. I am a mother of young police cadets who lost their lives while they were snugly sleeping at their Quetta training college. I am mother of those hardworking people of lower strata of society who gathered at Shah Noorani shrine for spiritual gratification but met their death instead.
I am mother of those underprivileged souls who hunger and poverty incinerate on one hand, and anarchy, outlawry and societal chaos further marginalize them and sap them of lifeblood, if left any. The unfettered rule of lawlessness features most grossly on the country’s roads and streets where extremely feral hyenas and most inhuman and bloodsucking wolves prowl about looking for their next potential game.
I am a mother who her sons and daughters complain about daily snatchings and broad daylight street offences being committed at nearly every street of the country. The rampant street crimes had gone overboard in Karachi. Do you know there are several of my children who had to give away their fifth or sixth mobile phones at gunpoint in the metropolis? Each and every commuter on board a bus, car or a motorbike is robbed of his valuables. You are my army chief sir. Are you abreast of the latest turn of situation in the dear homeland ever since Quaid-e-Azam and Quaid-e-Millat left us?
In muffled voice, parents and guardians advise their children, “My son, make every possible effort to depart from this country as this land is no longer livable. Rulers are robbers here. Robbery is law and corruption is art. Honesty is foolishness. Sincerity is joke. Patriotism is slur. Sacrilege of religious and moral norms is liberalism. Flattery is the only qualification.”
Patrons, most concerned for their young ones are found giving advice, “Give every possible shot to settling abroad. Because in this country, life always keeps standing at the threshold of death. In this country, medicines are disease themselves. Hospitals are hotbeds of ailments. Law-enforcers are themselves outlaws. Criminals are found in seats of power.”
Dear Army chief,
I love this country. I love my children as well. Rulers love money and ask us for sacrifices. I, in the most earnest, implore you to stop this fashion from now on. Let’s demand sacrifice from these rulers, influential and powerful people. Kindly shift this culture of gore, crimes and duplicity to peace and honesty so that mothers like me may not have to weep for their children.
Who will give me justice, dear chief? You know Hazrat Ali’s maxim ‘Paganism may work, but, system based on injustice cannot’.
I must warn that you or anyone else can never set this system right without me getting justice. So, punish every terrorist, economic terrorist, and other criminals wherever they are found, whether in power corridors or elsewhere.
I will get justice sooner or later. I believe. It is a mother conviction.
The writer is a member of staff. He tweets at @TatheerSiddiqui