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Remembering the Ojhri Camp Blast

Posted on April 10, 2009
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Disasters, History
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Adil Najam

Today is April 10.

Nineteen years ago, today, on April 10, 1988 the military ammunition depot at Ojhri Camp, Rawlapindi, blew up and unleashed an inferno that sent all sorts of rockets all over Rawalpindi and into neighboring Islamabad. It also let to a sequence of events that led to the ouster of then Prime Minister Mohammed Khan Junejo and, depending on which conspiracy theorist you believe, to the death of then President General Mohammad Zia ul Haq.

Reader Dilnawaz of Bradistan Calling forwarded me an article by Tariq Mehmood on the Ojhri blast. Some excerpts worth reproducing:

21 years ago, on the 10th April 1988 Ojhrii dump in Rawalpindi was blown up. This was a deliberate act of destruction. Hundreds upon hundreds of missiles rained down on Rawalpindi and Islamabad. Over 5000 people were killed. Many, many thousands more were injured.

I was working as a journalist for the Frontier Post and along with a colleague, Imran Munir, went into the camp, early the day after the explosion. Every now and again, a rocket or missile would take off, and land somewhere, causing yet more deaths and destruction.

All manner of rockets and shells were going off. People were sitting around shell shocked. The houses close to Ojhri were reduced to mere shells. I went into one house. A man in his late 20s was sitting amidst shattered glass and broken wood. He was rubbing his hands in the glass. Blood fr om his shredded hands was spreading across the floor. He had a little child’s shoe. He turned to us. I looked into his bloodshot eyes. He said, “this is where my son was martyred.” Imran was about to take a photograph of him, but he lowered the camera. We could not snap him in this position. We stood there for a while, we wanted to lift him up but the man wanted to stay with the memory of his child. Out side his door I saw a dog. It stood in front of us. It was a healthy black and white mongrel. It must once have been a loved pet. I can still see the dogs eyes, filled with unspeakable terror, asking me why? Why? Why? I did not know what to say to the creature. I did not know what had happened. Had I known, I would have sat down and told the dog, that this is the way those that rule, hide one crime by committing another.

Some people I talked to said they saw a missile cut through a buffalo’s stomach. I have found some of my notes from that time. Many people said that the police just ran off, even from major traffic junctions and students took over the posts, directing traffic.

… Some people at the time said they thought the day of judgement had arrived. I have found three eye witness accounts from that time. I only have their names and do not remember much more of them.

“I was going towards Faizabad when I heard the explosion. There was a huge fire. Many people were running towards it, while the police were running away from it. Missiles started flying in every direction. I saw about 12 young men sheltering under a tree. Then they were all dead. The road going towards the CDA (Capital Development Authority) colony was littered with hands and feet of little children. Such great injustice. The world seemed to have died. Whilst the police ran off, students started directing traffic.” Bagh Hussain.

“It was raining missiles and bombs. Everyone was running for their lives. The area was full of explosions and screaming. What the bombs did not destroy the police took.” Mohammad Ishaque.

“Four thousand have died. It was like Qiamat. Even when all hell was let loose, when bombs were spread around liked chopped pieces of wood, these people (pointing to policemen) were robbing – such injustice.”

I, too, was in Islamabad at the time and have vivid memories of the incident and its aftermath. I was driving in front of the Jinnah Super market in F-7 when panic started hitting Islamabad and cars started rushing every which way. I also turned back and rushed home. This was before the advent of the internet or he 24 hour news channels in Pakistan, so rumors ran amuck.

“It was a terrorist attack,” said some. “No,” said others, “its India, can’t you see the direction that the sound is coming from!” Others would chime in, “No, no, no. Its merely one more blast like the ones we are having every day.” Yet others saw ‘saahoni sazishian’ and ‘umreekan haath’ in all of this. And so it went on and on. The phone kept ringing. A friend who had a shell just land outside his gate. A relative, whose car was hit by another car which in turn had been hit by flying sharpnel.

By the end of the day clarity began to emerge. But not really.

It was clear, now, that it was Ojhri. That it was an ammunition dump. Everyone knew that this was related to the Afghanistan operation and ISI controlled the location. Soon, the politics also began becoming clear and before long Mohammed Khan Junejo was booted out. But that was the extent of it. Theories abound, but it remains unclear exactly what happened? Who did what? How? Why?

One would have thought that more would have come out on something this important and of this magnitude. It really has not. One must wonder, why?

