It is the evening of 7th August 2014. There is muted silence all around me. Somewhere in DG Khan a man has been arrested. In Lahore, a child and his mother have been abused whilst trying to defend the forced entry of the police inside their homes. On the streets of Model Town, I can hear protestors demanding the police to remove the containers sealing Model Town and to re-open water supplies. In Raiwind, the hushed thieves discuss their frantic plans to travel to USA without getting caught up in the nuisance revolution. There is uproar in Punjab.
In an average house in Model Town holding a not-so-average family, there sits an extraordinary man watching with deliberated patience the unfolding chaos all around him. He is aware of all that is happening, of what is being said against him. He has the list of information before him of all his workers who have been arrested so far. He also knows how many have been martyred. He can see with his foresight and wisdom that there may be more deaths yet to come, despite his strong distaste for violence. He has not slept much. In the early hours of the morning, the hushed thieves sent their raucous bandits to arrest him, perhaps even to kidnap or murder him. He has been kept awake by constant phone calls from various political parties vowing to stand by him and to protect him and his people should anything happen. He has had to deliver urgent press conferences and interviews as media corporations try frantically to get in touch with him and perceive the extent to which the police could hurt the innocent, unarmed civilians like they did before on 17th June 2014. He has heard the accusations on the TV channels, accusing him of derailing democracy on a foreign agenda and running away to Canada. He knows that that the very same people who accuse him are the same people who fear his coming. Still he watches and waits in silence.
Alone in his room, he is preparing for battle. Donning a suit of armour made with prayers from people well beyond his time, he awaits the time when he will need to leave his home and take to the streets to bring revolution in Pakistan. He listens with careful restraint, taking a mental note of everyone and everything that is being said so that he can serve justice accordingly and swiftly when the time comes. He has no fear. Instead, he sits and watches his workers panic for his safety, bemused at their sometimes fearful, sometimes hopeless state. He knows what they do not know. In the peaceful silence that surrounds him, he balances the Dhu Al-Fiqar in his right hand and gently twirls his rosary beads in his left. With a soft smile, he prays for his imminent success.
by Mariya Qadri
Team Operation Pakistan