Please, not Sabeen. And no, that won’t shut us up

I have lost a personal friend and hero. I have not stopped crying since hearing the news of this brutal murder. In my last note, I had said to her: “May you live to thrive and flourish and blossom and continue to serve your country and your fellow humans with the same sensitivity and humility.” Alas, my darling Sabeen, you have given your life for your cause. It seems Mustafa Zaidi wrote this sher for you my love:

Mein kis kay hathoun pe apna lahoo talaash karoun

Tamaam shehr ney pehnay huay hain dastanay

(Translation: On whose hands should I look for my blood? The entire city is wearing gloves)

SabeenCoffin-board, heavy stone,

Lie on her breast,

I vex my heart alone,

She is at rest.

Beena Sarwar in her blog Journeys to Democracy:

In shock and grieved beyond words at this horrible news that our dear friend and comrade Sabeen Mahmud has been shot dead, her mother in critical condition in hospital. They were returning from the event Unsilencing Balochistan (Take 2) held at The Second Floor (T2F) [NOTE: the facebook event link posted above mysteriously disappeared then reappeared]. It was tremendously brave of Sabeen to allow the event to be hosted there given that Balochistan is essentially a ‘no go’ area. Even as we grieve our friend we refuse to be silenced. “She always spoke out. We must honour her legacy of speaking out,” said Mohammad Jibran Nasir when I spoke to him just now. “We will not let Balochistan be a no-go area”. “They want to make us into a nation of intellectual cripples, no discussion, no dissent, no dialogue,” said Mona Kazim Shah. “How many will they kill?”

This intellecticide cannot continue. Sabeen… all-inclusive humanist, only child of her single mother, cat-lover, a gentle and compassionate soul who did all in her power to create spaces and platforms to give a voice to the less fortunate, the vulnerable, the under-privileged, those whose for whom her heart beat. Rest in peace my friend. I can’t believe you are no more. We will keep speaking out. We will honour your legacy.

More here.