As the cold weather wreaks havoc upon citizens in different areas of the country, particularly in the northern areas where the rough terrain and incessant snowfall have claimed the lives of close to a hundred people in the last week, citizens are desperately trying to reach safer territory.
Amid all this, one man is adamant to rescue as many people as he can, braving the biting cold and risky driving conditions to ensure no one is left stranded.
Anis Khan, 30, a businessman from Muslim Bagh town in Killa Saifullah, Balochistan, has become sort of a celebrity in the small town as he drives up and down the highway, rescuing those stranded on the thoroughfare as well as in distant villages.
The area recorded some of the highest snowfall in recent years between January 12 and January 14, leading to road closures and cutting off distant villages from the urban centres. Thousands of people were left stranded, with no way to procure daily supplies and sustenance.
Besides, most of the highways connecting Balochistan to Sindh and Punjab were blocked and a number of vehicles were stranded.
The first night, on December 12, Khan, accompanied by 10 of his friends started their rescue operation. They drove along the highway, stopping along the route to deliver food to drivers and passengers. If the vehicle had a family in it, they would be invited to their homes to rest and have warm home-cooked food while the snow subsided.
“We are serving people for the sake of Allah,” said Khan, while speaking to DawnNewsTV. “We do not need any fame or help,” he added.
Meanwhile, Aslam Kakar, a resident of the area, hailed Khan’s actions, saying while the authorities were trying their best to help people, it was Anis Khan and his friends who had taken up the mantle on their own accord and were going out of their way in the rescue efforts.
According to Kakar, commuters traveling from Punjab to Quetta were initially reluctant to accept Khan’s invitation to go the guesthouses, but when they saw the hospitality, their attitude towards the people of Balochistan changed.