An open letter to the Chief Justice, from a granddaughter

My nana was killed by a terrorist who attacked unarmed Ahmadis. The man was caught, but justice has not been done.

Kanita Chaudhry June 08, 2011
Did you know your grandfather Mr Chief Justice?

I knew mine rather well for a man with 21 grandchildren. His name was Nasir Ahmed Chaudhry.

He lived to be 90-years-old and was a retired Major-General. He was killed on May 28, 2010 in the attack on the Model Town Ahmadi “place of worship” - first wounded by a grenade and then shot repeatedly by a terrorist. These are the facts; you can read them in any number of newspaper articles.

Let me tell you what the papers don’t know.

My nana used to pick me up from kindergarten while I lived in Lahore.

He would buy me chhalli every single day, even if he had to drive for forty minutes searching for a corn vendor.

He liked pizza.

He limped because he had a bullet in his leg from a war he fought to keep you and me safe.

He taught me how to play chess.

He used to reward his grandchildren whenever they got an ‘A.’

Every time I saw him, he would ask me about my three promises. These were promises he would try to extract from me – usually things like, say my prayers and read the Holy Quran. He tried to get me to promise to always be home before sunset, but that one didn’t work out too well. Every time I told him I was keeping one or more of the promises with regularity, he would switch them around. It was his way of making me a better person.

The last time I saw nana he made me promise that while I was in the United States on my vacation I would teach his first great-grandson to say a prayer. I landed at JFK on the May 28 and was told that while I had been asleep over the Atlantic, there had been a gruesome attack on Baitul Noor and my nana had been martyred there. It helped to learn that he had been brave to the end, that he had stayed calm, sat down on a chair in a prominent position, guided people to safety and exhorted them to pray. I would expect no less of him Mr Chief Justice; he was a brave man, had been a Major-General and had led that “place of worship” as its Sadr for many years.

Why am I telling you all of this Mr Chief Justice?

The man who killed my grandfather was captured alive on May 28, 2010. He was not killed or harmed by the unarmed Ahmadis who overpowered him; though you have to admit, their provocation was great. They handed him over to the authorities because that was the right thing to do; that is how justice is supposed to be served.

I’m sorry to report, Mr Chief Justice, that the trail of justice has gone cold.

Where is the man who killed nana?

Will he undergo a trial?

Is he in jail?

Is he already home, planning another attack?

I met Ayaan, my nana’s first great-grandson last year and cooed the prayer at him for hours. Unfortunately, he was barely a year old and not really speaking as yet. Don’t worry, Mr Chief Justice, I’ll keep trying and get him to say it when I see him next. You see, I know I have to keep my promises. I hope you know that too.

I asked you if you knew your grandfather Mr Chief Justice, but to tell you the truth that was a rhetorical question. If you have read this to the end, you know my grandfather. And, you know what your promises demand - your solemn oath to “do right to all manner of people, according to law, without fear or favour, affection or ill will.”
Kanita Chaudhry A development consultant based out of New York. She dreams of Karachi and dabbles in photography and writing.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.


aisha ghaznavi | 12 years ago | Reply .........If you change your past and work together in a spirit that everyone of you, no matter to what community he belongs, no matter what relations he had with you in the past, no matter what is his colour, caste or creed, is first, second and last a citizen of this State with equal rights, privileges, and obligations, there will be no end to the progress you will make. I cannot emphasize it too much. We should begin to work in that spirit and in course of time all these angularities of the majority and minority communities, the Hindu community and the Muslim community, because even as regards Muslims you have Pathans, Punjabis, Shias, Sunnis and so on, and among the Hindus you have Brahmins, Vashnavas, Khatris, also Bengalis, Madrasis and so on, will vanish. Indeed if you ask me, this has been the biggest hindrance in the way of India to attain the freedom and independence and but for this we would have been free people long long ago. No power can hold another nation, and specially a nation of 400 million souls in subjection; nobody could have conquered you, and even if it had happened, nobody could have continued its hold on you for any length of time, but for this. Therefore, we must learn a lesson from this. You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place or worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed that has nothing to do with the business of the State. .......Now I think we should keep that in front of us as our ideal and you will find that in course of time Hindus would cease to be Hindus and Muslims would cease to be Muslims, not in the religious sense, because that is the personal faith of each individual, but in the political sense as citizens of the State. Jinnah's August 11th address
Sareer Khan | 12 years ago | Reply Dear compalinent It's the delima of this nation.Corruption has rotten its foundation.I would also point out another big factor of delayed justice or wrong verdicts in the Pakistani courts.That is the british judicial system adopted here.May be that system is better working there but it is not an exemplary one for this environment.We need Islamic laws to be established in our courts.Then you will see the change.You will get justice then and there. There is no chance for the killer to be left unpunished.Mr Chief justice would not be able to give any such justice. You are not the only one to suffer from the corrupt judicial system,hundreds of thousand people suffer from wrong verdicts of courts every year.This is the time to struggle for Islamic revolution.Unfortunately the secret agencies of some countries intentionally prevent this system by showing the ugly faces and works of some notorious men from within us.But Islam is not this.Islam is a complete code of life.Adl-e-Farooqi (Hazrat Umar Farooq's Justice) is still remembered even after a lapse of 1400 years.If He would the ruler this time,Your grand father's killer would definitely meet prime punishment.
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