For those who knew him or had seen him on talk shows on TV, the death of Brig Asad Munir came as a shock.

Death is always shocking and sad, but this was one death that jolted everyone. The ever smiling face of Asad Munir, sprang up in everyone’s eyes.

Suicide? A person like him? Known for his sense of humour, his tongue-in –cheek remarks, his witticism, his integrity and his contributions at national level that were numerous. A person who had a frugal and simple life style, who had been a devoted father and family man, who stood by his friends and who gave his opinion on complex matters in a precise yet polite manner.

Apparently, there are many more people at national level who had much more cause and reason to take their lives. There had been no recent or dramatic occurrence for him to take such a drastic step. Life is very precious. Taking it so violently is no small matter.

The question that rose in all minds was, why?

Why indeed!

The suicide note that he left addressed to the Chief Justice said that he feared humiliation at the hands of media for irregularities that he had never committed, and being an honourable man, he preferred to die rather than face that disgrace.

Asad Munir died for a cause. He died making a statement. Whether his death was at his own hands or whether that is a deeper mystery, it must not be brushed aside.

When a person who has led such an illustrious career is forced by circumstance to lose their lives that is a matter that should be taken very seriously by society and rumours that there is more than meets the eye in this death need to be investigated.

The media needs to review its role. The cheap entertainment that it seeks to provide by tabloid style breaking news, humiliating and disgracing people who had been erstwhile honourable citizens, or key position holders, is highly distasteful. It creates hype about the fall from grace of well-known people, acting as judge, jury and the prosecutor, without giving a chance to the person involved to clear his or her name.

By the time the person who is accused can provide proof to salvage his name, the damage has been done and the monster of media has moved ahead to seek its new victim to destroy.

While this circus might be beneficial for some seasoned names that can perhaps get political mileage out of free air time on TV, for respectable and sensitive people this sort of torture is a nightmare beyond imagination.

An unimaginable nightmare that can lead to ending life.

What is that sinister streak in our psyche that gets pleasure out of shredding a person’s character and reputation, of deriving unholy glee out of the misery of others, of preferring to believe the worst in other’s characters rather than seeing the positive?

Why can we not see the good in others? Why can we not respect people for their positive roles or contributions instead of believing the worst about them?

Brig. Asad Munir was a crusader who died for a cause. He did not simply fade away. He made a statement and we as a nation need to sit up and take notice.

His death should not be simply a headline.

We need to draw a line between good and evil and define the role of media, judiciary, the agencies as well as the general public.

Unnecessary deaths, whether it was of people like Asad Munir or Mashaal Khan, who had so much to live for and could have contributed so much to the nation, need to be taken extremely seriously, the causes and reasons verified and dealt with appropriately.

The people who are responsible need to be identified and punished only then we as a society can redeem ourselves.

We need to respect life. Physically or mentally destroying a person for his deeds or beliefs without proof of any sort is the worst crime ever.

That is why, the death, by unnatural circumstances, of Asad Munir must not be brushed aside.

His death should not be just a headline in the newspaper. The reason and cause that he died for must be identified and taken to the logical conclusion.

The altar at which lives of officers and gentlemen like Asad Munir are sacrificed must be destroyed.

Those who fear humiliation more than death do not dapple in corruption. If he did not have any skeletons to hide, why did he die so unnecessarily?