Thursday February 29, 2024

Divine decisions

July 03, 2023

I would like to extend my heartfelt congratulations to those lucky people from all over the world who celebrated Eidul Azha in the holy land of Hijaz. Although it is the wish of every Muslim to perform Haj, the opportunity is given to only those lucky ones who are selected by Allah Almighty to appear before Him. I believe that when the decision is made in the skies, the paths are made for its spontaneous implementation on the ground.

While Pakistanis around the world celebrated Eid, they cannot shake away the pain caused by the events happened a couple of weeks ago. It is indeed a national tragedy that at least 350 Pakistani immigrants, who were trying to seek a bright future in Europe, had to face horrific death in the deep waters of Greece.

The details provided by the surviving Pakistani passengers suggest that the innocent people who set out on a journey to fulfil their dream of building a golden future were destined for death. The mafia of human traffickers is getting stronger day by day in Pakistan. Our people should learn from the tragic fate of illegal immigrants and prevent their loved ones from adopting such practices in the future.

In the past few days, the news of the sinking of the submarine Titan in the ocean also made headlines in the international media. Five of the world’s richest people were on a journey deep in the seas to see the remains of the famous Titanic ship that sank 110 years ago. The rescue operation started when the submarine lost contact. Several kinds of ships and aircraft from various countries equipped with scientific instruments began searching hundreds of kilometres of the North Atlantic Ocean but failed to trace the missing submarine. Finally, the death of the unfortunate tourists was officially announced.

Those who lost their lives in the submarine accident included Shahzada Dawood and his 19-year-old son Suleman Dawood, belonging to Pakistan’s richest business family – the Dawood family. It is on record that Shahzada joined the Engro Corporation Board in 2003 and during his 20 years of affiliation, he led Engro from strength to strength.

The Dawood family, as I know, is one of the few big business tycoon families of Pakistan renowned for the welfare of people since independence. After Partition, the family transferred all business to Karachi, expanding the scope of social and welfare activities through the Dawood Foundation. A number of initiatives to facilitate students for getting free education and hostel accommodation were taken. Three years ago, when the Covid-19 pandemic broke out, Hussain Dawood – father of Shahzada Dawood and chairman of Dawood Hercules Company – donated a huge sum of money to the country’s health sector to enable it to fight against the deadly virus.

Shahzada Dawood, who also had a passion for serving humanity, was also a trustee of a research institute located in California and a board member of the charitable organization The Prince’s Trust Global. According to the employees working in Dawood Hercules, members of the Dawood family follow high moral values in office and business matters.

Every month, the company holds a lucky draw where the winner gets Umrah tickets, and every year some lucky employees are sent on Haj along with their spouse or mother. The Dawood family also donates huge funds to the Sindh Institute of Urology (SIUT) to ensure world-class kidney treatment for patients.

Today, I would like to express my condolences to the boat accident victims and the Dawood family, with an emphasis that criticizing a person because of their wealth or poverty is reprehensible.

While inadequate facilities are being blamed for the boat accident, the sinking of the modern Titan submarine and failure to rescue is a testament to the fact that when a decision is made in the skies above, every person – despite all the wealth, power and technology – becomes helpless on earth.

The writer is a member of the National Assembly and patron-in-chief of the Pakistan Hindu Council. He tweets @RVankwani