Peshawar church blasts:‘Are you listening? Mom is dead!’

Published: September 23, 2013
The attack on the church claimed the lives of women and children as well. PHOTO: AFP

The attack on the church claimed the lives of women and children as well. PHOTO: AFP

The attack on the church claimed the lives of women and children as well. PHOTO: AFP Two suicid­e bomber­s with 12 kilogr­ammes of explos­ive materi­al attack­ed the church after Sunday mass. PHOTO: AFP

“Are you listening? Mom is dead!” a boy yelled on the phone. He had been looking for his mother at the Lady Reading Hospital. When he found her body, he called home. His hands were trembling and he got the number right after several attempts.

Only a few cities in the world have seen as much grief as Peshawar. But how much can a city collectively endure?

I was woken up by a phone call too on Sunday morning. “There are a hundred and twenty people lying in a pool of blood in the Kohati church,” the person on the phone said. “Please ask the photographer to go to the hospital”.

Before I rushed to the Lady Reading Hospital (LRH), I turned on the television, only to see my former classmate, from the missionary school I studied at, weeping. His shirt was stained with blood.

At the hospital, I saw chaos. The injured were yelling in pain, nurses and doctors jostling to cope with the increasing victims, the bodies on the floor. The humid air reeked with blood. Mobile phones wouldn’t stop ringing.

After a few minutes, there was no space left on the floor to place more bodies.

“Papa and Mama are injured. We are close to the emergency unit,” said another woman, her voice trembling.

“They won’t let us live, I swear, they won’t let us live in this country,” cried an elderly man, his voice echoing. Perhaps, everyone shared his sentiments.

Many people told me their loved ones died in their arms. Others said it was worst nightmare.

Peshawar is described as resilient. But when does resilient become an epithet?

Published in The Express Tribune, September 23rd, 2013.

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Reader Comments (24)

  • Asad Raja
    Sep 23, 2013 - 3:53AM

    So that’s What we call a Naya Pakistan
    A Perfect Example of Naya Pakistan Negotiating with the tyrants hoping for a Naya Pakistan !!!Recommend

  • Pakistani
    Sep 23, 2013 - 6:07AM

    My deepest condonlences with families and friends of all victims. This is a loss of whole nation, these all people who died in blast are mar·tyred.


  • Sep 23, 2013 - 8:14AM

    @Asad Zia (author)

    I’m sorry for your and your friend’s loss. Sorry for everyone that’s been affected by such senseless brutality. These sick barbaric ideologues really don’t want us to live in peace…


  • indian
    Sep 23, 2013 - 10:26AM

    pakistan needs to redefine every thing,,,like education,,,,status of women,,,,,etc..religious extremism needs to be eradicated,,,unless and until,,,,there will be no peace in pakistan!!!


  • Fida Ahmed Advocate
    Sep 23, 2013 - 11:22AM

    We lived in peace for centuries. Now we are being ‘blown into pieces’. Why? To prove that we are an intolerant society, which is not he case? Instead of getting carried away by the enormity of the situation we have to evaluate it carefully and then combat it with all the possible efficacy eliminating the vice, whatever it is, local or foreign, that is after our peaceful existence. Every law of the world justifies killing the killer in an attempt to save one’s life.


  • Ali S
    Sep 23, 2013 - 11:35AM

    IK owes an unconditional apology to the victims of this barbaric attack. Not just a condemnation of the attack, but an unconditional apology for emboldening these beasts by entertaining the idea of negotiating with them.


  • Zeeshan Ali
    Sep 23, 2013 - 1:33PM

    America is doing what it’s best at. Dialogues on the tables and suddenly a general is killed and deadliest attacks on church??? honestly American government keeps on playing childish games 9/11 to Wikileakes (not to mention wikileakes destablised Muslim world ONLY). It’s time people realise this and force US to stop this usual bulls* because I do not want to buy it any more.


  • waqar
    Sep 23, 2013 - 1:36PM

    my sincere condolences for all families of victims. those who doing in pakistan, really they are not human, they all are answerable to GOD.

    I suggest govt to take concrete step give priority focus for people safety.

    check high alert on always all borders.


