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‘My daughter stood first in Class II’


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Injured school girl Ameena Bibi looks at her X-ray while Attaur Rahman, a guest at the Nation Secondary School ceremony on Saturday, speaks to media at the Civil Hospital Karachi emergency ward. -White Star
Injured school girl Ameena Bibi looks at her X-ray while Attaur Rahman, a guest at the Nation Secondary School ceremony on Saturday, speaks to media at the Civil Hospital Karachi emergency ward. -White Star

KARACHI: Ten-year-old Ameena Bibi still in her pink check school uniform tried putting on a brave smile for her father as doctors in the emergency ward of the Civil Hospital Karachi on Saturday afternoon investigated whether the bullet had grazed her back or if there was still a piece of shrapnel stuck in her shoulder blade.

Ameena was one of the students present on result day at her school when it came under a gun and grenade attack.

“My daughter has stood first in class two. She has been promoted to class three,” her father Jan Kareem told Dawn.

“She was already in school and we were getting ready to head there to see our daughter accept her prize.

That’s when we heard gunfire.

We live close by in Baldia’s Ittehad Town and immediately sensed where the noise came from.

We ran in the direction of the school to find complete chaos there,” he added.

Nation Secondary School Principal Abdul Rasheed was critically wounded by then.

“I picked him up myself. We rushed him to Murshid Hospital on a friend’s Suzuki pickup but doctors there were unable to deal with such emergencies and advised us to take him to the Civil Hospital Karachi. We shifted him to an Edhi ambulance there and rushed out but he was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital,” said Mohammad Ahmad, a Class X student at the school.

“It is Rasheed sahab’s blood,” said Mr Ahmad, whose clothes were stained with blood, wiping tears from his eyes.

“There was a magic show going on when I reached the school. The results were to be announced soon afterwards but gunmen riding motorbikes opened fire as soon as I sat down on the stage,” said Attaur Rahman, principal of Iqbal Academy, another school nearby, who was also injured in the attack with a bullet grazing his chest and another hitting his forearm.

Mr Rahman, whose left arm was in plaster, said that he had been invited by Nation Secondary School’s principal, Mr Rasheed, to give away some of the prizes to the children.

“Rasheed was a colleague and friend. We go back 11 to 12 years. We used to constantly keep in touch, consulting each other over educational matters. He really cared for the poor community in the area. Around 50 per cent of the children in both our schools are provided free education,” he shared.

“The school was initially started by us,” said Zeba Shafi of the NGO Development in Literacy (DIL).

“But seeing Rasheed sahab’s dedication, we handed it over to him later,” she said.

The social worker had come to the hospital after hearing about the incident.

“This is a great loss,” she said quietly while turning to little Ameena’s father in order to convince him to not pull out his daughter from school after the tragedy.

Meanwhile, several people with bullet injuries were in surgery.

“I got a call from my brother that our father had been hit in the stomach,” said Omar Ahmad, son of Mian Syed Wahid, another guest at the ceremony.

“Our father is a social worker doing work in Baldia’s Ittehad Town.

He was also invited by Rasheed sahab to give away some prizes to the children,” he provided.

Eight-year-old Attiya Khan was also hit in the stomach with a bullet.

“She has been in surgery for two hours now. Doctors say the bullet is stuck in her intestines,” her uncle Qaiser Khan informed Dawn outside the operating theatre.

“Most students at the school were girls as the incident took place at the time of the first shift reserved for girls,” said Dr Tariq Kamal Ayubi, head of emergency at the Civil Hospital Karachi.

He said that they had received eight injured and one deceased.

Three of the injured had been discharged after being provided treatment, he added.

