Saturday, July 31, 2010

Gate crashing the Margallas

The Margalla Hills—the foothills of the Himalayas—are a series of small-elevation hills located north of Islamabad, Pakistan. Margalla Range has an area of 12,605 hectares. The hill range nestles between an elevation of 685 meters at the western end and 1,604 meters on its east.

That's what Wikipedia has to say about Margalla hills. And they have just added an entry for Air Blue flight which took off from Karachi at 8am on 28th July 2010 and never landed. It gatecrashed into Margalla killing all 152 passengers on board.

This tragedy has brought almost no surprises for me so far. Our minister for everything, Rehman Malik, announced hastily that Black Box has been found soon after the incident. Then he denied it. Same apathy towards knowledge and use of proper information.

Then we got our gory Urdu channels shouting that they've been first to make footage of this ill-fated plane. They also shouted about how they were able to film the grieving mothers and fathers of those who perished. And they had the audacity to barge into the homes of victims' families and ask them such stupid questions as, 'How do you feel about your so and so being dead'? etc. Is this how journalists should act? Well, no surprises here. Pakistani Urdu media has the tradition of doing just that.

And then the people. Some of them, off course. People who stole body parts (presumably of females more than those of males) so that they might just get some gold out of them. How sick and familiar is that.

And lastly, I am not at all surprised by the action Pakistan Army has taken. They've been everywhere along with Edhi people. And together they have done what democratically elected government has simply failed to do: Help its people in these most distressing time.

p.s Over 800 are thought to have perished due to heavy rains and subsequent flooding in Frontier and Punjab provinces.