  • Hali
    Sep 23, 2013 - 2:31PM

    This picture speaks more than a thousand words – “Pakistan: gore glazed treachery”


  • Sep 23, 2013 - 3:43PM



  • Ahmed
    Sep 23, 2013 - 4:01PM

    @Zeeshan Ali:
    “Dialogues on the tables and suddenly a general is killed and deadliest attacks on church???”

    What are you talking about? Suddenly a general is killed? Suddenly? Like we peace? These blasts happen ALL THE TIME. Dialogue or not! Which world you live in? The world of conspiracy theorists I guess. Stop listening to Imran Khan. Extremely insensitive of you to use the word suddenly.


  • Hassan
    Sep 23, 2013 - 4:42PM

    I voted for Tehreek-e-Insaf during these general elections. Never again will I vote for the coward that Imran Khan is. Is it still someone else’s war Imran or will you show some spine and come out of your Taliban closet and denounce those barbarians?


  • aqib
    Sep 23, 2013 - 5:32PM

    It is mind boggling, the way after every attack there are childish rants against Imran Khan. Hasn’t all the political parties endorsed, with respect to negotiations with the militants??


  • Pakistani
    Sep 23, 2013 - 6:00PM

    Any updates on the injured young girl whose picture is mentioned in this article? I don’t know who she is, but she is new Malala for Pakistan and she is calling for help. It’s time for Pakistani Nation to rise above differences and help all victims.


  • Ravi
    Sep 23, 2013 - 6:13PM

    You Muslims really need to advance your thinking. You are all stuck in the 7th century, while the world has moved on long back. Else there will be an extreme and intolerant reaction to Muslims world wide. You are trying the patience of the rest of the world.


  • Zeeshan Ali
    Sep 23, 2013 - 6:52PM

    Maybe its time you start using your brain


  • murali
    Sep 23, 2013 - 6:57PM

    @Zeeshan Ali:
    Great thinking.
    What else left behind?
    you are clear.
    carry on with this open backing or support.
    thanks we are not next to your home.


  • Ahmed
    Sep 23, 2013 - 8:51PM

    @Zeeshan Ali:
    Maybe you need to open your eyes and realize that bomb blasts happen almost everyday. Not suddenly. Live in your world of conspiracy theories.


  • Raja Islam
    Sep 23, 2013 - 10:06PM

    @Zeeshan Ali:
    Maybe it is time you started using yours. This is a Pakistan problem. It is the incompetency and corruption of the government that has let terrorists like the Taleban flourish in Pakistan. Pakistan is at war with itself and needs to establish the writ of the law by taking out the criminal and terrorist elements.


  • shah nawaz
    Sep 24, 2013 - 12:05AM

    second bigest attack on peshawar and 1st big attack on christion ,kike ,,Are you listening? Mom is dead,who is the responsible of these innocent people nice cover by author


  • Hassan
    Sep 24, 2013 - 12:18AM

    I’m afraid Ravi, Muslims, Christians, Shia , Sunni, and all minorirty sects are just as much as victims of the takfeeris as is anybody else, please don’t malign all Muslims, for the actions of a few, just like we don’t malign all Indians as rapists for the actions of a few idiots.


  • Hassan
    Sep 24, 2013 - 12:19AM

    Sympathies to the familys of all those who passed away in this henious crime.


  • Rabia
    Sep 29, 2013 - 11:34PM

    I find it ironic when minorities pretend that its only them who have been suffering from terrorist attacks. The terrorists have no mercy for the majority either. There have been regular bomb blasts on mosques as well. So its really unfair to project Pakistan as a country where minorities are on high risk. Its every citizen who is at peril. My sympathies are with victims not because of their affiliations but because we all are human beings and Pakistani.


  • Tahira
    Oct 11, 2013 - 7:48AM

    This is a human tragedy, not only for the Christians but for everyone. As a believer I can only console the families of the deceased and pray that may God give the families solace and patience at this difficult time. Islamist terrorist have nothing to do with the real Islam. No religion teaches its follower to commit heinous crimes.
    Pakistan needs to stand up and protect its minorities; it was three years ago, in May 2010 when the Taliban terrorist killed 86 Ahmadi Muslim worshipers (a minority sect) in a Lahore Mosque. The government needs to wake up and protect all its citizens.


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