DAWN_VIDEO - /1029551/DAWN-RM-1x1

Comments (37) Closed

Sam Apr 01, 2013 01:23am
This is the time for the entire nation to stand up against the terrorism. That's all i can say, and i wish the best for brave Amina.
Azzy Mar 31, 2013 12:10pm
There is tears in my eyes. My country goes down the drain as criminals try to wrench the heart from the body.
debater Mar 31, 2013 04:41pm
I strongly beleive we need open debate on religion with factual quotes and understanding. Since the violence is justified through religion therefore will also end with clear explanation and interpretation of our dear religion Islam. It is time we introduced the educated and literate scholars in our ranks and stop the following of these uneducated Mullahs.
Qureshi Mar 31, 2013 04:15pm
Convert and save your country
Pramod Mar 31, 2013 04:20pm
How much hate you should have to fire on innocent people?Really no words for comments.
AHA Apr 01, 2013 10:42am
Our vote is meaningless. The real power in Pakistan lies with those who are cultivating terrorism as part of the state policy.
Katasraj Mar 31, 2013 05:42pm
Military is not a solution for such firing. Once somebody is dead, what military can do. The nation Pakistan itself was born in violence. First Hindus were killed and being killed, now the habit persists and killing each other
AHA Apr 01, 2013 10:53am
I agree. But I think we should also revisit the status of women before Islam. Given all that we 'believe' about the rights of women before Islam, how could Hazrat Khadija (AS) own and run an independent business as a widow, There is something seriously wrong with our beliefs.
Vikram Apr 01, 2013 04:15am
I got emotional while going through the article.
Azzy Mar 31, 2013 01:03pm
I hope Amina becomes a doctor one day.
Saad Mar 31, 2013 01:23pm
What a shameful incident. My heart really shakes and my breath shortens when thinking of these cute innocent school children. Some may be disabled for life. Any good government would have resigned. This is such a shameful thing the government is not controlling. There are culprits everywhere around the globe. If you let them roam around this would happen. If you have good governance the crime will be under control. This is purely due to corruption and 100% corrupt police and politicians. I beg Army to come back and kick all police officials out and make police for each large city separately and hire people from that locality so that they can be held responsible by the society/locality they live in and also when police form same locality then they will work with good intentions. Our problem is that all Karachi police from outside and they loot and torture common people and make as much money as they can form this beautiful city and its innocent people. all the big looters are roaming free. Only army can control....all these political parties use Police for their own political gain and to easily commit corruption. Its shameful to see that majority pakistanis are peace loving and are against corruption and still a few influential and strong people rule them, commit corruption and try nothing to stop violence.
concerned Mar 31, 2013 11:53am
Army must enter Karachi to save Pakistanis and soon.How can the Govt. officials/Ministers, even dream of sleeping at night without fulfilling basic duty of protecting lives of Pakistanis.
Mark Apr 01, 2013 03:11am
I am beginning to believe what people are saying all over the World that our religion or its people are not people of peace and value human life.
Pasha Apr 01, 2013 07:47am
Thats the reason the violence is there on earth as long as Islam is there. I wish Islam was not there , so we could live in peace and harmony.
gangadin Mar 31, 2013 01:34pm
Try to understand it this way. You go and bomb them in Tribal Areas and illegally occupy their land so they have come to destroy your cities. Army intervention will only temporarily postpone your misery.
Cyrus Howell Mar 31, 2013 10:40pm
"Army must enter Karachi to save Pakistanis and soon." Either that or the government needs to issue every school child in Pakistan helmets and body armor.
Ahmed Mustafa Apr 01, 2013 06:13am
Please stop blaming Islam. These acts are modern day acts. Islam is on the face of earth since Adam(peace be upon him) and culminated in a final and everlasting way of life as illustrated by Prophet Mohammad(peace be upon him). Modern day terrorism is just another bad invention man has made and became a part of modernity. It has nothing to do with Islam.
Raj Mar 31, 2013 10:01pm
This has to stop. I can understand the violence due to political instability, but this is something different altogether. Pakistanis must claim their country from these brutes.
gangadin Mar 31, 2013 01:31pm
This is a Police matter. Stop advocating Army action. It will lead to civil war.
Sauron Apr 01, 2013 10:50am
Historically, the faith started in the 6-7 th centuries AD. It did not exist before that. The only Adam is the Mitochondrial Adam from whom all humans are descended. HE probably lived more than 100, 000 years ago and as far as we know, followed no religion.
