I am a death toll, please tell my family

I died along with with 20 people in the city. I am a number, can you please tell my mother?

Madiha Javed July 15, 2011
I am a Pathan

My family lives in Swat, I've come to Karachi looking for work without knowing anyone in this big city. I started my struggle six months ago. Back in Swat I have a family, a pretty wife and four children. I want to send my children to school but can’t afford it.

The economy in Swat is bad; there is no work which is why I've come to Karachi. They say it’s a big city and everybody gets something or the other according to their naseeb (luck). Well, I've come here to try my luck too.

After a long struggle my life is finally settling down. I have learnt how to drive a rickshaw from my friend with whom I share a small jhuggi with. He helps me with renting a rickshaw, and for the past two months I have been dropping people from one place to another.

This month for the first time I have saved some money for my family in Swat. I told my wife that soon the bad days will be over and eventually I will return back to her and start a small chai ka dhabba in our valley.

I was going back to my jhuggi after dropping my customers to a nearby location when they came up to my rickshaw and forcefully stopped it.

They looked at me with fierce anger and I wondered what I could possibly have done to them. They started beating me up and throwing fuel at my rickshaw. I screamed for help but no one came.

I tried to get out but they would beat me even after setting me on fire with my rickshaw, I was in so much pain, I  eventually gave up.

They fled when I had no strength left in me. They fled when I stopped screaming for help. The fled when I had nothing left in me. I just wanted to ask why they did this to me.

After they left some people came and put a blanket on me but it was too late. An ambulance came and I was put in a grave with lots of other dead bodies.

On TV channels today they say 20 people died and I am one of them.

I am a number. Can you please tell my wife?

I am a Mohajir

It's been eight months since my graduation but this big city has no jobs. Everyday, I get up and drop dozens of resumes to various places but I don’t get any callbacks.

My dad passed away a year ago, I have three younger sisters. My mother keeps telling me that my sisters are my responsibility.

Getting a well-paid job is next to impossible in this city but I had to begin so I started looking for small paying jobs and today is my lucky day. They are opening a franchise and  wanted well spoken waiters -- I thought "lets get started somewhere".

I was going home at night playing out what I will tell my mom about the job. I thought I would just let her know that I have found work without mentioning my work place because she has huge expectations from me.

It was an unusual night, too silent for Karachi. I wanted to catch a rickshaw but lacked the cash, so I decided to walk home.

That is when the gunshots rung out.

There were gunshots all around me and I had no place to hide. I tried to run as fast as I could and hid near a tree when I felt something on my back. When I touched my back I felt my hands getting wet. It was blood. I was shot.

I was caught in between crossfire and as I hid behind the tree I could still hear gunshots all around me. There was no one to help and nowhere to run. I sat there and waited for the insanity to end, but it never did.

I bled to death.

After hours the police came and took my body away. My body is kept with 10 other bodies and the TV at the police station is reporting I died along with 20 people in the city.

I am a number, can you please tell my mother?
WRITTEN BY:
Madiha Javed Former Broadcast Journalist at Express News, still a news buff, currently works as Communication and CSR Manager who blogs at http://madihaqureshi.wordpress​.com/ and tweets as @EmmJayNews (https://twitter.com/EmmJayNews)
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.

COMMENTS (69)

Norwegian Pakistani | 10 years ago | Reply Very thought provoking post. It is important to realize that we should not just look at numbers when we watch news. I encourage the media to show more individual stories to make people realize that when someone gets affected in terror the consequences are not just the death of individuals; it affects an entire family and society.
sid | 10 years ago | Reply realy very sad..:(((((((((((((
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