Losing mother in festive firing
PTI worker becomes disenchanted with KP govt
PESHAWAR: Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI)’s activist Shahzada Khurram was confronted with three stark realities during the process of his mother’s death, who was hit by a stray bullet as supporters of winning candidates in local government elections resorted to celebratory firing.
On May 30, his mother Shahbana Shaheen, 55, was returning home after performing duty as presiding officer at a government school in the Gulshan Rehman polling station when a stray bullet hit her at the Ganj Chowk.
“We supported PTI in the hope that it would bring about a change in our socio-political culture, but it badly disappointed us,” Khurram said.He gave a number of arguments in support of his claim. First, he argued that PTI cannot claim to be different from the previous governments in maintaining law and order.
“We witnessed celebratory firing in the rule of the past governments and it is happening now that the PTI is in power,” he said. “Where is the change people voted for?” he questioned.“Nothing has changed. The PTI government couldn’t stop its own workers from celebrating their victory by firing into the air,” he complained.“Who should I hold responsible for the death of my mother? The chief executive of the province (chief minister), the inspector general of police or deputy commissioner of Peshawar who are supposed to maintain law and order?” he asked.
“They are the culprits, and their names should be included in the first information report. But the million dollar question is that who will bell the cat,” he added.“If this is the change, curse be on it and those who own and support it!” Khurram remarked with profound grief and sorrow.
Second, he said the much-propagated ‘achievements’ of the PTI government in the health sector weren’t in place when he rushed his injured mother to the Lady Reading Hospital, which is the largest tertiary care hospital in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The Accident and Emergency Department of the hospital had no facility of Computerised Tomography (CT) Scan and the patient had to be shifted to another building.The path from Accident and Emergency Department to the CT scan machine was uneven and bumpy that complicated the case of patients with serious injuries.
But the miseries didn’t end for the ill-fated family. The patient was shifted to Neurosurgery Intensive Care Unit. However, to the surprise of many family members having affiliation with the PTI, they were told that the patient couldn’t be treated in the ward.
“We were referred to a private hospital because only one out of the five ventilation machines at Neurosurgery ICU was working,” Khurram recalled.“Is this the change brought in the working of the hospitals as claimed by PTI Chairman Imran Khan and his government in the province?” he questioned. “The slogan of change is just a ploy to hoodwink the people,” Khurram alleged.
He said it took more than an hour to get oxygen equipment-installed ambulance from the hospital administration and that too after approaching two local journalists.In the meanwhile, they also contacted Rescue 1122 to provide them the facility of oxygen-installed ambulance to shift the critically-injured schoolteacher to a private hospital in Hayatabad. But they said they were not allowed to shift patients from one hospital to another.
However, after an hour Khurram succeeded in getting oxygen equipment-installed ambulance from the LRH administration. The injured schoolteacher was shifted to the private hospital at around 2:30 am where she succumbed to her injuries at 2:55 am.
Third, Khurram and his family are also critical of the Elementary and Secondary Education Department, the local MPA and education minister.None of them bothered to contact the bereaved family let alone take the pain to visit them to offer condolences.
“My mother served the Education Department for 18 long years and died in the line of duty. She was performing election duty along with her primary job to adorn our future generation with education,” her eldest son Zohaib Hassan pointed out.
He said it would not have brought his mother back had the government officials or elected representatives attended her funeral. “At least it would have provided solace to our family. It would have given us satisfaction that her services were being recognised,” he remarked.