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Wednesday, May 31, 2023

An irreparable loss to Humanity – Why was my Papa killed?

Before sharing this regretful and heart-shattering incident with readers, I would like to ask an important question. All of you must have visited a doctor once in your lifetime; has it ever happened that before writing the prescription or treating the patient, the doctor asks: ‘To which religion do you belong?’, ‘Are you a criminal?’

The answer is NO for sure; isn’t it?

Then why do the media and people highlight the killing of minorities in Pakistan by saying: Hindu killed or Christian killed, A Hindu shot dead or Christian shot dead?? 

Are minorities not humans? Don’t they have the right to live their lives?

So, I request you, kindly stop highlighting such things and dividing people in various sects. CONSIDER ALL HUMAN BEINGS AS EQUAL! Since childhood, I have been taught by my father that the biggest religion which exists in the world is ‘HUMANITY’ and I do believe that his words are very true.

On the 4th of August 2016, as per routine, Dr. Pritam Das Lakhwani was sitting in his clinic named ‘BISMILLAH CLINIC’ located in Karachi at the residential area of Bara board, Pak Colony. Around 11:15 p.m. his dispenser went out to the medical store which is located at a distance of just few feet from the clinic, and at that very moment there was a power failure in the area. Suddenly a loud noise of gun fire was heard inside the clinic and within seconds people had gathered near the clinic and saw Dr. Lakhwani running towards the clinic door to come out and a man beside him, trying to fire for the second time but luckily the bullet got stuck in the chamber and the assailant ran out of the clinic with a 30mm pistol in his hand.

Dr. Lakhwani stood straight and came out of his clinic and shouted: ‘Take me to the Aga Khan Hospital quickly; please take me to the Aga Khan hospital quickly.’

The people in the area who were seeing this sorrowful spectacle with their own eyes were all Dr. Lakhwani’s family patients, whom he had been treating for the past 15 years, that is since the time he had opened the clinic in this area with the name ‘BISMILLAH CLINIC’

He continued shouting out loud for help to save his life but the apathetic people just stood seeing him for 10 to 15 minutes, and by that time police had reached the crime scene. Then, one of Dr. Lakhwani’s patients took out his bike and Dr. Lakhwani sat on it without any support at the back. He had to put his own hand on his wound so that he could control the profuse bleeding – the bullet had hit his chest and passed through his body, damaging the blood vessels badly.

Can anyone imagine this apathy that a person with such a serious injury was forced to sit on a bike?

His patient was taking him to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital although Dr. Lakhwani urged him to take him to the Aga Khan Hospital, but he did not. On the way, Dr. Lakhwani could not keep his balance on the motor bike and so his patient helped him to sit in an auto rickshaw. By 11:58 p.m. they reached the hospital, that is approximately after half an hour of such a serious incident in which each and every second is so very important.

Dr. Lakhwani was not ready to get himself treated in the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital. He was trying to move those people away and kept shouting, ‘Please take me to the Aga Khan Hospital.’ Meanwhile, he was only given blood transfusions.

At 12:01 a.m. Dr. Lakhwani’s daughter received a call from her father’s phone informing that he had met with a minor accident. At that very moment, his daughter told her brother about it who rushed to the hospital. On his way, he called up on his father’s phone and someone picked up the phone and said that his father had been shot. Dr. Lakhwani’s son was shocked to know this.

As soon as he reached the hospital, he saw his father lying semi-conscious on the stretcher and a number of people around him. Dr. Lakhwani then opened his eyes and looked at his son standing next to him. He tried to say something, and at once his son said: “Papa, you want me to take you to Aga Khan Hospital?”, at which Dr. Lakhwani nodded. This was the most critical moment when the son saw that there was no senior doctor available to operate his father in this emergency, and the staff was busy creating panic for Dr. Lakhwani and his son as well.

His son begged the doctors to save his father’s life and quickly do some treatment, but the lady doctor there did not take any action. His son called the Aman Foundation ambulance to take him to Aga Khan Hospital. Before moving him to Aga Khan, his son asked the staff present there, “Where’s the bullet? Is it inside the body?”, to which the staff replied, “Yes, It’s inside.”

As soon as the ambulance arrived, his son got him discharged from the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital and at the same time Dr. Lakhwani’s other family members reached there and sat in the ambulance along with his son. This moment was the most heart shattering for them because at that time, only prayers could work. His wife could not bear to even see him in this state because a person who had hardly been ill in his lifetime, who took care of his health all the time, was lying on the stretcher in a serious condition. All kept praying for every single second in the ambulance, their eyes constantly stuck on the electrocardiograph machine there. Within 15 minutes, they reached the Aga Khan Hospital.

Dr. Lakhwani was immediately rushed to the emergency room. The doctors quickly started doing CPR (Cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and performed chest compressions for about 15 minutes. Then one of the doctors came out of the emergency room and told his son that the pulse could not be recovered. Dr. Lakhwani’s son begged the doctor to retry. The whole family prayed for his life but after ten minutes the doctors declared that Dr. Lakhwani was no more.

Dr. Lakhwani’s whole family was shattered at that moment. Their world demolished in front of their eyes for no reason.

I am his daughter who has gone through this terrible pain when the doctor covered my father’s face with the white cloth in front of my eyes. I requested the doctor to please take our lives and treat my father but the doctor said that he could not do so as it was too late.

Our lives ended with my Papa. This terrible pain inside my heart will remain till I am alive.

The doctor who saved a number of lives in his lifetime lost his life because he did not get emergency treatment at the right time.

What was my Papa’s fault??  He was killed just because he was a HINDU?

Wasn’t he a human being?

Don’t we have the right to earn our living honestly? Any person can come and kill us without any reason? Why is it so? Why innocent people are killed in Pakistan on the basis of religion? If you don’t want us to live in this country then kindly tell us to leave Pakistan but PLEASE DON’T KILL US!!

-By Veena Lakhwani



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  1. […] While the immediate cause of this murder is not known, such attacks on the minority Hindu community, including businessmen, teachers, doctors etc. – are quite common. A few years back,  Dr. Pritam Das Lakhwani was shot dead late at night while he was working in his clinic ‘Bismillah Clinic’ in Karachi – his shaken family decided to emigrate to Bharat, and one can read the painful story in the words of Dr. Lakhwani’s daughter here. […]


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