My grandfather died two days after casting his vote

Published: May 18, 2013

He voted for his posterity, for a change that Pakistan deserves, a change that was long overdue. PHOTO: AHMED BAIG

On May 13, 2013 my maternal grandfather Abdul Majeed, died at the age of 85. He was suffering from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. (COPD). As a result of this illness his lungs were not able to function properly and fill in the required amount of oxygen. This became the eventual cause of his death.

Not only was he bedridden and totally immobile since late March, he had been finding it increasingly difficult to breathe since the beginning of May. However, despite his condition, he actually took the trouble, fought severe pain and found the strength deep inside him to get up and vote.

His polling station was Government Shipowners’ College in North Nazimabad. His sons carried him to the car, hoping that the security would allow them to park inside and then they might be able to carry him to the polling booth. But as suspected, the security personnel refused to let the car enter the polling station. At this point, my family had given up. My dejected uncles told my grandfather that it was impossible for him to vote, but, he thought otherwise.

Without any deterrent in his intent and spirit he emphatically told his sons that he simply has to vote.  Upon hearing this, the security personnel told them that a lady on a wheelchair had gone inside to vote and they might be able to ask her for a favour when she returned. They did as they were told and the youth made way for him. Now, to cut the story short- my grandfather voted.

Just two days later, he passed away, but went with the peace of mind that he had cast his vote for a better Pakistan for his grandchildren.

It is important to understand here, the amount of pain nana must have endured on Election Day. Just the thought of it gives me goose bumps. For some, the fact that my grandfather voted might be ordinary and nothing unusual, but I can assure you that it was a tremendous effort on his part and was truly inspirational.

Sometimes I wonder whether it was the passion to vote that kept him alive till the elections, but I’ll never know.

After election day, he felt sicker than before; the effort put in and energy spent to vote got the best of him. Initially, I thought of asking one of my family members if they knew who he voted for but then I realised that it doesn’t even matter.

He voted, and that’s all that counts.

I know that nana had an idea of ‘a change’ and he must have staunchly believed in somebody to the point where he risked his life to stamp a ballot paper.

At the age of 85, he still believed that a single vote could bring about a change; living in North Nazimabad he ought to very well know the dangers surrounding this procedure, but that did not stop him from voting.

Furthermore, I personally believe that he must have had some sort of an idea that he wouldn’t be around to vote the next time around, or he might not even live to see the elected government’s performance but that didn’t stop him from casting his vote either. I am fairly certain he voted for his posterity – for a change that Pakistan deserves. He could have easily turned his back on Pakistan two days before his death but he chose to give it one last shot, in case it mattered.

If a person on his deathbed can be so optimistic about Pakistan do we, who might have decades ahead of us, have any more legitimate and rational reasons not to want the best for our country?

So if you live in NA-250 constituency or anywhere where there might be re-polling do not even think of snubbing the re-election. Go out again and use your vote! It may or may not affect the overall outcome, but you would have still played your part in bringing out the change that you so desperately desire.

Re-vote, because we owe this to Pakistan!

Read more by Ahmed here


Ahmed Baig

An Australian based Pakistani, who happens to be a jingoist. He feels agitated about the ongoing melancholic and ever deteriorating state of Pakistan. He tweets @ahmedbaig85

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Azar Ali Zain

    May his soul rest in peace, and be able to see betterment in the country from heavens.
    Respect and prayers for the deceased. May his dreams come true.
    And what a strong message of hope he has left for us!

    Agar hai jazba-e-Tameer zinda
    Tou phir kis cheez ki hum mayn kami hai

  • javaria

    inspiring story i must say Allah may give ur grandfather good place in heaven Ameen :)Recommend

  • Sanaa Khalid

    I’m at the loss of words, which rarely happens to me. I commend your grandfather’s endurance till his dying breath. May his prayers and struggle be fruitful for our country. Aameen. Recommend

  • smssr84

    Inna lillahi wa inna illaihi raji’un

    ……….. The real face of Pakistan!….Recommend

  • ManofSteel!

