Gilgit hero honoured three years later


Shabbir Mir July 17, 2010

GILGIT: Twenty-year-old Abrar Ahmed Ghazi says that if need be, he would jump into a river again to save lives.

Three years ago, Ghazi had rescued two girls, both then under 10 years of age, who had fallen from Konodas Bridge over the Gilgit River as two car drivers fought over who should reverse his vehicle to let the other pass. The plunge was 200 feet.

Ghazi, who was watching the whole scene, immediately jumped in after the girls and rescued them from the water. Dozens of people witnessed the rescue. Kulsoom and Komal, the two girls, are now in good health.

On March 23, Ghazi was awarded Tamgha-e-Imtiaz by the Government of Pakistan and it was at the ceremony that Pakistan Airline (PIA) managing director, Ijaz Haroon, learnt of the story and decided to offer Ghazi a job in the organisation. “I am pleased that Ghazi has accepted our offer,” Haroon said on Saturday at the ceremony in Gilgit at which the job was announced. He also announced free education for Ghazi, who has not yet completed his matriculation.

The ceremony, which was jointly chaired by Haroon and information minister Qamar Zaman Kaira, was also attended by Chief Minister Gilgit-Baltistan Mehdi Shah, Speaker of the Gilgit-Baltistan Assembly Wazir Baig, as well as other members of the legislative assembly, local administration and PIA officials.

“When I saw the girls falling into the river, I couldn’t do anything but to jump in after them,” said Ghazi, whose father serves in the police department. He said he was pleased that his efforts bore fruits. “I am thankful that I have been given the job.”

Kaira said that he was proud of Ghazi and asked him to utilise his “exceptional courage” to serve his country. “We salute you Ghazi for you bravery,” he said.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 18th, 2010.

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