This year saw some of the worst tragedies that have left us mourning forever. As the year comes to end, the most tragic blow that hit us recently was the crash flight of PIA’s PK 661 – a flight that embraced eternity en route to Islamabad from Chitral. Among the precious lives gone too soon, we also lost our legendary pop singer Junaid Jamshed, who during the course of life became a spiritual mentor and a ray of light to the people of his community.

Junaid Jamshed had won our hearts with his philanthropic services and inspirational music. Not only did he touch the hearts of the people as an enlightened religious scholar, through his music, he also stirred sentiments of patriotism in the ever so diversified nation. He never failed at inspiring others through his ideology, beliefs, motivational speeches, evangelistic sermons, and along with these his music.

Captain of the plane with air-hostesses  

Minutes before the flight took off

Final moments at the Chitral Airport

Dil Dil Pakistan, Juniad Jamshed’s debut with his band Vital Signs, was released on the Independence Day 1987. In fact, the video of this song, produced by the veteran producer Shoaib Mansoor, is known to be the first official music video of Pakistan music industry. With a catchy composition and heart touching lyrics, it was the first pop patriotic song of Pakistan. To this date, all those who heard it aired on TV and Radio for the first time recall the excitement that fills their hearts with nostalgia and sentiments. Factually speaking, no pop singer or band today has been able to make a true patriotic song like Dil Dil Pakistan.

Years on, Dil Dil Pakistan is that patriotic song which unites the entire nation as one Pakistan regardless of faith or creed, social class, and generation. As it has been noted by the critics, Dil Dil Pakistan is that one-in-a-generation song which has been marked as Pakistan’s unofficial anthem or let’s say Pakistan’s second national anthem. In 2003, BBC World Service ranked it as the third most popular song in the world. Even Bollywood attempted to copy Dil Dil Pakistan in the 1990s, however, failing miserably because the grandeur of this song is unmatched and unbeatable.

Junaid Jamshed sacrificed all fame and glamour for the love of his faith. In 2014, he was recognised by The Muslim 500 as one of the "World's Most Influential Muslims" for his dedicating his life to charity work. Since he was incredibly filled with patriotic zeal, Junaid Jamshed never missed the chance to kindle patriotism in the hearts of Pakistanis both at home and abroad. After the APS tragedy in 2014, Junaid released another patriotic song titled Chaand Sitara along with Salman Ahmed with the video produced by Shoaib Mansoor. Yet another hit, the song became a commemoration anthem in memory of the martyrs of APS Peshawar.

Countless fans, fellow celebrities and influential personalities took to social media as soon as the news of his sad demise broke. The sad news of his death and the tragedy of PK-661 have left the entire nation in utter pain. The impact of this tragedy is immensely profound, and there isn’t a single person in Pakistan or abroad who hasn’t expressed grief and anguish. Along with Junaid Jamshed, we’ve lost a total of 47 lives. Tributes and honour have been given to the pilot of the flight, Captain Salehyar Janjua, and the crew members. Family and loved ones of Capt Salehyar said that he was ardently devoted to serving PIA because it bore the name of the country. This was his way of serving the nation.

An avid YouTuber and true patriot at heart Capt Salehyar shared the beauty of Pakistan through his channel on YouTube. Almost all the videos were mainly titled ‘Amazing Pakistan’ having the same jolly music. As Pakistan Defense clarified on their Facebook page, the videos were made with a fixed camera placed in the plane’s cockpit.The channel that he made in May this year already has 3,741 followers which continue to grow. The following video made a few days before the crash was uploaded on the morning of Dec 7, 2016.

Khawar Sohail of the Christian community was a passionate patriot

Newly wed Aisha was going to Islamabad to collect her educational certificates and planned to join her husband in Canada soon

DC Chitral Osama Ahmed Warraich was accompanied by his wife Amna Ahmed and their daughter Mahrukh Ahmed

PK-661 also carried foreigners who were visiting Pakistan for work and tourism purposes. The plane, in fact, carried people from diverse religious and cultural background. Up on the cold dark mountain, where the plane blazed in eternity, one comes to realise that all human beings are a creation of the one and only one Almighty God. Regardless of our faith and creed, social class, or whatsoever, we are a precious creation of one God. And when our time is here, we will all ask for forgiveness while longing to meet the heavenly Almighty Father in heaven.

Then why all these difference? Why all these divisions and boundaries?

May the souls of the dearly departed rest in peace. Amen.