AHA Mar 31, 2013 09:55pm
Probably a reflection of Islam's unease with the NGOs and with education of girls.
NASAH (USA) Mar 31, 2013 09:43pm
Let's us 'talk' to Taliban about what happened in the girl's school.
AHA Apr 01, 2013 10:47am
Excellent post. I fully agree. We Muslims need to realize that the 7th century world was a very brutal place, and violence was perhaps the only means available to protect oneself. We need to understand the spirit of WHY things were done in that particular way at that time, and move our focus from WHAT was done at that time.
abbastoronto Mar 31, 2013 02:30pm
Muslims should revisit the theory that our Prophet was not literate. I am certain that this allegation was an attempt to denigrate him by his enemies later who came to power in Sham. Believing such keeps Muslims illiterate thinking it is sunnah not to learn to read or write. How could be that a businessman did not know how to read or write?
Afaq Mar 31, 2013 07:29pm
Please vote this time to those who can do something about this nonsense. It is enough for us as a Pakistani. Use you vote wisely.
ABL Apr 01, 2013 07:09am
We are thrown back to 'stone ages'. remember this threat. Think about it.
Sohrab Mar 31, 2013 03:01pm
The society is fast asleep as the monster of bigotry is growing. The responsiblity falls on everybody. The politicians who want office should clearly identify whose side they are on and the solution to the number one problem of the country. The society should then vote accordingly. The onus will then lie on the people of what they want for their future and the blame game is over. Why ask the army to come in. What happened to the scoundrels of lal masjid? They are free and the blame is put on the government at that time. The courts set them free, the lawyers rose petal the rabid killers, a good section of the society is on the side of the hoodlums. For once the onus should lie on the people of Pakistan to choose their future and what better time than now that the elections are at hand. You only reap what you sow.
hyderphd74 Mar 31, 2013 06:06pm
"How can the Govt. officials/Ministers, even dream of sleeping at night" without fulfilling basic duty of protecting lives of Pakistanis. Because they have the whole police force to protect them!
Azzy Apr 01, 2013 08:57am
Convert to what?
subh Apr 01, 2013 09:13am
NO need. what great you yourself do after being muslim
AHA Apr 01, 2013 10:39am
No religion has ever had to do anything with human values. Every religion HAS to believe that everyone, other than its followers, will go to hell no matter how good they are as humans. How can such a belief system care about human values.
Devil Apr 01, 2013 12:17pm
Too late !! Still Good luck !!
afrem Apr 01, 2013 03:02pm
Please speak for and about yourselves. Don't drag Christianity in your in your discussions and create a deception just like your historians did about Christianity by calling it a corrupt religion. You will know the teachings of a true prophet by the fruits they bear!!!
Shakoor Alam Apr 01, 2013 12:35pm
We,the people of Pakistan,denounce rather strongly condemn this act of terrorism,particularly on a school.We are determined to fight this mindset till its defeate and our Malala Yousafzai is an icon and torch bearer.
hyderphd74 Apr 01, 2013 01:13pm
There is a very simple reason why the Prophet (PBUH) was "seemingly" illiterate. I said 'seemingly" because he was not educated by any human being. The reason is obvious. A teacher's rank is higher than the pupil. Hence if the Prophet (PBUH) had a human teacher, the latter would have been ranked higher than the Prophet (PBUH). Allah had already instilled in him all the knowledge and learning, not only known up until then, but also all the future knowledge that the human kind would acquire. He said on several occasions that he is the "City of knowledge". How could he say that if he was a jahil. It is such a sad fact that we Muslims ourselves degrade our Prophet (PBUH). The other extreme is Christianity where they have elevated their Prophet (PBUH) to the level of God Himself.
SPar Apr 01, 2013 04:35pm
How many people agree that these are the direct results of religious fundamentalism sown by General Zia-Ul-Haq and continued vigorously by successive military powers whether or not the Federal Government supported? The main target for such a ruthless fundamentalism was always India. Now (as always), people ignore the fact that "Military Powers" are actually responsible (and continue to be responsible) for such a chaos but blame the political leaderships for their inability to deal with such chaos. Unless the political leadership gets the "complete-complete" control, this kind of mess is impossible to contain. But, my God - people of Pakistan are brainwashed to think the opposite.
munsif Apr 01, 2013 07:22pm
I refer to the news item, and want to express my deep grief over an attack on school children. I append below a part of statement as follows: