The next morning, several newspapers had the news about Wali Daad in their headlines and the whole story of this cruelty was published. The column of Qandeel was included in the editorial of Asghar Sahib’s newspaper, some other journalists had also written articles in different newspapers. In the late hours of the morning the news was spread to some other cities as well. The human rights organizations immediately came to press club, they could also gain media attention in this way and didn’t want to miss the chance. Some of the political parties also ordered their members to participate actively in this case, they also wanted to get benefit of it and to prove themselves better than other parties. Whatever it was, but the name of Wali Daad was being called in the city at many places.
After observing the reaction of the news in public, before afternoon few T.V. channels also started telecasting news about Wali Daad and then just in an hour the story of Wali Daad had caught the fire.
Qandeel was extremely happy. A change like this so rapidly, she could not believe. Unfortunately, she could not go to office today. It was the last date for submitting the assignment of Dr. Hassan; Rohail came at her home very early in the morning, perhaps he had an idea that she is showing extra carelessness towards her studies; so, he reminded Qandeel that she has to submit her assignment today in any case. She also was feeling like that, therefore went to University along with Rohail.
For many hours, sitting in the library, she kept making her assignment; Seema and Humaira helped her a lot; perhaps without their help she could never be able to complete her assignment on time.
She was in the library when got a call from Maryam on her mobile and she told each and every detail to Qandeel. She wanted to fly towards press club and to see the crowd of people around Wali Daad, who were spreading his voice throughout the country or those who were protesting to pressurize the government to help Wali Daad or those who were trying to take the case into the court in a legal way; she wanted to look everything; wanted to take in the happiness completely which she had got as a result of that small effort she had made for Wali Daad.
But there was too much work and they have to submit their assignments till two O’clock in the afternoon; controlling her, she kept moving her hand and mind but in real her heart was still there at press club.
All of them submitted their assignments together at two O’clock and now some enjoyment was must. Several hours’ hard work had fatigued everyone and therefore they wanted to have some fun in any condition. She kept saying nah nah but who cares about the voice of a parrot in a place where drums are beaten? So, they took her with them forcefully. They had lunch in a restaurant near University, a light fun and also updated Qandeel about the arrangements of the get-together.
At half past four in the evening, when she reached home, was tired very badly. Each and every joint of her was aching due to continuously working for several hours in library; fell asleep and just opened her eyes when the door was knocked. She got up and looked; it was nearly sunset; don’t know for how much time she had kept sleeping.
Rubbing her eyes, she opened the door; Yousuf Mairaj was smiling, standing at the door.
“So, my dear daughter was resting.” He had looked her red eyes.
“Don’t know why but I was feeling very tired, Baba.” Yousuf Mairaj came inside and kissed her forehead; perhaps she seemed to be like a little innocent girl as usual.
She washed her face and when brought the tea in the room, Yousuf Mairaj was watching news; she also started to watch the news silently. The news about Wali Daad was also included; almost everything that was telecasted was what Maryam had already told her but she kept listening and watching with interest. Still neither any reaction was shown from government side nor was any assurance provided for helping Wali Daad.
“Qandeel, come here, sit besides me.” Yousuf Mairaj turned off the T.V.
She sat besides him on sofa.
“Whole world knows that my daughter has done something very special; if somebody is unknown then it’s only me…..who even doesn’t know that with saying little verses, my daughter has started to write a beautiful prose.” Qandeel just smiled.
Yousuf Mairaj picked the newspaper from the table and gave it to Qandeel.
“If Kamran and Hamza wouldn’t have told me, I could never know because most of the times don’t get time to read newspaper thoroughly.”
“I am sorry, Baba. I wanted to tell you but could not.” She was embarrassed.
“But how did Sir Kamran and Sir Hamza know? Most probably this is done by Maryam; doesn’t understand whether explain her a million times. Just have written a column not did a heroic thing but she has the habit to make announcements in the whole world.”
Yousuf Mairaj smiled.
