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A season for grief’s pursuing – and now Mirza Abbas Arif - by Asif Zaidi

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As a warm August morning wore on in Karachi, Mirza Abbas Arif, a young man of 25 years in his glorious youthful prime, left for work.

Soon after his car came under attack by the terrorists of the SSP and Mirza was shot and seriously wounded. Two days later another young man was taken away from us as Mirza’s youthful breast breathed its last, leading him into dreamless sleep that would forever kiss his eyelids. Another heart that beat as all young hearts do –to the tune of their dreams of life- lies still. The night came unto him as the megapolis rolled the morning drum.  His crime? The misfortune of being born in a Shia family in Pakistan. His head that was destined to meet a bullet now lies covered beneath the earth. There is a woman left to mourn for the child she brought into this world. The only son of his parents. She is anguished but her heart beats higher and higher fuelled by the fire in the bosom of a martyr’s mother. Her innocent son was murdered where manhood’s morning was yet far from touching noon that marks the peak. While beginning to fall in love with life and raptured with his place in the world, Mirza was shot dead into eternal silence.

 

The story says that she bore only one son and has now lost him but her work and his are done. She has seen the light of her life depart in an instant in the sunniest, happiest hour of his short voyage. Fling Abbas Alamdar’s flag out and wave as the people return from Mirza’s grave after laying him to rest with an ‘alam’ covering his youthful body as it was lowered into the earth – some still crying. Sweet flowers will bloom and the air will be again full of balm the next spring – but he will not be there to lighten the life for her. The son of her pride who embodied the hope she cherished for 25 years and eleven months, the happy child who bade her good bye as he left home that morning. She loved her only son, a love which knew no wrong till that fateful morning in August 2013. She could have never imagined her boy’s life to end like this – to end at all before hers! It was just two days ago but now the months will go sadly on, turning into years, and she will waste day by day – wearing her sorrow as she hangs on to the edge of life. The demise of her son sealing a mother’s doom who was made to mourn. She wouldn’t allow such a thing to happen to anyone else if she could stop it.


The funeral train of young Shia men continues to pass on with no justice to wipe dry their parents’ tears in a country where man’s inhumanity to man makes countless grieve. The life has turned abject, mean, and vile beyond description with no recompense to comfort those that mourn!


May the innocent blood of this fine young man serve as redemption to bring light into this dark country. Amen.

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