Hira, Jijrat Aur Khidmat
Reviewed by Sajjad Shaukat
The new book, “Hira, Hijrat Aur Khidmat,” (Hira, Migration and Service) authored by Dr Asif Mahmood Jah, the Chief Patron of the Custom Healthcare Society, is actually the story of the tragic events connected with the people, migrated from North Waziristan Agency, and services of the people of Bannu including those of its vicinities and Pakistanis who helped in their settlement.
Provision of immediate medical and relief supplies to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) of North Waziristan was the main objective of the teams of Customs Health Care Society. Seeing this emergent need, the Society established three-free medical clinics, one in Miryan, Bannu which is located only one kilometer away from border of North Waziristan, one in Bannu district and one in Lakki Marwat. These clinics have been providing medical facilities to the IDPs as well as the local population since June 1, 2014. Thus, more than 1, 50,000 patients have been treated. The Society also set up a medical dispensary in Bannu. Besides distributing relief goods of millions of Rupees among the IDPs of North Waziristan, the medical teams were immediately rushed to Bannu with ambulance, mobile hospital and relief goods to help the IDPs.
Dr Asif Jah said that the teams of his Society visited Bannu for seventh time, as the figure of the IDPs crossed 700,000, and his workers had spread in various parts of the district, to provide them relief goods and medical facilities. He added that the Society which provided free medical facilities to the helpless persons including elderly, women and children, would continue supplying free medical facilities to IDPs till their return to homes.
In this regard, the book takes cognizance of the millions of migrants who were re-settled, as they were without any clothings and belongings. In human history, we find very few examples of such a large scale migration, as done in case of North Waziristan. Millions of persons who were living comfortably in their houses, had to abandon their homes suddenly under the forced circumstances, created by the militants. In these terms, this tragedy was not confined to North Waziristan and its vicinities, but, its effects had shaken the whole nation including foreign countries, so, these cannot still be evaded from the minds. In fact, it is the story of a little female child, namely Hira who also migrated from North Waziristan, deprived of any belongings, and settled in Bannu along with other migrants.
Dr. Asif Jah’s book consists of Five Parts. The First Part is the biography of the Princess Hira of North Waziristan and the millions of people, living there along with her. It describes author’s passionate and sympathetic moments which he shared with them in relation to medical treatment and other services. It also includes the ever living example of Hijrat from Madina to Makkah, and services of the people of Bannu.
The Second Part deals with exodus of the people from various countries due to internal disputes, and relates to the rights of the IDPs. The Third Part mentions different migrations, conducted in the name of Allah, and especially the Hijrat of 1947, when ninety millions people sacrificed their lives for the sake of Pakistan. While, people has underwent many trials and tribulations during the Hijrat of 1947, 2009 of Swat and 2014 of North Waziristan which uprooted millions of persons in that region. In this context, Pakistanis have been blessed with inherent potentialities to fight against these difficulties. In the beginning of September, 2014 torrential rains and floods drowned many cities of the Punjab, and thousands of people became homeless. Several teams of the Society immediately reached the flood-stricken areas and participated in the rescue and relief services, rendered for the inhabitants. Housing projects were established in the flood-affected regions. Since March, 2014, the teams of the Society are in action in the Thar areas where children died in a great number. In the last week of November, 2014, the news about the deaths of children in Thar again appeared. The caravans of treatment and service led by Dr. Asif Mahmood Jah again reached there and began their humanitarian services with devotion, compassion and sympathy. The Fourth and Fifth Parts of the book mentions the flood-stricken regions of the Punjab, natural calamity in Thar, IDPs and the services rendered by the Customs Health Care Society led by the author.
On the whole, the book, written by the known social worker, collector of customs Dr Asif Mahmood Jah has been widely hailed and acknowledged. It could be judged from the famous newspaper’s columnists who gave their impressions in their columns, pointed out at the end of the book.
Besides, various high officials and renowned persons appreciated Dr Asif Jan’s selfless efforts which have also been recorded in form of this book—reflecting true picture regarding the plight of the IDPs of North Waziristan and the challenges faced by Customs Healthcare Society in their rehabilitation and restoration in Bannu and surrounding areas. Particularly, in this respect, Orya Maqbool, a writer, poet and civil servant remarked, “Dr Asif Jah has great feelings for the predicaments of the suppressed; he is also a writer and pens down the stories of the state of emotions of the people in difficult times.”
Especially, the title of the book, displaying the picture of Dr Asif Jah with the innocent Hira in one of the affected camps, proves that the author has attained the happiness of the whole world, embracing the little Hira.
On the one hand, the book demonstrates the extreme level of tolerance and bravery of IDPs for the restoration of peace and harmony in Pakistan, on the other; it shows the practical services of Dr Asif Jah and his teams in their rehabilitation and restoration.
Title: Hira, Jijrat and Khidmat
Author: Dr. Asif Mahmood Jah
Publisher: Ilm-o-Irfan Publishers, Alhamd Market, 40-Urdu Bazar, Lahore
Price: Rs. 800/-