DI KHAN: A stage of old for war and military operations, Wana Bazaar in South Waziristan has a new man on its bill – a hipster.
Every now and then, the free-spirited and extremely gregarious Akbar, 38, also known as Saddar Sahib, is seen around the market; a local punk rocker with a turban and flowers in his hair.
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In his traditional shalwar kameez, waistcoat and floral turban, he attracts many people at the bazaar with his jovial and cheerful mood – a balm for many unhappy people whose lives have been uprooted, disrupted and some even destroyed.
A message of peace
Akbar believes flowers are a symbol of peace. Having witnessed many atrocities committed in Wana, he always keeps flowers on his turban and, hopeful for a brighter future, he spreads messages of peace and love.
He shares his optimism in the bazaar that has witnessed horrific incidents since 9/11 – a site where mutilated bodies are dumped with warning messages forbidding their removal till the next day.
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Jack of all trades
Akbar runs a cab to earn his livelihood. He drives mostly between Wana Bazaar and Kari Kot Bazaar.
“During All-Waziristan Winter Volleyball Tournament at my small hometown bazaar, Kari Kot, I am really busy as I enjoy the game and also manage to earn extra income by selling merchandise to spectators,” he said.
Akbar is also interested in politics and is a staunch campaigner for many local political figures. During MNA Ghalib Khan’s campaign, Akbar would stand on Ghalib’s car’s cabin with his friends and electioneer for him.
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Akbar only completed grade five at Government High School Kari Kot since he had to earn a living for his family but he has made a name for himself as a proponent of love and peace.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 25th, 2016.
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