Washington International School loses teacher and student

Published: September 19, 2011
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A Photograph of the teacher and her son, who lost their lives in the attack.

A Photograph of the teacher and her son, who lost their lives in the attack.

A Photograph of the young boy who lost his life in the attack. A Photograph of the teacher and her son, who lost their lives in the attack. Paramilitary soldiers work on the scene of a car bomb blast in Karachi on September 19, 2011. PHOTO: AFP
KARACHI: 

Vice Principal Arifa Awan was standing shell shocked at the gate of Washington International School as shards of glass were being carried out in buckets. She lost not only an eight-year-old student, but also his mother who was one of her teachers.

Thirty-five-year-old Mumtaz Khan and her only son eight-year-old Moeed were killed in the suicide attack outside SSP Chaudhry Aslam’s house as they were on their way to school.

Teary-eyed Mrs Awan recalled how the young Moeed, who studied in class three, had won a cup in the school’s sports event recently. “He was lovely boy, who was not only good in extra curricular activities but also his studies.” She said that his mother, Mrs Khan, had joined the school as an Urdu language teacher some three years back.

“She was a single parent who was raising the child on her own,” Awan said, adding that Mrs Khan had separated from her husband. The mother and child lived in Korangi D sector.  DHA Inspector Jamshed Akhtar, who was one of the first people to have reached the spot, said that he saw the mother and child lying near their white Alto car (AGB-249). The car, which was badly damaged, had two bundles of files about student and parent-teacher meeting evaluation reports.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 20th,  2011.

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Reader Comments (78)

  • ali
    Sep 19, 2011 - 4:29PM

    I hope the media starts giving the same importance to the innocent kids killed in waziristan AND both sides decide to fight their war without killing the innocent!

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  • Truth From Pakistan
    Sep 19, 2011 - 4:32PM

    Very sad……May the two rest in peace. What a tragic loss! What a terrible grief for family and loved ones ! What a trauma to the young friends and school mates of Mohit ! May Almighty grant guidance to all……Aameen

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  • Gappoo
    Sep 19, 2011 - 4:34PM

    Heart-breaking … just so sad :-‘(

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  • sashayub
    Sep 19, 2011 - 4:38PM

    its high time security officials’ residences were moved out of civilian residential areas, this might just reduce collateral damage to civilians..when will we learn?

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  • Sohail Khamisa
    Sep 19, 2011 - 4:46PM

    So Sad – RIP – Allah Bless them both

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  • MAD
    Sep 19, 2011 - 4:54PM

    Target killing, floods, bomb blasts, Taliban taking over large areas of land, Dengue, other diseases, corruption and govet wrongdoings. When was the last time anyone protested. Why are our politicians silent except for politicking. We as a nation are all culpable. Will anybody come out in protest over the death of the teacher and her child and the six police guards who died in the line of duty. The only time we come out in protest is when the electricity goes out and disrupts out beauty sleep when with all thats going on sleep should be teh last thing on our minds. It is us who are at fault.

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  • ARF
    Sep 19, 2011 - 4:56PM

    May their souls rest in peace. Really really sad.

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  • Vigilant
    Sep 19, 2011 - 4:58PM

    TTP are animals….must be eliminated from my country

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  • Asad
    Sep 19, 2011 - 5:04PM

    Terrible…words cant express my sorrow. Recommend

  • Faisal Hassan
    Sep 19, 2011 - 5:16PM

    Very Sad news. May Allah give courage to their family to bear this tradegy.

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  • TightDhoti
    Sep 19, 2011 - 5:18PM

    Lets have a nice dose of denial! Yeh musalmaan nahi ho saktai, Amreeka Pakistan ko Torna chata hai, RAW, CIA, MOSSAD sponsor the Taliban…The Taliban are just Pashtun nationalists who are enraged by drone attacks and we should negotiate with them..unbelievable, a blatant crime is being committed but there is no shortage of people who will make excuses for them!!

