Fan commits suicide over Gen Raheel's retirement

Published: December 1, 2016

KARACHI: A former trade union leader, who had been camping outside the Karachi Press Club (KPC) for a month in protest against the retirement of General Raheel Sharif, died on Wednesday after consuming poison a few days earlier.

Lutf Amim Shibli, 64, who once served as chairman of the Progressive Workers Union at the Karachi Port Trust (KPT), started his protest on Nov 1, threatening that he would commit suicide if General Raheel was not given an extension in service.

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“Raheel Sharif is a messiah. I am his fan. Only he can save the country from terrorism and social ills,” read the posters and banners set up around his camp. According to doctors the man took his life by consuming poison.

“He attempted suicide on Nov 27 after the ISPR [Inter-Services Public Relations] announced the retirement plan of Gen Raheel. We took him to Jinnah hospital from where he was referred to Aga Khan University Hospital. He was initially on ventilator, but later died,” said Shibli’s sister-in-law Nooren.

“Before consuming poison, he wrote a letter to his wife, saying that his funeral prayers must be held in front of the KPC,” she said while talking to The Express Tribune by the phone.

Police surgeon Dr Eijaz Ahmed told The Express Tribune that Shibli’s post-mortem had not yet been conducted but it looked he died of poisoning.

Shibli’s family originally belonged to Jalandhar, India, but they had migrated to Pakistan after independence and he joined the KPT. He had married thrice and his first wife, Gulzari Begum, also a trade union leader of the Pakistan Steel Mills Progressive Workers Union, was killed a few years ago.

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He is survived by five children from his first spouse and two children from another wife, who lives in Gizri.

“His four-month-old son is in my lap and there is no one to look after the family,” Noreen said.

One of his close friends, while requesting anonymity, said the deceased was not mentally fit and would become aggressive on different issues confronted by Pakistan. “He was frustrated and used to talk about committing suicide. Finally, he did it,” he said.

Nasir Mansoor, deputy general secretary of the National Trade Union Federation, said Shibli was a leftist leader and his decision to support the army bewildered many of his colleagues.

“We have never supported any general. I don’t know how Shibi, who had once played a great role for the rights of labourers, became a fan of Raheel Sharif, which was unusual for left-oriented comrades,” he said.

According to the family, the funeral prayers of Lutf Amim Shibli will be held at 2:5pm in front of the KPC as per his will.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 1st, 2016.

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Reader Comments (11)

  • Haji Atiya
    Dec 1, 2016 - 9:18AM

    Must’ve been the guy putting up all those posters of former COAS all over the place.. But what a senseless act ! And why a funeral in front of Colonel Sanders…Recommend

  • Azi
    Dec 1, 2016 - 10:53AM

    At some point you start to wonder what goes on these peoples heads?? It took me some time to realize this isn’t a joke but real news.Recommend

  • Parvez
    Dec 1, 2016 - 12:32PM

    Clear sign of a serious lack of education.Recommend

  • Rahul
    Dec 1, 2016 - 1:48PM

    @Haji Atiya:
    “And why a funeral in front of Colonel Sanders…”

    Hahaha not sure if your joking or being serious but he didn’t mean KFC the fried chicken restaurant. He meant Karachi Press Club (KPC) the place where he was protesting for a month. Recommend

  • Raw is War
    Dec 1, 2016 - 2:23PM

    India has film stars and Pakistan has army stars…Recommend

  • Sunil
    Dec 1, 2016 - 3:43PM

    Well wish there were 200 million fans like him !!! World would be a better place!Recommend

  • Oommen
    Dec 1, 2016 - 4:52PM

    He did not waste his life :-) Recommend

  • Sameer
    Dec 1, 2016 - 5:30PM

    With all the nepotism, injustice and corruption going on…one can be sure this is not the last suicide, Unfortunately.
    People are frustrated and losing hope fast. Its is only a matter of time when educated people start taking law in to their own hands. This reminds me of the predictions the ex UNDP director made.Recommend

  • SaneVoice
    Dec 2, 2016 - 7:20AM

    It’s obvious that he wasn’t well mentally and such a shame that no one stepped forward to help him. BTW it would be a good thing if media wont give this incident any coverage.Recommend

  • Proud Pakistani
    Dec 2, 2016 - 11:27AM

    @Haji Atiya KPC IS NOT KFC
    Thats too funny this it is called too much obsession with Pakistan , Indians have Recommend

  • Tyggar
    Dec 2, 2016 - 1:55PM

    He improved the collective intelligence level of the human gene pool by taking himself out of itRecommend

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