Murdering a ‘messiah’

Weekly Bang-e-Sahar Saturday, May 17—-23, 2008
By Noor Mohammad
It is not an ordinary murder. He was a healer of the children. He was the first Child Specialist belonging to the deprived Gilgit-Baltistan. He must have burnt his nights to reach at this position of distinction. We all know what it means to burn the nights and, thus, we all are enraged. We condemn the brutal, the tragic, and the heinous crime against the children of Gilgit – Baltistan and their messiah, in the strongest of terms.
Dr Agha Jan enjoyed a position in the society that isn’t paralleled by many others. It isn’t just rhetoric. It was proven by the thousands of people who participated in his funeral prayers in Gilgit and Ali Abad, the thousands who protested in Hunza and Gilgit city against his tragic death, the hundreds of thousands who were shocked but didn’t join the protestors and all those who felt that an irreparable damage had been caused to our society. It was some sort of a ‘pleasure in disguise’ to see the entire Gilgit – Baltistan condemning the criminals and demanding justice for the doctor, his family, his patients and his friends. It is a manifestation of our humanistic attributes.
The death is also a wake up call for the entire society. It shows that we have failed to develop a tolerant, peaceful and considerate society. Every week there is one or two reports in the region’s press about brutal murders on one count or the other. An analysis of these murders shows that intolerance, complicated by the evil of feudal vendetta is the main factor in the background. Of course, there are sectarian killings but the number of deaths that are non-sectarian in nature are much more and consistent, relatively.
The noble Islamic principles of fortitude and forgiveness are there to guide us but we, unfortunately, despite showcasing a noisy “Islamic” outlook, are not eager to follow the principles that were dear to the Prophet, the Caliphs and the Imams. It is a responsibility of the society’s elders, the religious scholars, the non-religious members of civil society and everyone else concerned about the society to preach tolerance, to persuade people to shun militancy and help them in the process by giving alternative means of dispute resolution.
At times people resort to ‘justice dispensation’ just because they either don’t trust the statutory
organs responsible for delivering justice or because these cases are too expensive in terms of time and money.
Since the killer of the late doctor has been arrested by the police, within half an hour of the murder, we hope that justice will prevail. In the meantime we think that now the people of Gilgit-Baltistan shall stay calm and allow time and space for the courts and other related agencies to dispense justice.

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