Archive for the ‘Accidents’ Category

Fire near Mochi Gate spreads

Firefighters and locals are trying hard to put out a massive fire near Mochi Gate in Old Lahore. The fire, which reportedly broke out at a perfumery shop, has spread around a vast area gutting other shops, houses and a masjid. A lonely helicopter has been sighted throwing water from a distant height.

See pictures at Mubarakpur.

From the bravest nation on Earth!

Scenes of destruction at the Lahore bomb blasts on September 01, 2010 - Source: Reuters

Around 30 people fell victim to another barbaric act of terrorism involving three bomb blasts on a Shia religious procession in Lahore yesterday. It was the day marking shahadat of Hazrat Ali (R.A.); one of the bravest and dearest companions of the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H). Sadly, the beasts have no sanctity for Ramadan, Hazrat Ali (R.A) or even for simple humanity.

According to media reports, more than a 100 people are injured and being treated at different hospitals of the city. May the souls of the departed rest in eternal peace and may the injured recover as soon as possible – Amen!

Start counting the series and spats of bad news from my country and you won’t be able to reach a limit. Suicide bombings, super-floods, sectarian violence, corrupt politicians, goons in power, mass poverty, electricity crisis, gas shortage, inflation, banishment from the global community… You name it, we have it!

No wonder, we, the people of the Land of the Pure, are the bravest nation in the World!

No more can my heart feel,

as I bow down, before Him I kneel.

The gain of peace in my abode,

the pain of worry on life’s each node.

For it makes no sense of having to bear,

when you have all & everything to fear.

From death to fire; not that I desire,

after all, who likes to sink in such a mire.

My heart cries in silent despair,

for it has had more than its share.

Oh God, give us a sign of hope,

of love, of life and of a will to cope.

Help us raise our spirits again,

save us from insanity; let hope remain.

For it won’t be worth a cry,

if before death, a tear won’t dry…


Hasan Mubarak

Pakistan mourns the loss of 152 on Airblue flight ABQ-202

Pakistan will raise it’s flag to half mast on Thursday, July 29 as the whole nation mourns the loss of 152 passengers flying from Karachi to Islamabad on Airblue flight ABQ-202.

Inna lillahe wa inna illaihe rajioon!

Scene of the Airblue A321 crash site - Source: AFP via

At 9:40 AM Wednesday morning, the ten-year old Airbus A321 aircraft, flown by Airblue since 2006, plunged into the Margalla Hills about 8 KM from Islamabad’s Benazir Bhutto International Airport after making an earlier unsuccessful attempt to land. The weather was torrential as it poured heavily enough to hamper rescue efforts and emergency relief operation. All 146 passengers and 6 crew were unfortunate to have boarded the flight as there were no survivors of what became the worst air disaster in Pakistan’s history. A list of everyone on board is available here.

May the souls of the deceased rest in peace and may God grant patience to their family and friends. Please pray and recite Dua-e-Maghfirat for everyone.

Suicide attacks at Data Darbar

Three suicide bomb blasts have killed at least 30 people at the shrine of Hazrat Data Gunj Baksh in Lahore. More than 40 (some sources even quoting 80) people have been injured, some of them seriously, and taken to various hospitals in the city. Two of the blasts happened inside the compound while another one blew in the adjoining bazaar. Geo TV reports that even a hand grenade was found in the ablution area of the shrine. Thursdays are very busy days at Sufi shrines, especially Data Darbar, where thousands of Lahorities and people from across the country come to pay respects to the great Saint.

One of the blasts took place just outside the Shrine - Source: Dawn News

Lahore derives it’s Sufi heritage from dozens of saints and holy men out of which Data Sahib shines out the most. The city itself is lovingly known as ‘Data di Nagri’ (Data’s Town). An attack on this very symbol of harmony, humanity and peace, as well as at something more like our city’s identity, strikes at the very heart of every Lahori.

The news comes as a very sad and shocking reminder of the fact that these terrorists have no religion, faith or humanity left  in their hearts. These people are bloody killers who do not target minorities, Shias or Ahmedis only, rather, they would go to any extent in order to spread what they call ‘terror’. But they are badly mistaken for with every such incident, resolve of the people of this city against their twisted ideology becomes stronger and firmer.

We pray for the souls of the deceased – may all of them rest in peace. Amen!

