Muhammed Rahman’s family – he was the first to be shot in the recent terror attack at Bacha University, Pakistan.
Intent on helping the victims of the Charsadda attack our young intrepid officer Mehwish Bhatti travelled to the scene of the terrorist attack (click here).
The site was a hollow place and is still closed as the faculty and students come to terms with the recent targeting of their education centre. Those
who were present during the attack will need time to heal and recover from serious trauma, but despite this Mehwish reports back to me that few if
any are receiving any counselling.
Mehwish travelled to the hospital and gave flowers and fruit to all the patients who were grateful for the company and counsel with some even asking
Mehwish to pray for them.
She then travelled to the homes of the victims she could trace, which was quite difficult due to the university being closed. The first family
she reached was that of Mr Muhammed Rahman, a school driver. Muhammed was the very first victim of the attack and bravely tried to stop the gunmen
when he saw them enter the school premises menacingly with their guns. As he ran towards one of the militants he was shot in the forehead at
close range which killed him instantly.
Muhammed leaves behind his wife Sajda and their three children: Yassir, 8 , Ayesha, 4, and 2 year old Alihe. Sajda is also expecting a fourth
child who will now tragically never know their father. The family have lost a main breadwinner and we were the only charity that has visited their
home since the attack. So far they have been offered no compensation but the government has stated that they will provide some compensation to
victims. To help them through the intermediate period the BPCA provided them with 2 months food. Sajda would like help the school fees of her children at the cost of £30 per month per child and and with the costs for the delivery of her child which is expected in two months that she will now struggle to pay, this will cost approximately £100.
“I have cried and cried and will never stop. Muhammed was the love of my life, he was a faithful husband and a good father. I do not know how I will survive without him. These gunmen have killed him and in doing so have left my children and I destitute. A great injustice has occurred – one that none of us will ever forget.”
Family of Muhammed Rahman
Mehwish also visited the family of Muhammed Asif, a 22 year old man, who had just completed his Bachelor of Arts degree and was only visiting the university
to collect his certificate. A day of joy and expectation became a day of mourning for his family who had prepared a secret party for his return
that now would never be enjoyed by the young victim. Muhammed Asif was cruelly shot nine times, two bullets hit his head, three bullets entered his
chest and a further four hit both legs. His mother described her pain, she said:
“My husband and I had to visit the body at his university to identify our son. His face and body had deep dark wounds and I could not bear to look at my own son. My husband wept as he identified our son I have never seen him cry before. This act of violence has ripped the heart out of my chest. These killers have destroyed so many lives, I saw so many other mothers and fathers traumatised and wailing the memory is still chilling.”
family were given two months worth of food and flowers. Mehwish also provided counselling and offered prayers for the family.
Another victim was 25 year old Muhammed Nouman, a security officer who was shot in his left arm trying to protect the university from attack. He
shot one of the gunmen but the bulletproof vests worn by the militant could not be pierced by the rifle that he was using. He described the event
to Mehwish and said:
“I saw men popping over the wall of the university wearing guns and military paraphernalia. I knew they were trouble. I called out to them but they did not respond they just landed on the ground and started shooting. I shot at one of them and hit him but it had no effect and he kept moving. While I was reloading I was shot in the arm and could not use my gun after that. I thought they would kill me but instead the men ran through the university building killing anyone in their path. It was terrifying and my gun was no match for their automatic weapons – we were all easy targets.”
Mehwish prayed for Muhammed Nouman and we have provided two months food and paid for his medical costs including the follow-up to initial treatment. The families have all confirmed that we are the first charity to meet them at their homes and to have provided assistance. We felt it was our Christian duty to help the victims of this awful tragedy and to share our love and prayers with them. Mehwish Bhatti, our chief officer, said:
“These victims were completely innocent yet have suffered so much. Parents have outlived their children who died in such brutal fashion, this has debilitated them and caused great trauma. Families have lost main breadwinners forcing them to live off handouts and for what? I pray our Pakistani authorities recognise the need to stamp out extremism to which end they must act more fervently.”
Muhammed Nouman joins Mehwish in prayer for healing and safety.
Wilson Chowdhry, Chairman of the BPCA, said:
“As always we have responded to the needs of the people of Pakistan during a time of tragedy. Our work is carried out without bias and with complete
respect for the existing faith of victims. We have given these poor innocent victims what little support we could provide while they await potential
compensation from the Pakistani government. We have covered medical expenses, provided food and counselled victims and their families. We
do this because Christ taught us to love and for no other reason. Prayer has not been forced on anyone but where it has been asked for we have
prayed with victims, others who do not ask will be prayed for in secret away from the confusion and pain the families are currently going through.
We hope in some minuscule way our actions will dispel the myths about Christians in Pakistan, but if not simply serving the hurt and pained victims
is reward enough.”
BPCA has launched an appeal for the victims of Charsadda. Our help for victims in Pakistan is provided irrespective of faith and acts as great testimony of the love of God. Donations will be used to cover the maternity costs for Sajda, to provide education to her children, we will also help many other victims who require medical costs, food packages and trauma counselling.
If you would like to contribute towards our appeal our bank details, paypal/visa payment facility can be found (here)
Please use reference: Love for Charsadda
Mehwish primed with flowers and fruits for all the victims.
Security officers are now equipped with semi-automatic guns.
Mehwish at the location of the attack- Halls of Residence for Bacha Khan University