Ojhri Camp disaster (Part 2)

Ojhri Camp disaster (Part 1)

My sister and I are standing outside the school building and like the rest of the school don’t know what’s happening. We don’t know if the rest of our family is safe. Meanwhile my father is just leaving to get us from school when he hears a missile approaching. From his years of training in the army he knows it is very close and he braces for the end.

Read on to know what happened next…

The missile penetrated the road and did not explode. Tar from the road flew up onto the car and the terrace of our home. My mother was watching from inside. She had been through two wars while my father was in active service and she was not new to dangerous situations.

My father arrived at our school. Thankfully no missiles had made their way to our proximity. We picked up my brother as well and made our way back home. When we reached home my father told us about his near escape. Later we made more trips to school to drop any stranded children to their homes.

Children from other schools had not been so lucky. They too had been told to stand outside and some had been killed by stray missiles. Others left unattended had been kidnapped and were never seen again.

In Rawalpindi the streets were littered with bodies. The explosions continued the whole day. It was some while later we understood what had happened.

The Ojhri Camp was used as an ammunition depot to supply arms to Afghan Mujahideen fighting against Soviet forces in Afghanistan. There were reports that an American defense audit team was about to undertake a visit to Pakistan for auditing of the stocks of the weapons provided to Pakistan Army and allegedly the camp was blown up deliberately to cover up the fact that some Stinger missiles had been sold off to other countries.

Some reports said the Ojhri Camp had about 30,000 rockets, millions of rounds of ammunition, vast number of mines, anti- aircraft Stinger missiles, anti-tank missiles, multiple-barrel rocket launchers and mortars worth $100 million in store at the time of blasts that destroyed all records and most of the weapons thus making it impossible for anyone to check the stocks.

The cause of the tragedy to this day remains undisclosed.

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17 thoughts on “Ojhri Camp disaster (Part 2)

  1. I work with people from Pakistan. Your story makes me think I work along side people and probably they have gone through similar experiences.

    • This was the time when the suicide bombings hadn’t started. It was a scary incident especially for us kids. Now we are just used to the bomb attacks which have become a common occurrence unfortunately.
      We wanted a better life for our son and that’s why we moved to Dubai 3 years ago.
      Thanks for reading and commenting.

  2. After I became Muslim, I quit my job with the U.S. Dept. of the Navy as it was completely incompatible with my Islam to work even in an unrelated desk job for such senseless murderers

  3. Whoa! That was pretty good.
    It’s always good to see someone from your motherland.I thought I am an odd Pakistani that blogs since the people here are not much interested in writings and stuff.
    My Dad as well is a retired Army Officer.
    Followed your blog 🙂

  4. Amazing… I am a big fan of Khaled Hosseini, and, even if I knew abut the history of Afghanistan, I always somehow regarded his work as fiction. Having read your piece brings that fiction a bit more into reality.

    • This incident took place in the time of General Zia who declared Martial Law in 1977 and became president for the next 11 years (until he was killed when his plane blew up in Aug 1988). Because of this incident it is said that the then prime minister was dismissed also.
      This was one of the scariest incidents I witnessed as a child. Thankfully nobody in my family was hurt. Later that missile that landed in the road near my father’s car was dug up and we kept a piece of it. I’m glad it was lost over the years.

  5. Wow, that’s such a personal and touching story! I can’t believe you experienced all of that, and the fact that you appear so well rounded is amazing. But back to the writing. 😉 I like your style of narration, I feel as if this story is being told to me personally.

  6. Pingback: The Right in the Wrong – Part 2 | Random Thoughts

  7. Pingback: Weekly Writing Challenge – Cliffhanger | Joe's Musings

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