There has been no closure for the families of the 121 victims of the Bhoja Air crash who are still grieving their loved ones, are still as bewildered as they were a year ago, when they lost their loved ones in the crash that took place on April 20, 2012, on a flight from Karachi to Islamabad. It came soon after Bhoja Air resumed operation after a break of over a decade. A three-member commission was set up by then prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani to probe the crash but no report has been issued as yet. Meanwhile, the families of those killed have demanded that an independent commission be set up and have prepared a petition in this regard, but it is yet to be heard.
No report has as yet been prepared on the events of that day — though the Civil Aviation Authority claims that investigations are still underway, and that a report will be prepared — and it remains a mystery how Bhoja Air got its licence. Furthermore, so far, only 25 of the families of the victims have been paid compensation. Many families lost their primary breadwinners that day, but the airline has yet to own up to responsibility for that by compensating them financially.
Meanwhile, much has changed since the year gone by, with all the signs pointing to the possibility that chances of justice are slim at best. The majority stakeholder in the airline has fled Pakistan, the chief investigator has passed away, and the second most senior member of the investigation committee has retired. The grief of some of those left behind has turned to anger. And for so many others, it has becomes just another crash — perhaps, losing some of its poignancy because we are not reminded of the heartbreaking loss of life by the media. However, the people who lost their lives that fateful day must not be forgotten, and though time has passed, every effort must be made to do whatever justice can be done and finally lay to rest the ghosts of Bhoja Air B4-213.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 21st, 2013.