A senior man, who was pleading for extension in tenure of former army chief General Raheel Sharif, committed suicide, his son claimed on Wednesday.
Latif Shibli was on hunger strike at Karachi Press Club for the last one month as wanted the former army chief to change his decision to retire at the end of his term, Pakistan Today reported.
“Don’t go, General Raheel Sharif,” his campaign banner read.
According to Latif Shibli’s son, his father died on Wednesday after consuming poison as he was heartbroken over the general’s decision.
Latif Shibli, 64, who once served as chairman of the Progressive Workers Union at the Karachi Port Trust (KPT), started his protest on Nov 1, threatening that he would commit suicide if General Raheel were not given an extension in service.
“Raheel Sharif is a messiah. I am his fan. Only he can save the country from terrorism and social ills,” read the posters and banners set up around his camp.
“He attempted suicide on Nov 27 after the ISPR [Inter-Services Public Relations] announced the retirement plan of Gen Raheel. We took him to Jinnah Hospital from where he was referred to Aga Khan University Hospital. He was initially on the ventilator, but later died,” said Shibli’s sister-in-law Noreen.
“Before consuming poison, he wrote a letter to his wife, saying that his funeral prayers must be held in front of the KPC,” she said
He is survived by five children from his first spouse and two children from another wife, who lives in Gizri.
“His four-month-old son is in my lap, and there is no one to look after the family,” Noreen said.
One of his close friends, while requesting anonymity, said the deceased was not mentally fit and would become aggressive on different issues confronted by Pakistan. “He was frustrated and used to talk about committing suicide. Finally, he did it,” he said.
Nasir Mansoor, deputy general secretary of the National Trade Union Federation, said Shibli was a leftist leader and his decision to support the army bewildered many of his colleagues.
“We have never supported any general. I don’t know how Shibi, who had once played a great role for the rights of labourers, became a fan of Raheel Sharif, which was unusual for left-oriented comrades,” he said.
According to the family, the funeral prayers of Shibli will be held at 2:5pm in front of the KPC as per his will.
It’s a dilemma that how people in society are getting frustrated, we believe that man was having some mental illness and psychological problems, the hard-hitting thing is that why didn’t anyone from colleagues and family tried to help him by giving him the medical care he deserved.