An ir­repara­ble loss

Pakistan Observer - - OPINION - FAKEHA FAIZ

The bru­tal as­sas­si­na­tion of the renowned Qawwal Am­jad Sabri has cast a deep shadow of gloom all over

the na­tion. The country has lost a leg­endary qawwal/singer who won nu­mer­ous ac­co­lades for the na­tion for his soul­ful Qawwalis. His tragic death sent shock waves amongst his fans all over the world. Need­less to say, his voice will echo in the minds of peo­ple in the realm of Sufi mu­sic and Qawwali for long times to come. Hav­ing said that, his sud­den demise raises ques­tions on the lack­lus­ter sit­u­a­tion of se­cu­rity in the met­ro­pol­i­tan city of Karachi where tar­get killings have again reared their head. Al­though, the se­cu­rity sit­u­a­tion has im­proved over the pe­riod of time, yet the high-pro­file ab­duc­tion of Sindh High Court Chief Jus­tice’s son and now the as­sas­si­na­tion of this harm­less artist, do raise se­ri­ous ques­tions on the per­for­mance of LEAs and po­lice. In­no­cent peo­ple are sprayed with bul­lets in the broad daylight any­time any­where by some “un­named men”. The se­cu­rity cam­eras and other sur­veil­lance in­stru­ments are found in not-so-func­tion­ing-con­di­tion at key ar­eas of the city. The city has be­come a boil­ing caul­dron of po­lit­i­cal con­flicts be­tween dif­fer­ent par­ties whose self­ish power mo­tives are cost­ing the city its peace. Oper­a­tion Zarb e Azb’s suc­cesses not­with­stand­ing, ter­ror­ists have found their sleeper cells in ur­ban and ru­ral ar­eas and can cre­ate tur­bu­lence any­time with­out fear and re­morse. More­over, the cul­ture of in­tol­er­ance that has taken roots in our so­ci­ety has to be coun­tered. Even the seem­ingly un­con­tro­ver­sial and in­nocu­ous peo­ple whose only pur­pose is to make other peo­ple happy, are made the vic­tims of vi­o­lence. Dis­sent is seen as an in­cite­ment to vi­o­lence. Any­one who doesn’t fit in our set stan­dards of “right”, is con­demned, ridiculed and threat­ened to kill. Tol­er­ance and en­durance have be­come by­gone words in this so­ci­ety. Am­jad Sabri al­ways car­ried the mes­sage of love, good­will and tran­quil­lity. It is re­gret­table that even such lov­able peo­ple aren’t spared from the de­monic de­signs of the en­emy and fa­nat­ics un­leashed their reign of bar­bar­ity on this harm­less soul. The loss of Am­jad Sabri is in­deed a terrible in­ci­dent. In Pak­istan where the space for Sufi mu­sic and Qawwali is grad­u­ally shrink­ing and very few artists ac­tu­ally pur­sue this yon­der of mu­sic, Sabri kept this alive with his earnest ef­forts. This star, al­beit is now van­ished from the hori­zon, yet its glory would con­tinue for the times to come. Con­do­lences are ex­tended to the fam­ily for this ir­re­place­able loss. —Via email

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