Hi, I wanted to share this post with you all. I recently visited Pakistan after 24 years and as much as I fell in love with the place, there is something very sad about our lack of compassion and care for those we see as unworthy members of our society. Today is the day I am finally ready to share another side of my visit to Pakistan. I thank Allah that Sarah Ayub was with me and she did the right thing to step up when so many (pretty much everyone around us didn’t care). Saturday morning Sarah and I sat together for breakfast, we planned to head towards Badshai masjid to soak up some history. Having been told by her brother “try not to speak in English its a dead give away your foreign” we sat in the taxi a good few minutes in silence. Only to giggle at my oh f*** I can’t-do this and start yapping away in English our common easy language. We arrived and were really looking forward to our day trip out from Manchester to Lahore super excited. As we walked around enjoying the sunshine we frolicked around near the ‘I love Lahore sign’ like two compete northern nutters feeling free and happy. We continued to figure our way out to the front of the mosque by asking anyone and everyone along the way on to figure out we were in the complete wrong part of the complex.
Turning a corner I recall seeing a man lay on the floor and I recall thinking ‘hahaha how cool he’s sleeping in the shade’. Something didn’t look right. As I got closer I saw he was struggling to get his breath out, his mouth was foaming it had gone all down his cheek. The smell was vile and he’d been there a few hours if not a day or so. I felt sick. I and Sarah just looked at each other ‘I think he’s dying’. We looked around us just below was a gate attendant and a couple of men who were stood near the car they arrived in. No one came to ask us what was going on. They noticed us as we could be heard conversing in English but that’s about it. Sarah went to speak with the car park attendant. He was a bit ‘meh…. He probably an alcoholic or druggie” luckily Sarah knew the number for emergency services. She coordinated this. Me I just stood there thinking I don’t have any of my PPE (personal protective equipment) from work all I could do was translate my training notes from English to Urdu in my head… Bhai Saab aap theek Hai aap ko meri awaaz aarahi hai? Of course he couldn’t I could see he was dying… Something in my heart broke at what then was going on below in the car park….
A group of people arrived dressed up including women and children they walked up and past the man lay on the floor to their left… didn’t even notice him not one person old or young looked. In fact, they stood a few yards from him posed for group photos and walked off around the corner never to be seen again. This is the value of human life…
Now you’d think both me and Sarah quite fierce women would be kicking off with them but no we remained to calm our focus was to keep an eye on this man and for Sarah to direct the ambulance to where we were. To our surprise, the ambulance arrived within 15 minutes which has to be the best part of this story and lifted the chap up took him away.
I am heartbroken to have witnessed such lack of humanity and in my line of work these matters don’t be complaining about Pakistan as a Pakistani if you are one of those that is stood in that crowd, or the men stood near their cars looking down on another human being dying because you see no value in his life regardless of whether it’s alcohol or drug induced.
And this is why something inside me changed again, something made me realized I can go around the world trying to help but change has to start within my heritage first.