Today, there was an incident here that substantially changed my way of thinking. A Pakistan Airforce trainer plane crashed inside GIKI premises today. The pilot and a gardener died on the spot. There was no other loss of life or property. Further analysis (and some witness reports) revealed that the trainee pilot's quick thinking had prevented loss of 300+ lives and damage to faculty buildings. The pilot, instead of ejecting from the plane when he knew it was going to crash, maneuvered the plane and kept it on the (narrow) road away from the buildings and places nearby, where students hang out during the day. Had he ejected from the plane, he would most probably have survived but the crash site was surrounded by buildings in which 300+ people were working/studying at the time, a lot would have been lost. In short, he sacrificed his life to prevent loss of other lives.
It is incidents such as these that force you to think about...well, about everything. And this time it got me thinking about his selfless act. It is only the leader of the Pakistan Army, who had lowered the army in the eyes of the civilian population. Whereas the truth of the matter is that our army, is willing to sacrifice for the country. They stand ever-ready, to defend our homeland from any harm.
It also made me think that It is really not a leader who makes all the difference. This single man had saved 300+ lives. It made me realize that every-day people can also be heroes. They can also do big things. And they can make a difference. If the pilot would have started blaming the engineers and the government for old planes with mechanical faults, there would not have been enough time for him to think and act as he did. We are too lazy and love to put the blame on others.
From now on, I resolve to change my lifestyle to favor growth and prosperity of Pakistan. I resolve to be honest, devoted and respectful and to deliver what I promise. May Allah grant me the strength to do so. Maybe one day I will be a hero and I will make a difference. Until then, I live on in the hope that the day will soon come.
Lastly, I salute the pilot, for his selfless act. May Allah rest his soul in peace. Amen.
Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Plane crash in GIKI
FYI: A great letter by a student at GIKI whose perspective of things in life changed after the plane crash.