Stories about airblue

Mayday mayday, our daredevil pilot wants to fly through a thunderstorm!

Thai Air may have a very good air worthiness record both for their fleet and the flying staff. Being a Thai Air passenger on several occasions I have had no bad memories until I flew back to Islamabad on March 17th, 2014 from Manila via Bangkok. Thai Air is probably one of the few foreign airlines that still maintain daily flights from three cities in Pakistan; all western airlines including Singapore Airlines stopped flying into Pakistan for various reasons, almost a decade ago, Thai Air has been providing that necessary bridge to keep Pakistan connected to Asia. By making a code-share agreement ...

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Airblue crash: No answers, no follow-up

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 ...

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Is media truly society’s watchdog?

In present times, Pakistani media is known as a vibrant, revolutionary and overwhelmingly powerful tool in shaping society’s opinion on a host of issues and for serving as a watchdog of government actions. However, the question remains whether the media fulfils the responsibilities it claims to or does it only look after its monetary or political interest. On July 28 Airblue Flight ED-202 crashed into the Margalla Hills in Islamabad, killing all 152 passengers and crew members, as the entire nation looked on in horror. Instantly, the electronic media paid unprecedented attention towards the incident the entire day. The Prime Minster expressed ...

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Media sensationalism trumped by online insensitivity

When the Airblue flight ED 202 crashed into the Margalla hills, there was a barrage of criticism against the media reportage of the incident. Sensationalist, unethical and downright insensitive were the allegations against the Pakistani media, and to be honest, they were not misplaced. From boasting to be the first ones to have broken the news to showing gory footage of blood and body parts, running after families of the victims for juicy soundbytes depicting their pain and giving false hope by airing incorrect reports of survivors, the media certainly had a chargesheet of complaints against it, and justifiably so. Bloggers ...

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When will our police act?

I had not completely recovered from the shock of losing six of my friends in the Airblue plane crash when I witnessed another gruesome death on Wednesday night, day two of the recent spate of violence in Karachi. I was returning home from work when the situation in Gulistan- e- Jauhar suddenly deteriorated. There was heavy firing between two spots in the area, Jauhar Morr and Jauhar Chowrangi. In a state of panic, most cars turned around on the same road creating a jam. In the midst of this, my eyes were drawn to a few bystanders looking down at something. With a ...

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Floods and selective silence in the blogosphere

As I write these lines, the latest reports put the death toll from floods at some 1,100 with 1.5 million affectees and some 100,000 plagued by diseases like cholera. Most of those affected are stranded at remote areas, away from safety, with no food or shelter or clean water and with no access to medical facilities. The waters still rage on and more villages are vulnerable to disaster, risking yet many more thousands of lives. However, I am appalled by the utterly careless, stolid response of the Pakistan media in general and the blogosphere in particular towards this issue. While ...

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Floods make victims vulnerable to Taliban risk

As the country is waking up to one of the most devastating floods of its history the response of the rescue and relief agencies has been slow to say the least. The death toll has crossed the 1,000 figure and the number is still rising.  According to the UN, almost one million people have been affected. Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, the province already facing the brunt of war against militancy and terrorism, has suffered the most from these floods. Areas as far as the tribal agencies in the west have been inundated and with the poor structure of governance prevailing there rescue and ...

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Flight ED202: Closer to home

What made the plane crash of July 28 different from all the other numerous tragedies – suicide blasts, floods, the war in the north – to recently befall Pakistan? This is one question on many people’s minds. On the day of the crash at least 80 other deaths took place in our country. Deaths not related to the crash. Yet this one incident took precedence not only in media coverage – do reporters run to the houses of victims’ families after every suicide blast or drone attack? — but also in the hearts and minds of those around me. The ...

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Victims need action not rhetoric

According to the government, around 800 people have died in floods that have struck Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Around 270,000 people have been affected by floods in Balochistan, more than 15,000 houses have been destroyed and 25,000 families in Naseerabad are homeless. While we sit in the comfort of our homes up to 300,000 people remain without food and shelter, struggling to get to higher ground with what little is left of their belongings. I can only wonder what we are to do for our brothers and sisters who no longer have homes to go back to, who are without food and ...

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‘Look beta, that’s where the plane crashed’

As the clouds finally gave way to the sun, dozens of families from the twin cities decided to make a day out of it and rushed to Daman-e-Koh, to look at the debris of fallen flight ED 202. I didn’t exactly hear what these mothers were telling their children, but from their expressions and their hard-contained excitement I’m pretty sure it was something along these lines. ‘Look beta, that’s where the plane crashed,’ ‘Dekho, dekho, not many people get to see air crash sites in their lifetime!’ Sensing the mob’s interest, a lone entrepreneur hooked up his binoculars and started charging Rs10  for ...

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