By Syed Mazhar Ali Shah (Assistant Commissioner Battagram)
While sitting alone in my room, I felt someone placing their arms around my neck. He was my son Wildaan. He was wearing a very smart jersey and I stared at him without blinking an eye. I smelled the fragrance of millions of flowers and started to taste the sweet memories that will never be forgotten. The jersey was a gift that Osama Ahmad Waraich had sent him just three days before his martyrdom in the PK-661 air crash a year ago today. It turned out to be a token of remembrance forever. Whenever I see Wildaan in this jersey I see in him the beautiful face of Osama saying loudly “MAZHAAAR” and then slowly “kia hoo raha hain.”
One reason for choosing someone admirable as an ideal to model yourself after them is that their life set an example for you. Osama did not share his DNA with me but he shared his spirit and his beautiful soul with me forever. The greatest gift he gave me was he believed in me. He loved to walk at the riverside and that gradually became a regular hobby of ours. We used to exchange views on so many things and even sharing personal feelings, cheering and suffering too. One evening in mid-September 2016 we were sitting on a rock near the river quite alone. He began throwing pebbles into the flowing river one after another and then suddenly said: “Let’s construct a park over here.” He said this without giving any proper thought to its feasibility which used to be his working style. I never forget the dusk of the river of that very evening. He was a man of initiatives without much caring about the official codal formalities. After the idea of the park, he picked another idea of pre-coaching academy for the aspirants of medical, engineering, cadet and competitive examinations. Being a hard task master, Osama supervised it very punctually and personally till his last breath. His another excellent initiative was the retrofitting/repairing of the washrooms at the DHQ hospital from his own pocket. This showed his sympathy with the people of Chitral. He would come up to deal with all challenges in his own style and in a most productive way.
He was always affectionate, softhearted and gracious not only to me but to everybody. He was very much down-to-earth and carefree about the formalities of protocols etc. He was so much obsessed with Chitral that he never wanted his close staff to leave offices before concluding the detailed discussions on planning for the days to come and mostly those meetings used to end by late night. The time we spent together is unforgettable. Life did not happen to him but it happened for him. His soul was not contained within the limits of his body, his body was contained within the limitlessness of his soul. He was very accomplished, a man of great love, honor and life. He was always energetic, motivational and uplifting. There was always something at the back of his mind and I always found him in a hurry while achieving the targets he assigned for the team and he majestically achieved all. But rushing to the heaven, he chose the path alone leaving us all orphan. The evening of December 7, 2016, became awful, and turned my life upside down, when sitting in a meeting in the federal capital waiting for his arrival as promised by him, we got the tragic news that PK-661 had gone down with our beloved friend Osama Ahmed Warraich. Death is the destination we all share. No one has escaped it because death is very likely the single best invention of life. He was a national treasure and God has stolen a great son of Pakistan. But his love and respect remain forever as a spiritual gift planted by the person into our hearts. May his departed soul rest in eternal peace.