Mehzar zehra lives to see another day

Written by  Published by:Shiite News
Published in Articles
Wednesday, 13 February 2013

mehzarzehraThe worst is over. But the trauma will stay. The family no longer feel safe in the country they call their own. Political asylum is what they demand now.

A few days back Mehzar was taken out on a wheelchair for fresh air. A security guard at the hospital

passed by. He dipped his hand inside his pocket to take out a walkie-talkie. Mehzar shrieked and shrieked like there was no end, and nothing her mother said could console her. She thought it was a gun.

On November 30 last year, Syeda Mehzar, with her father Syed Nazar Abbasi, was heading to the Al-Murtaza School, when two men on a motorcycle opened fire at them. Mehzar survived with three bullets, her father died.

Two months later, out of the initial shock, she talks like any other 12-year-old. “Soon I will get back to school,” she smiles, “No it doesn’t hurt any more, but I want to go home now.” A tracheotomy tube is still inserted in her neck, which helps take out mucus which often collects in her lungs.

The bullets ruptured both her lungs and damaged her spinal chord too.

Mehzar is making slow but steady progress. She rests her little bottom on a hospital machine, and pushes back and forth. Continuous physiotherapy like this will give strength to her otherwise paralyzed legs.

When she was rushed to the hospital after the horrific incident, the doctors gave up, “You can only hope for a miracle,” they told her mother. And this is what happened.

She looks at her little daughter, stretching her hands with the physiotherapist. After 38 days on a ventilator she finally shows signs of life. In her hands she adorns colourful bangles; her hair is neatly parted with a hair pin. “I told you my Maula makes miracles happen. When He saved her life, He will sustain it too,” she says.

Mehzar remembers now, in bits and pieces, how her father died. “She never talks about it, neither have we told her,” says her mother. “I know she wants to hear the news from me.”

The government took care of the medical bill, Rs 2 million till now. “We are thankful to them.” The only thing the family wants now is to move out of the country.

“I can no longer live a normal life. If Mehzar will go to school in Karachi I will go crazy every time she leaves the house. My son; I don’t let him go out of my sight. My children are all I have.”

Mehzar’s brother has left the job he had. “I can’t leave Mehzar alone, it’s a tough time, as a family we have to stick together now,” says Syed Haider, her brother.

And despite her unwavering faith, this mother keeps telling her daughter to be strong and independent, “I might not always be there to look after her. She hates it when I tell her that.”

Statistics by Human Rights Commission Pakistan for Karachi state that there was 350 per cent increase in sectarian attacks in 2012.

Abdul Hai, representative of the commission, believes there is no end to the violence, until the government puts a complete ban on hate speech.

Police claim that Mehzar’s case could not be investigated due to lack of eye witnesses. The family, however, maintains that the incident took place in broad day light on main Shaheed-e-Millat Road and a Rangers mobile was parked a few steps away from the scene of crime.

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