An unapologetic open letter


This is a sad day for me, because I’m full of expression, grief, anger and guilt, yet no words escape me. It feels as if I am trapped in an abyss, created by my own voice and words. Most importantly, however, I am fearful. Fearful of the mysterious force that dominates our nation today; the force that silences all those with voices. So, this goes out to all those who speak; who spoke and remained silenced; and all those mustering the courage to speak, too.

We lost Amjad Sabri on 22th June this year. His family grieves as they try to adjust to the irreversible void. The nation mourned with them, the loss of a Qawwal, a true human- friend, a gentle soul, and most significantly an irreplaceable human being. The motive of his murder is unfathomable to the whole nation- except the marksmen, of course.

If you ask me, I’d say that he – as well as – the hundreds of others who were killed mercilessly, are better off this way. You know why? Because they are safe wherever they are. Unlike us, of course. We have feared sending our kids to school since 16/12. We are reluctant to go out on festivals since 27/03. It is so heartbreaking that the endless list of our fears has a tragic history.

The impending question here, however, is that what makes Amjad Sabri different/superior to all those hundreds of innocent people killed in Karachi? He was an icon, sure, but aren’t all lives equally important? The answer lies in this simple statement- nothing ostentatious, just like the man himself- he wasn’t just an icon; he wasn’t just a Qawwal. He was a gem- one that we lost in our battles of proving who the stronger one is. Unfortunately, he was just a causality of this proxy war; the war that has been fueled by the blood of harmless, innocent Pakistanis for many years. A war that is doomed to continue until we make it stop; until we stop electing autocrats in the name of democrats; until we bring forward the ones that hide behind veils and commit such heinous crimes that one would shudder even speaking of.

Or else, the same ruling class is going to rule us, from behind different masks but same underneath. And what will we get in return for our cowardice? We will be shoved, with the dead bodies of our loved ones, in our faces!

So, I keep asking the same question, over and over again: how many more brothers, fathers, sons, daughters, sisters, mothers and Pakistanis are we willing to sacrifice in the name of fighting terrorism? How many more Amjad Sabri’s can we afford to lose?

When are we going to stand together as a nation for reasons; other than cricket and funerals? When are we going to start making wise decisions for our upcoming generations? Surely, none would want their children to live in a state of chaos, terror and mistrust. Let us join hands and start taking hold of our lives, instead of being puppets to the forces that are encouraged by our weaknesses. Let us make Jinnah proud for what he created. Let us be Pakistanis, for once, and nothing more.

Sibgha Haider



  1. This editorial article is a master peace as it highlighted the system deficiencies which made our lives “as standing on pile of destruction powder”. The the writer started to write is a unique style. It’s conclusion is also very much appreciated as it converged on the national problem I.e terrorism.
    I have no appropriate words to praise this article.

    • The system is disfunctional neither by accident nor by neglect, it is made disfunctional by design by successive elected autocracies, voted in to power again and again with out end by an equally disfunctional and confused electorate. The people are confused, dysfunctional, no resolve, no purpose, no aim and no focus. They prefer to suffer in silance and inaction, they cry endless tears to highlight their victimisation, thier sorrow, their poverty, but they have so far remained devoid of courage or the will to unite and fight their oppressors.

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