‘Prince of seven sisters’ laid to rest

November 18,2018

Belonging to a lower middle-class family, one -- 17-year-old Ali Hassan -- hailed from Pakpattan district. The family had been living in Karachi’s outskirts, Shah Latif, for the past many years.

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The bomb blast in Quaidabad a day earlier may well have been yet another incident of violent crime for Karachi’s denizens. Many may not have even noticed it and gone about their daily lives without so much as giving it a second thought. But for the families of two teenagers who simply happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, it came as a devastating blow and changed their lives forever.

Equally scarred would be the 10 survivors who escaped by mere chance.

The last Friday night will continue to haunt the families of the two teenagers, who were killed in the powerful explosion.

Belonging to a lower middle-class family, one -- 17-year-old Ali Hassan -- hailed from Pakpattan district. The family had been living in Karachi’s outskirts, Shah Latif, for the past many years.

Hassan seemed like an ordinary youngster, but he meant a lot to his family, especially his seven sisters who treated him like a prince. Born after many prayers, he was the only brother of his sisters.

“He was our family’s prince,” said one of the sisters, with tears in her eyes. “Not only because he was supporting a father to run a family, but for sacrificing his future for our bright future.”

She said her brother loved to study but had no opportunity to get education. From the very young age, he started helping his father with running a pushcart in the area. “I will not be proud of myself if I were an educated man, but I would be proud when you [sisters] get education,” the sister recalled him often saying.

The family became aware of the tragedy through breaking news on television channels. When the unfortunate father attempted to find him at the blast site, he was told to go to hospital.

“They are saying that my son was alive but died on the way [to hospital],” said the ill-fated father, Muhammad Riaz.

“I know I could not save him but I wish I had seen him at least in the last moments.”

Hassan’s funeral prayers were offered near his residence in Quaidabad area. A large number of people, including leaders of the Pakistan Peoples Party, attended. He was laid to rest at a local graveyard.

The blast also took the life of Ramzan alias Pappu, 16, who had a similar story. He was the youngest among nine siblings.

Ramzan also belonged to a lower middle-class family. His family had arrived in Karachi a few years ago from their hometown Jhang. He worked at a cart for a daily wage of Rs300. His body was sent to his hometown for burial.

The blast took place under the Quaidabad flyover near a crowded place late on Friday night. Bomb disposal experts defused a second bomb found in a nearby ground.

A day after the explosion, the investigators failed to make any breakthrough. The police registered a case at the Counter-Terrorism Department under Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act, reads with sections 3, 4 and 5 of the Explosives Act and sections 302, 324 and 427/34 of the Pakistan Penal Code on behalf of Shah Latif SHO Ganwar Maher against unidentified persons.

According to SHO Maher, the second blast could have proved more fatal as it contained more explosive material and was meant to target the gathering crowd and security officials. “The actual target and motive behind the incident is yet to be ascertained. A militant outfit is involved in the incident but which militant outfit and why we are investigating it.”

The Sindh inspector general of police lauded the efforts of the bomb disposal squad team for defusing a bomb and awarded them a cash prize of Rs50,000.

CM visits the injured

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah visited the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Center (JPMC) to inquire after the health of people injured in the Quaidabad explosion.

Executive Director JPMC Dr Seemin Jamali apprised him of the nature of injuries and the condition of the patients, M. Waqar Bhatti adds.

“Today I visited the JPMC to inquire about the health of people injured in yesterday’s explosion in Quaidabad. As many as 12 people had been injured in the blast and all the injured were brought to the JPMC for treatment. Ten of the wounded had been discharged after treatment while two are still under treatment,” the chief minister said.

He said he had met one of the patients as the other patient’s condition was serious and he was kept in the intensive care unit.

Shah vowed to properly investigate the act of terrorism in which an improvised explosive device was used. He added that another device was also planted there but the investigators spotted it and experts then defused it.

“The IGP [inspector general of police] is not in the town but as soon as he gets back I will meet him and personnel of intelligence agencies to make sure that no such incidents are repeated in the province,” he added.

Jamali informed the chief minister about a prevailing shortage of medicines, surgical items and consumables at the hospital as well as other health facilities in the province, and urged him to

resolve the crisis so that

patients could be treated properly.

He was also briefed about the various ongoing development projects at the JPMC, including the installation of new and latest equipment and the provision of new methods of treatment, for timely cure and recovery of patients.


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