Shocked and numbed

Published: July 29, 2010
A relative of one of the victims at the Karachi airport. A flight was arranged for them to Islamabad late Wednesday. PHOTO: AFP

A relative of one of the victims at the Karachi airport. A flight was arranged for them to Islamabad late Wednesday. PHOTO: AFP

KRAKOW: One couple – Aisha and Mohammad – on the AirBlue flight were on their way to attend a funeral in Islamabad and had left their children with family in Karachi.

“What will I tell their children now,” cried Aisha’s brother Akhtar while waiting at the airport for news.

Wednesday’s plane crash sent shock waves through Karachi. It seemed as if everyone knew by at least six degrees of separation one person affected by the tragedy. The pain of the relatives stuck in Karachi was doubled by the lack of timely information and their inability to get to Islamabad quick enough.

Karachi lost six brainy young men and women who were part of the Youth Parliament Pakistan (YPP) and had gone to attend a parliamentary session in the capital. They were Hassan Javed Khan, Syeda Rabab Zehra Naqvi, Prem Chand, Bilal Jamaee, Owais bin Laiq and Syed Arsalan Ahmad.

Syed Shan-e-Hussain Naqvi, who was supposed to be on the flight, told The Express Tribune that a distant cousin and fellow youth parliamentarian Rabab Naqvi was a straight-A student.

“I was so shocked. Rabab’s father called me up and started crying. ‘My daughter is gone’,” he said.

Hussain said she was one of the best delegates in the youth parliament and was an all-rounder. “In the last session, she led a no-confidence motion against the youth parliament’s prime minister. The government changed and there had to be a new premier.”

That new prime minister was Hassan Javed Khan. He was on the plane and was to join Oxford University this fall.

Rabab’s father Muhammad Murtaza had spent time with her the evening before. “She was really happy last night,” he said. “She kept on reading till late at night and came to me and asked to pray for her. I want to go to Islamabad and see my daughter or her body myself.”

Bagwan Das, the first cousin of Prem Chand, who hailed from Sukkur told The Express Tribune that he had dropped his cousin at the airport at 7 am. “I had just reached home when we saw the news on the TV and rushed back to the airport.”

According to Bagwan Das he was the only educated person among their group of friends. “We could not sleep all the night, Chand was telling me stories of Islamabad and parliament and we went to the seashore to enjoy the weather,” he said.

Ten members of the Youth Parliament were supposed to board the flight, but only six did. Syed Shan-e-Hussain Naqvi had a confirmed seat on that plane, but decided in the morning not to go as he had to take care of some important meetings. “My parents did not even know that I had not taken the flight because I spent the night at my friend’s house,” he said. “I called to tell my parents that I didn’t go, they could not believe it. My mother just couldn’t stop crying.”

Hussain was attending phone calls since Wednesday morning as his name was on the flight passenger list released to the media. “People are congratulating me on being alive. But my friends are dead. I don’t know whether to be happy or sad.”

Former federal sports minister Mir Mehran Khan Bijrani and his son Salman had confirmed seats but got late and missed the flight. Mehran’s son Irfan said that when they reached the airport, the flight had just taken off. So they took the next flight to Lahore, instead.

Saeed Minhas, was one of the 10 people who had reserved a ticket but didn’t go. The Gulshan-e-Iqbal resident said that the family have arranged for sadaqa and khairat in his name. “My wife called me crying,” he said. “I asked why, and she said the plane had crashed.”

Published in The Express Tribune, July 29th, 2010.

