Shahid Hayat

October 17, 2019


SHAHID Hayat Khan, the former Karachi police chief who passed away on Tuesday, was the best, the bravest and the smartest amongst us. He lived the life of a lion — a life full of adventures and acts of bravery and gallantry, and he enjoyed it to the fullest. He would rush to life threatening situations to help innocent victims and colleagues and consequently injured twice in the line of duty.

He made lots of enemies owing to his strong-headed and clear-minded personality. But he always stood firm against heavy odds.

Shahid, I take pride and feel honoured that during all these life threatening and challenging situations spread over the entirety of your professional career, you shared a lot with me — including some painful facts. Not many know that you would burn from within when you saw misery and injustices in society; however I never saw you losing hope, and I never saw you compromising on principles; you stood like a rock and never budged.

Shahid, you are a person for whose medical treatment many would happily spend their savings and assets, but that situation never arrived! The disease was too strong and spread too fast than we originally anticipated.

Would the situation be different if you were allowed to join your IB assignment in London in June this year? I don’t know. It is quite possible that the disease might have been detected earlier, but who knows…

Shahid, you know that my deepest love and affection for you took me to Aga Khan hospital in Nairobi/ Kenya in 2016; then to London in 2018, and now brought me from Nigeria to Aga Khan Karachi a few days ago. I was lucky to spend one full-day with you (Sept 27), a day which I will always remember. For next four days I waited outside your hospital room, hoping that I could spend time with you again.

Shahid, you always gave us courage, confidence, hope and encouragement even during our toughest time in Sindh 1995-1996. I am not sure if we will be able to impart to our next generation of professionals the skills, attributes and behavioural traits we learnt from you. However, I am confident about one thing — my bhabi is a great mother and she will impart to your two beautiful daughters what she learnt from you.

I am confident that your daughters will prove to be as smart, brave and courageous as you were!

My dearest friend, rest in peace!

Azeem Arshad


Published in Dawn, October 17th, 2019