P.S. In preparing this post I was also struck by how little there is on this over the internet. Especially in terms of photographic record. It may be because this was a pre-digital camera event. If any one has access or links to photographs of the outfall, please do share.

P.P.S. This is a repost of an original post published at ATP on this date in 2007.

56 Comments on “Remembering the Ojhri Camp Blast”

  1. blue and grey says:
    April 10th, 2007 3:41 am

    Vivid memories for me too! I was 13 year old and at school at that time. Actualy, it was the first day of the new school year. After the first one or two blasts most of us thought that it was yet another blast in one of the nearby markets, Jinnah Super, or Super Market. But this impression lasted only a few seconds, soon other explosions followed and we stopped counting.

    They evacuated the building and made us stand in the ground behind the school building, away from where the smoke plume now appeared clearly. I remember a lot of children from the primary sections crying, teachers taking care of them, but so worried themselves. I don’t know how much time we stood there. It is strange, I vividly remember the first few explosions. But I don’t remember the sound of the explosions afterwards. Probably, because it was there constantly. II remember clearly the sound of shells flying not far away from where we were. Later my mother came and took us home.

    When we saw the news later, we understood how lucky we had been; so many had lost so much.

    Like you Adil, I have always wondered, why we don’t know anything about what happened. I mean there was an enquiry back then… Why weren’t the results made public? What about now? It’s been 19 years and they are still not known…
    I have a hard time believing that nobody knows what happened. And to me personally, it seems like an added trauma: not knowing WHY people died.

  2. blue and grey says:
    April 10th, 2007 3:42 am

    BTW, thanks for writing about this. I am glad someone brought it up.

  3. Adnan Siddiqi says:
    April 10th, 2007 3:52 am


    I have always wondered, why we don’t know anything about what happened. I mean there was an enquiry back then… Why weren’t the results made public?

    Very simple. The incident happened when a military dictator was ruling. A country where army is considered a sacred cow, you can’t expect any honest outcome about the corruption of Army. Speaking of Army, Asma of ISB-MB just forwarded the following link:

    http://www.fascistarmy.org/index.htm

  4. Harris says:
    April 10th, 2007 3:56 am

    I was in 7th grade at the time and my school was very close to Ojari camp. I still remember that we had barely settled in our new class (academic year used to run from April to March) in those days. The first explosion was by far the biggest and I will not forget that blinding flash for as long as I live. The whole room shook and my friend fell off his chair.

    We thought it was a bomb blast but after a few minutes there was another blast. Not quite as loud as the first but still earth shattering. After that The missiles started to fly. Our school administrators got us out in the field and looking in the general direction of Ojari camp we could see missiles taking off and flying in all directions. It was a middle school so in 7th grade we were considered seniors. Our job was to calm the little kids but to be honest with you my legs were shaking.

    I saw dozens of missiles flying above our school. Two of them landed right in front of the gate, one less than 6 feet away that embedded itself deep into the ground. The shaking of the ground, the blasts and the whizzing sound of a high speed missile piercing the air was something can never be forgotten by those who were there.

    After about 20 minutes a large mushroom cloud started to appear over the site giving rise to the speculation that it was a nuclear attack from Russia, some suggested that India had attacked us (We were 11 year old kids with wild imaginations).

    On my way back from school what I saw on the way is better left untold. Those are images I tried hard to erase from my memory.

    There was no light in Rawalpindi for at least a couple of days after the incident and no phone connection. My mother had left for Lahore the same morning and got the news when she stopped in Kharian. People told her that entire cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad had been destroyed . It is hard to feel the pain she must have felt knowing nothing about her three children and no way to contact them or even get back since the traffic at Attock and Rawat was blocked to anyone entering the city.

    For the next few days we regularly heard of what had happened to the homes of our friends and family and everyone had a story to tell of the great escapes. The sound of blasts coming from Barakahu kept us reminding of that day when Army destroyed the rockets they had collected from both cities.

  5. blue and grey says:
    April 10th, 2007 4:21 am

    Harris, I am sorry about your pain from that day and everybody’s pain from that day. Your post made me calculate again since it was my first day of seventh too. Conclusion: I was 11 years old nearing 12.

  6. Asma says:
    April 10th, 2007 4:33 am

    I was a kiddo when it happened but I still have vivid memories of rockets flying in the air — Got one in my home too …

  7. Khobar says:
    April 10th, 2007 5:49 am

    Remembering Ojhri disaster.

