Peshawar attack: The faulty alarm clock that saved a life

Published: December 16, 2014
15-year-old Dawood is lucky to be alive. PHOTO COURTESY: FAMILY

15-year-old Dawood is lucky to be alive. PHOTO COURTESY: FAMILY


Peshawar stands shocked, the country stands shocked, the sporting fraternity stands shocked and so does national U16 judoka Dawood Ibrahim; alive only because someone got married on Monday night and Dawood’s alarm did not work in the morning.

The judoka would have been another body in the pile – a plus-one in the death toll of the terrorist attack at the Army Public School on Warsak Road in Peshawar – had it not been for an incredible piece of fortune.

Fifteen-year-old Dawood, could not wake up on time and had to skip school. He is the only survivor of his school’s ninth grade class. He has now buried six of his closest friends in one day. The shock has rendered him speechless and he is showing no emotion. “Dawood isn’t talking to anyone, he isn’t talking at all,” his elder brother Sufyan Ibrahim told The Express Tribune. “He is in judo and is a tough child but he is showing no emotion at all right now. He just attended funerals the entire day. No one from his class survived; every single one of them was killed.”

Sufyan also revealed the reason why his brother was not in school that day. “Dawood is lucky. He missed school today because we attended a wedding last night, and he overslept; it was fate.”

Pakistan Judo Federation secretary Masood Ahmed added that Dawood is not the only one affected and all the athletes in the ongoing U16 national camp in Peshawar are ready to donate their blood to the injured.

The silence of an alarm clock saved a life and the silence of Dawood now needs to wake up many.

Aisam condemns attack

Tennis ace Aisamul Haq Qureshi condemned the attack and revealed that three of his cousin’s children were inside the school when the attack took place.

“Luckily, my cousin’s children survived, but what is left of the school is just inexplicable,” said Aisam. “It is the darkest moment in our history, with so many children dead. I can only pray. It is time for the government and the political parties to come together, and as a nation we need to show what we are made of.”

Kaleemullah and football mourn

In Chaman, footballer Kaleemullah said that he has been crying since he heard the news.

“What are we doing? Why we are doing this?” he asked. “We are trying to build Pakistan. These children who died in the attack; their parents were sending them to study so that they can do something for the country in the future, but what is the point? All of these children that I see on television, they were like my brothers and sisters.”

Cricket stands stunned

The world of cricket has also expressed its grief with several players, past and present, taking to social media to condemn the attack.

“Those were our kids. What the hell is happening in this world,” said former Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh.

“Cannot believe what I am seeing in Pakistan. Greatest act of cowardice. Killing kids in school,” said former England captain Michael Vaughan.

T20I captain Shahid Afridi also expressed shock and reached out to the victims and their families. “Shocking news, don’t have words to explain this brutality,” said Afridi. “My heart and feelings are with the affected.”

So did former spinner Saqlain Mushtaq. “My prayers are with the innocent schoolchildren who have lost their souls today in Peshawar.”


Published in The Express Tribune, December 17th,  2014.

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Reader Comments (21)

  • shabee
    Dec 17, 2014 - 12:51AM

    i do not understand that was there space for a day when only words would become the symbol of humanity? changing to black display images, listening for a while to the talk shows, does it balance the grief? i see that all of this is becoming a trend and one day it won`t even bother us


  • waheed
    Dec 17, 2014 - 2:10AM

    no clock has the power to save lives.


  • AJamal
    Dec 17, 2014 - 7:38AM

    Nothing will happen for better. Security budget will be increased and rulers and their families protection will be beefed up. All at the cost of ordinary people.


  • M Adil
    Dec 17, 2014 - 10:03AM

    انا لله وانااليه رجعون.
    All praise to the Almighty who created death and live to examin you that who does good deeds. Can’t hold my tears.
    O people of Peshawar O my brothers and sisters dont worry Allah swt is with you, surely he will reward you in this world and the hereafter and will punish those involed in this, no matter who they are and where they are.


  • In the name of love (what more)
    Dec 17, 2014 - 11:34AM

    The path that Pakistan army has forced upon the people of Pakistan, that of holy war, will be full of incidents like these. Govts after govts. have been busy filling their accounts before another military coup ousts them or before these beasts turn Pakistan into a state of chaos, while the leaders fly out and live a comfortable life in another ‘friendly’ country. Can Pakistan denounce the holy war of all forms? Can Islam allow it to come out of the holy war?


  • Gurion
    Dec 17, 2014 - 12:42PM

    @M Adil:

    All praise to the Almighty who created
    death and live to examin you that who
    does good deeds

    Those just might have been the words of the terrorists too.


