Demand justice for the Sialkot brothers – Manchester did

Published: March 21, 2011
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Protesters holding banners in Manchester. PHOTO: ORGANISERS

Protesters holding banners in Manchester. PHOTO: ORGANISERS Protesters holding banners in Manchester. PHOTO: ORGANISERS Protesters holding banners in Manchester. PHOTO: ORGANISERS

More than six months ago, two boys in Sialkot were mercilessly beaten to death till their blood was drained from their bodies.

I needed to do something about this horrific incident. So, I decided to have a protest in Manchester.

This protest was against all the things that attempt to hijack our Pakistani identity. It revealed the reality about the brutal murder and it’s follow up, and raised the issue once again in a society where voices of indignation were silent.

Nayyar Khan, the organiser of the protest said:

Being a Pakistani means you do not just stand and watch as someone suffers in pain.

It means you join hands and unite under impossible circumstances as we have time and time again in earthquakes, floods, suicide bombings, drone attacks, and now in these dark times where public lynching has become the threat that hits nearest to home.

The Sialkot incident shook everyone’s conscience so immensely that people from London, Bradford, and Birmingham took part in this protest.

Between 120-150 people turned up. The participants were so enthusiastic and determined about this event that they even brought their friends and relatives.

They all brought cards and flowers for the brothers, which will now be sent to their family to be placed in the boys’ room.

In her interview on DM TV, one of the largest Asian television networks in the UK, Mrs Khan said:

When the brothers were getting beaten up, everyone around them was swearing at them and calling them bad words.

We wanted to write our feelings in the cards and post them to the family so these cards remain decorated in their room forever because these cards will be full of our love and prayers for the brothers and their suffering family.

One participant said:

I came all the way from London. My parents were not allowing me to come and I literally had to beg them to let me take part in this event because I felt like I had to. That’s the least I can do for these brothers and their family. I felt like I owe this to them.

Mrs Khan went all out to organise this protest that took place in Manchester on March 19, 2011. She faced negative feedback from the Pakistan consulate and other people who approached her on the day of the protest and tried to discourage her.

But the spirit and enthusiasm of the participants was so commendable that she did not hesitate for a single moment. She made sure the protest finished exactly how it was planned – with a prayer for the brothers outside a mosque.

Here is a message for all those people living in Pakistan: it is time for you all to wake up and fight for your rights.

It is time to remind ourselves, as responsible, educated, and civilised citizens that we have to raise our voices for all those who have suffered because of our silence.

We remain silent because we think that the injustice does not affect us, or that we have enough money to buy our rights.

hina.baig

Hina Baig

A psychology student and a student ambassador at the University of West of Scotland. She is interested in humanitarian issues.

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