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  • J Akthar
    Sep 19, 2011 - 5:33PM

    All these attacks are very suspicious.Nothing should be ruled out.Recommend

  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    Sep 19, 2011 - 5:34PM

    We must root out terrorism whatever form it may be from Pakistan.

    Terrorism is eating Pakistan like cancer and we must get rid of this cancer once and for all.

    I offer my condolences to the bereaved families and pray that Al-Mighty Allah rest their souls in peace. Ameen.

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  • Asad Ghauri
    Sep 19, 2011 - 5:43PM

    i wish some day these cowards will be able to face us a society, it is easy to blow innocent people up… come out in the open and fight rather than bombing and killing innocents… i dont believe there will be anything waiting but the hells of fire when you stand infront of Allah….

    To all my fellow pakistanis, we have to stand up to these murderers and make them suffer, so they do not dare AGAINRecommend

  • Sep 19, 2011 - 6:17PM

    I would love if some one can kindly educate me as to what these people want and what will satisfy them so that they stop killing themselves and innocent people.

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  • pathetic
    Sep 19, 2011 - 6:21PM

    @ali:
    you say “both sides decide to fight their war without killing the innocent!”
    so you mean to say that of children and women are spared, then talibans acts of terror will be justified…??? how pathetic….its people like you who support terror….
    if someone kills u then according to your thinking, your family will be justified in taking law in hands and go for suicide revenge attack…….???
    so pathetic……….

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  • Chaudhry Allah Daad
    Sep 19, 2011 - 6:30PM

    Its not a solution to move high officials to safe locations. Solution lies in total elimination of terrorists, criminals and their supporters. The way Ch Aslam has responded, I wish every high official including President, PM, Chief of Army Staff and SC chief justice use the same words against terrorists. I also want to see Imran Khan speaking the same language.

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  • MS - Mariya
    Sep 19, 2011 - 6:31PM

    Sad :-((

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  • Naureen
    Sep 19, 2011 - 6:40PM

    Is there someone who can think unconventionally on such events? Shouldnt we research and investigate what is actually happening or should just believe what we are being told…?

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  • khurram mansoor
    Sep 19, 2011 - 6:44PM

    Is sad and heart breaking. Unless and untill we feel the same sorrow for any tragedy any where in pakistan, we would neither be able to share our sorrows nor would be able to protect ourselves.

    May her and her son’s rest in peace, انا للاه و انا عليه راجعون. and may Allah give the patience to the agrieved family and over come this unrecoverable loss.

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  • khurram mansoor
    Sep 19, 2011 - 6:53PM

    @sashayub: you cannot bear them among yourself and still you want them to protect you.

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  • has
    Sep 19, 2011 - 6:55PM

    The day Pakistan government starts checking each and every shipment coming through any Pakistani port from Karachi, Gawadar or Afghan border we would not have any attacks.
    Semtex and C4 are used for explosion, these materials are not provided in super stores or some kiryaana shop is cities. These are expensive materials which is given to Taliban and all Militant wings of political parties.Mostly of these material is distributed by XEROS Services which is very active on Iran/Pakistan border http://www.xerosservices.com/news.php and XE services. Only Rehman Malik can answer this questions that what PMC ( private military contractors ) are doing in Pakistan.
    There should be law if any one even abuses some one verbally he would be punished financially as well community service and if its physically abuse the culprit should pay heavy fines or long term jail sentence with strict community service.
    TTP says there are fighting Jihad, they have been involved in killing innocent civilians all over Pakistan. TTP is a evil organization and has to be brought down. Each every member of it and its supporters should be hanged publicly.
    How many schools, colloges, universities, Technical institutes, medical centers, clinics, factories, farms, small scale industries has been developed or created by TTP.
    If TTP cant give bread to innocent families than TTP should not even take innocent bread owners from the families.
    What if one day my or your family member was killed in explosion than we would feel the same pain as this family.
    MAY ALLAH be with all of us.

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  • bhai
    Sep 19, 2011 - 7:00PM

    innocents being killed on both sides…no body knows what’s the root cause of this conflict…when will this butchery end…damn you rulers and policy makers…when will you understand…your own kids live safely abroad…while innocent Pakistanis suffer!