    Remember the then self imposed President Zia.

    Remember the then Prime Minister of Pakistan Mr Junejo.

    Remember the then ISI supremo, Gen Gul.

    The disaster is still a mystery.

    Mr Junejo tried to assert the executive authority and was apparently instituting an inquiry and this was one of the factors which led to his dismissal.

    The former ISI Gen Hamid Gul was right hand man of Zia. He was instrumental in many political decisions and one of them was judicial murder of Z.A. Bhutto.

    Now Gen Gul has come out saying that the United States had its role in the disaster.

  8. Rashid Hashmi says:
    April 10th, 2007 6:01 am

    Mysteries abound the land of pure. Ojri camp event, like many other mysteries that preceeded it or going to come in years ahead, will never be resolved. Till Pakistan is continued to be ruled by the most organized and corrupt political party namely Pakistan Army this will the way of life.

  9. Zia says:
    April 10th, 2007 8:25 am

    Allah bless all those who became victims.
    Like everyone else I still remember what we were going through. It was one of my closest encounters with death when suddenly I felt prepared to be hit. I saw couple of near misses too.But I remember lines of young boys, men lying on the hospital ground donating blood and hospital administration announcing that they could not take more blood at this moment.

  10. AZAM says:
    April 10th, 2007 2:41 pm

    Well, its not just military governments that hide facts. Bhutto made the Hamoodur Rahman report secret and kept its findings from getting out. benazir was also not very forthcoming on her foreign policy adventures in Afghanistan.

  11. April 10th, 2007 9:12 am

    Adil,

    Thanks for reminding this event. Although at that time , I was in Karachi but we had relatives in Islamabad and also in Satellite town, where the missiles played havoc.

    I also remember that there was no media but the morning transmission aur “Subah ki Nashriyaat” had just started during those days and Mustansar Hussain Tarar used to host the show. The show was really heartbreaking where he called out the names of the persons killed or injured on the next couple of days. Some of the clips were also horrifying where missiles were in air all over the place.

    There was also a Geological Survey of Pakistan building which was very close to the place on Faizabad.

    Missiles did not even spare the minister of Mr.Junejo’s Canbinet Mr.Khaqan Abbasi (MNA from Murree) whose car was hit by a missile.

    I vaguely remember some other events in Karachi in the 80s which was the bombings in Karachi’s Bohri Bazaar and Mansfield Street that also created a disaster situation here. I think we should also cover those at some point.

  12. Moeen Bhatti says:
    April 10th, 2007 9:26 am

    At that time,I was traveling from LHR to ISB in flying coach. It was hot. The driver was playing an indian songs’ cassette. A maulvi stood up and started preaching,”brothers & sisters, our people are dying due to the blasts in Ojeri camp & you guys are listening to the indian songs?” Everyone realized and the driver put off the cassette. I was young & emotional, so I stood up and asked the driver to put off the air-conditioning. Everyone looked at me in disbelief. This is what I said,”brothers & sisters, our people are dying due to the blasts in Ojeri camp, you guys are sitting in air-conditions?” Now I realize, mullahs haven’t changed much nor have I.

  13. Moeen Bhatti says:
    April 10th, 2007 9:42 am

    The end of the story was the driver started the indian songs’ cassette again!

  14. Najla Alam says:
    April 10th, 2007 10:00 am

    I was in the 1st grade when this tragic incident took place. My parents and older siblings have much vivid memories of that day. We were in school at that time and our mom and her sister came running to pick us up. And it IS surprising to find little material related to this over the internet.

  15. Mohammad N Awan says:
    April 10th, 2007 10:10 am

    The next day after Ojhari blast I was asked to performed emergency medical relief work in Gulshan Dadan Khan area. everywhere there were splints of missiles, Prime Minister Junejo visited that area. people were very angry. They were abusing us and complained that why not you reached to us before. Today every agency is here because of prime minister s vist. Some people especially some PPP activists pelted stone on Junejo s car and show angerness. but that gentleman as I saw was very polite.

