Patriotic, graceful, sharply dressed, eloquent, polite and charming, this was my first impression of Shuja Khanzada. I first met him as a colleague in the Provincial Assembly of Punjab in 2008. I was twenty seven years old and Shuja Khanzada became an inspiration at first sight. His careful selection of words, composure, integrity and infectious optimism were something to look up to for newcomers in the infamous field of politics.
Shuja Khanzada was one of the politicians whose presence made me believe, and repeatedly assert that there are several sincere, patriotic and honest people in our assemblies, only they fail to get much public attention owing to lack of scandals and being devoid of moral or ethical turpitude.
Shuja Khanzada was not an alien imported from another planet or another country. He was a Pakistani, as are the corrupt elements of our society. His life and death are a reminder for us voters to send more people like him to the assemblies.
In the wake of terrorism and our country’s effective engagement in the war thereupon, Shuja Khanzada held the most significant responsibility in the Punjab cabinet. A responsibility he fulfilled to the best of his ability. His death is a testament to his sincere efforts.
He was neither sitting behind a bullet proof glass, nor fifty feet away from the people who elected him and whom he served. He lived among them and died among them. He was the interior minister of Punjab, law enforcement agencies were under his command, yet he did not surround himself with armed public servants. He was aware of threats to his life, and no he was not callous. He put the lives of his people before his own. He was brave, courageous and sincere to the people who depended on him for eradicating the animals that we know as terrorists.
The cowards responsible for his death may be celebrating this as a victory. But in Khanzada’s death resonates a loud and clear message from the peace loving people of Pakistan: we still have some Sibghat Ghayyurs, Fayyaz Sumbals, Ch. Aslams, Bashir Bilours and Shuja Khanzadas among us. They don’t hide behind brainwashed suicide bombers, they stand tall in the open as a display of their faith in Allah, calling you out from your holes where you hide. Your last will have been long sent to hell before our last patriot becomes a victim of your shameless cowardice and barbarity.
Shuja Khanzada was leading the fight being fought for us. He risked and lost his life so that we could live in peace. His death will not be forgotten, but more than that, it needs to be remembered. The terrorists need to know that they may have killed one more patriot, but have reinvigorated patriotism in thousands of us.
After many years I felt an air of optimism and patriotism on this 14th of August. I may be wrong, but the fire of national spirit seems to have been reignited after all these years. Let this attack on our patriot brother be fuel to this fire. Lets stand behind those who continue to fight this menace, and push forward those who show any reluctance. Let not all the Khanzadas have died in vain. Above all, lets stand firm and united against any and all forms of extremism.
May God bless Shuja Khanzada’s soul…
God bless Pakistan..