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  • Bangash
    Sep 19, 2011 - 7:07PM

    More victims of Taliban atrocity.

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  • Sep 19, 2011 - 7:09PM

    @bhai:
    u r right bro. very sad. innocent men, women child being killed.

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  • log
    Sep 19, 2011 - 7:14PM

    she was my urdu teacher in my previous schoool! OH MYY GOD!!!
    R.I.P Miss mumtaz we will remember you in our prayerss! :”(:”(

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  • log
    Sep 19, 2011 - 7:17PM

    she was my urdu teacher in my previous school falcon house:”((
    she was a very good teacher and used to give me extra classes when
    i was having trouble with my urdu! Miss Mumtaz, R.I.P! We will remember you in
    our prayers! I remember her son used to be in Kindergarden in the same school!!

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  • Zehra
    Sep 19, 2011 - 7:19PM

    Now’s the time when we say ENOUGH! And battle such madness in every way we can- with our lives, possessions and talents. Pakistani state institutions and police are just not strong enough to do it on their own- individuals have to step up and say NO to extremism and terrorism. No religion and no ideology justifies this. Neither does the ‘killing of children in waziristan.’ Two wrongs do not make a right. criticising these terrorists is NOT equivalent to criticising Islam or supporting America. This is nothing but pure sinful and evil killing which we must hate, condemn and eradicate from our society.

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  • maestro
    Sep 19, 2011 - 7:29PM

    Will someone finally take all gloves off in the fight against ALL religious parties and extremists including LeT, Jaish, Sipah e Sahaba, TTP, LeJ….EVERYONE!!! stop supporting these unislamic murderers – WAKE UP PAKISTAN. Why is Hafiz Saeed walking around freely? Why has Qadri not been hanged yet? Stop letting these mullah go and do something Pak gov’t and military!! This is NOT ISLAM!Recommend

  • mazhar
    Sep 19, 2011 - 7:36PM

    very sad news.Recommend

  • Munjoo Khan
    Sep 19, 2011 - 7:37PM

    Islam specifically prohibits killing of innocent women, children & elders. Where are they heading. Devine Justice will catch up with those responsible.

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  • fehma
    Sep 19, 2011 - 7:46PM

    I offer my condolences to the bereaved families and pray that Al-Mighty Allah rest their souls in peace. Ameen.

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  • Saad
    Sep 19, 2011 - 7:49PM

    @ali:

    Maybe the terrorists in Waziristan should stop using their families and kids as human shields, the collateral damage would decrease there.

    A tragic loss indeed.

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  • Shaheryar
    Sep 19, 2011 - 7:54PM

    May Allah save us all from the attacks like these.

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  • saeed ahmad
    Sep 19, 2011 - 7:54PM

    Janaab.. Where are Mr Mike Mullen and Mr Penata… Why don’t they come clean on this?

    Who doesn’t know that TTP is funded and aided by CIA.

    Shame on USA for having double standards and shame on pakistani leadership who can’t openly share everything with the nation.

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  • Sep 19, 2011 - 8:10PM

    thats sad indeed .. killing innocent ppl in pakistan should b stopped

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  • Hammad
    Sep 19, 2011 - 8:29PM

    My heart cries. My country is burning, and I am not able to do anything about it.

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  • Karachi citizen
    Sep 19, 2011 - 8:42PM

    sad news…I dont have condolence words for the people who were killed in this blast, its really a heart killing news.

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  • Chaudhry Allah Daad
    Sep 19, 2011 - 8:48PM

    Those who can attack GHQ and Mehran Base, can attack any location in Pakistan. There is no safe place in Pakistan. The only soltion is to fight or run away to other country.

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  • THE
    Sep 19, 2011 - 9:05PM

    TTP are barbaric criminals and nothing else! The government has failed Pakistanis again and again.

