As the Peshawar tragedy saddened the whole world, it would be unjust not to remember Mutahir Rauf, 23, a Pakistani-American student who wanted to make a difference in this world.
With Mutahir’s murder, the whole of America was shocked, and the locals remembered this extraordinary and beautiful boy who divided his time between Chicago and Lahore. He was gunned down by an assailant in Chicago on December 7. As this tragedy was reported, I started recalling how Pakistani students faced numerous challenges both abroad as well as in Pakistan, all of which go unheard and unrecognised.
In the US, Pakistani students might be engulfed in financial problems, cultural shocks and academic challenges. But in Pakistan, they are facing militants’ threats while being driven by the pursuit of excellence and a commitment to serve the less privileged.
Many such challenges were accepted by Mutahir who, with his parents, came from Lahore to the diverse neighbourhoods of Bensonhurst in Brooklyn. His family is also hopeful for justice and some American organisations have donated funds to continue the mission of pursuing Mutahir’s murderers. His memory should be cherished in Pakistan and all over the world.
The question is, why did we forget Aitzaz Hasan, who saved hundreds of students by sacrificing his life? We should have created funds in his name and also continued his mission. I’m glad that a similar vision is being followed by the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) government in commemorating the victims of the Peshawar School attack. The K-P government will build schools to commemorate the kids killed by militants.
Why are we not building more schools and colleges in the name of Malala Yousafzai and Arfa Karim? We must honour the memories of these talented individuals to make our history strong for the coming generations.
I scarcely see education memorials in our universities in commemoration of students who lost their lives owning to the war on terror or any other accident. I knew many organisations in America and Germany, which allocate millions of dollars in commemoration of shining students who lose their lives in accidents or tragedies. I want to see such initiatives in my own country.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 31st, 2014.
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