Do you care about my dead uncle?

Armed men kill my uncle. But no one cares because the headline reads Shia doctor assassinated by militants in Quetta.

Hasan Naqvi April 25, 2011
My uncle was killed this month. But, you don't care and, you'll care even less as you read on. His death knell was sounded about two weeks ago - not by God but by six armed men.

The headline of this sort of story, due to its lack of significance for the rest of the world, may read something like this:
Shia doctor assassinated by militants

Very conveniently, the media simplifies the most important event in his life, and the life of his family members, to a war between two groups.

Out of the entire population of Pakistan, the number of people who will be able to gauge the importance of his tragic death will be tiny. Of all those who are blessed with enough resources to be able to buy a newspaper, the number can be narrowed down to those belonging to the Shia community and/or those who are doctors.

Now let me tell you the place of this tragic event: Balochistan.

By this point most Pakistanis will lose all interest. If you are from Balochistan you may read the story otherwise you will simply flip the page to focus on something more interesting.

So trust me when I say you don't care. But you will eventually. It's all a matter of time.

My uncle was the head of the psychology department at Bolan Medical College, but more importantly he was a husband, father, son and a brother.  Two weeks ago, on his way to work, his car was intercepted by six armed men who kidnapped him.

For two weeks, our family tried to negotiate terms for his release and when they finally arrived at a financial settlement in exchange for his life, his captors brutally murdered him and left his body on a street of the city he served his entire life: Quetta.

It's hard to judge whether you care or not, because you may feel sorry for the loss of life, but at the same time, because the incident took place in Quetta, and not somewhere close to where you probably live  like Karachi, Lahore or Islamabad, a part of you is comforted.

The person not robbing you today is not refraining from doing so because he does not want to, or because he can’t. It’s because he is busy robbing someone else at the moment. Tomorrow, when he runs out of options, the picture will be different.

I am afraid of the future

When I think of what Pakistan will be like 10 years from now I think that this incident could happen in any city.

Imagine, sitting in the safety of your house thinking about how all your friends have been robbed or abused; thankful because you were lucky to get away with minor scars.

Perhaps we will reminisce for the good old days when then president, Asif Ali Zardari had exceptional control over the political scenario and the law and order situation was better.

Men here kill each other like they used to in olden times, except people use sophisticated weapons instead of swords and spears. And, you can’t do anything.

You made this future through your insensitivities that you have exhibited to our fellow countrymen.

You didn't care then, and you probably won't care now either, so don't worry. You'll learn to live with it, much like the family of my uncle did.
WRITTEN BY:
Hasan Naqvi A graduate from the University of Toronto, working for the corporate world in Toronto, Canada.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.

COMMENTS (55)

Reema | 9 years ago | Reply What a wonderful article and such a vast response! We as a community, country, and culture look forward to the media displaying the so-called truth however, in all actuality why are we not listening to the truth from those in these hardships! An opinion or truth in this matter is exposed for a reason. Why must you lash out and claim someone of high arrogance and ask them to come back to earth. Remember the term Allahu Alam? Only God knows? Who's to say our families or friends may not be next. We have become so quick to judge others but dont judge ourselves first. Purification comes from your own heart, you should be so busy trying to fix yourself that it becomes unneccessary to pointing fingers at others. Brought up in a western society I have never once had a problem with the sunni/shia issue. Its grotesque to hear people being kidnapped and murdered because of their faith. Get over it. What others believe in shoudnt concern you unless theyre inflicting harm upon others. Pertaining to this situation, in what mind can you target Hasan? Shouldnt we be spending our time trying to fix the situation or are we going to sit here and say wow, he wrote an article in awareness how awful! Shia or sunni, it does not matter! Open your heart people, grow up and say a prayer. Lots of love to the Naqvi family and my thoughts and prayers are with you.
Nobody | 9 years ago | Reply My heart goes out to you, and the many others who have experienced this kind of suffering. It's become all too common in Pakistan (and elsewhere) and people are becoming more and more desensitized to violence and death. Reading it everyday in the newspaper, seeing it all over the news... Tolerance and empathy is lacking in Pakistani society and this is the result. I hope those who still feel and care never lose that, and do their part to spread those human emotions as opposed to allowing the intolerant to spread their hate-mongering emotions everywhere. I wish you and your family the best. I'm truly sorry you had to go through that, no one deserves that no matter where you're from, what ethnic group you belong to, what religion you are, etc.
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