Airblue crash: No answers, no follow-up

Published: June 7, 2011

The attacks, murders, tragedies leave behind a plethora of questions adding to the conundrum of our miserable lives.

Last summer, a commercial plane crashed into Islamabad’s Margalla Hills. This tragic event took the entire country by shock. It was heart breaking to learn that so many people lost their lives.

The incident sparked several emotions. The accident  and wounds still open, much discussion took place.

Was the bad weather to be blamed for the crash?

Was it human error in interpreting the signals from the control tower?

Or, was it one of the conspiracy theories that took shape amidst the many debates a year back?

As authorities resolved to investigate the matter, some dared to hope. Perhaps the black box sent for “expert analyses,” would yield some results?

Families of the tragic Airblue crash continue to wait for some clue that may be uncovered about Air Blue’s terrible accident. However, like all things in Pakistan, after almost a year, little has happened.

It is hard to prove whether the box ever really made it to France at all.

If it did, then should we not know the outcome of the analysis?

Unfortunately, in a country like Pakistan, the media has so many threats to worry about that there is little room left for things of the past. My analysis may sound over simplistic, naïve, or pessimistic but it is true.

In the past many probes have been brushed under the rug. Some examples include the murder of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, the OBL operation, the PNS Mehran attack and most recently, the brutal murder of the journalist Saleem Shahzad.

A commission was put together to investigate the Abbottabad operation but it was dismantled within 10 hours of its formation.

Despite the daily dose of loud political talk shows, it’s a shame that the media’s efforts hardly seem to result in fruitful impact on the people ruling this country.

Divided between hope and despondency, I demand that the authorities and the government and the many ministers that enjoy extraordinary luxuries, provide answers to the people. Perhaps frequent attacks, murders and tragedies are not circumstances we must live with – but the least we deserve are answers.


Mubeshra Pracha

A journalism graduate from Kinnaird College, Lahore. She also writes for

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

  • Rehaman

    Did you not read the story of the PIA pilot who was flying with the foreign minister Querashi and reported that his instruments were jammed after taking off from Islamabad.

    The same problem hit the air blue flight

    This may have been preplanned at the way the official announcements were made.Recommend

  • Nadeem

    Just a few weeks or months before the Air Blue crash an Indian jet had crashed landing at Mangalore. Its investigation report officially came out a long a time ago. But heh, that’s India – we don’t do things like that in Pakistan. Transparency, accountability, taking stock……these are not for us. Recommend

  • hassaan akram

    I question the sincerity of all involved. A few days ago prime minister’s son’s phone was stolen and the entire city police came into action looking for it. And they found it in a day. Its as George Orwell said “All men are equal, but some are more equal than others”

    Keep up the good work mubeshra…Recommend

  • Meekal Ahmed

    Not only has the ‘black-box’ been de-coded, an accident report has been prepared. It is with the CAA and the Ministry of Defense. There are two cases in court; I know the surviving families are also in touch with international lawyers.

    Only the courts have the power to demand publication of the report. The government will not listen to anyone else.

    In the meantime, the powerful and well-connected CEO of Air Blue will do everything in his power to keep the report concealed.

    I understand they haven’t even started building a memorial at the crash site, as promised. The first anniversary of the accident is around the corner.

    Bad weather and ATC errors don’t by and of themselves cause accidents. They are only links in a chain.

    Based on other similar accidents, this does seem to be a clear case of ‘pilot error’ alongwith multiple contributory factors. Recommend

  • Haris Lodhi

    Dear Mubeshera Parachi,
    Thank you for writing on this topic. I am Haris lodhi son of shireen Lodhi who lost her life in this crash. Yes ! we are following up with all concerned authorities and sure that we will have all answers one day. This need patience and some courage to ask from our corrupt Baboos.

    Our determination is very strong and inshallah we will have a clear picture soon .

    Haris Lodhi
    Son of Shireen Lodhi

  • Meekal Ahmed


    Yes, the crash of the Air India Express Boeing 737-800 is out and available for any one to read. Although again, there were many contributory factors, the main factor in the accident was ‘pilot error’. The captain came in “hot-and-high” and could not stop on the short, ‘table-top’ runway. He ignored his co-pilot’s urgings to “go-around” and make another landing attempt.