“My dear daughter, this depends on the style of thinking and analyzing. Your ability which has very little importance to you, it is not necessary that it will have less importance to others as well, Qandeel. Sometimes you use your ordinary ability in a way that it affects people around you unusually.” Her face had a strange expression; was not in the mood to hear praises.
“Leave it, Baba. Just pray that may Wali Daad can get Justice immediately and the whole problem can be solved. I am worried for Wali Daad, five days have been passed and he is still on hunger-strike and don’t know how many days it will take.”
The next day there was no class, perhaps if would have even then she would never go to University; she wanted to go to office in any case and to observe whole situation herself.
She and Maryam left for office together. They were in rickshaw and perhaps would have moved directly towards office if the long queue of jumbo size cars opposite to the press club and the crowd of the people wouldn’t have got their attention.
Maryam asked rickshaw driver to stop the rickshaw and both of them got down. After few minutes they had reached near press club. Making the space between the crowds they moved ahead and reached a place from where the view was now clear. Some colleagues of Maryam were also there; they went and stood besides them, asking about the matter. They told Qandeel and Maryam that Nadir Siddiqui and Habib Siddiqui have come along with some of their political friends and well wishers, perhaps want to find out a way towards the peaceful treaty.
Qandeel could not recognize them with their faces, therefore Maryam started to tell her the names with different signs.
“Two of them who are in shalwar suit and standing near black Corolla, they are Nadir and Habib. The one who is little bit tall than the other is Nadir, and the other one is Habib.” Now she started to call the names of others around them and Qandeel started to recognize them as she knew their names already, only was recognizing now.
The caravan consisting of different people was now crossing the road. Slowly and gradually they were moving towards the plot where Wali Daad was sitting right now.
“Are you looking the man who is talking to Nadir, he is the elder son of Sikander Shaikh; I don’t remember his name right now and he……..” Qandeel interrupted her.
“Who is he, Maryam? In blue jeans and white shirt, who is moving behind all with a strange slow walking style?” Don’t know why the eyes of Qandeel were stopped on that guy, he was looking very young in all of them and perhaps that was the only reason due to which Qandeel gazed him.
“Oho. So, this gentleman is also here.” Maryam perhaps had looked him now, “I was thinking that why none of the members of Laashari family is present here? I could not see him earlier; he is Ilaaf Laashari, the only grandson of Aadil Laashari and the only son of Qaiser Laashari; came back just few months ago after completing his education in England; I have heard that he is very intelligent and multi-talented; paints and sings very well; is an architect professionally, however he has also done M.B.A; age is probably twenty four. Some people think that Aadil Laashari wants him participate in the next election from his own seat, perhaps this is the first step in that case.” Maryam had kept speaking. She was silent; what interest she could have in these all details, she just felt sad. Even if he was really multi-talented even then he could only use this talent for a single thing, for dirty and benefit loving politics; what else could be expected from the offspring of politicians.
Qandeel looked; he was walking with both hands on pockets of jeans unconcerned and very carelessly. Perhaps Maryam also noticed this.
“Did you see his pride and disinterest? Walking like he is just walking in a park.” Maryam passed the remarks. She was still silent.
He was a tall, handsome and smart guy with sportsman like physique; had seriousness and carelessness on his face.
They were now talking to Wali Daad; perhaps were giving him threats or trying to convince him but Wali Daad was refusing.
Qandeel looked; Ilaaf is standing aside silently. Neither for a single time she had seen him, saying something nor observed any expression appearing on his face which could be helpful to have an idea.
Qandeel and Maryam were standing at a place from where they could not hear a single voice; just were having ideas with the body language of the people there.
And then what happened that was expected; nobody could win against Wali Daad. All of them had tried one by one and perhaps now they were tired.
Qandeel looked Nadir standing and saying something to Ilaaf Laashari. In reply for the first time, his lips moved. Don’t know what he said at which Wali Daad moved his head up and gazed Ilaaf. Perhaps it was a threat at which Wali Daad looked him for few moments smiling and then bent down his head again.
