We are living in extreme poverty. My brother was killed, but we did everything for him, and sold everything for him. Now there is nothing left. My two remaining brothers work as day labourers, and that too only on days that they can find work. What they do bring home, isn’t enough to feed the six adults who live here. We sold everything the first chance we got, because there was no question in our mind that Shafqat had to be defended, and saved from the gallows. There are no regrets for what we had to do. It was the right thing to do. But we failed to save him, and now the family finds itself in a very difficult position. My father, who has been severely ill ever since Shafqat was arrested, is in need of serious medical care, but we do not even have the money to provide medicines for him, let along take him to a hospital. He is a living corpse, and we are forced to sit by and wait for him to die. I can’t even look at him. They day they killed Shafqat, they also killed my father. His sorrow at this son’s sentencing and death was so immense that he never spoke since. He isn’t really even alive, merely breathing. How does one live watching your parent’s suffer, and you not able to do anything about it? My mother has been weak and emotionally distraught. My brothers frantic and worried. The entire family is no more able to be a family. Every day we have to chose whom to care for, whom to provide for, whom to feed or clothe. We survive by borrowing from others, from small earnings from day jobs, and then decide where to spend the little that comes to the house: on food, or medicine, on shelter or warmth. Only God knows how I manage to keep this home together, and find ways to pay for our basic needs. They unjustly killed my brother, but the consequences of his incarceration, and his death, continue to affect us, and continue to cause great suffering and sorrow in this home.
Sumeira Hussain, Shafqat Hussain’s elder sister.