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  • Omer
    Sep 19, 2011 - 9:16PM

    We can blame all we want on Talibans or Islamists but please dont forget who is our main enemy…..I wont say all Americans but its CIA. These are all CIA supported attacks, directly or indirectly. Thanks to our leaders, esp. Musharaf who sold our country to CIA. May Allah help us all.

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  • Mirza
    Sep 19, 2011 - 9:21PM

    Even if we assume for the sake of argument that this is a “war”still the sites that are targeted by the fanatic animals are specifically chosen to hurt as many civilians as possible. Like a drug Mafia, the police officer’s family and poor guards were targetd and at the time and in area of school going children. TTP and its supporters have no shame to take the credit! How low can theyse animals go? No dharna and no outrage against the terroist acts of TTP? Let the NATO forces take these elements out if we cannot.

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  • sehrish
    Sep 19, 2011 - 9:43PM

    “Stop thinking that thanks we are alive start thinking why we are alive”

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  • Arjun
    Sep 19, 2011 - 9:44PM

    Being the father of boys only a little younger than this, I couldn’t get myself to read beyond the summary…to heartbreaking. I hope the boy’s father finds peace.

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  • Hedgefunder
    Sep 19, 2011 - 9:55PM

    This is very sad event, in which normal people of this Land of the Pure should take a note as to the actual State of Affairs in your Country and should question as to where this Nation is heading !!!!!
    Very tragic for the family concerned and my sincere commiserations. Sorry for your loss, due to absurdity & inabilty of your rulers in regards to your basic welfare !!!!!Recommend

  • melon
    Sep 19, 2011 - 10:15PM

    Sad very sad. Pakistan is just reaping what it sowed in the 80s during the Zia period

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  • Raja Islam
    Sep 19, 2011 - 10:16PM

    @Omer:
    We cannot pass the buck by blaming others. It is Pakistan committing crimes. It is all about taking actions against these criminals. Let us move away from the blame game and take some action instead.Recommend

  • Parvez
    Sep 19, 2011 - 10:25PM

    Has any main religious party condemned this act ?? ……..and we still do nothing to regulate the madrases and their sponsors. How helpless are we or is it kept so by design ?

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  • wafa
    Sep 19, 2011 - 10:30PM

    May ALLAH give them place in heaven,,,,
    N give patience to thier families who died in that Blast!!! AAMEENRecommend

  • Was A Pakistani
    Sep 19, 2011 - 11:02PM

    @Omer:
    Thank you for a good dose of denial. I dont know how you all come up with effective denials. Our enemies are the extremist talibans in the FATA region and then our denialist mentality.

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  • Was A Pakistani
    Sep 19, 2011 - 11:05PM

    @saeed ahmad:
    Stop denying our guilt and start putting on others.

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  • Truth Seeker
    Sep 19, 2011 - 11:09PM

    The real tragedy is that nothing is going to change ,because the frequency of these incidents have desensitised the whole society.
    It is futile to accept from the rulers to frame a policy which will crush this menace of terrorism, or from the public to rise in unison against the terrorists; so one can only wish RIP for all.

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  • ARSAL
    Sep 19, 2011 - 11:38PM

    its so painfull to hear and see this innatural death that i am unable to stop weeping;

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  • Basit Khan
    Sep 20, 2011 - 12:10AM

    Saeed, What has Mullen and Paneta got to do with this ? Weren’t Pakistan itself brainwashing our own kids and training them for Jihads ? It’s the same people who are now doing that Jihad in your own country.

    And what evidence do you have that TTP is funded by CIA ? On the contrary many in your country will tell you how were these elements used by Pakistan for their interests in Kashmir and Afghanistan.

    For God sake come out of this denial mode. Even after losing 36 000 lives we have people who are not convinced yet that these are Muslims and Pakistanis doing this as part of the holy war.

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  • LayMan
    Sep 20, 2011 - 12:33AM

    My full support for USA to bomb TTP and allies in any part pf Pakistan. If our dual US nationality holder statesmen care a hoot, let the foreign forces do the job for us. Drone attacks are highly justified now.

    ET .. for Gods sake let the people know what is heading there way and publish this comment.

