Islamabad blasts: Pain and agony

By Hamid Mir

Islamabad: I was very close to Marriott Hotel and reached the spot within a few minutes of the terrible blast. By that time only a few police constables from the nearby Frontier House and Balochistan House were trying to rescue the drivers who got killed sitting in their cars parked outside the hotel on Aga Khan Road. The road was in complete darkness since the intensity of the blast had destroyed all the street lights. Hearing some cries coming from the rubble of the Marriott entrance, I rushed there with another journalist colleague.

A badly injured security guard of a private company was lying in the rubble and was weakly shouting in Punjabi: “Stop the truck, stop the truck.” He was still holding his pistol in his right hand. It took at least 10 minutes to shift him from the blast site to an ambulance. He was an eyewitness but at that time he was shell-shocked. The initial rescue work was started by some police constables and journalists who were helping those who were still alive. We ignored the bodies because we were short of hands. In the next 15 minutes a lot of hotel occupants rushed out from the back door. Most of them were injured by broken glass. I realised that most of those killed in the blast had been the ones standing outside the hotel building – poor people who were working for the security and comfort of those who were inside the hotel.

I helped Maqsood, a driver, who was lying injured in his Corolla parked outside the hotel. Blood was pouring from his head but he requested to make a phone call. I gave him my mobile phone. He called someone and said that “I am Maqsood. I am badly injured in the bomb blast, I don’t think I will come back to Sargodha alive on this Eid. Please take care of my daughter Mariam, please don’t inform my mother what happened to me because she will die, I cannot speak more, Goodbye.” Maqsood was shifted to an ambulance in a very precarious condition.

A journalist colleague, watching the immense human suffering, was getting mad. He was abusing the terrorists, saying: the “Americans are killing us in the tribal areas, these Taliban are killing us in Islamabad; they will not go to paradise they will go to hell.”

I don’t have words to express the pain and agony of the women and children who were injured in the hotel. One woman, holding her little daughter, was not ready to leave the Nadia Coffee Shop where the body of her husband was lying on a table. The little girl was crying, “Papa I am sorry, I forced you to come to this hotel, I am sorry Papa, please wake up Papa.”

The whole country watched the destruction of the five-star hotel live on their TV screens. It was a big security lapse. Well informed journalists and politicians in Islamabad already feared a blast on Saturday. There were extraordinary security measures in the capital. Security forces were vigilant for the whole day. They were checking all the big vehicles entering the city because there were reports that at least three vehicles filled with explosives had entered the city. Ministry of Interior had informed Islamabad police in writing many weeks ago that terrorists from the tribal areas will try to hit parliament soon through some truck or oil tanker filled with explosives.

It was not possible for any private car to enter the Constitution Avenue on Saturday. Due to the extra security around the parliament house, terrorists decided to hit a comparatively soft target in the evening. Terrorists hit innocent Muslims at a time when they were breaking their fast. Terrorists kill only innocent civilians: most of the killed were poor security guards and drivers.


Filed under Islamabad, Terrorism

10 responses to “Islamabad blasts: Pain and agony

  1. Pingback: Global Voices Online » Pakistan bleeds again

  2. Thanks for blogging this, Hamid.


  3. Aliarqam

    Mir had not repeated his comments he is famous for…
    “It is the reaction of the operation in the tribal and settled areas..where hundreds of innocent people,women and children were killed by the security forces” Thanks Hamid for that…
    It seriously was the most destructive incident in our history of combating against terrorism….
    While posting these comments…I was watching different TV channels,our politicians and journalists have different view of the War against Terror… Should we hope them for a consensus beyond party affiliations…all those who have soft corners for the terrorists…who are reluctant in condemning these terrorists should please review or make us satisfy….on their
    “Theory Of Reaction”

  4. Nadia

    Someone told me the other day that there’s a shift in Hamed Mir– away from being an apologist for jihadi terror. Since I don’t get Geo any more, I couldn’t be sure. But I hope this article confirms that. Not so much for the sake of just one person, but the attitude the Hamed Mirs carry(carried?). If he can change and see the light, then maybe, just maybe, there’s hope for Pakistan. Mir jee, thank you for respecting the victims of this blast. Thank you for not offering any justifications. Thank you for describing their agony.

  5. Aliarqam

    I have changed this slight difference in his programme “Capital Talk” also…
    He is not as offensive he is popular for..the mocking style with the politicians..I dont the change occur…but that show…I hope so that..our policy makers have realised the worstness of the situation…

  6. Nadia

    I could never watch Capital Talk when I had Geo. It was difficult to listen to Hamed Mir. He used to blame everybody except the Taliban. I hope he has changed.
    Taliban would not only destroy the Pakistan we have, they would also then make us sitting ducks for India.
    Taliban are dangerous to life as we know it.

  7. umair

    Salam. I personally wanted to tell taliban that we are not thier enimies. Thier enemies are U.S.A and NATO. So please think and change your policy of sucide attacking on innocent muslims. If you wanted to do jihad than go to kashmir,falastin or iraq.

  8. umair

    Please bait ullah mehsud. I requested u not to attack any more on poor drivers or people. If u r thinking that u r doing jihad than u r appsulately wrong. I challange u to debate wid me on dis topic.

  9. umair

    Yeh log jihad main shirkat na kar k fitnay main to par he gaye hain of jahanum ne in kafiron yani munafiqon ko a ghera hai. Sora-e-toba. Ayat no 49.
    Here jihad is against kafir. Not our muslims pakistani.

  10. Vijit


    Im an Indian living in Europe and and only a spectator to the blasts and the violence in Pak and India from a distance. Im very sorry to hear about the event of the blasts in islamabad, as much as I was to hear about Blasts in Delhi (my home town), and it breaks my heart to know that innocent people are dying for no reason and on account of releigion and conflict that they are not contributors to.

    It is a touching and interesting post and Im happy to see some of the sentiments shared but also surprised to read that someone would suggest Jihad on the US or Nato or to anyone even if considered the enemy. I think it is a wrong representation of a beautiful religion, Islam. I have read several books and material about the religion (even though Iam a hindu) and have many friends who are muslims as well, and it makes me sad that with these acts of terror and with this vandelism and taking innocent life, the religion is losing face in the international community. Where everyone is looked over with insinuation and with a bias. I really wish that this message could be delivered to those who think that this fight and killing people will bring any good. From the point of a third party, it is only going to disengage and outcast an entire society internationally.

    I pray for all those who have lost their lives and their families in these blasts in India and in Pakistan and I hope for it to stop so people could live in a secure atmosphere.