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Friday, June 3, 2011

Saleem Shahzad's Passing: And The Score Is Despair 3, Hope 0

Initially appeared On Pak Tea House On May 31, 2011. Then at Chowk.com.


Nothing can be more disheartening, than news of someone's brutal murder. This year started out with a tragic and insane murder of Governor Salman Taseer in Islamabad. That killer who was supposed to be the "bodyguard", Mumtaz Qadri surrendered on the spot. Or else we would still be looking for Taseer's assassin. The indifferent attitude of many was appalling. Their callous and cruel display towards his point of view was to say the least, beyond shameful.

It was followed by the equally gruesome murder of the Minorities Minister, Shahbaz Bhatti. He was gunned down and till date his killers are perhaps roaming. Of course his life was not such a precious thing to many, perhaps because of his belief.

In both of these cases, the cold and crazy attitude of many was despicable. The idea of dissent to survive was murdered by these unfortunate killings. The nation so engulfed with a daily dose of killings is perhaps numb. No amount of mayhem can move it from deep down. We are withering from the inside, without a doubt.

One was still recovering from all the horrific dust of PNS Mehran incident, when the news of Saleem Shahzad's missing appeared on the Twitter zone and then a flurry of emails followed. The horrific news of his death has sent more shock waves. It is of course worthy of the strongest condemnation. A journalist who is expressing his freedom to speak and inform, is put to sleep, in such a barbaric fashion. It just leaves you speechless.

Of course some news bites will pop up here and there for a couple of days. Some promises will be made, some condemnation from different quarters and a usual investigation probe. After a few weeks, it will be the usual, "ALLAH ALLAH, Khair SALLAH."

Then suddenly, another one will be taken away from us and we will do the usual. Express our outrage, show our sympathies and then the game will go on. No one is denying the reality of life. It is a blessing that so many are praying for him and may his soul finds the best places up there. Ameen. What a pity, a person who was the source of information and an objective point of view, turns into a news ticker himself.

But just investigative probes, commissions and committees will not yield much. Looking back at our tragic past, one has to be awfully pessimistic or as one would say, really realistic. Those who think that this is yet another conspiracy to malign the name of the truly and perhaps the only "Muslim" nation on the map of "their world", think again. Whoever is responsible, deserves an exemplary punishment.

Very sadly, with his death the score for despair is now 3, and hope is 0. But who cares and who is keeping the count. I wish in this battle we are able to reverse the course. Hope gets to prevail. Only a very simple wish, isn't it.



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