“Rest of the people even tried to convince Wali Daad but have you seen Ilaaf? He didn’t feel the need just threatened him and went away. What need he would have to convince a farmer, like his father and grandfather he would also be proud on his power.” Maryam had criticism and hatred in her tone. Qandeel turned her neck and looked Maryam then looked Ilaaf Laashari.
She didn’t feel hatred for Ilaaf Laashari, just felt sad. Offspring of a politician whether would have grown up outside the country in a different environment, always have selfishness, pride, egoism, stubbornness and politics of personal benefits in their blood and they even never tried to make their blood pure from these impurities themselves. Qandeel could only feel pity for a man like this.
They had moved back in their cars in the form of a caravan.
Qandeel and Maryam had also gone to their offices.
For a while, she thought about Ilaaf Laashari, and then as she was busy in the work along with watching the progress of Wali Daad’s case, she forgot him completely.
In her office, now each and every single update was being reported so that they could be able to provide a detailed progress of that case in the newspaper next morning.
Everybody now knew about the meeting of Nadir Siddiqui with Wali Daad; the news was immediately added as breaking news in the next bulletin of Maryam’s channel.
She was busy till the afternoon; had started to type the final report of her project; wanted to submit the project report this month in any condition.
On their way back, they came again towards press club. She wanted to talk with Wali Daad; for last two days she could not talk to him in detail therefore didn’t want to miss the chance but was disappointed on reaching press club.
The members of a popular human rights organization had been gathered around Wali Daad; having play cards and banners in their hands, they were raising the slogans for Wali Daad and protesting as well. Crowd was massive due to the presence of media related people.
Both of them waited for a while but when saw that those people are not leaving Wali Daad, they had to return back being unsuccessful.
Qandeel had to go to University next day and she was afraid that if she would have to stay in University then perhaps she would not be able to meet Wali Daad. Thus, also for a girl like her was difficult to access Wali Daad now; she was amazed, just three days ago the man to whom very few people have come to meet, now talking to that man for just two minutes peacefully was difficult for Qandeel. It was an art of media; she was well aware with the power of media; just had prayed that the profession with which she was linked, May that profession could always play a better role for the country and the Nation.
Next day around eleven in the morning, after the class of Dr. Saeed she was walking in the corridor along with Humaira and Rohail, when got the call from Maryam. She stood aside and started talking to Maryam.
The tone of Maryam was full of excitation. She surprised.
“Tell me, Maryam. What has happened that you even can’t talk very well?”
“Don’t ask. The courage, determination of Wali Daad and our efforts have brought a result. Chief justice has taken the notice of this news himself and ordered Nadir Siddiqui to be present in the court and go through the answer.”
“What are you saying, Maryam? I can’t believe it.”
“I didn’t believe it. Just few minutes ago the Supreme Court has given a statement; I just watched the breaking news on T.V. I was out of the office for an interview, just came home and now am leaving for the office, so that I can see the whole situation myself.”
“Maryam, I will go along with you.”
“I will be late, Qandeel.”
“No, I am just coming at your home in half an hour, will go directly to the press club then.”
“I just have said……..wait for
She told Rohail and Humaira that she is going home but came directly at Maryam’s place. Maryam was waiting for her on the gate. They came directly towards press club in rickshaw. There was a massive swarm of the cars and people on press club road.
She knew that all would have been gathered on this victory of Wali Daad and would have been telling him this news. Perhaps till the time, people would have made Wali Daad to end his hunger-strike; at last the purpose of the hunger-strike was fulfilled.
Due to the traffic jam, they got off at some distance to press club and now was walking towards there. It was twelve exactly. The burning midday of second October was scorching her face but right now she just wanted to see Wali Daad for a moment, didn’t want to think about something else.
The crowd was more than expectations. They came ahead making space in the crowd.
Suddenly, Maryam looked at the cars standing at the road opposite to the press club.
