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Saadi: a man in a hurry

January 30, 2007


THERE he was being buried under tons of mud. A man so full of life, always cracking jokes and trying to put a smile on his face even in moments of tension. Malik Muhammad Saad, Peshawar’s police chief, was leaving just about everyone in tears.

Saad was always in a hurry. Friends would taunt him and call him ‘hyper’. But that is the way he was — a man in a hurry, wanting to accomplish things. And so he left his admirers and friends to mourn his death.

Policemen die in encounters, but rarely has there been such an outpouring of grief as over the death of the CCPO, Peshawar, and a number of other police officials who died in the Qissakhwani suicide bombing on Saturday.

The usually gruffly, bad-tempered policemen were crying, for they had lost their colleagues.

A civil engineer by qualification, Saadi, as friends called him, joined the Police Service after a brief stint as SDO. He served in Punjab before getting a posting in the NWFP but, wherever he served, he served with aplomb. When he left Buner, as SP, people took to the streets to demand the cancellation of his transfer.

During his stint in Peshawar’s Municipal Department he served Peshawar saw a massive change — encroachments were removed and roads widened. In a word, he had earned the devotion.

Then however, came a bad patch in his career, when he suddenly lost favour with MMA-led government. He thought he had been punished for cancelling a construction contract worth millions of rupees in the Regi Model Town.

That was the time when the now former IGP, Mr. Riffat Pasha took him under his wings and made him the AIG Operations.

He was under so much pressure that he turned to chain-smoking. It was probably sensing this that his boss decided to give him a shoulder-promotion to make him a DIG, much against the advice of his friends and well-wishers. He took it though and soon found himself heading the Capital City Police.

That was Saadi, the police officer, tough and business-like. But behind the façade of a tough guy, was a gentle soul, interested in life, literate and music, always ready to crack a joke or recite a couplet.

Whenever, he was depressed or under pressure, he would call his long-time buddy and a fellow civil officer, Muhammad Azam Khan to sing a one-liner Pushto song: “Azama, da dunya she lewaney kala na kala.” Indeed, the world has gone mad.