Lifesavers or angels of death?


Amal Umer PHOTO/Beenish Umer/Dawn

heavy traffic
two daughters and parents
red light
a knock on the window

window rolls down
a gun was pointed
cell phone snatched
bag handed over

police saw bandits –
a rare rarity –
police vs bandits fire fight
one bandit escaped; one got killed

a heavy assault rifle AK-47
a gift from the US/Saudi/Pakistan war against the Soviet Union

but crossfire had another victim too
10-year-old Amal

her Mom’s cell phone she was using was bloodied
car rushed to the National Medical Centre (NMC)

emergency staff didn’t do much
doctor present was playing statue

ordered to go to another hospital
time was the critical factor

more critical was the availability of an ambulance

Aman Foundation would send one –
provided a bed was confirmed at JPMC or AKUH*

lifesavers became life takers
Amal was no more

though she did reach JPMC but for medico-legal process
was placed next to the bandit killed by police!

life is strange; death is even more strange

Amal was the victim of a police bullet
which police admitted after a few days

B. R. Gowani can be reached at

*Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre; Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi, Pakistan.

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