Letter from Quetta: ‘I too had a dream, but being a Pakistani Shia, it will remain a dream’
Written by S. Batool, July 13, 2012
It takes a thousand voices to tell a single story, but today here’s the single voice to represent the thousand voices.
Unlike routine days, my phone beeped several times that made me wake up while I was asleep. I checked my phone and my breath was taken away, ‘Plz ask —- If she is alright, Did — go to university today? , Is —- Alright? Make sure if —- is alright…’
The darkest day to be remembered in the history of Pakistan; it was a remote control bomb blast on BUITEMS University Bus. This blast took away 6 lives leaving behind 25+ severely injured talents.
University faculty didn’t utter a single word in condemnation, this was not enough to cut apart an already wounded community that within a two-day gap, another University ‘Sardar Bahadur Khan Women’s University, Balochistan’ arranged a separate University bus for Shia Hazara students.
I was in the University that day, rumors circulated that Hazara Shia students are supposed to travel by a separate bus – this was ordered on the call of other communities’ request to the VC of the University. I didn’t doubt VC to be such a sap-head to act upon the call, however, my expectations dusted and we were asked to travel by the separate bus.
Agony hooked my mind. I felt very much alone, was over-whelmed by grief, and I expected sympathy. I found no sympathy; I saw only faces of my co-Hazara Shia students as badly mangled as mine. I looked around, hundreds of eyes were staring. Cruel, pitiless stares. Angry stares, unfeeling cold stares.
You are alone here! I murmured to myself and got on the bus provided. That day ended with utter chaos as we then landed to our places with a bang on our heads. Can they be this selfish? I could have never imagined.
Nevertheless, the next day’s sun arose with which I witnessed courage that ran chills up and down my spine because by then I had decided not to give up and stand against the melting pot of apparent Muslims, but actually terrorist jihadists attacking my faith and those cruel stares leaving me alone the previous day.
“University Buses are jammed for Alamdar Road (where Shia Hazara students reside) “was yet another blow within 2 days. This cracked up my nerves. No transport-No University-No Education, Period.
I frozed, dazed and pinned down. My mind screamed, No! Education is my right!
It was 18 June, 2012 and today it is 11 July 2012 and we are still sitting at homes as no transport facility is provided to us. Is there anyone who could show up a fraction of humanity? , Who could feel that we are also Pakistani and we have the rights to enjoy equal freedom in Pakistan?
Hear me O’ the failed Government; jailing us is not the solution, why don’t you jail those Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) rats whose residents are all known to you? They attacked on the University bus, you jammed it for us. They attacked the Passenger bus for Iran, you jammed that. Tomorrow they will attack us at our homes; will you then shift us to some mountain cage?
O the silent spectators/Government/ISI agencies , wake up, wake up from deep slumber, Today it is us, Tomorrow it will be your own daughters and sons , it is only the matter of interest – This is the only cry of my soul, a deep rumble, shattering the predawn silence.
I once had a dream, a dream of being among the graduates marching around the pavilion in caps and gowns – But being a Shia, it seems it will remain a dream.
Pen it down and know it, we are motivated to exist and resist before the inhuman acts of all the veiled and un-veiled terrorists.
I am leaving now to slay the foe
Fight the battles, high and low
I’ve grown my wings, I want to fly
Seize my victories where they lie
I want to shake the dead souls
though there are dangers , there are fears
Carve my niche, sew my seams.
A hopeful and hopeless Shia Hazara student.