  16. Anwar says:
    April 10th, 2007 10:50 am

    It is sad to note that over 5000 lives were lost, a number of properties destroyed and yet there was not a single soul held responsible for this tragedy. Explosions may have been triggered by an accident considering the volume of flow of arms to and fro, however to place an ammo dump in the middle of city was a criminal act. And for that decision alone someone should have been skinned.
    As long as we continue to consider such criminal acts as will of Allah and shrug accountability we will continue to experience similar loss of life – I understand that in the absence of law and legal protection available to ordinary helpless citizen the only solace is to accept missery as the will of all mighty but unless we opt for change, it will not happen.
    Some of the clowns of our military of that era must be brought to bear the responsibility through legal actions to say the least.
    I also propose annual rememberance of this event. Lest we forget….

  17. jk says:
    April 10th, 2007 11:02 am

    I was in school on that day. The teachers first thought it was an earthquake so they make us go outside. Then we saw the rocket trails in the sky, so they hurried us back in. Then they evacuated us again. Ah, fun times.

    I never knew that 5000 people were killed :O.

  18. Babar says:
    April 10th, 2007 12:06 pm

    The book “Charlie Wilson’s War” has a good account of this. Zia called Charlie as soon as this happened and asked for a replacement of the arsenal. That was it.

  19. babar says:
    April 10th, 2007 12:28 pm

    I was around 8-9 years old at the time of this incident. We had a very sweet neigbhour, who used to love us a lot. Then she got married and went to rawalpindi. She had a very cute , lovely and energetic son. Whenever she came back to Lahore, the kid spent a lot of time with us, and used to make us laugh a lot. He was such a star for the whole neighbourhood, because of his inteligence , energy and cuteness.
    When Ojhri camp happened, his mother(my old neighbour) took him in her lap, covered him with a blanket ( for cushin) and ran for the shelter. But he was struck by a peice of a shell in the head, and died right in her arms. She was devastated , and all of us very realy sad.

  20. babar says:
    April 10th, 2007 12:28 pm

    he was under 3 when he died.

  21. Democrat says:
    April 10th, 2007 1:46 pm

    http://www.fascistarmy.org Saga of Khaki Cosa Nostra – Click Now

    A dedication to the two million victims of East Pakistan, who became the target of khaki fascism in 1971.

    The day of 12th October 1999 is marked as the day when democracy was ambushed fourth time in the history of Islamic Republic of Pakistan. This is the day when the Fascist Generals of Pakistan’s Rogue Army practiced the legacy of their naked aggression and toppled the elected parliament of Pakistan. It has now been seven years since the “Khaki Cosa Nostraâ€

  22. Riaz Merchant says:
    April 10th, 2007 6:04 pm

    In the book The Bear Trap by Muhammed Yousef( Brigadier in the Pak Army who was charged with the responsibility of organizing and training the Afghan fighters) which is about how Pakistan fought a proxy war for the US with Russia in Afghanistan, there is some detail on why Ojhri was blown up. Later editions of the book might have editted this out. The author’s take was that the depot was blown up by the Pakistan military (example, there are at any given time 3000 or so soldiers inside the camp and no one died) to stop the Americans from auditting missing arms that were meant for the Afghans, armaments that were either supplied directly by the US (the famed Stinger missiles) or for which money had been sent but ended up somewhere else. Some of the US supplied weapons (Stingers) were being sold to Iran or/and Iraq (also at war at the time) by top military brass and their relatives (he mentions Zia’s son, Ijaz ul Haz and Akthar Abdul Rehman’s son being the main beneficiary).

    True or false, the fact that the Pakistan government, and especially the military has done nothing to get to the bottom of this just gives credence to arguments that the military was behind this.

  23. mystic says:
    April 10th, 2007 6:42 pm

    Hur roz nikalta hai janaza gareeb ka !!

    That can happen only in Pakistan where thousands and thousands people die in one shot and “nero baansari bajata rahe”.

    Zia was the biggest curse for this country.