“What is this ambulance doing here?” Maryam had worries in her tone.
“Don’t know, let’s move to the front.” She was now asking people to take aside and give them space to move, in this effort she was getting the pulls from all sides but didn’t care about it.
They reached at the front in few minutes, but she could not see Wali Daad anywhere.
There were some colleagues of Maryam along with cameras. Maryam in this rush, moved towards them and she….. She had seen Ghani at some distance; she came towards Ghani.
“What happened, Ghani? Maryam has told me that Chief Justice has taken notice about the cruelty happened with Wali Daad. It should be celebrated here now; you should ask Wali Daad to end his hunger-strike now. He is so weak; hunger-strike is dangerous for him.” She said everything in a single breath.
Ghani looked her with a plain face but didn’t answer.
Qandeel felt sweating on her forehead and temples of head; she was feeling suffocation and agitation in this huge crowd.
“Ghani, I am asking something to you.” She felt a raise in her tone.
“What has happened? Why don’t you tell me?” Thorns were prickling in her throat.
Before Ghani could answer her, the reporter standing few meters away, holding mike in his hand, looking towards camera, started to telecast the news.
“Viewers, as you know that right now we are present outside the press club where a farmer named Wali Daad, was sitting on a hunger-strike for a week.” Qandeel turned her neck and looked the reporter.
“He had only one demand that either government helps him or Supreme Court makes his case to be registered and the land snatched with fraud should be given him back.” She moved two steps ahead at the right side.
“We should tell you that today at eleven in the morning Chief Justice of Pakistan has noticed the case himself and ordered Nadir Siddiqui to enter his answer into the Court. But who can stop the happenings like this. Wali Daad who was sitting on hunger-strike for last seven days, is not among us now to see his victory. Exactly forty five minutes ago when people related to media came here to tell the news to Wali Daad, they came to know that Wali Daad had gone into the state of unconsciousness due to the intensive fasting. When doctors were called and they tried to recover him then people came to know that Wali Daad is not in a state of unconsciousness, in fact he has passed away. Wali Daad has been died.” Her ears had become senseless.
She kept looking the reporter with empty eyes. He was still speaking but she was not able to understand anything else. Just a single sentence remained in her mind, “He has died.”
She felt her senses freezing. She moved her eyes up and looked the sky; the Sun was exactly above the head; the sunlight had burning and light also; the time of setting had been started, don’t know either it was the decline of Wali Daad or the decline of all those who had considered loss of Wali Daad as their victory.
“Wali Daad has been died.” The echo of this sentence was still in her mind.
The sweat, flowing from her temples of head to her neck was cold like ice even in this scorching sunlight and was trying to freeze her blood flowing in her jugular vein.
She looked Ghani coming towards her. Maryam was also coming towards her.
“Qandeel, are you alright?” She heard Ghani saying.
She wanted to answer Ghani but could not move her lips.
“Qandeel, what happened to you?” She gazed Maryam with empty eyes.
She felt like her tongue has been stuck to the floor of mouth.
“I think she is not well. Staying here in this situation is not better for her; take her to the home, Maryam.” Ghani was saying to the Maryam.
She wanted to move ahead; wanted to tell Maryam and Ghani that without looking Wali Daad for a moment, she won’t go back but she couldn’t do anything; even couldn’t move from her place.
“In this condition and in this crowd, how will I take her to home alone?” She heard Maryam saying.
“My car has been parked at some distance. Somehow, bring Qandeel to the Suleman tower, I bring the car there. We will drop her at home.” Ghani saying to Maryam vanished in the crowd and she couldn’t stop him even.
She felt like she is not able to say anything; she has become dumb. She wanted to shout; wanted to say to Maryam, “Wali Daad has been died.”
Maryam came near and took hold of her arm; she turned her neck with difficulty and looked Maryam.
“Qandeel, you are not feeling well. Let us drop you at your home.”
“No Maryam, don’t take me now. Let me see Wali Daad for the last time.” Words were not coming out of the tongue, so she requested with her eyes, but perhaps the request of eyes was not important for Maryam at the moment.
