Balochistan University bus attack: My best friend died the day he wanted to live his life!
Students from BUITEMS had prepared for an annual party that night. Little did we know what fate had in store for us.
After spending all day preparing for a party at my university, I slept very late. I could hardly wait for the next morning, when my classmates and I would finally be performing in the plays we had prepared for. We had parodies lined up and even a fashion show.
The next morning was going to be fantastic, I thought. The fashion show was a party tradition of the computer science and computer engineering departments of the Balochistan University of Information Technology, Engineering and Management Sciences (BUITEMS).
This time, upon my insistence, my friend Aqeel agreed to walk the ramp. After a lot of practice, Aqeel could walk like a real model and was very excited. He had asked Noman, our classmate, to bring his camera and take pictures of him while he modelled, dressed to the nines.
I was overtaken by the thoughts of how terrific the next day would be and went to bed at 3:00am.
The next morning:
It was morning of June, 18, 2012. I remember my mother calling my name again and again as she asked me to wake up. I was getting late for the party, but I was so exhausted from last night that I kept falling asleep.
Suddenly, I felt as though the air in my room got sucked out and I heard a loud explosion. Every inch of my room shook. The glass windows vibrated from the impact. I was horrified by what had just happened and was unable to comprehend much in my half asleep state. My eyes met the clock on the wall; it was quarter to nine.
I ran down the staircase and saw my mother looking equally worried sitting in the living room. Upon my enquiry as to what had just happened, she told me she had no idea what it was. My father stood outside the house, looking for clues. He told me that it may have been a rocket attack explosion.
I went back to my room and tucked myself in bed, clueless about what the consequences of this explosive sound were.
Twenty minutes later, my brother came running to my room.
“Your university bus was attacked near the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) office. There was a bomb blast. Do you know that?” he asked.
Suddenly, my brain went blank. It was as if I could not breathe. I couldn’t even imagine that something might have happened to my dear university friends.
I hurriedly changed my clothes and ran towards the blast location in a state of utter panic. The FIA office was on Samungli Road, at a 10-minute walk from my house.
I was breathless when I reached the site. In front of my eyes was the university bus I would have been in had I woken up earlier. It was completely destroyed in the bomb blast. A burnt bus stood there in tatters. There were no bodies as people had taken the injured and dead to the hospital. I went back home and left for the hospital immediately.
Upon reaching the hospital, I saw a very sad picture. People were mourning. Women were crying in disbelief. I started finding people who I knew were supposed to be on that bus.
Soon I came to know that my dear friend Aqeel, who was supposed to steal the show this morning on the ramp, was no more. A feeling of irreparable loss took over me. I felt like everything I had known was gone. I waited all day with my friends for the medics to return Aqeel’s body to his family.
When Aqeel’s body was finally revealed to us, Noman and I began to cry.
“Look, Aqeel, I brought the camera with me. Here it is! But why aren’t you on the ramp?”
It hurt so much that I wished it was just a nightmare and I would wake up and get ready to meet my friends at the university. But this wasn’t a dream and we all had to accept that.
This June, we had another department party and it went great, but the difference was that there was no Aqeel, excitedly waiting to walk the ramp, dressed like a star. Noman sat quietly in the crowd instead of hopping all around the stage taking photographs of his dear friend.
This post originally appeared here.