What is worse than an avoidable catastrophe happened at the hands of the criminal negligence of the one responsible? Nothing. An Airline is not just responsible for millions of lives but also the billions of dollars which PIA has again swallowed in and vomited in blood. And all It took was an instant, for it all to go down, the precious lives, which are not just 97 but also dozens and hundreds of people attached to them, it is 97 families. Be it the negligence of authorities or the pilot, as the final reports are still on their way. But considering the history of PIA that suggests either the whole institution should go under complete accountability or find the person who should, because someone is responsible.
It is an everyday trend In Pakistan of letting bygones be bygones because that’s how we are, as a nation and as an individual; too emotional. Most of their sloppy sentiments and mawkish outburst either is exhibited toward the wrong direction or too quick and too much of it that we drain out of all the empathy in a few days for the sad occurrence to be observed every year only with sheer respect, a memorial. A mock. A sad reality.
With the nation mourning as the world showed solidarity with Pakistan, when is the right time to ask the question of how valuable a life in Pakistan is, with everything coming crashing down? The standards, the expectations and the devasted final outcomes, crashing down on each one of us. A big load to carry. One big rancid mound of systemic annihilation piled on top of years of corrode. It is such a rust that has bemused criminal negligence and dilutes the scale of responsibility. People die in crashes. People die in accidents. but they also die in vain. The living, somehow, have more to lose and deal with after the crash.
Now as an 11-member team of experts and engineers from European aircraft manufacturer Airbus is arriving to provide technical support to the four-member committee constituted by the Pakistani government to probe the plummet PIA plane, flight PK-8303. The plane that with 99 passengers crashed leaving behind only two fortunate survivors. What would be the final reports suggest? One has to be exceptionally callow, if cannot answer that. The reports either would be manipulated to its end or it will actually bring out the culprit, who will either be mitigated and relieved of all charges on which vexed people would dread and react with anger and angst at first but will later forget.
The team that according to Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) was to arrive sometime on Monday, will also interview the survivors and eyewitnesses to assist the investigation committee to reach a peroration whether it was a technical fault, an accident or pilot error that caused the traumatic accident.
But then again, why only hold PIA accountable? Why not all other institutions and organizations that one way or another contribute to the safety – or the lack of it-of the national airline? Why can we not just put them in the dock and make them question for the loss of lives that could have been avoided, instead of laying out anchorage? Why not throw a dragnet of accountability over their influential selves and protected heads, demanding answers they rather not answer? Why this is such a hard approach to even imagine? Why the high-octanes getting away with anything, be it even the lives of an almost hundred is easier to comprehend then the idea of them actually being held accountable and paying for their deeds?
Like every other disaster, every other day, not that it is necessary to ask people to brace themselves for the incoming partially structured inquiry in the favor of the powerful, for they have already been carefully wired into making such acceptances of authority’s decision in the past. Partially structed questions to be asked and the end result will only find the weakest to be the culprit. And we, as always, will move on and the only broken that are to be left to live with the tragedy are the ones who had their loved ones on that unfortunate plane. In short, no matter how many teams may be coming, the results had only been made, no ones being crushed but innocents, till the next crash.
As have been said before, let us all just marinate in fury and let our hearts burn in anger and pain until it evaporates up into nothingness. Let it all go down as a show as it always has. Do not let the guilt grip you into a sensible protest but to only refresh the memory once every year. Let the corrupted system again put you on a stake of justice delayed, till the next victim is you and only then will people realize, it is in reality justice denied. Do not let anyone tell you otherwise. The system maybe debased and corrupted but it does not make a silent onlooker any different.
-Next time when on a PIA flight you are asked, what would like to have – coffee or tea? Answer, Please, A safe landing.
The Writer is Analyst, Social activist and a public speaker at youth conferences.