  • Baba
    Dec 17, 2014 - 2:52PM

    It’s time to enforce the death penalty with the a vengeance!


  • Insider
    Dec 17, 2014 - 2:53PM

    Lucky one. But I don’t understanding bragging about Judo by his brother and his association.


  • ishrat salim
    Dec 17, 2014 - 2:59PM

    Sad…RIP kids…incident one after another for the past 10 years, but no accountability nor any improvement is in sight to improve law & order & safety of our countrys citizens. None of the govt has & had set priority in this important sector. PPP govt was busy in pocketing & now PML N govt busy building metros & motorways etc; with least focus on providing resources to improve police & LEAs effective working & legislating laws to strengthen the hands of police & judiciary. This shows they are only bothered to save their & familys lives, forgetting that if this kind of attitude continues, they & their family may face the same fate ( god forbid ) one day. The Pesahwar kids who are alive will ever face the torment until the govt provides counselling…do we have that kind of facility ? parents who can afford will bear the cost of treatment, but what about those effected who cannot ? we all have failed !
    our zameer is dead. If TODAY Peshawar carnage does not wake our conscience / conscious / zameer, then when ?


  • Dec 17, 2014 - 3:50PM

    It is a real sad news for all the humans on earth, remember one thing u are answerable for your deeds and we are approaching very fast for that day. May there soles rest in peace


  • praveen
    Dec 17, 2014 - 4:11PM

    This is the worst tragedy of recent time. May those little souls stay in peace in gods lap. I can not say about few fanatic people in india but rest entire country is mourning the savage attack on humanity. Some people are blaming pakistani army and politicians for their flawed policies towards terrorism but the parents,brothers and sisters of the slain kids can blame whom?..Their misfortune or gods justice. …these kids would have even not grown enough to commit a crime that god can justify their killings. May god do the justice to the abhorrent killers of these little precious jewels on earth . Every ordinary Indian stands behind Pakistan in the times of this international tragedy. Our deepest condolences to the families of the departed souls.


  • Moin
    Dec 17, 2014 - 7:20PM

    This really a heart broken …..cnt express it ….but i will pray for there family …may Allah bring peace on them ….no doubt …these kids will be in heaven …….how can anyone kill the kids … no humanity is left in them…. plz stop this ….we want live in peace …. our eyes cant sees things like this …..May Allah bring them in right path ….AmeemRecommend

  • Rao
    Dec 17, 2014 - 10:58PM

    At least now , this horrible event should remind Pak politicians to realize that it’s serious dangers are born within and do not come from outside enemy.

    Time to take stock of all its policies , decide who the real enemy is and carry on with a vigorous campaign to root out the murderous beast!


  • Anindita
    Dec 18, 2014 - 1:37AM

    This is the worst tragedy..How can they just kill innocent kids..Why dont Pakistan just blast them? These kids didnt belong to any political parties any religious parties..They belonged to their parents and they are lost now…
    God please dont spare these hearless peoples…


  • asma
    Dec 18, 2014 - 1:19PM

    ALLAH PLZZ PLZZ forgive us for our faults n save pakistan n pak army


  • asma
    Dec 18, 2014 - 1:19PM

    ALLAH PLZZ PLZZ forgive us for our faults n save pakistan n pak army


  • Mahmood Ahmad
    Dec 18, 2014 - 1:38PM

    So Saaaddddddd!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    it was a TRAGIC day in the history of Pakistan……..
    i don’t know what was the fault of those innocent children??????????????


  • Basheer
    Dec 18, 2014 - 1:50PM

    it is required to capture that faulty watch alarm, and investigate the matter, how it could happen to absent –
    the terrorist clue is there only


  • hamid
    Dec 18, 2014 - 5:46PM

    its black day for Pakistan , our politicians should know todo batter instead of blaming each other ….. we have lose so many innocent lives of your country and and now the students this is v sad


  • Sarcastic
    Dec 18, 2014 - 6:19PM

    Why this media channels and news paper are sharing these picture…. why are these media people putting the lives of these saved children into danger


  • rida hussain
    Dec 18, 2014 - 10:09PM

    i don’t know what to say.i don’t know should i move on in life,while praying for these individuals should i start my routine work and get myself busy in the hustle bustle of life. i know they are surely right now at the most highest ranked place. they are the guests of Allah. They surely are little angles their innocence defeated the coward terrorists. They were weapon-less…

    but wo martay martay humain jaga gaye..our real heroes…i love them all…!! a anonymous person whose heart is weeping.


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