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Reader Comments (34)

  • abc
    Jul 29, 2010 - 1:57AM

    I think it is best not to mention stories about people who did not board the flight, as there are 152 people who tragically lost their lives, yes 10 survived, but it is the time to grieve with the families not think about what if they hadnt boarded the flight.Recommend

  • Ashique Ali
    Jul 29, 2010 - 3:58AM

    Ita my prey for all shaheed passengers Allah give them place in janat (ameen)Recommend

  • Ashfaq
    Jul 29, 2010 - 4:26AM

    One of the dreadful plan crash incidents of Pakistan’s history, may ALLAH rest all of them in peace(Aameen)
    Why it happened? What were the reasons behind it? There are so many rumors and diverged news from around but no one can provide satisfactory answers. Pilot was one of the best and experienced of the field and the sights of runway as well as margalla hills were clear to him(according to news) then how it happened? There should be fair investigation to find the truth.Recommend

  • Sultan Ahmed.
    Jul 29, 2010 - 6:12AM

    tragic air crash ,
    unforgettable to be written with red ink in the history of Pakistan.
    nation will remember it long time.

    i pray to God please forgive us
    our security in Your hand,
    remove all such difficulties
    expected in the future,
    Pakistan should remain alive ,it has been gained in the name You.Recommend

  • rehan
    Jul 29, 2010 - 9:04AM

    The grief borne by the relatives/friends of an air crash especially ,is just too much,for the reason that air travel is considered to be a very safe mode of travel.And air crashes barely have any survivors,hence when the news is broken,so is hell,for all friends/relatives.May God shower His Mercy on those who will have to live with this loss for the rest of their lives.Ameen.Recommend

  • kamal
    Jul 29, 2010 - 9:23AM

    May Allah give them courage to bear for a great losses of lives…Recommend

  • Ann Sohail
    Jul 29, 2010 - 9:48AM

    This is a very sad news again in Pakistan history which was destroyed many families but at the same time we shaould thankful to God for those who are alive and with their families.

    I just want to say May God gives all souls rest and peace.Recommend

  • Mrs. S. Alam
    Jul 29, 2010 - 10:55AM

    This is a heartbreaking news – something which is not easy to accept – children, married couple, highly educated officials n others May Allah rest there soul in peace and give patience to the families…Recommend

  • Ann Sohail
    Jul 29, 2010 - 11:03AM

    This is very sad news again in Pakistan history which has destroyed many families but at the same time we should be thankful to God for those who are alive and are with their families.
    I just want to say May their souls rest in peace.Recommend

  • Nasir Mustafa
    Jul 29, 2010 - 11:05AM

    May Allah forgive the departed souls and have mercy on the bereaved families. Such tragdies remind us about the uncertainty of this life. Surely, all of us return to our Lord and he will judge our deeds.

  • Khalid
    Jul 29, 2010 - 11:07AM

    I feel really sad May Allah bless their Souls


  • adnan baloch
    Jul 29, 2010 - 11:13AM

    everybody in the country is in great shock becouse loss of 155 people in the tragic air crush.May ALLAH gives all souls rest and peace ameen.Recommend

  • Imran
    Jul 29, 2010 - 11:21AM

    I think we have to see that devices were working properly on airbus or not because the air france flight 447 which was a new airbus and crashed into atlantic also had problem with its devices
    please check the following website Recommend

  • Waqas Shabir
    Jul 29, 2010 - 11:21AM

    This life ends to start the never ending life of here-after…

    Be patient, have faith as everything happens for a purpose; God Almighty knows the best and has Great Wisdom behind every happening.

    May God bless us with the understanding of all this architecture; Amen!Recommend

  • Shahjahan Bhatti
    Jul 29, 2010 - 11:25AM

    Another titanic tragedy for the nation. Like all tragedies this one also surrounded by mystyries. Areoplane flew over no fly zone, there were 2 Americans on board, eye witnesses saw flames and heard explosion, minister Kaira says blackbox not found. First report said the survivors were pulled out but latter denied any survivors. Recommend

  • Anwar
    Jul 29, 2010 - 11:36AM

    May Allah Bless All those who died in this tragic accident…Recommend

  • MM
    Jul 29, 2010 - 11:42AM



  • Jul 29, 2010 - 11:50AM

    im so said bcoz my uncle was passenger of air blue crashed in Islamabad
    my uncle name Mr bashir from Somali nationality he come to visit his family in Islamabad bcoz there ere waiting since 2009 to see hin
    the father is a business man he come from Dubai Allah mercy him Recommend

