“Pakistan’s political dynamics were changed after 1988 elections. For the first time, a woman was elected as prime minister of an Islamic world.”

–Lt Gen (R) Hameed Gul – 2009

Twenty nine years have elapsed since the grim tragedy of the Ojhri camp incident took place. Whether it was an accident or done intentionally, the invisible forces responsible for the tragedy are yet to be held accountable. It happened on April10, 1988, when the centre that was storing ammunitions in the city of Rawalpindi, exploded, deploying off missiles and projectiles aimlessly in all directions in the city. The ammunition was being stored at the depot located at the site of the Ojhri camp to fund the Afghan Mujahideen who were fighting against the Soviet forces in Afghanistan. It claimed the lives of 93 people while wounding another 1,100 people. The then prime minister Mohammad Khan Junejo had appointed, both, a military and a parliamentary committee, to probe the military disaster, but he was dismissed by the infuriated military dictator Gen Zia-ul-Haq on May 29 the same year. The military committee under Gen Imranullah Khan succeeded in submitting its report, however, following Zia’s death, the subsequent governments of Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif kept the findings under cover. Even after re-election, the PPP and PML-N governments have failed to commit to the promise of publishing the report. The PML-Q, during Musharraf’s regime, went as far as to say that keeping the report undisclosed was “in the larger national interest”. For how long would the government keep on concealing the truth from the general public? After all, it is also in the interest of those who still mourn the death of their loved ones to avenge the transgressors.