(There is another rumor of an attack near Mizar of Bibi Pak Daman – the news has not been confirmed so far)

It takes more than 8 explosions in 12 hours

As if it were news, all of us shook our heads in shock after hearing about twin suicide attacks in R.A.Bazaar this morning. Although the apparent target were the military vehicles passing through that busy route, dozens of innocent civilians became casualty to the vicious intent of bloody terrorists. The total count of victims has totaled about 39 people while injuring another 95. And that was not all of it because the terrifying morning was followed by 5 explosions, one after another, in various locations of Iqbal Town. Fortunately, no injuries were reported in the second wave which happened all in a span of about 1.5 hours and allegedly caused by grenades hurled by a person riding a motorbike. Police has claimed that all 5 of these explosions were of low intensity and caused by planted time devices.

10 among the dead are military personnel - Image Source: AP via BBC News

With deep sorrow, we should console and pray for those who became victims of terrorism in Lahore today. Our prayers are with the families and friends of those who lost their lives. May their souls rest in peace… Inna lillahe wa inna ilehe rajioon!

TTP has claimed responsibility of today’s blasts according to recent media reports. All Pakistan Traders Association has announced all markets in Lahore to be closed tomorrow i.e. Saturday, March 13, 2010.

Regardless of what happened today, one thing should be made clear to those behind such cowardly acts, and that is the fact we’re alive! and they can’t kill of all of us whatsoever they may try. As long as we keep our resolve of fighting this menace and exposing the real elements behind these incidents, we can never loose the battle.

Hence, our advice to everyone would be: be careful in venturing out to crowded and sensitive places but don’t stop living life your way for it takes more than what happened today to break our spirits…

God bless the souls of the deceased… Amen!

Model Town shakes up to a deadly awakening

It was only quarter past eight Monday morning when residents of Model Town were shaken by a glass-shattering sound and impact. People as far away as 10 KMs in Wapda Town and DHA, both in different directions from Model Town, heard a loud bang and saw smoke rising in the distance. Few minutes of utter panic followed until media reported a suicide attack in the otherwise calm part of the city.
Rubble of the SIA building in Model Town after suicide attack - Source: AFP via
Rescuers clearing rubble after suicide attack on the SIA building in Model Town, Lahore
Image Source: AFP via
Yesterday, the target was office of the FIA and Special Investigative Agency (SIA), a branch of secret police that investigates highly sensitive terrorism suspects and criminals. The office building totally collapsed as a result while 13 people fell victim to the horrendous episode with another 80 or so injured. Victims include passerby children who were heading towards school. Dr. Israr Ahmed’s Masjid is very close to the scene and bore the full brunt of impact where all glass has shattered. Similar was the effect on the entire block where home windows, doors and facades of houses were badly damaged.
This incident happened after a period of relative calm. Last time Lahorites saw terror up so close was when Moon Market was hit by attackers a few months back.
According to recent media reports, the Taliban have accepted the claim of the blast and called it a revenge over US drone strikes and Pakistan Army’s operation in the tribal areas.
Although many questions remain unanswered, however, the most important one still remains why are these sensitive agencies based in residential areas of the city? Similarly, how secure is the common man? and what from here on?
We strongly condemn terrorism of all sorts and pray for the deceased… May Allah bless them and their souls rest in Peace, Ameen! (Inna lillahe wa inna ilaihe rajioon)

Sir, we can’t control this. “Then ban it”

Basant was a thing of beauty and was one of those rare events where a truly cultural event gathered people from all over the world. Yes, the world. Lahore owned basant, regardless where it came from. Even Lahore Metblogs has a separate category just for Basant!
But you had to be living in a hole to not know that basant has been banned for some time. A petition moved sometime around 2005, initially by none other than the mayor of Lahore, Mian Amer Mahmood. Slowly but surely, you witnessed an exercise in ‘how to control and change a city’s very culture through the power of political will’. The reasons quoted were not many – two in fact, one being the loss to human life and the other being disruption in WAPDA’s electricity supply causing monetary loss.
But here’s how I see it all:
The ban on basant is silly. Loss of life and loss of the ever-so-present WAPDA supply are not reasons at all. And here’s why: the loss of life is not because the kite-flying itself is dangerous. Kite-flying has been around for quite some time. The murderous streak now automatically tagged with basant itself, has been introduced through the development of stronger string. A lot of people think that it is the razor-like solution that the string is soaked in that causes the string to be a knife-on-the-loose. Although the sharpness is part of the reason, the main reason is that the string itself is very strong. There was a time, I remember, when I was able to snap the string by pulling on it with both hands. It is a typical way of checking a string’s strength – tug at it and see when it breaks. But recently, I would notice that it has become harder and harder to just ‘snap’ the string. You would have to resort to either some serious pulling or just use to teeth to sever the string. It is the combination of ultra-strong string with razor-sharp solution (a.k.a. manja) that makes the string a killer.
The real culprit has always been the string itself, and building upon that, you can see that the makers of the string are also the culprit. And by culprit I mean the ‘reason’ for the chaos, not the guilty party (guilt is for the courts to decide, remember?)

