10 things I hate about being attacked at work

Published: December 3, 2013

Security personnel on the scene of the attack after the miscreants had dispersed. PHOTO: AFP

Anxious crowd gathered after the firing died down. PHOTO: JAHANZAIB HAQUE Cars parked outside the Express Media Office were severely damaged. PHOTO: Screengrab from Express News Security personnel on the scene of the attack after the miscreants had dispersed. PHOTO: AFP

1. The fear. The fear that whoever is chucking grenades and has been firing bullets for the last 10 minutes is about to enter the building. Should I be hiding under my desk? Or should I be leading my team somewhere? Or should I follow my gut and run screaming up and down the hallway?

2. Watching your colleagues run terrified out of an emergency back exit, only to hear another hail of bullets echo in the dark street outside the office. The anxiety as the door they ran out of is slammed shut by those panicking inside.

3. Crouching low and kicking yourself multiple times for not listening to your wife when she came to pick you up at the end of your eight-hour shift — exactly 30 minutes before the attack. Why, oh why, did I prioritise that damn meeting about year-enders?!

4. Trying to dial the wife with shaky hands. Have her not pick up for that emotive ‘I’m-fine-but-if-this-is-the-end-then…’ spiel. Dial the driver to learn he’s parked right outside and loving the action.

5. The crush. People everywhere, from departments I’ve never heard of cussing us journo types, because hey, that dude on the marketing team is pretty sure we aren’t being attacked by an irate consumer goods brand team that’s upset about ad placements.

6. Turning to the TV in panic to see the Express News anchor taking an audio interview on the situation from…Maya Khan.

7. The (lack of) coverage by our comrades in arms, the other private media groups. Nothing stings quite like being referred to as a nijee (private) company’ facing a ‘cracker blast’ near the Qayyumabad area, or being reduced to two tickers. Isn’t there a line drawn somewhere beyond which media rivalry ends? Isn’t it time to drop the (rather silly in this day and age) policy of not naming competitors?

8. Returning to the desk because the team has already got live updates going on the site and need my assistance. Also, the blog desk head wants me to vet and release a blog on Mustafa Kamal

9. Finding out I’ve finally made it to the BBC. For the wrong reasons.

10. Showing up to work the next day, because well, that’s what journalists do.

Jahanzaib Haque

Jahanzaib Haque

News buff and Web Editor, The Express Tribune. Jahanzaib tweets @Jhaque_ twitter.com/jhaque_

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

  • Kublai

    You have described a very harrowing picture. Of what transpired at E T offices. Indeed, it must have been a terrifying experience. Shows all the more, of what an excellent job
    you all are doing. Truly, yours all, is true and free journalism.Recommend

  • Supriya Arcot

    Its silly and childish to attack newspaper offices or journos. They are ( at least they are supposed to be ) non judgmental messengers simply relaying news . What do they get by shooting the messenger FGS ?Recommend

  • Noman Ansari

    Can’t imagine what it must have been like. Here is one more:

    11. Watching the many people on the ET Facebook page leave comments that leave you wondering about the sanity level of Pakistanis.

    Countless people rejoiced at news of the attacks on FB, saying stuff like: “I hope a lot of you get killed”, “I hope they blow you up good. I wish I was here to shoot also”, “You deserve it!”

    As someone who knows many people at Express, no, they aren’t Jewish agents you dimwitted goofballs! Recommend

  • Silent Observer

    What surprised me the most was no other News Channel had any sort of interest in this news.Recommend

  • Tanzeel Ahmad

    Hightime for express management to shift office at safe location.Recommend

  • grandmasti

    Secular r the people taliban fears most ..and Et you must be knowing why r you attacked continuously.It is very pathetic in pakistan that sane voices r being made silent by the devils and people r mere spectator silently watching doing nothing.Recommend

  • Atif

    12. Attention from family/friends/neighbors/pan walas etc.Recommend

  • Aabi Duh Bookhari

    You know you didnt have to do 10 things on such a serious incidence as this wasRecommend

  • Syed Owais Mukhtar

    taliban are the people secular fear most !!Recommend

  • Pointraiser

    a sorrowful incident but awesomely written.Recommend

  • fatima

    its called dark humor pal.Recommend

  • gp65

    Did you mean Israeli agents or do you also personally hold grudge against Jews?Recommend

