the net of people deeply affected by political violence
A terrorist victim isn’t always someone else
Thursday 4 August 2011
Islamabad - Terrorism was something that happened to others.
Upon seeing news of another terrorist attack, I would simply change the channel. That is, until 5 October 2009, when I received a phone call that would change my life forever. The caller said that there had been a bomb blast in the office of the UN agency in Islamabad where my wife Gul Rukh worked.
I do not remember whether I drove, or how I reached the office. All I know is that somehow I got there. But there was nothing to see, and no one to meet.
Someone told me that Gul Rukh had been taken to the medical centre. Driving there in a daze, I began asking myself the eternal question people in such situations ask: “Why us?”
My name is Tahir Wadood Malik, a retired Major in the Pakistan Army. My career provided me with a comfortable lifestyle, and I considered myself to be part of Pakistan’s “privileged” society. In many ways I felt aloof from many of the everyday people of Pakistan.
* Tahir Wadood Malik is Founder of the Pakistan Terrorism Survivors Network, which aims to provide terrorist attack survivors and victims’ families the support they need to express their grief, share the burden of loss and know they are not alone. This article is part of a series on the consequences of terrorism written for the Common Ground News Service (CGNews).