The reason the basant was and is still banned is not because the festival has turned deadly, it is because some people have invented and then sold this killer string to a lot of unsuspecting people. In fact, the real reason is that the administration has found it beyond them to crack down on the few string producers that manufacture the deadly string.

National Disaster Management Policy Dialogue

Last evening (Jan 7, 2009), The National District Management Authority (NDMA) held a policy dialogues to engage provincial parliamentarian (Punjab) and muster their support for the cause. Lt Gen Farooq Ahmad Khan – the soul behind NDMA – gave a very comprehensive presentation to an informed gathering in PC that was followed by a questions answers session and some suggestions.

Risks of natural as well as man created disasters (also include terrorism and war) are growing exponentially around the world, more so in Pakistan. As these disasters have a tremendous impact on us, more structured and intelligent response strategies need to be developed at all level and in all sectors including education. Sadly, to this date, students in Pakistan have generally had little exposure to the challenges of disaster management.

Best thing is that in this age, modern technologies and methodologies are available to help mitigate disasters of any kind. Many of the top universities in developed world are already offering courses on disaster management.

Seeing the level of awareness of parliamentarians during National Disaster Management Policy Dialogue, I suggest that universities should design disaster management programs to provide an interdisciplinary education, in which students and future leaders learn how to function effectively in their respective field should they assume real world responsibilities in disaster situations. And I think this will help the cause of NDMA.

Muharram: living under fear of the known

Every year, the occasion of Ashura brings mourning and remembrance for the shuhada of Karbala across the Muslim world. But sadly, in our country, it is almost synonymous with further killing of the innocent souls that marks the end of first ten days of first month of the Islamic New Year. History of sectarian violence in Pakistan is old, and everyone knows what non-state actors or agencies incited hatred between two communities of the faithful to further their own interests in the battlefield called Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

However, the fear of such incidents happening obviously compounds when our country and society is literally at war with extremism and radicalism. The killers did not think how many Shias would be there when Moon Market blast happened in Lahore. Nor did they consider sectarian association of thousands of innocent civilians and security forces killed in our cities, towns and the tribal agencies across the country. In such a state of war, it was a treat for terrorists to get an opportunity of inciting violence, hatred and killing amongst the very people who they have lost support from. It was their good chance of taking revenge against the common Pakistanis for defying their version of beliefs. There are no versions of this religion; Islam is only peace!

And it happened. Two incidents one after another, significant and deadly, in Muzaffarabad and Karachi, caused havoc by killing more than 50 mourners while injuring more than a hundred. Arson attacks in Karachi after yesterday’s suicide attack has led to burning of more than 2,500 shops damaging goods worth 2-3 billion rupees while crippling the country’s economic hub.

Who’s partying and raising toasts as we bleed in heart and soul? Who’s celebrating new year with resolutions to kill as many innocent Pakistanis as possible? Who is making claims of defending a religion that they themselves have drifted so far away from? We know them, don’t we? And we also know, it’s not only them as only the blind could not see who’s benefiting from this war and anarchy in our backyard.

Prayers for the martyred in Karachi and Muzaffarabad… People of Lahore and rest of the country stand by you as you are not alone; we are also bleeding from your loss!

Moon Market shaken by two bomb blasts

Two bomb blasts have targeted people at the congested Moon Market in Lahore’s Allama Iqbal Town area this evening. So far more than 30 people including women and children have lost their lives with 100+ injured. A lot of shops and other buildings caught fire when the two explosions occurred in car parks of two banks with an interval of 30 seconds.

Moon Market is usually a very busy place, especially, in the evenings; the time when this unfortunate incident took place. The market is popular for ladies clothes, jewelery and was being frequented by thousands of women, children and families during the current wedding season. Police officials as well as the Lahore Commissioner had declared these as suicide attacks while forensic experts are busy carrying out further investigation. Officials now have claimed that remote controlled bombs, instead of suicide bombers, were used to create havoc.

According to witnesses and media reports, citizens have flocked to the nearby Sheikh Zayed and Jinnah Hospitals to donate blood and inquire about their loved ones.

Today was another sad day when the common man suffered consequences of a war that is not going anywhere. Our leadership seems to have no clue about how to take everyone into confidence when their own ministers travel in bomb proof vehicles while citizens become victims of terrorism right on the streets of our cities.

I remember how the PML (N) politicians including the Sharifs condemned and blamed Salman Taseer for poor security when the Sri Lankan team was attacked. Now, they are in power themselves, and have no one else to blame things on. Should we expect mass resignations at least now? Or do they have a better explanation?

BBC News Coverage: BBC News

Dawn: Dawn News

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