  • gp65

    Really? Is it only secular people who fear the cruel and murderous TTP? No God fearing Muslims praying for safe return of heir lived ones in presence of such lawlessness? And do TTP only attack secular people? For what crime – that they are secular? And it looks like you appreciate the fact that TTP attacks innocent people for the crime that they treat people of other faith with respect?Recommend

  • Khurram Zia Khan

    The insane rivalry between news channels is hard to understand. Considering the sensitivity of various incidents happening around us, I hope channels learn from their mistakes and start naming the channel rather then using word Niji channel. Coming back to the article,Jahanzaib describe one of the most difficult situation superbly.Lets hope every one remain safe.Whenever any office come under attack, I feel sorry for the poor security personnels who are the first line of defence and often get killed or injured in these attacks. Someone should also do something good for these guards working to protects us in a meagr salary without propoer acilitiesRecommend

  • gp65

    Same story repeats. People maintain silence because they think they will never be the ones attacked.Recommend

  • gp65

    My sympathies for the families of those that are bereaved. Hope God gives them strength and courage to bear the loss. Also my prayers for rest of you – hope you stay safe.Recommend

  • Alann

    Does that mean outside Pakistan?Recommend

  • gp65

    Question – what would be wrong if they were indeed Jewish agents? What exactly are Jewish agents guilty of – lending money on interest? You probably meant Israeli agents. In which case I have never followed why people in Pakistan believe that Mossad agents are constantly roaming around in Pakistan trying to mess hings up? I mean they have a pretty tough neighborhood with sworn enemies. I am sure they have their hands full and would see no benefit in taking unnecessary pangas.Recommend

  • gp65

    How did you come up with that conclusion? Do TTP not attack God fearing Muslims also? Moreover you seem to think that killing secular peoplle is a good thing. Would you explain why?Recommend

  • Parvez

    I think a pat on the back of the person responsible for your overall security is in order.
    Liked the debonair style of writing to highlight a serious incident.Recommend

  • bigsaf

    Glad most of you are safe.

    Couldn’t help but recall your earlier article barely 2 weeks ago. Some powerful foreshadowing. Certainly braver than most of us.


  • x

    Silence any dissent. Scare the people from reporting facts which go against them.Recommend

  • Ammar

    Guys at ET had it coming.Recommend

  • Nawaz

    Even if there are Jewish or Hindu or Christian agents, there should be no allowance in our world for such violence or attacks.
    No violence, period! If there are disagreements, fight it with dialogue and words and ideas. Influence people through logic and reasoning.
    We need the society to become more Western and liberal in thought and behavior – at least when it comes to conflict resolution.Recommend

  • Mubeen

    any safe place u know? GHQ? it’s already been targetedRecommend

  • Tanzeel Ahmad

    Harbor Front perhaps.Recommend

  • gp65

    for what crime? No one makes you read the newspaper at gun point you know.
    Also I bet you are one of those who consider Mehsud a shahid even as you justify attack on media and an attempt to suppress dissent.Recommend

  • Parvez

    Did someone die in the incident ?……..if so I missed that.Recommend

  • Noman Ansari

    Well said.Recommend

  • Noman Ansari

    No there is nothing wrong with being Jewish.Recommend

  • Noman Ansari

    Hain? Nice attempt at trying to stir the pot. That is what the people in the comments said, and I responded. Saying someone is not a Jewish agent doesn’t mean I am against Jews. (Also, being against an interest group’s agents doesn’t mean you are against the entire interest. What if you, GP65, were against Muslim agents in India. Would that mean you are anti-Muslim?)

    It is like someone calling me a tomato and I say, no, I am not a tomato. That doesn’t mean I mind tomatoes or I ‘personally hold grudge against tomatoes’.. ;) I have Jewish friends.

    Being politically correct doesn’t mean it overtakes common sense.

