Don’t close hearts because of Shamsul Anwar
The story ‘Waiting to receive pieces of daughter’s dead body’ aroused a series of vacillating emotions.
Shock and horror washed upon the public after hearing Shamsul Anwar’s heart-wrenching and soul-shattering story, affecting everyone who heard of or read it. People lost sleep over the desperate father’s horrific state and many even reached out to help him as much as they could. Those emotions were then replaced by more shock, but this time layered with deceit and betrayal as it was revealed that Shamsul Anwar’s story was untrue.
Aside from pointing out the obvious negligence and shoddy efforts of proper research on the journalist’s part, it is sad that in the times we are living in, stories of this nature are easily believable. The state of the country is such that fabricated stories, infused with horrors of the highest order, have now become part of our reality. Even if Anwar’s case was not true, kidnappings are rampant in this country. Approaching the government for help seems to be futile. They are all too busy playing the blame game, and passing the cushion of responsibility around, hoping it won’t land in their hands when the music stops.
Kidnapping is on the rise in Pakistan. According to the Child Rights Legal Centre (CRLC), the year 2010 saw a reported 2,582 cases of missing children in Karachi alone. Stories, which are not fraudulent like Anwar’s, are circulated frequently, and once again, these harsh realities are nestling themselves in our society.
As unfortunate as it is that our government is failing to remedy the law and order problem in our country, it is heartwarming to see throngs of Pakistanis gather to support the man. Even those overseas reached out to him to help as best as they could. It was reported that a total of Rs900,000 was deposited into Anwar’s account in the form of donations after his plea.
In light of this, I have one appeal for my fellow countrymen; all those who helped out and were affected by Anwar’s story should not close their hearts to others in need just because his story was proved to be fabricated. Those with good intentions should keep working together. Yes, we should be careful about what and who we help, but let this case just be a lesson learnt. Whoever stepped forward to help, do not feel fooled; instead, commend yourselves on your benevolence. We, the people of Pakistan, are very powerful. We are generous and kind and can make a difference. Let us not allow this event to seal our hearts towards charity and emotion as there are many out there who genuinely need our help.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.