Monday, November 02, 2009

A Family Destroyed By Terrorism

As another blast rips through a civilian target, a market in Rawalpindi, the BBC tells us the story of Adnan Hussain, a teenager who lost his entire family in the Peshawar blast. Here is Adnan in his own words:

We had all been at my grandmother's house. My mum told me to go and fetch my dad from my uncle's place so we could all go to buy bangles and clothes and other stuff for the [cousin's] wedding.

I went to get my dad but decided not to go shopping and stayed with my uncle.


An hour later, we heard the blast.


I ran to the hospital and waited.

One after the other four bodies came in. I really can't describe how it felt.

I lost my mother, father, two aunts, my four sisters and my brother. Sonia was 12, Irum was eight, Sehrish was six, Fariah was five and my younger brother Salman was three years old.

They still haven't found five of the bodies.

What did my family do? Why would anyone do this to them? I don't understand.

And where was the security? They always tell us there's a red alert and security is high but there was nothing.


I still have my grandmother, and my uncle told me not to worry and that he will take care of my schooling.

But all I can think about is that terrible day and I want to cry.


Tavvy said...

Did others think it was rather dodgy of the BBC to interview a young child in this horrible position just days after the blast? I can see the motivation from the boy's guardians - it's probably the best way they can imagine after this horror to make sure he is provided for. But tragic as the story is, it left a bad taste in my mouth.

:( said...

i feel sad

Nida said...

@ Tavvy's comment: I think that sometimes, when something so monumental happens in your life and everything is suddenly completely out of control, it helps to know that the larger world cares. So in a way, talking about it to BBC can be a start of a long healing process. I'm not saying that it's right or wrong---he is only 14 years old--but it's someplace for him to voice his uncertainty of "why me?" Plus it really gives people the horror of the blasts on a personal level.

Rabia said...

tragic story. I agree with Nida

Tavvy said...

Nida: No doubt, but it is not the BBC's job to provide support to children but that of the state and social institutions (not philanthropists) to ensure that psychological and financial support is there. My misgivings are related to the role of the media and its responsibility to children who find themselves the subject of news.

Deepak Kapoor said...

This is the first time (pak) punjabis are tasting thier own bitter medicine of terrorism tonic.

Punjabi muslims should talk to their Hindu and Sikh brothers on the better side of the border. For 15 years ISI trained terrorists were killing and bombing innocent civilians every where. What you sow, so you reap.

Pakis can also commiserate with the Hindu, muslim citizens of Jammu Kashmir, Hindu& Muslim citizens of Mumbai, Delhi, Jaipur, Varanasi on the better side of the border how many punjabi terrorists, ISI terrorists have killed innocent people in India.

Allah is truly merciful. Allah is great.

Anonymous said...

Islam is peace.

Murdabad said...

Deepak Kapoor have a little shame, you seriously chose the wrong post to comment on.

Its about any one of us losing our loved ones like this. You think we can find peace in the fact that its our own fault ?

and yes its true ... you are an ass hole. At least let us grieve in peace

Tavvy: What do you mean by your comment ? What other way would you have known about it? and I would rather know than not. Dude try to feel his pain, nothing else really matters especially for a 14 year. old.

Tavvy said...

Murdabad: I do feel for the child. I can't begin to imagine the horror he must be going through. My only concern is from the perspective of one who is trained in conducting anthropological fieldwork and has been a journalist.

It seems to me that the child is underage and not in a position to seek out media attention. It is the duty of responsible adults - his family but also the interviewer - to protect him and his privacy in grief. Two days after the Peshawar bomb blast is surely too soon for this.

That said, the BBC is not the standard immature Pakistani news outlet. So hopefully I'm wrong and they did take all the necessary steps to ensure they were not exploiting Adnan's grief for the sake of the story. I just can't imagine a similar story being published about (say) the 14 year old American child of someone who died on 9/11 on 15 September 2001. Maybe I'm wrong and would be happy to be corrected.

Anonymous said...

Tavvy, you are putting on a show where you sound cool and wise for seeing the "story behind the story" so to speak. I totally believe that you were once a journalist or anthropologist because this is the kind of game social scientists love to play. On the other hand, if I'm wrong and you are personally upset about the ethics of the BBC's reporting to the point where you expend more effort on that than on the subject matter of the report, I think you have really messed up priorities.

Murdabad, you said "You think we can find peace in the fact that its our own fault?" and I have to ask, why are you trying to find peace in the midst of a war? That says a lot about your mindset. I think you're looking at this as an isolated event that is not your fault at all, even indirectly (and I'm talking about policies and groups you support, not necessarily your personal actions obviously).

karachi khatmal said...


since you have been a former journalist i am surprised that you even bring this up. what do you think reporters do after a blast? they talk to the security chief, the local administrator, some rescue workers, and get as much footage, or quotes, from the victims as possible.

reporters have to get news. someone being a victim of a bomb blast is what the sub-editor or bulletin producer calls a 'human interest' or 'soft story'.

and it happens every where there is a tragedy. if you open up any british newspaper any day of the week, there are whole sections devoted to people who were vicitms of minor and major incidents.

seriously dude, were you like a weather reporter?

Murdabad said...

Anonymous 339:

I was directing it towards Deepak Kapoor and its not that hard to understand what I'm saying.. its about losing our loved ones.. no matter what the reason is you cannot find peace ...You do realise I was not requesting a reply ?

/sg said...

perhaps we should just let nature take care of these assholes. despite the loss of life, this news item made me think... "serves them right".

and please save your breath if you're going to draw a distinction between the asswipes that caused mayhem in peshawar, and these dickheads in kashmir. they are all the same and deserve what's coming to them.

Anonymous said...

very sad - imagine the countless more family-less boys and girls in afghanistan who have nothing to look forward to in life because of american's bombing and pakistan's pathetic compliance.

8 years and still ongoing.

thank you again 5rupees for your not so subtle bias.

Anonymous said...


I know what you said, and I disagree. I think it would be great if people addressed certain issues while their emotions are raw. When all is calm and peaceful, are you going to remember to be angry about Pakistan's past involvement in terrorism? Or will you start calmly thinking about strategic depth, collateral damage, etc?

No offense if you're not like that, I just don't think it's productive to tell people to be quiet because of a general state of mourning or whatever. There's a reason people are mad and that anger can be an effective tool in confronting long-standing ideas.

Murdabad said...

You don't go to a funeral and start pointing fingers. These are normal Pakistanis that we are talking to and discussing things with, not the fucking Pakistani government or the ISI.