Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Another Day, Another Shia Doctor Killed...

This is the second time in about a year that they have struck within our circle of friends. First it was the universally loved Dr Ali Haider, famous retina surgeon, our junior in college, son of the great Professor Zafar Haider and Professor Tahira Bokhari, killed in broad daylight in Lahore along with his young son. This time, its Dr Babar Ali, our friend and senior in King Edward Medical College; He was the DHO (district health officer) and head of the anti-Polio campaign as well as practicing physician in Hasanabdal (I am not sure but I think that would be DHO Attock, but I have to check that). He drove out of Hasan hospital at night after work and "unknown assailants" stopped his car and shot him 5 times. He died on the spot. No one has been nominated, much less arrested. 
Shia killing portals have reported his death. They refer to him as an "active Shia", with the best of intentions, but that is somewhat misleading. It may imply to people that he was an activist, a known Shia partisan in some sort of active political/sectarian struggle. But he was nothing of the sort. He was a quiet, unassuming, pleasant man. Friendly to all. Totally apolitical. Its reported that he sat on the board of the local Imambargah, but that should be totally unremarkable. He was a well known physician, a pillar of the community, why wouldnt he participate in the affairs of his local house of worship? But he was no activist. That is worth pointing out because it is important to realize that this is not some sort of war in which active soldiers from "both sides" are being killed.
He leaves behind 3 young daugthers (all in college or high school) and one son (second year of medical school). Countless friends and family were at his funeral and are at his home right now. But no TV channel or  major news outlet has reported on this murder. Such deaths are now too routine to make the news.
That should scare everyone.