    It is to be noted that this report has been published despite knowing that there will be law suits claiming man-slaughter (as in the Air France 447 case).

    India has a good tradtion of publishing air accident reports. Pakistan has no tradition of doing so in 63 years. Let us hope this time will be different. Recommend

  • parvez

    The reason official reports and facts are kept suppressed could be due legal requirements and also the tricky point of compensation for the victims of the disaster.Recommend

  • Irfan Khan

    Recently i traveled through airblue from Dubai to Peshawar. As i was connecting through my European carrier, i found amazing facts about airblue. Air Blue does not have their own Telex system to message other airport for missing luggage. Air Blue does not have any agreements with other airlines for luggage transfer. And on top of this service Air Blue allows flammable items on board. I followed my European rules of travel and was shocked to see what other passengers were carrying. Through out flight the cockpit door was opened. The air hostesses could use the computer system. And on top technically, i noticed the fuselage was bit dented, now in normally circumstances i as commercial poilet will never fly that plane but MR KNOW ALL CAPT flew it any way. While i was sitting so close to cockpit i noticed the first officer did not went through normal checks which he should do prior to landing, and even which he did they are out dated long long time ago. This air line is getting away with murder. That’s all i understand.Recommend

  • Haris Lodhi

    Dear Irfan Khan,
    Thank you for pointingout this point and I am sure this will help us to improve and making skies safer.If you kindly let me know ur PNR no of this flight then we can proceed for this complain.You may email me at [email protected]
    Looking forward for your reply and followup for corrective measures by this air line.
    Haris LodhiRecommend

  • Irfan Khan

    First of all Harris, sorry for your great lose, may allah be merciful on you and your family. I will email you my complain and other related documents, but before i do that i will let you know how far i went to pursue my case i did complain airblue about this incident but their Famous Marketing director Raheel Ahmed on behest of CEO Tariq Chaudhary, told me that every thing is normal and okay and nothing can be done. He has such a twisted mind, i cant explain, they use VOIP phones from UK, their IP comany is based in Birmingham, Now picture this they act european standard comany but bottom idea is one village idiot policy. Money matters to them, when it comes to compensate they have all good reasons of world to not give away a penny, i couldnt get them in Pakistan but in Europe i did, as i used online payment the payment,which went through European server and banking system, and ultimately giving me the right to defend and protect my buying rights, I am fighting the case so far they will end paying me compensation, but picture this my lawyer told me that fear is that in order to not to obey the courts or pay against sue case they will simply change the company, declare it bankcrupt in UK, and set up new company and business as usual,My lawyer informed me that they have done it twice like this in past. the airline is comprised of bunch of idiots, they say one, do the other and show the third. I spoke on numerous occation with Raheel about my legal battle, during conversation i did mentioned him this Islamabad crash, but what this man of honour says to me boiled my blood, he told me, we werent on fault, and this is Pakistan, you pay here and there and you can save from paying larger amounts to victims. WTF** living peole got killed and you say you will bribe here and there to avoid admitting your fault. if any of victims aid the ticket online then the case can be pursued in Europe…
    Take care ManRecommend

  • Qaiser Zulfiqar

    I lost my 29 year old younger brother in this crash who was returning from Karachi after his engagement on July 25th. I and my mother stayed for couple of days. Awfully I did not find the body of my brother for burial. The management took our DNA test for identification but no report negative or positive has ever been handed over to us which testifies that no DNA tests were ever conducted. I am an eye witness. The way operator, hospital, CAA, district government dealt with post crash situation. I, my whole family and God knows better what trauma and pain we are still going through. No one did anything for the traumatized families. We the Affectees took initiative ourselves to expose the malpractices everywhere, corruption, weaknesses of the operator and our system with the clear purpose in mind to make our skies safer for rest of the people. Air Traveling was not stopped after this crash. But no one is aware of his/her rights and obligations. Same is the case with the Airlines who never disclose their obligations to the passengers but always stresses upon their rights. We want to change the culture, the system but it is very unfortunate that we are not being supported to echo our voice against this corruption. It would be historic and milestone achievement of our group to bend the government on its knees for publicizing the crash report. It has never happened in Aviation history of Pakistan despite the fact that around 8 air disastrous air accidents has occurred but no report of any of them is available. We need public support, media’s support, Judiciary’s support to make our skies safer not for ourselves but for everybody. Recommend