Friday, February 18, 2011

The Hidden People of Waziristan.

As I work at my welfare clinic for poor people, an eye opening experience happens. When one reads it in a newspaper or sees it as a news item on television screen the news of people killed in drone attacks, houses broken by bombing become just images of far away places that you can not relate to. The faces of the women and children are never seen.These unfortunate people are the hidden people of  Waziristan. Life in this once beautiful area was apparently peaceful. Everyone knows that the Afghan Jihad destroyed the peace in Pakistan. Zia ul Haq favored the US and opened Pakistan to all sorts of militants or would be militants. Osama Bin Laden came with tons of money given to stoke up the fires of Jihad in a hitherto peaceful land, burning the quiet serene peacful statue of love and ancient wisdom. Peshawar and Swat were ancient Buddhist towns. The nearby Taxila University , a symbol of a old and prestigious culture. All this I had read in books and and seen destroyed in front of my eyes.But today as clear, sparkling teardrops fell like diamonds so precious from the blue, blue eyes of a retired havaldar, tall ,handsome but now weak due to poverty and more because of  sorrow, I realized that this tragedy of immense proportions is not just a news item or an article in the newspaper.I realized that it is neither a strategy nor a policy nor a lifeline for Pakistan to keep the dollars coming in to feed our forever sick economy. Nor is it a Midas Golden touch to keep the parasitic elite and the corrupt sycophants forever in power. Nor is it a small price we pay for someone else's war on terror.
It was the truth of agony, the pain of longing to go back to their beloved towns. To run and plough their own fields. To drink the pure water of their springs. To watch their children play happily . To love and kiss their women in peace.
The dawn of reality of the hidden women and children hit me hard. Like tons of ice cold slapped on my face.
The ugliness of my made up face started showing in my mirror of false vanity. These women and children are displaced from their homes.They are dispersed in small shanty town slum homes in crowded cities like Karachi and Peshawar and others. They live with their poor relatives who are mere laborers or chowkidars and have families of their own. They have left their homes with one dress on their bodies. Now they have no homes. They have no food. They have no medicines. In these ugly shanty slums they are just the shadows from Waziristan , forgotten, uncared for, despised, degraded and never helped.
Their few male counterparts for many are widows and orphans are trying to feed them along with their own families. The government has forgotten them, the religious pretenders and hypocrites have forgotten them and the media and the people have forgotten them. Ironically he and many like him have served the army for ages. They are the hidden people of Waziristan. These women and children. There is no Watan card for them. There is no Government support for them. The humanitarian agencies do not enlist them for they are the lowliest on the rung for humanitarian help. Who will take their stand. Who will voice for their grieviences and rights. Who will champion their cause.Who will stand up for the women and children of Waziristan. The diamond tears shone bright in the blue , blue eyes of the handsome Chowkidar in a navy blue impeccable American jacket and I bowed my head in shame. He gave me blessings for a few measly medicines that I gave him but I have hope of redemption. Perhaps he saw the deep true love in my heart. Please help the women and children of Waziristan. Please help them wherever you find them . They are near you , in the shanty slums. Give them money, clothes, medicines and food. Above all give  them Love . All you can. Let the light of love and dignity shine back on their faces.

1 comment:

  1. meher, your blog made me cry real tears, how much shame is there on our nation, when these dignified graceful
    people have been thus displaced and their lives destroyed, for what purpose? it is a dark dark time for us and shame on those who call themselves muslims.... may god help you in your endeavours