Sunday, March 27, 2016

A Terrorist Struck my Neighborhood Park

By Amber Shakil
LAHORE, Pakistan – Near where I live is Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park, a beautiful place with birds, lakes and swings for children.
It’s a popular public place for picnics, trips and family outings. I’ve been there several times. People who live in other cities come to see it when they visit Lahore.

Today, though, the park is filled with death and pain. A suicide bomber attacked the park, killing more than 60 people. Now ambulances are carrying the wounded out of the park.

Around 7 p.m. I heard a huge sound. At first I thought it was a transformer that exploded but then I realized that this explosion didn’t sound like a transformer. A most horrible thought crossed my mind.  I hurried towards the television and sadly, what I feared proved right. News reports said more than 300 injured, in addition to the more than 60 dead.
Googlemaps satellite image.
Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park in Lahore, Pakistan.  
On every channel was the news about the blast in the park’s parking area. The bomber struck around the time when everyone was about to leave the park.
For the next few hours I heard the sound of ambulances and police cars. I have no words to explain my feelings. This was the first time I heard a blast and sounds of ambulances for almost three hours.
Today was Easter and I am sure that this blast was planned for this day. On holidays everyone visits their relatives and especially people go to parks. As it was Easter, many people went with kids to celebrate their festival. And what happened? People who were happy and enjoying their festival and kids who were playing died for no reason!
From Googlemaps 
Click on the image to enlarge.
The map shows the location
of the city of Lahore in Pakistan.
I live in a country where bomb blasts are regularly happening for the past few years and still I have no idea what is the reason behind all these attacks. I am really depressed and I have stopped watching the news.
I am helpless and so is everyone here. Innocent people are dying. Last time, terrorists attacked a school and now they’ve killed people celebrating their festival.
I can still hear the sound of that blast and the ambulance sirens in my head. It’s impossible to concentrate on anything right now.
People will not return to the park for days, at least.
Whatever the terrorists’ motive is, whether it is to kill people or put fear in people, they are getting too good at it.
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Amy Kathleen Ryan said...

I think you are doing the right thing writing about it. I am so sorry you are living through such horror. My heart goes out to all the stricken families.

Jennifer Stewart said...

I'm terribly sorry that terrorism touches you so closely. It must be absolutely awful to have to live in the shadow of that fear all the time. Thank you for writing about it so honestly. I was very moved by what you wrote. I think you are very brave.

Amber Shakil said...

Thank you Amy!