Baigsaab's Blog

Collateral Damage

Posted in Rants by baigsaab on May 5, 2008

December 27, 2007 will be remembered not only for the murder of Benazir Bhutto, but also for the blood bath in Karachi. However, since no harm was done to my loved ones, I, selfishly, forgot it as another bad day. Until yesterday!

 Yesterday I got a call from an old acquaintance, let’s call him Shahid. The Shahid that I knew was a businessman whose garments were exported to the Middle East. He led a happy life and had everything he could wish for. But the Shahid that called me yesterday was broke, penniless.

On December 27, his consignment was on the way from the port when hell broke in Karachi. His trucks were intercepted and disappeared. This consignment was bigger than his previous ones so he had borrowed a lot of money from other sources. He had to sell his car, his wife’s jewelery and who knows what else to pay the debt but that wasn’t enough. Now he’s totally hand to mouth. The reason that he called me was to do him a favor. He asked me not for the money, but asked me to get him a job – any job.

I choked; I couldn’t even empathize with him. Words were totally meaningless at that time. All I could manage was a promise, something that he’s heard many times over in the last 4 months. I told him to call me back on Monday and he hung up.

What happened to Shahid is probably rife in Pakistan. Mass murders are being given amnesty but innocent people are paying the price. His children are hungry not because of a mistake of their father, but because of a faceless hand that exploited the situation and snatched their hard earned bread.

How long will it take us to step up and break that hand that deprives those children from their bread? They can’t be many of them, we couldn’t comprise of 160 million dead people.

Why do we always wait for someone to hang himself before we look to help him? Helping a head of a family in his life is far easier than trying to feed his children after his death.

What would it take for us to stop another 27 December?

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