Thu, 30 Nov 2023

Karachi [Pakistan], August 9 (ANI): Horrid memories of the tragic event of the 2009 Ashura blast case, the victims of which still awaiting justice, evoke painful memories for Pakistani journalists covering the religious events of Ashura in Pakistan.

In 2009, a suicide bomber struck a procession marking a Shia Muslim holy day in Karachi, killing many people in an attack blamed on extremists trying to spark a sectarian war. Outraged Shias responded to one of the worst sectarian attacks in the country by setting fire to buildings and vehicles at the blast site and pelting security forces with stones.

Pakistan's local media outlet Geo News' senior journalist Faheem Siddiqui is busy planning for the coverage of the religious events of Ashura in the city. However, the activity every year reminds him of the painful events of 2009 Muharram.

The journalist lost his child during the ghastly turn of events in Pakistan and but he has to cover the events as a newsman, as per Dawn.

"Obviously, it causes pain. I lost my first child on this day. I lost my niece too," says Siddiqui referring to the Ashura bomb blast in which more than 45 people were killed on M.A. Jinnah Road on December 28, 2009.

Siddiqui's six-year-old son, Bazil Ahmed Siddiqui, and 13-year-old niece, Anzalna Hanif, were among those killed in the attack.

"We remained issueless for five years after the martyrdom of our son," the 49-year-old tells Dawn in a gagged voice. Then, Allah, the Almighty, blessed us with three kids, all of them are boys," he says. "But, the pain of losing our firstborn still haunts us. If Bazil were alive, he would have been 19 today," adds the father, helplessly.

Siddiqui's case was just one of the dozens of families of the victims that shook the nation. However, 13 years down the line the victims are still awaiting justice.

Pakistan's security establishment failed to re-arrest the three Jundullah militants allegedly involved in the bombing, who had escaped from police custody days after their arrest.

The high-profile Ashura bombing case files are gathering dust in the storeroom of an anti-terrorism court (ATC) as Rangers and police are yet to re-arrest the suspects who had escaped from city courts. (ANI)

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