Pak military establishment responsible for Murree tragedy: Altaf Hussain

Tourist vehicles stranded under several feet snow besides the Murree cantonment (boundary wall encircled in red) in Pakistan's Punjab province. (Photo: News Intervention)
Tourist vehicles stranded under several feet snow besides the Murree cantonment (boundary wall encircled in red) in Pakistan's Punjab province. (Photo: News Intervention)

Sindh’s top leader and founder of MQM (Muttahida Qaumi Movement) Altaf Hussain came down heavily on the Pakistan Army and senior officials for their negligence that led to the death of several tourists at Murree. Without mincing his words, Hussain said that the responsibility for mass killings in the Murree tragedy lies with the army generals and senior officers.

“None except the corrupt and evil military establishment has brought devastation in every section of life. The Murree tragedy could have been averted but these corrupt military generals and the ghoulish Pakistan Army let them die,” Altaf Hussain thundered while talking to MQM workers on Saturday. Hussain expressed his heartfelt condolences over the deaths in the Murree tragedy and said that the civilians were left to freeze and die while the top military brass was busy minting money and looting the tax payers.

Sindh’s leader Altaf Hussain lambasted the Pakistani military establishment for their negligence in rescuing stranded tourists at Murree on Jan 7/8, 2022 due to which 21 tourists, including 10 children, froze to death. (Photo: News Intervention)

On January 7/8 thousands of vehicles were left stranded at Murree in a massive traffic jam that was caused due to an unscheduled convoy movement of Pakistan Army. Heavy snowfall had started by the time roads were opened for general public and tourists were forced to spend the night in their cars that went stuck under several feet snow. Twenty one tourists froze to death and among them ten were children.

Altaf Hussain said the details emerging from the Murree tragedy were “extremely tragic and painful” and the trapped tourists had been calling the emergency numbers of government and administration but no one came to their rescue. “Ironically, military’s bullying dictation to the mainstream media of Pakistan has meant that stale stories and tales of how the Pakistan Army arrived at Murree and is carrying out huge relief and rescue works is doing the rounds. Huh! This is another tragedy side by side. For more than twenty hours, everyone was calling for help. Why did the army generals, senior officers and personnel, their helicopters, heavy vehicles and machinery didn’t help the citizens trapped in the snow? Why didn’t the army move on the night of Friday/Saturday, in spite of the Pakistan Army cantonment located at a walking distance?”

Tourist vehicles buried under snow besides the Murree cantonment in the Punjab province of Pakistan. Despite thousands of vehicles stuck in snow alongside the cantonment, the Pakistan Army did not come out to rescue the tourists, due to which 21 hapless people (including 10 children) froze to death at Murree on Jan 7/8, 2022. (Photo: News Intervention)

Hussain said that across the world whenever there is a natural calamity or tragedy, the army instantly comes to the rescue of its citizens but not in Pakistan. “Why didn’t the army move yesterday (Friday) to save the lives of citizens trapped in snow in Murree? The army carries 90% of the country’s budget in the name of defense. It was their responsibility to save the civilians. Where were the national and provincial disaster management authorities? Where was the government and administration?” thundered Altaf Hussain.

Hussain was pained at the criminal negligence of Pakistan Army and questioned that how can such army be considered sacred? The top military brass is involved only in minting money and looting the taxpayers money from both hands. “We believe in humanity and we are deeply saddened by this tragedy. I offer my prayers to the victims of Murree tragedy.”

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