Stories about bomb blast

After all, Kabul is no Manchester, and the media and world’s reaction proved it

At some level, I do understand why no Facebook profile picture filters appeared or why no hashtags dominated the social media landscape after a bombing in Kabul or Baghdad. It is assumed that cities like these must be acclimatised to the reign of terror; to towering plumes of smoke; to children’s blood being spilled on the city’s pavements; and to mangled corpses strewn on the dirty streets. It is assumed that they must be used to mothers wailing in a strange cacophony; to rundown ambulances whirring past shocked onlookers, who in turn are used to their unacknowledged existence; and used to the ...

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Omran thought it was just a game…

Perhaps they were playing the Street Sniper game. It was all the rage among the kids in Aleppo. Or they could have been playing the Hand Grenade Saga. He must have understood the game in bits and pieces, following his older siblings around the house. Maybe he hid under the sink or behind the door on the terrace. He must have covered his ears, anticipating the sound that his brother made while imitating a bomb blast. But the sound that came next…..was not the fake sound. It was so real, it shattered all windows on impact. Somewhere inside the house, he hid behind the door ...

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I am not saying other terrorist attacks should have less recognition but that Pakistan did not receive enough

On December 16, 2014, Pakistan experienced the darkest day in its history. Barbaric monsters from Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) massacred over 144 people, out of which 132 were children, at the Army Public School (APS) in Peshawar. The youngest of victims were six-years-old. Many young children saw friends, teachers and staff from their school slaughtered in front of their eyes. Many lay amongst dead bodies, pretending to be dead themselves. The horrors of that day are too unbearable to think about and too graphic to mention. The world watched and turned its eyes away. One hundred and twenty two dead children and no ...

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Dear Ziaul Haq, we are paying the price for your decisions today

Respected Sir, It has been almost 27 years since your death. The flesh and dismantled bones placed in your grave would have turned to dust by now. Many governments were formed since your death. Many dictators have ruled us after you. Your rival’s daughter embraced shahadat (martyrdom) – as they say. A war even broke out in our neighbourhood. Can you guess who the predator was and who the target? That smile on your face will quickly disappear when I inform you that I am not talking about Saudi Arabia invading India. I am referring to America invading Afghanistan. Yes sir, the same Afghanistan that ...

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A 21 gun salute to honour a dishonoured land

She woke up to the sudden thud. The rattling windowpanes had sent her in a state of panic. She tried to leap out of her bed but her emaciated muscles clearly were not a help. “Another bomb blast!” she exclaimed frightfully. I, sharing the room with Grandma during my visit back home, gave her a hand getting up. A smile crept across my face, as I understood the reason of her anxiety. “Don’t worry, it is the 21 gun salute to honour our Motherland, Dado”, I reminded her, my words perfectly coinciding with the second thud. A wave of relief appeared on ...

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Letters to my deceased parents

When there’s a bomb blast, it takes a few seconds to realise what has happened and then you hear people screaming, dying and running like they never have.  The physical impressions last a few hours. There is sadness, there’s mourning and then for the majority it’s buried somewhere down memory lane. But then, there’s the psychological impact, where the clock keeps ticking and the bomb keeps exploding again and again and again…ad infinitum. While investigating a recent story as to what happened to the victims of a bomb attack, I came across a 17-year-old girl who lost her parents. She lives in extreme poverty with ...

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Pak sarzameen shaadbaad

“Pak sarzameen shaadbaad” (Blessed be the sacred land) The old, rusty metal door made a creaking sound when the hunched attendant with crooked teeth and clubbed, callous fingers with dirty nails, opened it with a push of his shoulder. He took a drag from the cigarette hanging between his beetle nut stained lips and exhaled. The smoke made strange shapes before disappearing into the thick air. A lone, low wattage energy saver hung from the ceiling with a wire, the light it emitted made everything look ghastly. Not that there were many things worth seeing. The smell of tobacco got mixed with the strong ...

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RIP Chaudhry Aslam: The man who walked through fire

I walked into the newsroom and everyone was buzzing. There was a blast in Hassan Square and someone was dead. It’s Karachi so you know, this stuff happens every other day, but it wasn’t just any other day and it wasn’t just someone. It was Chaudhry Aslam. The Taliban finally got him. After God knows how many attempts, they finally got him. In 2011, they blew up his house and then in January 2006 there was an assassination attempt made on him at Gizri by gunmen associated with a big political party. Chaudhry Aslam’s house bombed. Photo: AFP I grew fond ...

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A doctor’s worst nightmare

It had been a pretty gruelling 30 hours. Her hands shook as she poured out a cup of tea for herself and tried to relax. Four patients had been admitted with final stage liver disease, the previous night. Two of them had died during the night, despite all efforts at resuscitation. One was recovering after suffering a massive bout of vomiting blood and the fourth was in a coma, but she was hopeful he would come out of it. Half of her night had been spent explaining the dismal prognosis of de-compensated liver disease to the patients’ relatives and attendants, and ...

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Steps that can save your life during a hostage situation or a bomb blast

In an emergency situation regarding terrorism, being prepared can make a difference between life and death. Such events can turn from a scarring memory to a compelling  anecdote which you can share with your friends, if you know how to react. Here are some guidelines that will help you ensure that if, God forbid, such an event does come up, you are prepared to handle it. 1. The immediate response to an attack a. First and foremost, keep your distance from the source of the blast or attack. Avoid standing in large crowds after an attack, as there is always a ...

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