A ray of hope for Baloch children was cordoned off when Muzaffar Hussain Jamali – son of Pakistan was murdered on May 17, 2012 by foreign funded militant groups in Balochistan. But what for?
♣ For working non-stop for Baloch youth and their education. Poor children – street vendors and slum dwellers – who could not otherwise dream of educating themselves much less sponsor the process per se.
♣ For unwaveringly believing that education, and not weapon, should be the fate of Baloch children.
♣ For waving Pakistan flag at Kharan Model Public High School.
♣ For his undaunted love for Pakistan.
♣ For refusing to lower the national flag despite repeated warnings.
♣ For committing the major sin of living a life of Pakistani nationalist and not a hyphenated Baloch nationalist.
Popularly known as Meer Sahib, Muzaffar Hussain Jamali was a proud Baloch who dedicated his life to education. Endeavouring to spread knowledge, the entire 38 years of his life are exemplary and motivating for anyone who nurtures patriotism in his heart. Having had an association with books right from the outset, Meer sahib knew that the Baloch nobility would never let the underprivileged arm themselves with a weapon that was more powerful than warhead – education! Come to think of it, education which teaches national and not Baloch tribal values in Balochistan? Who would allow that?
Fearless though, Meer Sahib formed Pakistan Patriotic Forum that aimed at redirecting the youth that grew up under the sound of guns and bullets. He really made a difference and influenced people who came to join him as a force from all over Balochistan, some from areas as remote as Sarawan and Jhalawan. Meer Sahib later assumed the office in Kharan Model Public High School and for the first time in Balochistan history waved Pakistan flag swinging to the tunes of national anthem.
This was it.
A Baloch undoing. A line has been drawn.
Militant groups grew restless in Balochistan.
He was warned.
His school was mobbed as a sign of warning.
It was time to take the action!
Meer Sahib was silenced to death on May 17, 2012 when he was on his way to school. His school. A place where he had to smile broadly while joining the students humming the national anthem that was so dear to his heart.
Pak sar zameen shaad baad…
Pak sar zameen, which he lived and died for!
Muzaffar Hussain Jamali is gone. With him, the voice of truth and enlightenment has dimmed. Or perhaps lost forever?
Fact: As per the National Economic Survey, Balochistan is home to the lowest literacy-rate population in Pakistan i.e. 34% – compared to the national literacy rate i.e. 52%. More than 90% of girls remain unschooled. The province has the least number of educational institutes with the largest number of them being used for purposes other than education. In addition, it has the smallest percentage of private school with lowest ranking in Gender Parity Index (GPI).
Insurgency maybe one of the reasons of the education crisis in Balochistan but the major reason is poverty, sheer lack of girls’ school and acute shortage of teaching staff. Aliani, a member of Public Service Commission who has been struggling for women’s rights & running a high school for underprivileged girls in Quetta for over 40 years, is hopeful that with the attention, focus & funds of the educated class from the rest of the country will bring a change.
Tribal and Nawab mindset maybe one small hurdle in the education propagation but with the effort of national activists from rest of the country, Balochistan can crawl its way out of the darkness. The real question is how much help are we ready to extend.