The people of Mohmand Agency use a common phrase: “If Sajid can become an officer after passing out from Govt Degree College Ekka Ghund, why can’t you?” to inspire children in the tribal area. The college is DPO Chaman Sajid Khan Mohmand’s alma mater.
However, on Monday there was hushed silence in the town as the news of his martyrdom broke out. He was killed in a roadside blast in Chaman, Balochistan. His funeral was held on Tuesday.
Zardad Khan, his paternal cousin, told The Express Tribune that Mohmand’s father passed away while he was still a child and most of his career was self-motivated.
Born in Kas Korona, Michni on January 14, 1964, he got enrolled in a local primary school and later in the Government High school Dab Kor in the Mohmand tribal area from where he passed out with distinction. He then enrolled himself at the Govt Degree College in Ekka Ghund, going against the trend of trying to secure admission to renowned educational institutions as most students do in Peshawar. However, his family could not bear the financial cost. But this did not deter his determination to excel in life and topped the college.
Later, he joined the police service as deputy superintendent police after passing the provincial services commission examination.
Sajid Mohmand was known to be an efficient police officer, who always led from the front. He was given several important assignments at home and abroad, including a stint in Bosnia and Kosovo. His most important phase of life was in Swat when the district was infested with militants in 2009.
“There is nothing more important than serving my country,” he had said at the time. He stayed in Swat till 2011.
“He led his force from the front and took part in every major operation against criminals personally. He recently targeted several criminal gangs involved in smuggling and other crimes in Chaman, too, and frequently told us that he was on the hit list as a result of these operations,” said Sajjad Tarakzai.
Zardad Khan, a close relative of Sajid Khan Mohmand and former student of Dab Kor school and Ekka Ghund college, told The Express Tribune, “It was Sajid Mohmand who inspired our family through his talent and today, the family have a number of doctors, engineers and educationists – some of them have gotten gold medals like Dr Izzat Khan.”
There was another side to his life: he was a man who loved and guided everyone from his family and tribesmen when they sought guidance from him.
Junaid Javed Khan, who is an electrical engineer working in Saudi Arabia, remembers him in very good words. “He (Sajid) was his father’s age, but when I got any advice from him about my career he treated me like he was treating his grandson Alyan Khan.”
Police Officer Saleem Riaz remembered him from his days when he was posted as SP investigation in Peshawar. “He advised a police officer who lived in Qissa Khawani to change his route, because of targeted killings that was taking place in the area in those days. The officer became a victim of targeted killing and eventually succumbed to injuries.
“When we went to offer his funeral prayers,” said Riaz, “Sajid kept quoting the Pashto adage: ‘One cannot stop death through their planning. The night meant to spend in the grave cannot be spent at home’.
Sajid is survived by six children. But in recent years, his Facebook is full of pictures of his grandchildren, Alyan in particular. “He was more like his friend who he took everywhere,” says his cousin. His Facebook profile was filled with condolence messages. A post from last Saturday has an Urdu couplet: ‘Tumhay Hum Yaad Ayengay, Zamana Beet Janay Do’, ‘you will remember me when the tides of time have brushed off the shores’.