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Syed Hamad Raza

Justice Denied 

By: Shabana Hamad Raza

It’s 14th May. 7’o clock alarm bells on Hamad’s mobile as it did on every morning. It has been a year since, but that alarm bell still echoes in my mind and shivers my soul.  It was time for him to wake up and go to office. But it was not an ordinary day. Instead of being on his bed, he was lying breathless at the PIMS emergency ward.  My hands being red with his blood as I carried him to the hospital. There he was lying in front of me, but could not hear my screams.

‘Hamad utho tumhay office jana hai, Haniah aur Hamza ko school chorna hai, Hayaan ko apni gaud mein uthana hai’. But he never replied. All had come to stand still for me. My throat choked as I could not hear my own self. My soul mate was silenced and so was my life. I wish that this day would not have existed in my life calendar. I start to tremble at every moment, whenever the thought of him not being beside me crosses my mind. In a short companionship of six years and nine months he gave me everything which a man can offer to his spouse.

Today after a year, I feel myself obliged to present tribute to this great human being, an obedient son, a caring husband, a loving and involved father, whom I knew as Hamad and the people remember as Syed Hamad Raza. On the fateful morning of 14th May 2007, in the midst of the judicial crisis, my husband Syed Hamad Raza, Additional Registrar Supreme Court of Pakistan was shot at point-blank range, in front of me and our three little kids at our then recently occupied official residence in Islamabad.  

Born in 1970 in Sharaqpur, District Shekupura after 10 years of his parents’ marriage; his birth was not less than a festivity. Being the only child he was loved by the entire family. As he grew up, his talents and skills kept on getting refined. He proved his mettle wherever he went, and left a lasting impression at every footstep. A proud Atchisonian, a gold medallist of Quaid-e-Azam University in International Relations, and lastly a highly respected DMG officer were few of his many notable traits. He was very well read and had a very fine taste for Urdu poetry. His friends praised his demeanour, his conflict resolution style, and believed that he was born to be a DMG officer. Shining all along his educational years, he joined Civil Services of Pakistan (District Management Group) in 1995.

The common phrase of putting service before own self is claimed by majority of us; lest it is proved practically. Hamad was no ordinary officer. With a God gifted intellect, and a clear headed vision; he had already set his priorities and established his goals. In days to come, he amply demonstrated his dedication and commitment to his service and nation. In an environment where Punjab domiciled officers are reluctant to serve outside the province, more specifically in tough environs of Balochistan, Hamad’s youthful exuberance proved to be an exception. He gave 11 years of his prime time to the people of Balochistan and delivered effectively where ever he was appointed. It was for that matter that the entire region remembers his services and was the most grieved ones on his sudden tragic death. From 1995 to 2006, he served as Assistant Commissioner Ziarat, Pasheen, Sibbi, Usta Muhammad, Deputy Commissioner Kharan, Director Health Department Quetta and Deputy Secretary to the Chief Secretary Balochistan.

His professionalism and personal qualities were acknowledged by all and sundry. This had less to do with his position, rather due to his genial temperament and positive attitude towards his subordinates and ordinary people who brought their applications before him. Although he knew his limitations as a civil servant, he was never afraid to pursue the problems of common people even if it rattled some higher ups. It is a fact that even being a DMG officer, he would often get money from his parents, which underscores his honesty and truthfulness.  I came into Hamad’s life in February 1999, as we got formally engaged. Subsequently we got married in August 2000. It was an arranged marriage, but the post marriage days were spent as if synonymous to years old association. Allah Almighty blessed us with three beautiful angels, our children Haniah, Hamza and Hayaan; the youngest one being replica of Hamad, both in expressions and behaviour. Hayaan was 11 months when he lost his baba and would hardly have any memory of his father ever. Everything around me today reminds me of him and the beautiful times we spent together.

After a long stay in Balochistan, in areas whose name I had not even heard of; we moved to Islamabad in 2006, as Hamad was given the prestigious appointment of the Additional Registrar of the highest court of law in the country. He was very happy on it; I was delighted too and felt pride as I saw my husband gradually progressing in his professional carrier. After a year of waiting for accommodation, we finally got it in March. We both were very delighted and were in the process of renovating and decorating our beautiful home. Little did I know that all would be ruined within no time. The skies fell on me on the doom’s day of 14 May. It left me with nothing. I felt myself robbed of everything I possessed. A future we both planned will not come to be, the dreams we shared will never be realized. I lost my soul. Today, I feel tempted to even question the meaning of my life. Why this happened?  And a series of other unanswered questions swirls around my head in an infinite succession.  Will they ever be answered, I really do not know.

A nation is great because of the way its people think. This is what I have realized over the past one year, as scores of people around the world saluted the professionalism, integrity and commitment of my husband. I am highly indebted to the elders and common people of Balochistan who came all the way to console me, and offered their support. I realized that there is no big achievement in this world than to win the hearts of the masses with your character and fair play.

I am thankful to all the people of Pakistan who have given me the respect of a Shaheed’s widow and consoled me in these times of grief. I have no words to express my gratitude to Hamad’s friends who have been more of a family all along. I have not lost hope. Will my husband’s death go in vain? No it would never. It shall invigorate the will of every individual who has ordained himself to be truly committed to this nation. Hamad, keep an eye on me, as I live through these years, filling my empty days with your thoughts. In my capacity, I promise you, that I will teach our children the values you practiced. Inshallah one day the ‘Hamad’ inside these three angels would show his presence carrying on the legacy of truthfulness, integrity and self belief, and would make you feel proud as you watch from heavens. Aameen . Just keep an eye Hamad. The world is not the same without you.


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