Guest Blog by Naeem Sadiq
27 Dec 2008. Here in Heavens , it is all peace, quiet and tranquility. Today I specially requested for a copy of national newspapers and some clippings from the various talk shows to get an idea of what was going on after I left for my eternal abode. I simply wanted to know if the mission and the democratic ideals that I had struggled and sacrificed my life for, were being kept alive or had been put aside.
My first big disappointment were the national newspapers. They all carried some 16-20 half page coloured advertisements and upto 10 pages of supplements, ostensibly to pay homage to my departed soul. But it was most surprising to see that not a single person had paid homage from his own pocket. They had all used government funds (tax payer’s money) for paying this so called ‘homage’. I am no longer current with the inflation rates, but I guess the government conveniently ended up depriving the poor of some 20 million rupees, splashed over the newspapers of 27 Dec 2008. I would have preferred to see this money spent on building schools, dispensaries or drinking water plants for the rural poor. I was also sad to see that I was made the excuse for further damage to the fragile economy by declaring 27 December as a public holiday. They seem to forget that holidaying nations do not go many places.
The TV talk shows were interesting as they asked searching questions from important personalities. I was particularly intrigued to find that our security advisor embarked upon a long road drive from the Liaquat Bagh to the F-8 Zardari House, as soon he discovered that I was shot. For a long time he did not even know which hospital was I taken to. I am also at a complete loss for words when I heard this evening that Mr. Zardari knows about my real killers but would disclose the names only at an ‘appropriate’ time. The fact that even an FIR was not registered, an enquiry was not done and the matter was pushed across to the world’s least famous investigation agency called the United Nations is simply disgusting.
I also learnt that everything that could have a name has been named after me. Roads, universities, hospitals, towns, programs, coins and stamps. To be honest, I am not impressed by any of this cosmetic treatment. I would prefer all places to be preserved with their original names. Every one knows it costs nothing to rename public places. I would have been far happier if even a single school, hospital or charity was made from an individual’s own money and named after me.
There is much else to disappoint me on this 27th day of December. My Chief justice is still out of office. Musharraf’s law is still the law of the land and the PM is only a spokesperson of the President. Finally I would ask the Sindh Chief minister to at least take a look at the advertisements released on his behalf, to ensure that they do not provide a comic insight into his daily routine. It may be best to stop “We memorize her every moment” and get down to some more serious nation building errands.