  24. Israr says:
    April 10th, 2007 7:45 pm

    It was a very sad day, I was home at the time of the blast and out house was behind the Ojhri camp,
    It was huge blast and all galss inour house shattered I immediatly ran up to the roof to see what happened ans saw a big flame going up. and than a second blast that just took all HOSH o hawas away . cam down and saw all people runnig in or out, strange situation the neighbours were standing outside and ran inside but realised it was not there house, we ran out me bare foot, just started runnning , It was all our family and rest of galli wallahs. dont know who went where,My brothers friend was visiting sitting in his car , i bleieve some fit in the car, and i started running, A neighbour Khala ji had three little kids I took one and handed him to my borther in the car, i think they had some random people in the car, did not even know where my mother was, I think i picked up another of khal gee kids nad what i remember is that we took a dead end street and ended up in a house, realized I was bare foot, my elder borther was with us and khala gees kids. there was no light but the phone in the house was working . Brother called and was given advice to sit below the atairs so we did, only could hear Hissing sounds, I am not sure how long it was but than a blast at the wall, and smoke, looked out and saw a missile in the lawn, another one landed on the roof water tank , we thought war had broken out, We just panicked furthur and walked out again, Just listlessly walking back to the house , people still runnign waay, than saw my uncle coming this way crying, ” everything is destroyed , he had four daughters and no one knoew where , I told her i saw one sit in the car the other was in school, than some one said there were some female dead bodies by govt college on sixth road, my heart stopped as i Relaized my mother was not with us. I have no idea how long it was but than A friend who cam looking for us from Islamabad came, We wento t my borther in laws house and my mom was there. That was releif, we than decided to go look for others when suddenly got the news that that friends Uncle and cousin were his in islamabad and died, I got off his car as he went to Islamabad and i walked to my house, I cant forget , every house had all glasses shattered,and missiles lying around every where, naive we even picked up some and kept them, still have one exploded one somewhere.
    It was heart wrenching for my father who was in saudia and heard the news that al that area was detroyed, my sisiter in school in islamabed thought the same, and my borther and sister in Murree and my friends from school in Lahore thought i am dead
    well we got the park and the stadium afterwards and even the road built and still amazes me that army was collecting and putting all those missile most of which in fact were only projectiles and had been unexploded right in front of our Galli
    we all lived thru it but do wonder on whose shoulder is all this blood, may some one in the military care about their after life and come out themselves, some one knows ???????????

  25. Farrukh says:
    April 10th, 2007 10:37 pm

    This incident was the end of Zia ul Haq and also of a good man, Mohammad Khan Junejo.

  26. Ali says:
    April 11th, 2007 5:51 pm

    I was 7, it was my first day at a new school. All I remember from that day is that our teachers ensured that all the children remained in the school for the duration of the blasts.

    Salute to all the teachers and school staff of Pakistan.

  27. Lahori says:
    April 13th, 2007 2:07 am

    Ojhri camp, much like the question of how Zia ul Haq died, will remain a mystery… and until it does we wil also wonder if the two are connected…. coincidence, probably not.

  28. April 15th, 2007 5:02 pm

    This is national interst to hide the facts from nation..what was result of those inquiries pertaining to Ojhari and Zia murder… We people are just ingnorant whts going on in national interst:)

  29. younas says:
    April 22nd, 2007 12:28 pm
  30. hassan says:
    February 27th, 2008 12:33 pm

    i was in nursery class and the first day of my class was going to start on 11 th april ,the day after the blast my dad was holding me in his lap with my lil bro and we were worried my mom was out but Allah ka sukar aal of us were saved

  31. Ghalib says:
    March 16th, 2008 3:32 am

    it was ma first day for 5th class!when it happened the school was closed,ma bro came to pick us up and we dropped coupl of oher kids at their homes!i was too young then to imagine who did it and why they did it!

  32. Owais Mughal says:
    April 10th, 2008 2:06 pm

    This photo of Ojhri camp site showing burned trucks appears in today’s Dawn. See here

  33. Dilnawaz says:
    April 9th, 2009 1:05 pm
  34. YASIR says:
    April 10th, 2009 10:47 pm

    I remember the day this happened very vividly. We really thought all hell had broken loose and everything would come to an end. And yet so mch more than just this has happened since then that Ojhri Camp seems like a small thing today?!

  35. mian khan says:
    April 11th, 2009 12:57 am

    I remember Ojhri camp incident vividly. I was student of MSc. I saw it from the balcony next to office of Dr. Pervaz Hoodbhoy, in the joint building of physics and electronics.
    We could see missiles taking off, smoke and hear sounds of blasts.

    As public transport had stopped. By 3 pm I transported number of my classmates who were from Rawalpindi in my large size vehicle Wagoneer jeep. i had chance see destruction to houses in satellite town.

    The very next day, Dr. Pervaz Hoodbhoy and Dr. Nayar called student body in university cafeteria and started program to help victims of disaster.

  36. Junaid says:
    April 11th, 2009 1:35 am

    quoting from article

    “…Others would chime in,

  37. Nadeem Chaudhry says:
    April 11th, 2009 10:23 am

    21 years ago……seems like yesterday!

