After the Quetta carnage: With breadwinners gone, hope fades

As the sole breadwinner in his house, Hussain’s death plunged his family into a life of uncertainty.


Muhammad Zafar January 14, 2013
The Hazara community refused to bury the victims of the Quetta twin blasts in protest. PHOTO: AFP



Water and Power Development Authority worker Shah Hussain was among the victims of the deadly blasts in Quetta on January 10. As the sole breadwinner in his house, Hussain’s death plunged his family into a life of uncertainty.


Hussain left behind a spouse, his two-year-old son and two younger brothers, both of whom were injured in the second blast at a snooker club.

Shah’s niece, Hameeda Batool, told The Express Tribune that her uncle had gone out to buy some milk for his son when he heard there had been an explosion at the club which his younger brothers frequented. He then left for the club, which he knew his young brothers frequented often.

“As soon as he reached there, a second blast took our uncle away from us,” said Batool, expressing anger at the government. She urged the chief justice to take serious steps to prevent the bloodshed. “We are tired now, we can’t pick up any more bodies of our beloved,” she said.

Another victim, Zaheer Abbas, was an employee of the United Nations. Zaheer’s sister, Mrs Arif, told The Express Tribune that her brother was a newlywed, who had married only two months ago. He too was the sole breadwinner of his family. Zaheer was not the only victim in his family – his other brother, Zameer, a student, was critically injured in the blast and is still in serious condition.

Zaheer’s sister said, “The last time I saw my brother was at his wedding ceremony and after two months I saw him in a shroud, I can’t tolerate this tragedy.”

This wasn’t the first tragedy his family had suffered. Mrs Arif explained that after her mother’s death, she had treated Zaheer like he was her son. Her question – why did they kill her brother and who will take responsibility for her family – has been met with deafening silence.

Like Shah, Irfan Ali, a 33-year-old peace activist who was well-known on Twitter, also lost his life while trying to reach the site after the first blast in an attempt to help the injured. Irfan was ethnically a Hazara, who worked for the UN-affiliated Y-Peer network. “He was a very active, energetic activist,” said Tahir Hussain, a lawyer and vice chairman of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan’s Balochistan chapter, according to The Associated Press.

Irfan’s last tweet before his life was taken away stated: “#Hazara families of #Machh, Khuzdir finally succumbed to the genocidal pressure & moving out. Sad day for diversity in #Balochistan.”

(WITH ADDITIONAL INPUT FROM AGENCIES)

Published in The Express Tribune, January 14th, 2013.

COMMENTS (4)

SHock | 10 years ago | Reply

" we can read and fell sorry for few hours and forget......but the families are sunk into grief till their death....so so sorry...words and lips cannot go further, we are lost

Rommel | 10 years ago | Reply :(
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