Maryam dragged her; she felt movement in her motionless body but that movement was due to Maryam. Maryam was taking her away. She didn’t want to go.
As a last effort, she turned and looked the press club. Her left arm was in hold of Maryam; using her whole power, she raised her right arm towards press club; she wanted to stay. It was strange that she had raised her hand in a direction and she was going towards another direction.
She wished to free her arm from Maryam’s hold and to run towards press club; but she was incapable to do that.
She looked people were now looking her; they had strange impressions in their eyes. People were giving space and Maryam was taking her, dissecting the crowd. Press club was going away from her sight. She turned her neck and looked Maryam with a sense of powerlessness and then looked Ghani coming from a side.
Her other arm was now held by Ghani; he was opening the back door of the car. She wanted to cry, wanted to appeal; wanted to beg Ghani and Maryam for the last time that let her to see Wali Daad only once, but her body was not in her control.
Maryam and Ghani made her to sit in the car. Maryam was sitting besides her still holding her arm. Ghani started the engine.
She felt an ice penetrating into her nose and her eyes; the icy coldness of the air was slapping on her face.
She wanted to inhale but it was not possible to inhale properly with the ice moving in nose and throat. She had never felt herself so powerless in her life.
“Maryam, please call Qandeel’s father and inform him that we are bringing Qandeel with us; he should reach home as soon as possible.” The voice of Ghani came from a long distance.
Maryam was making a call on mobile, and then she started to talk to somebody.
“I have told Yousuf uncle. He is at home, sir Kamran is with him. Both of them will control Qandeel; only they can do this.” Maryam was sitting besides her but her voice also was not very clear.
She wanted to think but the mind was completely blank, just a sentence was echoing.
“Wali Daad has been died.”
The vibration around her was ended.
Ghani opened the door and held her hand; Maryam and Ghani had made her to walk in the same previous manner.
This was her street; her home was in that street, but she didn’t want to go home, she just…. She was now taking steps with so much difficulty; tiredness was penetrating inside her body slowly and gradually.
Maryam was knocking the door.
Door had been opened; she looked sir Kamran.
Maryam and Ghani made her to enter from the door.
With their support, she moved few steps ahead and reached at courtyard.
There, both of them were standing; the two faces which were reasons of peace for her.
She looked Baba coming close to her.
She was now free from Maryam and Ghani’s hold.
She could now see Baba’s face; he was taking her face into his hands.
She kept looking him.
His hands were hot. She felt a hot wave penetrating into that ice like coldness.
“Qandeel, my child.” She heard that voice full of Love somewhat near.
“Nothing has happened; everything is alright; don’t worry. Wali Daad has not died; he is alive.” His voice was shivering and eyes were wet.
Qandeel felt the ice overwhelmed her, was melting.
“He is alive, in your heart, in our heart; like a hope, like a belief; and he will live there forever.”
A mist was covering her eyes.
Hot water was flowing on the cheeks; the ice was melted.
“Body’s death is not death in real. Belief’s death is death in real and belief of Wali Daad has not died, then how can he die. He is alive, Qandeel.”
That hot sense of touch was providing her heat.
Somebody had suddenly squeezed all energies from her body; she felt it impossible to stand.
She moved and kept her hands on Baba’s chest; the kind one had taken her into his arms.
Somebody was striking her head with hammer and with each strike her mind was drowning into darkness.
She used her whole power and looked Baba.
His eyes had water of Love; the shivering body had provided her the courage for a moment. She felt like she can speak perhaps can speak the sentence at least, which was echoing in her mind and she could not say it.
“Baba.” She felt her tone trembling.
Darkness was over whelming her eyes; she opened her eyes with full power and looked Baba.
“Wali Daad has been died.” The sentence came out in Irregular breaths, incomplete words and had taken away her rest of the courage with it.
Darkness was spread and in this darkness she felt her fragile body sinking into a ditch.