    After my Waar blog, I got numerous emails claiming I was on the
    expensive payroll of a Jewish lobby! I wish! The Tribune only pays a 1000 rupees! (Note: ‘I wish’ was said in sarcasm. I
    don’t want to be on the payroll of a Jewish lobby, though if you are of a Jewish lobby, email me. (Note 2: This was also sarcasm.)Recommend

  • Noman Ansari

    If I ever needed a lawyer, I’d hire gp65 as my attorney.Recommend

  • Noman Ansari

    Really? They had a threat to their lives coming? Because they post opinions that disagree with you? Welcome to Nazi Germany!Recommend

  • Xara

    Stop blaming everything on TTP as if they do care what ET says aboutt them. They give a damn to opinion of the whole nation.
    Dont forget who is ruling karachiRecommend

  • Xara

    I seriously want someone to write on ’10 thing i hate about being attacked by Drone from some other country while living in my own country’Recommend

  • gp65

    Mods- Please allow response o someone who has written to me.

    First of all my comment was edited. Hence I wrote a separate comment to which you responded.

    Anyway, I would never refer to Muslim agents though I could refer to Pakistani agents. There is a difference between identifying someone by nationality and religion. Pakistan may have conflicts wit sme nation but surely not wih a religion? That is the point I was making.Recommend

  • gp65

    There is a difference between identifying someone by a nationality (with whom your nation has a conflict) and identifying them by religion. That is the point I was making. For the same reason I would not refer to a Muslim agent but could refer to a Pakistani agent. When you say that they were not Jewish agents, it is by no means the same as saying ‘I am not a tomato’. For in the former there is an implication that had they been Jewish agents, the anger and biolence would be justified and I question the basis for that.

    Rest of your original comment and rebuttal was well understood and appreciated.Recommend

  • gp65
  • gp65

    That was my impression by reading the original news item. I may have been mistaken. No matter, if there was no death and only injury, that is a good thing – even if that makes me factually incorrect. My hope then is to wish a speedy recovery to those injured.Recommend

  • gp65

    Why don’t you write a blog if that is an important issue for you? There is no need to undermine this atrocity simply because in your opinion there is a different atrocity also being committed.Recommend

  • ignorantways

    Hun Pta Lga ” Kinay 20 , 100 hunda ”

    due to insensitivity level , now if you people of ET will suffer , nothing special. routine stuff . . .

    because majority of staffers dont know the sufferings of others. ( all others not only specific others )Recommend

  • gp65

    ET mods (2nd attempt) – please allow response to someone who has written to me.

    I did not actually think you hated Jews- have read enough of our blogs to know you are very level headed. Your statement that the ET employees are not Jewish agents was however not just of the type ‘I am not a tomato’. It seemed to tell people that these are not Jewish agents so do not deserve the hate and violence of these hate mongers. Conversely, you could understand the violence and hatred if they indeed were Jewish agents.

    It is in this context that I asked why would you be okay with this violence EVEN IF they were Jewish agents?

    Secondly I tried to differentiate between national identity and religious identity as a basis of conflict/resentment. Thus Pakistan may perceive itself to be in conflict with Israel but what problem do they have with Jews? The example you gave in fact reinforces my point. I would never refer to a Pakistani agent as a Muslim agent. This is because Muslim agent could just be a fellow Indian who is an agent of any product or service say insurance. Hope the point I am making is clear.


  • gp65

    ET – 2nd attempt. Please allow response to someone who wrote to me

    That is the impression I had got by reading the original news item. If I am wrong and there were no fatalities – I am so glad I was wrong. In that case, I wish a speedy recovery to those that may have been injured.Recommend

  • Noman Ansari

    ” Your statement that the ET employees are not Jewish agents was however
    not just of the type ‘I am not a tomato’. It seemed to tell people that
    these are not Jewish agents so do not deserve the hate and violence of
    these hate mongers.”

    There was nothing wrong with my statement and I think you are completely projecting here out of some politically correct thing.Recommend

  • Noman Ansari

    I see what you are saying and respect you as a regular commentator and part of the community. :) Agree to disagree. :)Recommend

  • gp65

    Sorry. It looks like I said the same thing 3 times. Did not mean to. I just thought my original responses were filtered so kept trying”.

    I have a great deal of respect for our opinion. Differences of opinion are in fact valuable n nuancing one’s own thought process. The world would be a pretty boring place if we were all clones of each other.


  • jin

    oh another paki liberal bashing pakistan now…please see some of the comments by your white friends on Yahoo articles/liveleak videos regarding blasts that took place in Pakistan and then come and rant about why u hate Pakistanis.Recommend