Imprisonment of Afghan
Many of our friends were quite active in student politics. Here I will discuss about two of my closest friends who were not only active but were office bearers of students’ union. Ghulam Nabi Morai was the elected vice president and Muhammad Suleman Chandio was elected social secretary. I had never been a part of any student activity but it is said that the man is known by the company he keeps. I couldn’t have possibly disengaged myself from their company, and so reluctantly I accepted being a part of the union and was elected unopposed as the class representative.
The imprisonment of Dr Afghan
The imprisonment of Afghan had created unrest and widespread protests were held throughout the length and breadth of Sindh province and our college was epicenter of turmoil. Demonstrations were held followed by hunger strikes for release of Dr. Afghan. Many activists were arrested while observing hunger strike and the heat was at its peak with many others to follow suit, and they were all ready to face the consequence of being arrested. Ghulam Nabi Morai now the (owner of Mehran TV Sindhi Channel), Suleman Chandio and Tahir Soomro also decided to sit on hunger strike till death. I have already mentioned that I was not active in student politics.
Secondly, I had married only a couple of months ago, and so I told them that I had no intention to join them in hunger strike. But after all they were my friends and to show solidarity with them, I decided to sit with them for a while which was also a customary practice among the students. With this in mind I reached the old campus of Sindh University in Hyderabad city where my friends had lodged their protest.
Sitting in Arena
The moment I entered the arena, I heard a loud applause and before I could make out as to what was happening, I was profusely garlanded with roses and was picked up on their shoulders amid deafening slogans for release of Dr. Afghan. I sat adjacent to Ghulam Nabi Morai and whispered in his ears:
“What is all this Morai? I have come here only to exhibit solidarity with you and I have absolutely no intention to join you in your hunger strike.”
Cajoling me and trying to cool me down, he said:
“Hold on dear. This is a mob reaction and if you do anything contrary to that, it will have a negative impact.”
“Negative impact? What do you mean? You know fully well that I am not into students’ politics. Besides I am a married man and I am planning to go home right away. This is not acceptable to me and I am going.”
Ghulam Nabi Morai was visibly disturbed and didn’t know what to do.
“Don’t get panicky brother.” He spoke. “Let sentiments of the people die down a little and then you can quietly sneak out of this place.”
In spite of my best efforts, I could not manage to escape. I cannot say if anybody sitting there may or may not have noticed my pale face changing colors. But as they say, when in Rome do as Romans do, I had to succumb to the wishes of my friends sitting there. Whether I liked it or not, in a way I too had become part of the protest with Ghulam Nabi Morai the current owner of Mehran TV Channel