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  • IMAM HUSSAIN
    Sep 20, 2011 - 2:54AM

    Why you are crying here ,You are the most COWARDICE kind a people on the face of this earth.

    Just Condemning this Barbaric act ,you are not justifying anything.

    DO Something about it ,Remember you had been given this country on Platter.

    Blaming and Crying ,Won’t do any good. Time is ripe for acting against this Barbaric tribe and fight it out ,They are coming to kill your MOM ,SISTER,WIFE ,and your KIDS.

    DO SOMETHING IDIOTS ,DON”T CRY HERE.

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  • sara khan
    Sep 20, 2011 - 3:04AM

    What i dont get is if this SSP was on the hit list why was not enough security provided around his house? if the timings of the attack were given why wasnt the area cordoned off for civilians and only allowed after a thorough check. why, in the first place, are such high profile people allowed to live in areas where they have schools or such public places? its like inviting trouble!

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  • Hell no
    Sep 20, 2011 - 3:24AM

    Innocent lives lost again. Sad. When will the perpetrators realize that there will come a day when they will Have to pay for these ruthless acts. God help Pakistan.

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  • Observer
    Sep 20, 2011 - 4:19AM

    @Mohammad Ali Siddiqui:

    “We must root out terrorism whatever form it may be from Pakistan”

    I hope you are including the “good terrorists” aka strategic assets of the Establishement in your list of terrorists.

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  • farah
    Sep 20, 2011 - 5:40AM

    unbelievable how they keep showing the poor childs dead body on every channel. Dont they have any shame compassion?

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  • Tahir
    Sep 20, 2011 - 6:01AM

    Innocent people are dead. very sad. RIP for both mother and kid and other people as well.

    We are equally SAD for every kid killed anywhere in Pakistan.

    GO ASLAM finish TTP.

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  • Hum
    Sep 20, 2011 - 8:20AM

    All these attacks are a suspect and are being planned and done very cleverly, in a targetted manner to cause maximum damage to the Pakistani public and its law enforcement and installations. This has all the signs and hallmarks of a Proxy war that has expanded with all its might.
    Is the leadership taking that into consideration at all and what is the military doing about it? Still thinking??? This is not a traditional war and the civillian leadership cannot play any role here as it is not their expertise. The sooner they realise this the more lives will be saved. Peoples security comes first . . . The country is an emergency state but the leadership refuses to acknowledge this and refuses to allow the military to step in with their specialised expertise in this Cambodian style warefare!! The general public may be thinking they are left alone to fend for themselves and this may motivate the public to arm themselves to protect against a well armed enemy, that could attack them anytime, any where sadly . . . .

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  • Farhan
    Sep 20, 2011 - 8:33AM

    RIP

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  • KJB
    Sep 20, 2011 - 10:16AM

    I am well and truly disgusted with my religion after seeing this–have you noticed that the growth of mosques in our society is directly proportional to the rise in extremism.

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  • Ahmad
    Sep 20, 2011 - 10:22AM

    “its high time security officials’ residences were moved out of civilian residential areas”
    Yes sure, make high walled 4 kanal houses with all security for them & leave ordinary people at mercy of terrorists. We need to impose security tax on common people to give them secure housing & transportation as well. Recommend

  • limah
    Sep 20, 2011 - 12:33PM

    @Zehra:
    i completely agree with you. Wake up Pakistan and realise that the enemy exists within you, not outside.

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  • Shani
    Sep 20, 2011 - 2:12PM

    Indeed a sad news :( but soon there will be a day when You (Taliban) will no longer exist !!

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  • Chaui Sb
    Sep 20, 2011 - 4:43PM

    @omer
    Our enemies are Talibans..one should accept it… our history is full of hypocrats.. TALIBANS are the biggest hypocrats. its easy to blame CIA or USA and hide the hypocracy and cowardness of TALIBANS.!! people like you give green signals to TALIBANS to attack more innocent people by saying that CIA is doing it… think again Mr. Omer!

