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Revenge of silent warriors

Hafeez Khattak


The writer is a senior journalist and columnist.

I started my journey from Karachi to Qila Abdullah, a small town in Balochistan with two friends in an eccentric car. As we passed the toll plaza and ordered tea, my friend showed his admiration for the car. The driver remained silent for a while and revealed that this car belongs to the late father who took great care of it before he was martyred but he does not have the same dedication.

When we asked him how his father was martyred, the driver sighed and took a deep breath. He looked at his friend and asked how long it took him to return home. He replied that they are returning home after twelve years and came to Karachi for a farewell visit and are going to meet their old friend in Balochistan.

When the driver stopped the car at a hotel, he revealed that the father was a pious, upright and truthful man. There was a business in business dispute after which he was martyred in the same vehicle. Police failed to arrest the killers and the case was put on the back burner. He was martyred in the same vehicle and in the same driving seat. He took a long sigh and looked up at the sky then said Qila Abdullah is far away and they should continue the journey. After this move, there was silence in the car for a long time

Another traveller revealed that when he was in primary school, there was a farm on the way to school and a well a short distance away. One day while returning from school, they heard the oxen behaving rather unusual. When they reached there, the owner lying on the ground covered in blood. The elder was rushed to a nearby hospital but succumbed to his injuries. No one knew about this killer for a long time. The farmer was also killed in the presence of his oxen. Years later, when we returned from another city, the village elders told us both were killed after being struck by the oxen.

My friend who had come from abroad also narrated another incident. He went to office in his vehicle when he saw another vehicle parked in his spot. After a few hours, there was a lot of commotion and he was told that his car had hit someone. A man came between the car and wall and died on the spot. When he rushed there, he was stunned because the place where the car was parked was a bit steep. He had parked the car and pulled the handbrake. How did the car start moving? Police came and resolved the matter saying the brakes were weak and the man was crushed to death.

An elderly companion gave some bizarre words of wisdom.  He said the two incidents which he heard about the oxen killing the farmer and the man being crushed by the vehicle are important and have a lesson. The oxen saw the master’s blood dripping in front of them and the killer running away so they struck and killed him.

The same thing happened with this car. The owner who took great care of him was killed inside the car that no one had seen, and then when the car saw the killer, it started moving and killer of the owner was hit by a wall. He further said that the oxen were alive but unable to speak. These are like the silent warriors who are present around us but are still beyond the reach of the common man.

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