Balochistan University bus attack: My best friend died the day he wanted to live his life!

Published: June 29, 2013
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The bus I was supposed to be on had I woken up earlier was burnt and in tatters after the blast. PHOTO: REUTERS

After spending all day preparing for a party at my university, I slept very late. I could hardly wait for the next morning, when my classmates and I would finally be performing in the plays we had prepared for. We had parodies lined up and even a fashion show.

The next morning was going to be fantastic, I thought. The fashion show was a party tradition of the computer science and computer engineering departments of the Balochistan University of Information Technology, Engineering and Management Sciences (BUITEMS).

This time, upon my insistence, my friend Aqeel agreed to walk the ramp. After a lot of practice, Aqeel could walk like a real model and was very excited. He had asked Noman, our classmate, to bring his camera and take pictures of him while he modelled, dressed to the nines.

I was overtaken by the thoughts of how terrific the next day would be and went to bed at 3:00am.

The next morning:

It was morning of June, 18, 2012. I remember my mother calling my name again and again as she asked me to wake up. I was getting late for the party, but I was so exhausted from last night that I kept falling asleep.

Suddenly, I felt as though the air in my room got sucked out and I heard a loud explosion. Every inch of my room shook. The glass windows vibrated from the impact. I was horrified by what had just happened and was unable to comprehend much in my half asleep state. My eyes met the clock on the wall; it was quarter to nine.

I ran down the staircase and saw my mother looking equally worried sitting in the living room. Upon my enquiry as to what had just happened, she told me she had no idea what it was. My father stood outside the house, looking for clues. He told me that it may have been a rocket attack explosion.

I went back to my room and tucked myself in bed, clueless about what the consequences of this explosive sound were.

Twenty minutes later, my brother came running to my room.

“Your university bus was attacked near the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) office. There was a bomb blast. Do you know that?” he asked.

Suddenly, my brain went blank. It was as if I could not breathe. I couldn’t even imagine that something might have happened to my dear university friends.

I hurriedly changed my clothes and ran towards the blast location in a state of utter panic. The FIA office was on Samungli Road, at a 10-minute walk from my house.

I was breathless when I reached the site. In front of my eyes was the university bus I would have been in had I woken up earlier. It was completely destroyed in the bomb blast. A burnt bus stood there in tatters. There were no bodies as people had taken the injured and dead to the hospital. I went back home and left for the hospital immediately.

Upon reaching the hospital, I saw a very sad picture. People were mourning. Women were crying in disbelief. I started finding people who I knew were supposed to be on that bus.

Soon I came to know that my dear friend Aqeel, who was supposed to steal the show this morning on the ramp, was no more. A feeling of irreparable loss took over me. I felt like everything I had known was gone. I waited all day with my friends for the medics to return Aqeel’s body to his family.

Aqeel. (PHOTO: BUITEMS.NET)

When Aqeel’s body was finally revealed to us, Noman and I began to cry.

“Look, Aqeel, I brought the camera with me. Here it is! But why aren’t you on the ramp?”

It hurt so much that I wished it was just a nightmare and I would wake up and get ready to meet my friends at the university. But this wasn’t a dream and we all had to accept that.

This June, we had another department party and it went great, but the difference was that there was no Aqeel, excitedly waiting to walk the ramp, dressed like a star. Noman sat quietly in the crowd instead of hopping all around the stage taking photographs of his dear friend.

This post originally appeared here.

Luqman Khan

Luqman Khan

A Computer Science student at BUITEMS, Quetta. A debater, youth activist and a blogger. He was also awarded as best debater of BUITEMS in 2012. He tweets @luqmankyz

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Anshuman Tripathy
  • Moiz Omar

    This really breaks my heart. We need to track the terrorists responsible and put them to justice. Recommend

  • zohaib

    My Cousin was also in this bus when it was attacked. She tells us stories of both horror and courage of the students. Without caring for their own lives, the male students first took care of the females and sent them to their homes…A young boy who had injuries on his face and limbs tired to stop a rickshaw for them, but it didn’t stop considering the situation, everyone was caring for their own lives. He then stood in the center of the road in front of the next oncoming rickshaw and forced the driver to take the female students to their homes..
    Although she escaped with minor injuries, the psychological aspect of the incident was too hard for her to handle after watching her fellow students ripped apart in front of her eyes…She is now suffering from PTSD and will be scarred for the rest of her life..Recommend

  • http://buitems.net/ Luqman Khan

    I wrote this article with utmost sincerity. Thank you Express Tribune team for posting it on your blog.
    An untold story of the BUITEMS BlastRecommend

  • kanwal

    No one cares about the hurt all pakistanis are going through. Everyone is worried about just the drone attacks and their effetcs on people of a region which does not even accept the writ of our country, hence called lawless. What about OUR human rights IK? Should these boys not try to avenge what happened to their brother-like friend? What about the hurt feelings of thousands of soldiers and tens of thousand other civilians? We need police to act, courts to punish and govetnment to implement death sentences for terrorism. Quick and timely. Recommend

  • Idealist

    :'( :'(Recommend

  • Peace

    It’s really sad how apathetic we’ve become over the years to bomb blasts. I remember from the 80s when I was a cild, we use to hear of bombs going off in Beirut but never thought that in 20 years, they would be a regular feature in Pakistan. Condolences from the bottom of my heart to all who’ve lost dear ones in this insane war. I pray that this madness comes to an end soon and all our provinces unite and a stronger Pakistan emerges. Thanks for reminding us that each life lost is important and not just statistics or collateral damage. Recommend

  • David_Smith

    Beautifully written, in the language of a grieving, young friend.Recommend

  • Ali

    Oh God, may Aqeel rests in peace.He is a martyred, he gave his blood for us, the youth. I hope his blood doesn’t go in vain. Amen !Recommend

  • Priyank

    Blame it on the indians !Recommend

  • It was a very horrible incident,really shocking. Those involved in this can not be named HUMAN. They are on lowest of the lowest. May Allah make the martyrs soul rest in peace. And may Allah curse them,who were involved, in this world and after here.Recommend

  • Hatf XX

    @Priyank: Don’t worry – InshaAllah we will give a fitting reply to padosi mumaliq for this cowardly attack on our sovereignityRecommend

  • Prabhjyot Singh Madan

    Heart felt condolences for you buddy. We, liberals need to win this battle for both our countries. Thank you. Sat Sri akalRecommend

  • http://Expresstribune asmat

    Yar belive me i am so disheart when i read your tragedy very sad brother. May lord soul rest in peace Recommend

  • ammar

    a very sad story.may his soul rest in peace……..Recommend

  • Omar Khalid

    I am sorry for your loss. This really makes me feel sad. I mean how are those heartless people attacked on the university bus knowing that there were students on the bus. Actually these people are cowards of course they are also not Muslims. A true Muslim will never ever attack on other Muslims brothers. Anyways, may your friend’s soul rest in peace and may Allah ease his difficulty in the grave (Ameen).Recommend

  • Yasmin

    Great piece Luqman. I heard the university management didn’t let Quran khwani even at university later for the martyred students, is that true? There are even written on the wall of university “Shia Kafir” is that true too? Recommend