Flowers in his hair: The hipster of Wana Bazaar

Says wearing flowers is his expression of peace in war-torn area


Zulfiqar Ali January 24, 2016
Akbar commonly known as Saddar Sahib. PHOTO: EXPRESS

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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