LAHORE: Months after his death in Sweden, journalist Sajid Hussain was finally laid to rest on Friday in his hometown of Nizrabad, Kech, in Turbat district of Balochistan.
On March 2, Hussain suddenly went missing from outside his hostel in Uppsala. A month later on April 23, his body was found in the Fyris River.
Although the body’s custody was given to his family on June 1, it took two months to reach Pakistan.
The family has confirmed that it took the government two months to issue the NoC. Several attempts were made to acquire the NoC as soon as possible but it was issued on the last working day before Eidul Azha.
“The family went through the worst trauma, first by the news of Sajid going missing, then him being discovered mysteriously dead. This prolonged process of delaying his burial has caused even more grief to them,” said a source close to the family.
“He has left behind two little children who for the longest time could not be told about their father’s death because there were no signs of the body coming home,” the source said.
The source added that apart from the family’s grief, it was disappointing that the government had not done much to acknowledge Sajid Hussain’s perplexing death in another country, despite the fact that he was a well-known and well respected journalist who had worked in mainstream outlets.
Hussain was working part-time as a professor in Uppsala University, teaching Balochi language and working on an English and Balochi dictionary.
He was also chief editor of an online magazine Balochistan Times.
Hussain was known to his friends as an honest and dedicated journalist, who wrote bravely and boldly on controversial issues. He made his name while working as a desk editor in The News in Karachi.
Mehlab Naseer, Hussain’s friend in Sweden, said it was somewhat relieving to know that he had finally been taken back to Balochistan, a place Hussain always regarded as home.“Now he stays there forever,” she said. “The son of soil is finally home.”
Hussain was buried in a graveyard in Nizrabad among several unmarked graves on August 7.
Published in Dawn, August 9th, 2020