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Grieving a loss

30 July, 2010

By Basil Nabi Malik


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On July 28, a plane travelling from Karachi to Islamabad crashed in the hills of Margalla, extinguishing with itself 152 innocent lives. The magnitude of the tragedy became clearer with each passing moment, as news started trickling in of loved and near ones perishing on board the said flight. With each successive description of destruction, no one could help but think and feel that death and destruction have made a habit out of staying close to Pakistan in general.

Although the loss of each and every one of those individuals is a tragedy in itself, the unfortunate demise of six members of the Youth Parliament of Pakistan, including its prime minister, was a shock, to say the least. These members were coming to Islamabad to attend their final session of the Youth Parliament after which they were to attend a certificate distribution ceremony and a farewell dinner arranged for all the members of the Youth Parliament as well as its alumni.

I had the good fortune of being the prime minister of the first Youth Parliament organised by PILDAT. My experience as a member of this Youth Parliament was bitter-sweet, but there was never any doubt that each and every member who chose to undertake the rigors of the platform was passionate about the country, and wanted to make a difference. They cherished the dreams of changing the fortunes of this Islamic Republic, and imprinting their names in the history of the nation without any recourse to nepotism or corruption.

It included individuals who had big plans for the present, and bigger ones for the future. And I am sure that Hassan Javed Khan, Syeda Rabab Zehra Naqvi, Bilal Jamaee, Prem Chand, Owais Bib Laiq and Syed Arsalan Ahmad were no different.

The plane also had within it a LUMS MBA student who in no uncertain terms would have been a part of the future generation of entrepreneurs in the country. His friends remember him as a wonderful person, and were astonished to learn of his demise. Other than him, it was also reported that three intelligent students from the Institute of Business Administration were also on the flight, as well as a 19-year-old Pakistani female footballer, nicknamed Maradona, who apparently was all set to join her team in Islamabad.

The other individuals on the flight also had unique stories to tell and were tremendously loved by their near and dear ones. Amongst these individuals was a man who, as a result of the tragic plane crash, left behind a 10-day-old baby, a husband who left behind a newly wedded wife looking forward to her honeymoon, and a couple who in search of the perfect honeymoon had hoped to travel to the north of Pakistan.

It is a tragedy that in these times of modernity and technology disasters such as the one experienced by the passengers of Flight ED-202 could not be avoided. There is much that can be said to the aggrieved families, but little that can actually console them. But if there is one thing that can perhaps be stated with all sincerity and honesty, it is that the people on Flight ED-202, including all the intelligent, patriotic and passionate youth mentioned above, will be sorely missed not only by their immediate families and relatives, but the nation at large. God bless the passengers of Flight ED-202 and their families.

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