Posts Tagged ‘pervez masih’

I have written on him before, but I want to write more. [click here to read: Daewoo Gang-rape and Pervez Masih]  — To the unsung hero of Pakistan!

Heroes come in different types, heroics vary with the impact they disseminate. In our society, for some Ali Zafar is a hero, for others Atif Aslam and maybe, Ali Azmat with his neo-con story. Some might consider war-heroes of ’65 to be the real heroes of Pakistan and some call Mullah Omar or Osama Bin Laden — heroic personalities par excellence. A particular segment of the society thinks every man in uniform is a hero, and apologizes with the not-so-heroic deeds they do.

To better comprehend what “stuff” heroes are made of it maybe necessary to describe what a hero is not. We see how Television glorifies athletes and celebrities as being heroes, but are they? To me, nada! Possibly role models in their respective fields but not real-time heroes. The title heroic is not given by occupation, rather by achievement — and to me there isn’t a bigger achievement than saving human lives. The icing on the cake, or the crown of heroes should go to the man for whom it wasn’t a call of duty and he acted on his own.

Such a hero was born in Islamabad to a Christian family. [Here, also the point to be kept in mind is the discriminating laws against religious minorities in the country].  He was a janitor by profession and he swept floors for a living. Imagine how sweeping floors would have made him heroic in true sense of the word but like said above, a hero is not dependent on his occupation to be called a hero. This 40 year old saved the lives of hundreds of girls at IIU (Islamic International University) when a suicide bomber tried entering the girls’ cafeteria having over 400 female students.

“There would have been dozens of deaths had the suicide bomber not been blocked by Pervez Masih,” said Saifur Rehman, a senior security official of the IIU.

“The attacker clad in a black burka was heading towards the cafeteria for female students at a time when they were having their lunch. I felt something wrong as no girl student, even one who observes veil, wears a head-to-toe burka on the women campus. I intercepted the bomber, who shot me, and I fell down but Pervez, who witnessed the scene, understood the designs of suicide bomber and held him at the entrance of the dining hall where the blast took place.”Mohammad Shaukat [a survivor of the attack who was shot by the bomber]

 “Pervez Masih is now a legend to us,” says 20-year-old Sumaya Ahsan [Student of Int’l Islamic Uni, Islamabad]

Why was Pervez Masih not given the premier award for bravery – Nishan E Haider? Or is it only reserved when you are on sarkari payroll for showing heroism?

Forget recognition in form of a medal like Nishan E Haider or Tamgha E Jurrat/Basalat, the government promised his family 10 lakh Rupees for having lost the only bread-earner in the house . This happened nearly one year ago and not till this date [20th July, 2010] as I have reconfirmed and re-checked, the announced grant has been paid to his family.

Some members of civil society of Islamabad tried to live up to their duty of honoring the real heroes of their country and collected an amount to be distributed to his family but the media doesn’t play videos in his remembrance, nor is there any pressure on the government to at least release the amount they promised. Recognition of what he actually did in saving lives of scores of women is so less that society doesn’t even remember his name.

‘A nation that forgets its heroes is a nation destined to be forgotten’. – Calvin Coolidge.

– Syed Ali Abbas Zaidi

Masih's daughter with the picture of her father

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The rape of Daewoo’s road hostess in Sialkot was a shocking incident. More shocking it became to me, when I got to know that the poor girl had two Daewoo staff members with her in the car from which she was abducted. An armed guard and a driver, both of the “cowards” did not bother raising a single voice for the girl who was taken away to be ruthlessly raped all night and thrown in a street of Sialkot.

I read this amazing letter to editor in the news today, it mentions three incidents which deserve our attention.

A few months ago, this unsung hero of Pakistan, Pervez Masih who worked as a janitor at International Islamic University saved the lives of hundreds of girl students in the cafeteria where a God-forsaken suicide bomber was trying to enter. I met his family, a friend of mine, Maham Ali with some “awaken” members of the civil society of Islamabad worked hard to raise funds for this unsung hero, whose bravery went un-noticed, maybe because he was not wearing a uniform and was a Christian “Safae karnay wala” ?

After interacting with his mother and his wife, I came to know Masih was a normal man. A normal “common-man” of Pakistan who had extra ordinary courage to stand up and give his life for his Pakistani sisters. I call him normal because this is what “normality” teaches us, abnormality was witnessed in Sialkot when Daewoo’s sissy staff did not do anything to avert a rape-attempt.

The writer of the above cited article also mentions a shameful incident in the history of Pakistan, when a blind girl was raped in Sahiwal. He writes:

Since Ziaul Haq’s Islamisation and its discriminatory laws against women, violence against women in all its forms has been on the increase. The absurdity of these laws can be gauged from the harrowing case of a blind girl from Sahiwal in the 1980s. She had been gang-raped. But as she could not produce four pious witnesses, nor identify the rapists, she was convicted of adultery and sentenced to death by stoning.

It is not difficult to teach us Pakistanis “normality” – for we know what needs to be done and where are we going wrong. But our apathy, ignorance and lethargy has brought us here after 62 years.

Quaid would be turning in his grave if he got to know his “Pakistanis” were letting women schools burn, letting women treated inhumanely and killing innocents in the name of God, exactly what he warned us against in his address at Constituent Assembly “Pakistan is not to be a theocratic state, ruled by some priests to accomplish their divine mission” and some odd cases like the Hero of IIU blast, Pervez Masih, were going un-noticed.

family of Masih

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