The tragic death of Mutahir Rauf

An assailant guns him down on Dec 7 in Chicago

Zahid Gishkori December 31, 2014

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.


Zahid Gishkori | 6 years ago | Reply

@ishrat salim: Thank you Ishrat for the feedback. Your comments are also welcomed at: @ZahidGishkori

ishrat salim | 6 years ago | Reply

I salute you Sir for this wonderful article, noting our indifferent attitude to different tragedies that befall our students, from whichever background that he / she may be. I am glad that you mentioned the heroic boy Aitzaz Hasan, who laid down his life to save hundreds of his fellow students.

The underlying problem with us are :

we are just an emotional lot with low passion, hence it is short-lived, so it dies down within a short period of time. It is like cooking bubble, dies down as soon as we put a lid over it. So, forgetting some of our brave & bright students & people - many unsung heroes, is just short of calling us callous....we do nothing to remember BDS personnel who get killed while defusing bombs / IEDs etc; with most in-adequate tools & un-protective gears etc; we do not remember those LEAs killed while on duty. And there are many people killed who deserve to be remembered from time to time. So, my dear Zahid Sb, I salute you. We are a BAHIS dead nation, with dead conscience....nice try Mr Zahid...I salute you anyway for your concern. We are a nation, where there is no culture to own any incident, tragedy or responsibility, hence no such thing as " resignation " is there in our dictionary, but YES ! we want to receive our fat salary with perks etc; from tax-payers coffer.
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