Murad Saeed: Determination forged in the fire of conflict

Published: June 2, 2013
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It was in the midst of conflict and loss that Murad Saeed found his true calling. PHOTO: FILE

It was in the midst of conflict and loss that Murad Saeed found his true calling. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: 

It was in the midst of conflict and loss that Murad Saeed found his true calling. A resident of Swat, his world changed forever when a stray mortar shell destroyed his home on September 6, 2008, severely injuring his mother and brother. On that fateful day, then 21-year-old Saeed made a choice; to serve his suffering people.

He went on to organise and participate in relief activities both during and after the operation that liberated the Swat valley from the grip of Taliban militants.

Five years later, Saeed took oath as a Member of National Assembly (MNA) on the 1st of June. Now 26, he was elected as an MNA from the platform on the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf after winning the NA-29 (Swat-I) elections with a convincing total of 88513 votes.

Sadly, his mother could not witness this proud day, as she is still in a coma after the injuries she received all those years ago.

“I am perhaps among a few youngsters who would be MNAs but there is a difference: I am from a middle class family which has never been in politics. I have earned this position on my own,” says Saeed and shares that “I had no plan of becoming a politician before the Swat operation.”

A B.Sc. Honours in Environmental Sciences from Peshawar University, Saeed is also a seven-time winner of debate competitions both at national and international levels, and is also the founder of Insaf Student Federation (ISF) in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP). He played a leading role in mobilising students to hold rallies in Peshawar for the relief of those displaced and injured in the Swat operation.

“I had taken the initiative on my own after informing the local leadership of PTI in KP,” Saeed says, recalling his journey. The students’ body became official on November 22, 2007.

Saeed is a first-timer in the lower house but he is clearheaded and free from the worries politicians carry with them of keeping the vote bank intact. “I have not made any promise to help individuals get jobs or address individual-centric issues. All I have committed to is to giving them a new system,” he adds.

Responding to a question, Saeed said that people were desperate for change and the PTI has promised that change. “Though we could not secure a majority in the National Assembly to revamp the entire system, we will perform a positive role as opposition and support the central government on issues of national interest,” he says, while reiterating PTI’s commitment to holding local government elections within 90 days. “The elected members of National and provincial assemblies will focus on legislation and national issues,” he adds.

Militants targeting 15-year-old Malala Yousafzai on October 9, 2012 made news the world over, and Saeed is very aware of the important role education will play in rooting out extremism. “I will make sure that all schools in Swat function properly; there would be a check on teachers to ensure their presence.”

Along with the promotion of education, he says his party has plans for improving health facilities and reviving tourism in KP, something Saeed says has immense potential. “But in order to do that we have to ensure peace and improve the infrastructure,” he says.

When asked how he plans to do this, he says all such initiatives have to take the local community on board. “I have already started engaging the community in the consultative process,” he says. A son of the soil, Saeed plans to work within the indigenous system. “We will ask the Jirga and the villagers about their problems and would address them in accordance with their advice.”

While talking about the PTI’s policy of issuing party tickets to youngsters, he said that party chairman Imran Khan had fulfilled his promise. He does however have a message for young people who want to make a difference: “You have to practically participate in the process instead of merely banking on social media as an agent of change,” he says.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 2nd, 2013.

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Reader Comments (25)

  • khan
    Jun 2, 2013 - 11:11AM

    Murad Saeed proud of you..expecting alot fromu and ur party..IA you guys will deliver

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  • Fahad Javaid
    Jun 2, 2013 - 11:29AM

    Murad – its because of people like you, asad umer and our leader that I support PTI. I want you people to give your utmost in KPK – As we have high hopes.

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  • Pacer
    Jun 2, 2013 - 11:37AM

    Good luck, please don’t let the people down

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  • Imranist
    Jun 2, 2013 - 12:20PM

    Love & respect for the self made Murad Saeed – Imran Khan calls him ‘My Poster Boy’.

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  • Waqas ur Rahman
    Jun 2, 2013 - 12:22PM

    He is the future of PTI . As the results were being announced on 11th May, one name I wanted to see in the winners list was of Murad Saeed.

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  • Arsal Khan
    Jun 2, 2013 - 2:48PM

    And MQM will still call PTI and Imran Khan as Taliban supporters! lol :p

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  • AASIA SOHAIL
    Jun 2, 2013 - 3:58PM

    I wish you all the best my son. I hope that you will work hard and with honesty to serve your country and party. You are an asset of PTI and Pakistan. I wish more young boys like you should come forward and work for their nation.

