Sunday rang dreadful bells for Farooq’s family. The 21-year-old college student was visiting independent candidate Nasir Khan’s election office to observe campaign activities when a bomb exploded, claiming the lives of his and two others, Ismail and Salman.
Adam Khan, Farooq’s father and a rickshaw driver, had hoped his son would take care of the family after completing his education. He was the only brother to six sisters and the most educated of all his siblings.
Adam had shifted his family from Bara, Khyber Agency after military operations began in the area. “We have been living in Maqsoodabad area for the last two years. When the military operation started, I moved my family so that my son could get an education. I was financing his studies through my rickshaw,” Adam said. “If I knew my son was going to the election office, I would not have let him go.”
Adam said he was not expecting his son’s death in a relatively safer place like Peshawar. “Most of the people killed in the blast were those displaced due to military operations and now we don’t know where to go for safety,” he added.
At least 20 others were injured in the explosion near the election office of Nasir Khan in Maqsoodabad area on Charsadda Road. Nasir is running for NA-46 Khyber Agency.
According to sources at the Lady Reading Hospital, the injured include 10-year-old Abu Bakar, seven-year-old Ayesha, five-year-old Muzamil and 10-year-old Zeeshan, among others.
The LRH administration imposed an emergency in the hospital. Since most of the staff is off on Sunday, doctors, nurses and paramedical staff from other wards were called in for assistance.
“We called doctors along with 10 nurses from other wards because the staff on duty in the emergency ward was not enough to deal with the situation. We also informed other senior doctors in the nearby staff colony to prepare themselves to be called in for duty if the situation goes out of control,” said LRH spokesman Jamil Shah.
Grief and panic engulfed LRH’s emergency ward as relatives of the victims rushed to the hospital following the blast.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 29th, 2013.
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