RAWALPINDI - Zahir Khan, 27, the only bread earner for his family Tuesday night went to the fruit and vegetable market Islamabad without knowing that he would never return home alive as he became victim of the Islamabad fruit market blast.
The family of Zahir including parents and five brothers had migrated from war-ravaged Afghanistan to Pakistan years back and settled in a rented house in Fauji Colony.
“Today, our back-bone has been broken. The terrorists have shed the blood of our father-like brother in the bombing. Now who will feed us,” said Ubaid Ullah, the younger brother of Zahir Khan, who was sitting outside the emergency department at HFH, while talking to The Nation.
The little kids of Zahir were unaware about the fact that their father has left them for ever and would never return home to stamp kisses on their (kids) cheeks, said Ubaid with chocked voice. “I am thirsty. Please give me juice,” Ubaid quoted his brother as saying his last words on the hospital bed.
Earlier, the family of Zahir faced a lot of troubles in getting the dead body from the hospital administration as law enforcement agencies had started interrogating the family on suspicion that they might be terrorists.
The miseries of the ill-fated family did not end here as the hospital administration and district government refused to provide them ambulances. Later, an ambulance was provided to the family, which transported the dead body to Peshawar.
Similarly, heart-moving scenes were witnessed in HFH, Benazir Bhutto Hospital (BBH) and District Headquarters (DHQ) Hospital and Railway Hospital, where scores of family members of the Islamabad blast victims were searching for their near and dear ones.
According to Rescue 1122 and hospital sources, a total of three dead bodies and 37 injured were brought to the HFH.
Most of them were hailing from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa who had been working as daily wagers in the fruit market for the last many years.
“Doctor Sahab my brother who was also there is not among the injured. I searched him in PIMS and DHQ but could not find him there,” requested Muhammad Ali, who was searching for his 25-year old brother. But nobody was taking notice of hue and cry of Muhammad Ali.
Yousaf Jan, whose young son Muhammad Bilal was working as vendor in the Islamabad fruit market and used to reach his work place by 3am daily, said, “My son was innocent. He never committed any crime. Why the terrorists have killed him.”
The Rescue 1122 claimed they shifted four injured to BBH, 2 to DHQ while 1 injured to Railway General Hospital.
Two were declared dead while four were in critical condition at the Intensive Care Unit. Besides, the Surgical Unit 1 and emergency wards were vacated for them after they were informed about the number of casualties.
“So far we have received 37 victims of which two were declared dead including an Afghan,” said Dr Arshad Ali Sabir, MS HFH.
Among the injured was 20-year old Ali Madad, said that he along with many others was standing at the auction site when suddenly a huge blast occurred. “I saw pieces of mutilated bodies hitting my face and chest. I fell on the ground and fainted. I don’t know who rushed me to the hospital,” he said.
Doctors at SU-I said four injured were discharged after first aid. Some of the injured sustained multiple injuries on their upper parts of bodies making it difficult for their relatives to identify them.
Federal Health Minister Saira Afzal Tarar, Provincial Minister for Labor and Manpower Raja Ashfaq Sarawar, Commissioner Rawalpindi Division Zahid Saeed, MNAs Seema Jilnai, Tahira Aurangzeb and former MNA Malik Shakeel Ahmed Awan also visited the hospitals and enquired after the health of the injured.
Meanwhile, the Rawalpindi police put security on high alert in the city besides conducting search operations in various localities.