  • Sadaf Shafique
    Jul 29, 2010 - 12:04PM

    till now i just cant imagine what had happened??????????????a very tragic incident.just cant slept da whole night yesterday!news were encircling my mind all da night!may Allah give peace to the deceased souls and patience to their family members and beloved.most tragic was da death of 2 infants!!!!i juat cant say anything more about it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Recommend

  • Hammad
    Jul 29, 2010 - 12:14PM

    It is a real tragedy and has left many families with great loss which will not be covered in their whole life. But it’s true that one who came must have to go, I request everyone to please pray for the departed lives for Allah’s blessings and for their families to bear this great loss. Please read Sura Fatiha 1 time and Sura Akhals 3 times and pray to Allah to bless the departed lives place them in Jannat (Ameen).Recommend

  • omer
    Jul 29, 2010 - 12:42PM

    May Allah show some mercy on us all and give strength to those who lost their dear ones !!!Recommend

  • Jul 29, 2010 - 12:45PM

    A very, very tragic story.

    May God give all those who have lost their loves ones patience to bear their loss.Recommend

  • Saira Saba
    Jul 29, 2010 - 1:28PM

    Condolences for all those people who were in the plane crash yesterday. May God Bless them and rest their soul in peace.

  • Arshad Khan
    Jul 29, 2010 - 1:34PM

    Extremly tragic…..Recommend

  • AKPK
    Jul 29, 2010 - 1:39PM

    Guys ready for Final Destination Recommend

  • Ayesha Sethi
    Jul 29, 2010 - 3:16PM

    Everyone has to leave this world one day, today or tomorrow. But deaths like these send a shiver down the spine. Rabab was a brilliant girl, highly ambitious and extremely hardworking.I had planned to get some help from her for my external but little did I know that she will become a memory in a few days..May Allah grant all the afflicted families the strength to cope with the loss..However, this air crash needs to be seriously investigated to avoid such disasters in the future..It’s time private organizations realized that their responsibility towards the social community is way more important than profit!Recommend

  • Maria
    Jul 29, 2010 - 4:10PM

    Such tragic news .. Inna Lillahe Wa Inna Elayhe Rajeoon. I can’t seem to get this out of my mind. My husband’s friend Naveed Ilyas from school was on the flight… he celebrated his 1st wedding anniversary on the 25th and had a baby daughter around 2 weeks ago. He was so happy!

  • javed khetian
    Jul 29, 2010 - 4:20PM

    Condolences for all those people who were in the plane crash yesterday im so said bcoz my friend was passenger of air blue crashed in Islamabad his name Fasial Rasheed May God Bless them and rest their soul in peace AmeenRecommend

  • Schazad
    Jul 29, 2010 - 4:58PM

    My heart bleeds for youth parliament members. This is such a huge loss. Recommend

  • Jul 29, 2010 - 7:33PM

    im working in guangzhou china.i open my tv ,watching the cctv english news,i have big shock the aircrash really feel very sad,I DUA may ALLAH ll sen them the paradis.AAMEEN
    here have lot of pakistani for doing work.we all DUA for them,


  • rafia
    Jul 29, 2010 - 9:35PM

    i m feeling so bad.when this heppened i m shocked and wanted to did 4 my muslim was extremly tragic and horrible.this is such a huge loss of lives.allah un sub ko jaanat mai jaghaa deyRecommend

  • rahul
    Jul 30, 2010 - 4:21AM

    i seriously dont know what to say! the incident which happened yesterday was very upsetting and shocking!
    i pray that the people who left us yesterday in this plane crash, may their souls rest in peace .. Ameen!Recommend

  • Shahjahan Bhatti
    Aug 2, 2010 - 12:09PM

    The people of Pakistan have the right to know the true cause of this tragedy. Now when the Blackbox is recovered, we hope concerned authorities won’t cover up the real cause and convince people that it will not happen again. I’m sorry to say that most of the government machinery is not responsible.Recommend

  • Atiqa Gul
    Aug 3, 2010 - 1:24PM

    Everyone is saying something, who is right? no one knows that. The strange thing is that those who know the better half of the story are not coming infront of the media. i am talking about the people who were attending the control tower at the time of plane crash.Recommend

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