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  • Aizaz Moin
    Sep 20, 2011 - 5:12PM

    @ Omer, please take your head out of sand and look around you. This is Pakistani killing Pakistani stop pointing fingers when your own house is not in order.Recommend

  • Ali Tanoli
    Sep 20, 2011 - 7:14PM

    What is name of school wash high school is there no name left in islamic republic?????

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  • Chow
    Sep 20, 2011 - 8:31PM

    Look deeper. . . . Why on earth are the greedy politicians allowing trucks to move from Afghanistan all the way to India and back, when the inefficient inspection services cannot be relied upon just as the incapable security to save people’s lives cannot be relied upon . . . . Next, allowing foreign private security services to operate within Pakistan at the behest of this administration speaks volumes about their selfishness. Now some of these foreign private security services may be running around loose in partnership with India and at the guidance and advice of India for actions about Pakistan. No wonder Pakistan is very tragically being engulfed in flames! Pakistan’s naive government cannot even think or see that India is the advisor when it comes to Pakistan!! How can Pakistani government allow any foreign private security service for their own personal protection and leave the entire nation at risk . . . .it is obvious that too many foreign spy networks (call it by whatever name) have formed a spider’s web around Pakistan with military taking a backseat and throwing the burden on the clueless civillian government that can only look at things superficially when it comes to the security of its nation and innocent public.
    Very very tragic for the Pakistani people in their entire history. . . .

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  • M.Waqas Akram
    Sep 20, 2011 - 9:29PM

    O Allah!May the souls rest in peace.Amen!
    What is this??????????????
    I am quoting a line that if a dog is killed(murdered) without any reason in a state, the rulers have to reply on the day of judgement.
    But here the humans are being killed…………….
    Is there anybody who can answers?????
    Who is responsible for this?

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  • Freeman
    Sep 20, 2011 - 9:56PM

    @TightDhoti:
    You indians are biggest denials check this.

    Darkness behind deceptive screen of India shining.

    http://asiantribune.com/news/2011/09/19/darkness-behind-deceptive-screen-india-shining

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  • confusedinusa
    Sep 20, 2011 - 9:56PM

    @saeed ahmad:
    Do you mean that the CIA is using TTP as a threat against Pakistani authorities, to force them to comply with US requests? There is some talk that Ahmed Wali Karzai’s assasination was arranged by Pakistan, in order to punish the US for threatening to cut funding to Pakistan as retribution for “gving” sanctuary to bin Laden. What a dangerous game is being played if all this is true.

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  • Freeman
    Sep 20, 2011 - 10:00PM

    @Was A Pakistani:
    Who made these TTP Talibans? America. Before 9/11 This TTP Organisation was not even formed. American Drons made this Militant Origanisation after 2005 when American drons started to kill Inoccent people in FATA.

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  • ahmed
    Sep 21, 2011 - 4:57PM

    @sehrish:
    you r right bt we can’t do any thing……………….
    Moeed was a beautifull boy i love him……….

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  • Shazia Khalid
    Sep 23, 2011 - 1:32PM

    Till today whenever i see any news related to innocent and ill fated Mumtaz and Moheed i cannot control my emotions. Yesterday showed his school and his friends who were so shocked.
    The question is we all condemn such incidents but we dont know whats next going to happen trust me i dont see any betterment in the future all these corrupt politicians will kill the whole Pakistan and then move abroad.All our nation including myself only TALK and TALK that is it, We cannot beat all this till we are ONE which i dont see in us.Recommend

  • Sep 24, 2011 - 1:10AM

    Our daughter attends one of the schools right across from this blast and we were just headed down to the car when we found out what had happened. While we are very glad that this incident did not take place an hour later when the schools would have resumed their full out schedule, our heart goes out to the mother and son who became victims. I am a Crisis and Emergency Management specialist and have been trying to work with the Administration on risk reduction for such disasters but so far nothing made of it. I have dedicated my most recent post ‘When Terrorism Strikes Too Close To Home‘ to Moeed and his mother Mumtaz. Please read, forward, comment and share. Most of all, sound off your concerns with safety and security in the future.

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