For the departed…

Two major tragedies in the span of a couple of weeks. 139 died in the Siachen avalanche tragedy. And today 127 people died in an airline crash. 265 individuals. 265 fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, brothers, husbands, wives, friends, colleagues etc. The list could go on and on.

The circumstances in which these people have lost their lives is what is the most painful for everyone connected by whatever relationship to each of these individuals. Death came in a manner where nothing could be done. Where they couldn’t even be prepared. But then again when death has to come it has to come and one can’t really prepare for it. But those who are left behind are left trying to gather up the pieces and make sense of it all. Especially in circumstances where it comes suddenly and swiftly. It is hard enough in the case of an individual dying of natural causes. Dying in an air crash or buried under an avalanche is just beyond that pain.

The first incident i.e. the Siachen avalanche which claimed the lives of 128 soldiers and 11 civilians has always had a question mark around it from various quarters. Over the period of time and the Siachen border conflict the lives lost on both sides are more from the perils of the location rather than in combat with the ‘enemy’. This logically brings about the question ‘Why is Siachen important? And is it actually worth it?’. Both sides of the border have seen these kinds of casualties at Siachen where an explanation simply could not be given to the families of those who perished at the hands of the all that Siachen is. So then why can’t an agreement to withdraw troops be reached by India and Pakistan? Why can’t an effort be made to ensure that such tragedies do not befall the people again where the death of a loved one is not caused by a natural way and no reasoning is ever going to be good enough other than that which is not in our control.

The second, the air crash in Islamabad today.. or well rather yesterday. The thought of the people on board is horrifying, saddening, tragic and I cannot even begin to imagine what everyone who has lost someone must be going through. The air blue crash (also in Islamabad) 2 years back claimed the lives of 157. Amongst those who had passed away was an ex-boss of mine. And to this day I simply cannot forget what went through me when I found out what had happened. I can’t imagine what the people in air blue’s marketing had to go through either. I am not saying it nearly anywhere as painful, shocking and soul breaking as it is for the families but at the same time having to receive calls regarding the crash again and again is not an easy job. Media has to be dealt with. The victims families and friends have to be facilitated in terms of information (which is always going to be the same helpless response that any corporate can give immediately after the incident) and then of course your own company factors have to be dealt with.

It is too soon to say anything about the Bhoja air crash from today i.e. what went wrong and all. The fact of the matter is that something did. And one simply cannot change that fact.

The most important thing right now is for us to pray for those who have departed and for those who have been left behind. To pray for their abode to be peaceful in the next life and strength for the ones still here.

Also what is important is for the think tank to take a very long and hard look at the strategic necessity of Siachen. And well this is the 4th air crash in 2 years. There needs to be a thorough investigation. I am not saying there is any conspiracy theory at work here (which some people might have jumped to with their twitter messages and facebook statuses). Still there has to be a root cause done.

May Allah protect us all and give us the courage to come out of these tragedies stronger. Ameen.


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