Pakistan Railway is one of the many failures of Pakistan. On average, every month one major accident happens. Recently, Lahore bound Karachi express met an accident at Meharabad, near Nowshehro Feroz, Sindh, coming from Karachi. Some 200 people died, and hundreds got injured, though as usual official lies estimate the death toll to mere 35.
Only two bogies of the ill-fated train didn’t topple, and its inmates remained largely unharmed. One of my acquaintances from Punjab was in one of those bogies, and he had some real insightful thing to tell. His surviving story is in itself very lesson-oriented. I am presenting some highlights of what happened just after accident, in the words of an eye witness:
All of a sudden, train skidded and jolted to an abrupt and violent stop throwing the passengers of that bogy on the floor. Lights went out, and everything came to a standstill. I remained dumbfounded for some minutes, and first thought that somebody had perhaps pulled the chain to stop the train, and train would resume the journey after some minutes. But it didn’t happen. I climbed down from the coupe.
Outside in the pitch darkness, there was an ominous silence. Then bogy next to ours was also there, and I thought that it wasn’t a big deal. I waited but nothing moved. I moved forward cautiously with some other men from my coupe. As we moved forward, I saw all hell breaking loose. Just after that bogy, nothing was intact. Train was a wreck. Some Bogies were standing upright and some were cracked into half. Human limbs were everywhere, and I was stumbling over dead bodies and injured. People were screaming, weeping, crying and were frantically trying to save themselves. Some were trying to get out of the compartments, while others were jumping out. It was a scene of bloody chaos.
The area was nowhere. Not a single light was visible as far as eye worked. I was numb and my senses were dwindling. After 30 minutes are so, some villagers came running with lanterns, blankets, some food, and clothes. They told people that the nearest village was almost 1 hour away, and it was the heart of interior Sindh. Those villagers were the best humans I ever saw. They selflessly got indulged in helping people. Not a single one of them tried to plunder anything, though precious things of the dead and injured were scattered here and there. They did whatever they could do and more. Then came the police and I salute to those policemen of Sindh, who also worked altruistically though they didn’t know how to cope with such situation having no training or experience of it, but they nonetheless worked very hard to ease the miseries of unfortunate people.
In the wee hours of morning, I among handful of survivors of two bogies came to Lakha station, 1 hour away from Meharabad, where accident happened. There some two dozen villagers welcomed us. They offered us milk, tea, food and whatever they had. I offered money to one villager, and he said to me that no I didn’t know how much regard Sindhis had for their guests, and it was all free for us. I charged my mobile phone, and contacted my family, only then I could really appreciate the modern communication. I will also remember that Sindhi shopkeeper who facilitated me to charge my mobile and didn’t take any money despite of insistence. These villagers were very poor, very poor. But they were the richest, most benevolent, and most satisfied people I ever saw. They didn’t give a damn to the fact that I was Punjabi and they were Sindhis. They didn’t know about that bullshit. They were humans just like me, and they treated me like that. I was embarrassed, and thoroughly ashamed of what I earlier thought from the poisonous rhetoric of bigot leaders. When it comes to the common Pakistani, they all are same throughout the country. It’s only our so-called creep leaders who for their vested interests divide the nation and harbor ill feelings among us.
Nazim of that area also came and he was a pleasant surprise. We weren’t his voters, but he was all angels. He arranged high quality food for us and consoled us. He remained with us, and he told us not to worry at all as he would take us in their homes, if help didn’t arrive. What a man. I would elect him for Prime Minister if get a chance.
Would you believe that even 10 hours after accident, not even a single railway official came? I want to slap them, and spank them and really hit them hard. People were dying, many were dead, and badly needed help. Pakistan Railway is responsible for this accident, and they should be accountable for this. Shiekh Rashid Tulli of Rawalpindi has fattened them more, and now they are totally out of control.