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  • awais
    Jun 2, 2013 - 4:13PM

    “He does however have a message for young people who want to make a difference: “You have to practically participate in the process instead of merely banking on social media as an agent of change,” he says.”

    this is for people like Jibran Nasir in NA-250 who were busy making speeches in their living rooms…

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  • Realistic
    Jun 2, 2013 - 4:14PM

    A true future leader of PTI :)

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  • Mujahid Torwali
    Jun 2, 2013 - 4:59PM

    Please Saeed Bhai do not down the hopes of the people.

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  • sumbal
    Jun 2, 2013 - 5:31PM

    future pm of pak.
    love this strong guy, and wish get well soon to his mother, my heart goes for her

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  • sensibe
    Jun 2, 2013 - 9:29PM

    This is what makes PTI special, can’t image any other traditional party giving ticket to 26 years old young boy. Good luck buddy you have a long way to go!

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  • Racer
    Jun 2, 2013 - 9:54PM

    You seem to be a bright young lad. Seen on you tv. Please don’t get bought.

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  • Faizullah Durrani
    Jun 2, 2013 - 10:48PM

    May Allah succes you. we will pray for you young man.

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  • Jun 2, 2013 - 11:59PM

    Don’t let the Swat and Pakistan down. I want you to be star performer of the House..! Good Luck Bud =)

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  • MURAD ALI
    Jun 3, 2013 - 12:38AM

    I am proudly member of PTI i like Murad Saeed s speech & hope that he will do the difference

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  • Five Fingers
    Jun 3, 2013 - 12:42AM

    @awais:

    Always remember that 5 fingers of a hand are not always the equal size. Measure your fingers, none of them will be the same size as your other fingers, but without any finger your life would be incomplete and you would be an incomplete human being. If you listen to the message of Jibran Nasir you can clearly see he wants the best for our country and our people. Ofcourse his methods are different because he was born/raised in Karachi. A city without any troubles which Murad Saeed has faced. But at the end of the day both of them are really important for our country and will probably be our saviors in the near future.

    First thing I will tell you is first look at yourself in the mirror and stop giving speeches on the internet. It is better to give speeches in your living room as compared to speeches on the internet. Think twice next time before criticizing anyone, especially on the internet, in the comfort of your home. Listen to the message of both these future leaders and I assure you that you will agree to both of them.

    Coming from a pure supported of both Murad Saeed and Jibran Nasir both. So think twice before criticizing someone else before looking at your own doings. Atleast this guy wants peace (equality for all religions) in Pakistan and is working hard for it. Whether it be his living room or KPK. At least he is not sitting on his computer and posting criticizing messages on the internet. :)

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  • Hammad
    Jun 3, 2013 - 1:27AM

    Love this guy.
    So much passion.
    Proud son of Pakistan. Brave, outspoken, seemingly honest.
    May ALLAH give health to your mother bro. Ameen
    Need more people like you.
    (Y)

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  • yasir khan
    Jun 3, 2013 - 1:41AM

    Great future for Pakistan rather than saying PTI. I am very proud of this young guy. He should be role model for upcoming youngster who want to do something for their country. Instead of just talking he is acutally doing it. It took him a while but he finally became MNA and now he can make a difference. His mom is in comma yet he is very determined. Punjabis will never vote for this kind of talent they will vote for someone from big family or old politican. Pathans are very smart and this election proved this theory.

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  • Muhammad Tayyab Khan
    Jun 3, 2013 - 10:01AM

    This article took me back to June, 2001 when I visited Swat with my wife and one year old son. Fantastic place & awesome people. The taste of trout at madyan is still fresh in my memories. I tell my omani colleagues that you need to visit Swat to know how beautiful it is.
    Best of luck young man. Our prayers are with you.

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  • ss
    Jun 3, 2013 - 12:31PM

    Best of Luck MS, you are future of Pakistan not only PTI.

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  • Jun 3, 2013 - 4:15PM

    He is a brave and committed person and hopefully he will make a difference.

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  • Waqas
    Jun 3, 2013 - 5:44PM

    A wonderful story, i am not a PTI supporter but i must say that such people in the parliament can make a huge difference, may ALLAH bless you, u r the true face of Pakistan.

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  • Rafiullah Khan
    Jun 5, 2013 - 10:28AM

    Let’s see how rhetoric gets translated into reality. Let’s see what sort of political and social acumen a 26 years old guy has?

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  • hidayat
    Jun 7, 2013 - 7:47AM

    This is the face of change. God Bless you young man. He defeated very senior politicians of opponent parties with a very big margin he got 88K+ votes whle runner up was 24K votes.
    I haven’t seen such a brilliant MNA ever from KPK.

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