    May God bless him, and his vote brings the “change” he so desired for. Recommend

  • Wamiq

    May Allah bless him with all his bounties in the eternal lifeRecommend

  • Rehan Ali

    inna lillahe wa inna ilaihe rajiyun
    An inspiring readRecommend

  • Ed

    Salut Salut Salut…speechlessRecommend

  • nasir soomro

    it was classic write-up.Recommend

  • Affan Ali

    May Allah rest his soul in peace! truly inspirational..Recommend

  • Hana’a Iqbal

    Inna lillah-e- wa inna ilaihe rajiyoun

    May Allah bless his soul and grant him janna’h. May Allah bless you and your family sabr-e-jameel at your loss.

    Your grandfather is an inspiration for all of us

    JazakAllah for sharing thisRecommend

  • Zawar Munawar Saleemi

    May his soul rest in peace and may God grant him Jannah.

    We all are rewarded on our intentions and efforts, not the outcomes. Please lets all work together to keep the legacy alive.

    May Pakistan be the country we all wish it to be.Recommend

  • Tabinda

    One of the most inspiring election stories I have come acrossRecommend

  • Historian 1

    My salute for your nana.Recommend

  • sohail osman ali

    A moving story of one very brave and great man’s desire to vote. May his soul rest in eternal peace and may God grant his family the strength to bear this irreparable loss. May he continue to be an inspiration to all involved in the democratic processRecommend

  • Sahar Pirzada

    Inna lillahi wa inna illaihi raji’un. So sorry for your loss. May your grandfather rest in peace. His spirit is something we can all learn a thing or two from. Recommend

  • javeria mateen

    I like ur article Ahmed bhai may allah give grand father a good place in heaven…………Recommend

  • Mariya

    Inna Lilla hi wa inna ilaihee rajeeoon.

    Reading about it gave me goosebumps too. Allah unn ki maghfirat kare. Ameen. May the toil and sacrifices he and his generation endured for this land twice in their lifetime bear fruit for us in the future.

    Who says it was all about naujawan vote? Our respected elders have led the way. May those who followed in their path continue in their struggle to bring peace and prosperity to the nation.
    Pakistan Paindabad!

    Hamesha. Insha Allah.Recommend

  • Parvez

    Never underestimate the ‘ power of one ‘…………..brilliant.
    Kindly accept my condolences of the passing of your grandfather.Recommend

  • Ali

    May Allah give your grandfather a good place in heaven.. Salaam to your Grandfather..Recommend

  • KK

    Tremendous man and a great way to honour him. Thank you for Sharing this one, he sounds like a real champion!Recommend

  • Badar Rais

    Baig Sahab didn’t expect to see you blog here !!! Good to see that you used your grief to inspire others . :)Recommend

  • farheen

    simply breathtaking story…May Allah grant him the highest of the jannat. Just reading this has motivated me to go and vote for Change tomorrow.Recommend

  • Pakistani

    Inna lillahi wa inna illaihi raji’un

    What a lovely write-up. Indeed, we have no reason to be pessimistic about the future of our country as long as we believe in it ourselves and put in our hundred percent!! Recommend

  • Sadia

    May he rest in peace.

    This brought tears to my eyes. We can’t ever doubt the love of your Nana’s generation for this country.They endured a lot for a new homeland. It is now up to us. You are right.One must never doubt the power of one. Please everyone in NA 250 go out and vote. It doesn’t matter who wins or loses you must register your will.Recommend

  • http://HighHell Luciferous

    Voting can be lethal.Recommend

  • Ayaz Munir

    Those who cant vote came out to vote, those who didnt want to vote came out to vote, this was the power of this election.

    But I am sad that rigging was a stronger power than this specially in Karachi, all the enthusiasm , all the sufferings of standing for hours under scorching sun light and waiting to vote, all that ended with great disappointment.Recommend

  • Alec Gibson

    May I am just a Westerner but I find this article and the responses just reeks of nauseating sentimentality. Not Westerner would write such sentimental drivel.Recommend


    Inna lillah-e- wa inna ilaihe rajiyoun

    May Allah bless his soul. May Allah bless Majid Sahib’s family and give them strength to bear this great loss.

    JazakAllah khair from A resident of Allama Iqbal TownRecommend

  • Max

    Really inspirational story. May Allah bless the departed soul and grant him abode in Jannah. Ameen.Recommend

  • Brandsynario

    A very brave and inspirational story if every Pakistani gets such courage there will be no stopping of Pakistan to become one of the best Recommend

  • Stranger

    Mashallah! what a touching incident. May his soul rest in peace.Recommend