Son of lion is related to a story of an 11-year-old boy who in spite of relentless difficulties and challenges did not give up. Hailing from Dera, an area located in the outskirts of FATA, which was undergoing a turf war, did not have enough resources to provide the inhabitants with even for survival let alone education and health. In those dark hours, there emerged a child who wanted to ameliorate the conditions not only of his own but also of his town. However, deplorable conditions, poverty-stricken family-background and other social barriers created unbridled hindrances in his way. He fearlessly fought with every challenge he came across with.
In addition to living conditions, the socio-economic situations were also egregious in FATA. Unabated war on terror and infiltration of refugees had paralyzed all social, political and economic activities of the region. By all accounts, the whole region was slated with the tribal laws, rules and regulations which were being governed by the prominent tribal chieftains who themselves were deeply embedded in the repercussions the unwanted war against terrorism had dragged them into.
In such a grim and gloomy scenario, there emanated a child from a poverty-stricken family whose father used to assemble local weapons at his shop. His father, whose name was Rehmat Ali, fought Afghan-Jihad War against the Soviet Union and defeated them to their end-fate with matchless bravery, zeal and zest. His father had never been to school in his lifetime. And, he was against of the Western education as according to him, it could derail the Muslims from their religion. Owing to this undue fearsome, he never allowed his son to attend school. Rather, he made his son help him in his work at weapon-assembling shop.
The son, whose name was Niaz, did not enjoy working with his father at the shop. He felt his heart coming out when while commuting he used to see school-going children talking about English, Mathematics and Science. Many a times he tried to convince his father about his inclination towards school and education but all the times his efforts went in vain. Instead, his father used to take him along with his self to mountains where the son was forcefully given trainings on the usage of different types of guns. This was some sort of unwanted activity which Niaz rarely enjoyed ever. Besides, his father asked him to take sheep to the fields to graze. This was another sort of work to which he was utterly uninterested. Couple of times while grazing sheep into the fields there was skirmished leading to a small fight broke out between him and some other boys of the town who used to refrain him from taking his sheep into the field they claimed for.
This outlandish happenings made him vexed and socially disenfranchised. He left the town for the city where his uncle lived and whose daughter he had a good company with. He reached to his uncle place and intimated his zeal and passion for studies. His uncle who after seeing his relentless and insatiable thirst for education got him admitted into one of the English medium schools in the city. Shortly, Niaz consolidated command over his subjects which made his teachers surprised and apprehensive as well because the speed with which he was learning was quite anomalous. Besides, he made good friends to whom he used to not only teach but also play sports in the evening.
By and large, abject-poverty, unending social pressure and above all the enduring reluctance of his father for his education were some of the challenges he had to overcome with. He was brutally beaten by his father many times when he continuously insisted to glean education. He was tortured enough to shun his dream of becoming a civilized persona of his town. The main factor which played a major role in the outlandish scenario was abysmal illiteracy of the family he belonged to. There was no any single person in his family who had ever been to school. Also, the sheer inclination of his family towards religion to such a great extent that it was nearly impossible for them to make out a difference between the advantages of a Western education and the repercussions of remaining an illiterate slum.
Once he left his father and ailing grandmother for gleaning of education, he studied day and night with the peace of mind and tranquility. He burnt the midnight oil and left no stone unturned in materializing his dream for a better cause of his future. Soon after passing his matriculation with flying colors, he showed his interest towards competitive exams for which his uncle sent him Lahore for preparation. He passed his FSC and graduation from there and appeared for the Civil Services exams. To his utter dismay, he failed his first attempt. In spite of losing hope and faith, he rejuvenated his soul and mind, joined the Punjab University as a Lecturer of Political Science, and got admission in M.Phil program. After a year or so, he appeared in the exam again and this time not only nailed it but also got allocated in the group of his own choice-DMG. Subsequently, he was sent as a Political Agent—a vital Government Post for Tribal Areas—to Dera, his home town where he hailed from. As soon as he embarked on the land of his home town, all the inhabitants welcomed him in such a way as if it were wedding or so. Not only his father but the whole town was arm-pitting him with grace, love, affection, respect and honor. By becoming a political agent of Dera, he resolved not only their grievances but also worked as bridge between the government and the people of FATA who were socially degenerated, economically deprived, and politically disenfranchised. He with the help of the grant of the government and NGOs successfully built two English medium schools in his town where by the children were endowed with quality education and that too free of cost. He also helped his natives with the utmost and splendid public service by installing the government-facilitated hospital. He endeavored from alpha to omega for making it operational infested with all inevitable and required staff and facilities.
The story of Niaz tells us that whatever the circumstances are and will be, we can achieve anything we wish for provided that we have a strong desire for it and an insatiable thirst for putting all our efforts into it. There are numerous Niaz in this world with whose stories we are unaware of, but thet are relentlessly struggling for their dreams and passion. In addition, the story of an 11 years old boy reveals us that it is only implacable perseverance, determination, consistency and a strong desire to do well which create wonders and make us meet with our dreams in reality. Intelligence is not the emblem of anyone. It is the discretion of Almighty to bestow anyone with what He thinks the best for him or her. Also, it is the burning fire inside us which does not keep us sit idle and instigates us to go against the all odds and put our self in a good fight. This is the spark which we need to find out in order to live the life of our own passion we are born for. As it is rightly said by someone having a magnanimous personality that nothing succeeds like success.
Saqib Jamal Khan
Lecturer, Professional Trainer & Management Consultant