Boycott Nirala!

Posted on December 5, 2006
Filed Under >Darwaish, Food, Law & Justice
97 Comments
Total Views: 40856

Darwaish

As I was reading the sad story on ATP about an official government car, reportedly in the use of the Syed Safwanullah, Federal Minister of Housing and Works, crushing to death a 6-year old child, another incident which is even more tragic occured in Lahore and surprisingly got very little media attention initially.
According to Daily Times:

The case dates back to November 26, when Waseem Sajjad Malik, a cellular phone-company employee (resident of 292/293-B, Punjab Corporative Society), lost control of his car and hit a tree allegedly because of two racing cars near Masjid Chowk in Defence. One of the two cars (LWJ-700) belonged to Faisal Farooq, son of a prominent confectioner. Waseem’s two-month old baby, born five years after his marriage, went through the screen and fell about 20 feet away. Waseem, his mother and his wife were injured. Waseem’s baby went into a comma right away. Passers-by caught Faisal Farooq, who fled when he saw that they were calling the police. The victims were admitted to hospital with multiple fractures and the baby died shortly after that. Defence police registered a case against Faisal Farooq.

Faisal Farooq’s family, close to senior police officers, intervened. Allegedly, Faisal Farooq, his uncles Mehmood and Maqsud, and five people carrying weapons went to the National Defence Hospital on November 29, where they threatened Waseem’s brother-in-law Mutahir and asked him to withdraw the case. They locked Mutahir in a room, allegedly, beat him up, and fled. Senior policemen then directed the Defence ASP to make sure another case was not registered, but another group of police officers also intervened and got a case registered.

A large number of people have received SMS messages on their mobile phones asking them to boycott the products of the confectionary chain owned by Faisal’s father. “Faisal Farooq, son of [the owner of a confectionary] hit a car while racing, killing a baby and injuring a family,� the message read. “Faisal and a squad of gunmen then threatened the family,� it says, “that if a case was registered, he would kill the rest of the family.� The SMS requested the readers to boycott the confectionary responding to the demand of “the soul of an innocent infant and the tears of his parents�.

Officials of the cellular phone company in which Wasim worked denied that they were involved in circulating the SMS. “How can we stop people from sending messages to each other on the subject?� the public relations manager said. People were free to SMS anybody they wanted, he said, and the company had not initiated the campaign. Police spokesman declined to speak on the issue and the CPC was not available for comment.

The confectionary, of course, is teh famous Nirala Sweet House.

I am not sure what to say about this. Incidents like this happen every now and then and only just a few become known to us. Waseem and his family have now got media attention and I am sure they have full support form Mobilink which will help them in a painfully slow, complicated and costly legal battle ahead. But in most cases, unfortunately, rich and powerful easily get away with murder and this happens everywhere.

The most unfortunate part of this story is that the baby is dead. Whatever we say or do now is useless in a way and nobody can bring him/her back. It also makes me wonder whats the logic of blessing someone a child after so many years and then take away in split second? Only Allah knows the best. We can only offer our prayers to the victim’s family.

Lets hope that all of us in Lahore will keep the pressure on, even if it means Boycotting Nirala. Lets exercise our basic right to protest against injustice which we have long forgotten as a nation. I know most of us feel powerless to prevent injustice but lets not fail to protest atleast. Myself (on Lahore Metroblog) and other bloggers have already taken up the issue (here, here, here, here and here; alternative viewpoint here) and the press is also begining to take notice (here, here and here).

Please call or email your friends and family in Pakistan – in Lahore, in Karachi – and ask them not to buy at or accept gifts from Nirala. I do not know if this will make a difference. But at least we would not have sat and done nothing. And who knows, maybe if enough of us boycott Nirala it will hurt these people where it hurts them most; in their wallets.

Darwaish blogs on his own blog la vie en rose and also contributes to Metroblog Lahore, where this post first appeared.

97 responses to “Boycott Nirala!”

  1. no one says:

    Isn’t it time to use seat belts and specially car seats for such small baby in Pakistan.I think the traffic security ppl are more responsible than the nirala guy, people sit with a day old baby in front seats without a car seat i have seen small kids sitting in laps driving the cars.. why cry then?

  2. Hamza says:

    Farrukh (or anyone at ATP for that matter): Can you possibly link to a news article about Faisal Farooq being taken to prison?

    I remember this story making headlines a few years ago, and wanted to know where things had ended up…

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