The silent crusaders

  • The Silent Crusaders

       Pakistan turned 71 this august. During these seven decades Pakistan has faced many problems, seen many dark days, fought many battles, lost many lives and has almost always come out victorious on the other end. Several people have played their roles in making Pakistan a peaceful nation. Many of these heroes get rewarded each year. Many of the martyrs are duly paid homage to. Whether dead or live these heroes continue to live on in our hearts.

       There have been, however, certain Pakistan who were extraordinary in their deeds. They stood up in the face of atrocities and fought the obstacles that came their way audaciously. These unsung, unrewarded heroes have given many Pakistanis a second chance at life, a reason to walk around as a proud Pakistani. These silent crusaders however have unfortunately been buried in the pages of history.

       General Nawab Sir Sadiq Mohammed Khan Abbasi, born September 24th 1904, he was, first, the Nawab and later the Amir of the state of Bahawalpur from 1907 to 1966. He was known for his close friendship with the Quaid-E-Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah. After 1947 the Nawab was the first ruler of a princely state to accede successfully. As a large number of Muslims migrated towards the newly declared independent Pakistan. Most of these people were in a dire state and had no money. For this purpose the Nawab set up an “Ameer of Bahawalpur Refugee Relief and Rehabilitation Fund” to help those in need. The Nawab was particularly fond of education. His affiliation with education was no secret. He had donated 500 acres of land for the purpose of Sadiq Public School. In addition to this he donated he also donated his private property for the purpose of The University of Punjab, King Edward Medical College Lahore and a portion of his land was also donated for the purposes of setting up a mosque in Aitchison, his Alma Mater. That wasn’t all, he had also donated a total sum of 70 million rupees to the government of time and even the salaries of all the government employees for one month were also withdrawn from the state treasury. Despite all he did for Pakistan, his name is but forgotten.

       Professor Dr. Abdus Salam, born 29th January 1926, was a Pakistani theoretical physicist who was responsible for Pakistan’s acclaim on an international level. He won several awards both nationally and internationally including Nishan-E-Imitiaz for outstanding performance in scientific projects, Hopkins Prize for most outstanding contribution to physics, Sitara-e-Imtiaz for contribution to science in Pakistan, the Einstein medal and the most noticeable of all The Nobel Prize in Physics in 1979. He even had a few awards named after him, to honor his legacy. Salam unfortunately belonged to the Ahmadi descent. Situation for Salam got worse during Generals’ reign when Ahmadis’ were declared non-Muslims. All of Salam’s’ amazing contributions were belittled because of a single decision. In spite of the international acclaim, the Nobel Prize people displayed nothing but hatred for him. It was at this point that he decided to leave the country and never came back. He died in England in the year 1996. His body was sent back to Pakistan and he was buried under a gravestone that read “First Muslim Nobel Laureate” however at the orders of a local magistrate the word Muslim was removed.

       Another one of our heroes subjected to religious discrimination was Mr. Zafarullah Khan. He was and ally of Quaid-e-Azam. In the united India, he was elected as the president of the All India Muslim League, the party whose struggles went on to give the Muslims an independent piece of land where they were given their due rights. He was also a delegate in the round table conferences held in London, England on Indian reforms. He was appointed by the Quaid-e-Azam himself as the foreign minister of Pakistan and represented Pakistan on various forums. He was also the first Pakistani to be elected as the President of the UN general assembly and also the International court of justice. His name, despite all this has faded away.

       Dr. Hakim Mohammed Saeed, a PhD scholar and a medical researcher, philanthropist and the governor of Sindh. He carried out extensive research in the field of eastern medicine. He established Hamdard Foundation. He launched a magazine for children by the name of “hamdard naunehal”. He wrote many books on eastern medicine and religious books. He was assassinated in broad day light in Karachi by a bunch of terrorists.

       Popularly known as the flying bird of Asia, Abdul Khaliq was the pride of Pakistan. Known to fly faster than the feet his feet, people would say, barely touched the ground. He was also dubbed as the fastest man of Asia by Jawaharlal Nehru. He won a total of 63 medals, 36 international gold medals, 15 international silver medals and 12 international bronze medals for Pakistan. Sadly though nobody today even knows his name.

       Syeda Ghulam Fatima, based out of Punjab was a human right activist. She was the epitome of strength. She stood up in the face evils and cruelties carried out by the landlord and owner of brick kilns. She wanted to put end to bonded labor and was ready to face any and all hardships that came her way. She made it evident that no amount of torture and power could stop her from doing what she wanted to do. Even though she was alone she did well for herself and managed to seek justice for many. Even though she was up to a good cause, it still took a foreigner to recognize her efforts.

       The boatman Sanaullah, was a simple bearded man hailing from the village of camp karoona who single handedly save 2500 lives when the village was flooded. His act of valor was what saved an entire village and not a single life was lost.    

       Light at the end of the tunnel has held true on many occasions. One such occasion was the establishment of a dhaba by the name of “Khana Ghar” in Khuda ki basti Karachi. The owner of this dhaba felt provoked when she heard of a mother killing her children because the sight of watching them starve to death was unbearable. It was this incident that got the lady thinking and it was then that Parveen established Khana Ghar in 2002. This organization provided food to the poor for only three rupees. The idea was to rid the poor of the thought that they couldn’t afford food on their own and needn’t peoples sympathy. A simple act of being able to afford their own food was supposed to instill a sense independence, confidence and self-respect in them. After 6 long years of hard work, her efforts were recognized on a small scale and people started funding "Khana Ghar" and with those donations she was able to set up another dhaba. She feeds more than 300 people on a regular basis to date for three rupees.

       Mentioned above are only a few of our silent heroes. It was once said that “A nation that forgets its heroes will itself be forgotten’’. It is very important that we remember our heroes, appreciate what they did for us, acknowledge their act of valor and reproduce in whatever way we can. All these people proved that no good deed is small or big. You don’t have to be a certain someone to do something. One can be as wealthy as Sadiq or as ordinary as Sanaullah. All it takes is a little bit of courage and a little bit of determination, and move mountains we can.

    Submitted by: Syed Shah Rukh Ali

    Class: M.Sc Mass Communication


    Semester: 3rd