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9/11 — A Memory

September 11, 2008

It was Tuesday. Tired I thought to take a nap in the afternoon. I woke up at about 5:00 PM and awhile later turned on TV. I sift through a few entertainment channels and then switched on the news channel. It was BBC World. They were showing breaking news of a plane crashing into one of the towers in New York. I checked CNN – they were running the same story and scenes. The towers were intact and one could see thick, dark smoke billowing up. When the second plane hit the other tower, I thought something was terribly wrong. I went out in the lounge and turned on PTV. They were showing CNN… everyone gathered and glued to TV screen.


With the collapse of twin towers the entire situation grew so grim. It was nothing but sheer destruction, chaos, smoke, fire, dust and tears. By evening the grief of American loss turned into a fear of survival for the New Yorkers, other American Muslims and above all for the people of Pakistan – as Bush had started naming and identifying the nameless and faceless enemies – all Muslims, all Arabs.


In a month’s time US led NATO forces were bombing Afghanistan. Once again PTV, connected to CNN was showing those grainy pictures of war and destruction – of pounding mud huts with cluster bombs. It was around 10:00 PM – I was brushing my teeth when I heard the angry protestors shouting slogans against America and condemning attack on Afghanistan. Even the police couldn’t stop them that night. They dispersed after a while.


The next morning I went to University and it presented that deserted look. I was told the college as well as the entire University had been shut for an infinite time. The on-going exams had been cancelled. And there we were left with the thriving Pakistani news media, in the comfort of our homes to watch the scenes of doomsday.


Kabul fell on 12th of November 2001. The Northern Alliance marched into capital. The local papers those days would carry numerous pictures of the dead bodies on the roadside. I still remember a photo where a man was pulling out a gold tooth from the mouth of the dead person on the roadside. That was a gory scene.


By that time Pakistan had gained a status of an important ally in the war on terror. Then in the spring of 2003 Iraq happened. Still not enough and being under constant pressure a warfront was opened in Pakistan in the spring of 2004 in the tribal region. Now four years later the entire NWFP is on fire.


That fateful afternoon when I went to bed for a nap after a nice meal – I had never imagined that the world is going to change in a few hours. And from that day onwards words like Taliban, Al-Qaida, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Terror, Terrorism, War, Suicide Bomber, TTP, Bajaur, UAV, Swat, Waziristan, Iraq, Shiite, Bomb attack would be hammered on our minds 24/7.


Really it is pain to watch news or read paper these days. Still while reading a paper a few days ago I came across a news report that said in South Asian countries Pakistan tops the list for having maximum number of bomb blasts and subsequent casualties.


As I type these lines on the day when the world changed forever, I am totally clueless when and where will this chaos end.


PS: Today is the death anniversary of the father of nation, Jinnah, but it’s been overshadowed by the impact of 9/11, 2001 events. Pakistan’s misery had started way before on September 11th in 1948 when we lost Jinnah.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Asma permalink
    September 11, 2008 12:48 pm

    Before 9/11, USA was THE place to go to for higher studies and other career advancing oppurtunities – Now, its all such a big hassle even to get a visa to visit.

    You are right about Quaid e Azam’s Anniversary – There is very little mention of that today 😦

  2. September 12, 2008 7:59 am

    A cursed chain of events!

    On another note, I wish I had a memory like yours! 🙂

  3. Ayesha permalink
    September 12, 2008 8:04 am

    Well, Aadil I remember everything from that fateful afternoon 😦

    Though we were not the direct sufferers in the beginning but now we are facing the full brunt. I wish to forget it, but the cursed chain of events (as you mentioned) don’t let me forget 😕

  4. nayni permalink
    September 12, 2008 3:36 pm

    An event that paved the way to justify ‘pre-emptive war doctrine” 😦

  5. Ayesha permalink
    September 13, 2008 7:50 am

    Exactly Nayni! Everything was preplanned 😦

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