  38. Obaid says:
    April 11th, 2009 10:29 am

    Posted on April 10, 2009

    “Nineteen years ago, today, on April 10, 1988

    its 21 years since, not nineteen…

  39. Ali says:
    April 11th, 2009 1:31 pm

    The Ojhri Camp explosion was most certainly the work of US intelligence agencies who were beginning to be suspicious of the vast military aid which they themselves had given to Gen. Zia and the Pakistan Army. Once the ‘Afghan Miracle’ had ended with the Geneva Accord and the Soviets retreating from Afghanistan, the US has been doing its best to under-mine Pakistan’s military capabilities so that a Muslim state is much less of a threat to it’s dominance

  40. Roshan says:
    April 11th, 2009 2:28 pm

    It is a coincidence that I was in Islamabad during Ojhri camp tragedy and also was in Bahawalpur when Zia’s plane crashed.
    It was panic and confusion and people were running around and nobody knew where they are going.
    The area around Faizabad suffered the most both in casualties and properties. Rumor mongering was at its zenith as my parents called me back to Multan fearing remaining ammunition in the depot would explode too.
    When Zia’s plane crashed it was about ten miles in the Northwest of Bahawalpur on the riverbank of Sutlej river.
    Being an inhabitant of that area, I hadnt seen that much of security in that area. I only heard about the plane crash in the area not knowing that its Zia’s plane. I reached there at the time when fire on the debris of plane was almost controlled and still smoke was emitting. The area was cordoned off both by police and armed forces. We did not know that Zia was in the town as his expected visit was not announced in the media.
    It happened both in Bahawalpur and Islamabad that nationwide access to phone was disconnected from rest of the country. By seven or eight in the night Ishaq Khan announced ‘Aur tayaara hawa main pat gaya’.

  41. AZRA says:
    April 11th, 2009 3:07 pm

    Two thoughts come to mind on reading this

    How quickly time goes by and how quickly we forget

    Thanks for reminding us about who got us into this whole mess – ZUA UL HAQ

  42. paataykhan says:
    April 11th, 2009 3:31 pm

    Adil saab, dil pehlay hi chhalni hay aur aap yeh kia lay baithey. Koi aur baat karain, koi khushbu jaisi baat, koi pyar ki baat visal ki baat. Lets forget these monsters for a bit and get ourselves emersed in optimism of a child when he says,KISHWAR E HASEEN SHAD BAD. Bye the way is there anyone writing urdu poetry anymore?

  43. Arbab says:
    April 11th, 2009 3:44 pm

    Amazing how many years of constant violence we have had… the violence has never stopped, only increased with time.

  44. ZI says:
    April 11th, 2009 4:26 pm

    You are very right. There is absolutely no mention of this incident anywhere in our history (the one we are taught in school)…I had no idea it was of such magnitude. I have only heard the name ‘Ojhri’ but I had no idea when it happened, who did it and what the theories and speculations about it are.

  45. Arsalan Ali says:
    April 12th, 2009 10:09 am

    Amazing everything we have been through… and still standing. Bruised and wounded, but standing.

  46. Hashmi says:
    April 12th, 2009 1:59 pm

    “give me to drink mandragora, that i may sleep away this gap of time..” – the gap that is between now, and the Day. When all the whys will be answered..

  47. Pride says:
    April 13th, 2009 6:25 am

    Kaise be dard hain Sar Sar ko Saba Kehtay hain
    Kaise Zalim Hain Zulmat ko Zia kehte hain

  48. aTii says:
    April 13th, 2009 9:38 am

    Yeah, I remember that day. There is not much I can add to what you have already put togather in your post. I do feel that its one of those tragedies inflicted by the carelessness of our very own resulting in the death of so many. Yet, if I remember correctly, no serious consequences were faced by anybody. It was an accident.

    That is our politicians, our army and our poor helpless nation. The only person I ever liked was Ayub Khan for his somewhat true and probably only serious reforms. Everybody else is a joke.

  49. Maqbool Ahmed says:
    September 5th, 2009 6:36 am

    If there is a serious journalist who would like to explore the cause of it I might be able to arrange for some “important” people who may know more about it, but are keeping their silences for now.

  50. Somaiyah Moiz says:
    April 7th, 2010 2:06 pm

    It wasn’t less than a very rude awakening.These past two years have been hell for us Pakistanis,esp for us Peshawariites(plz no offence).but it seems we have been valueless for a long time.The occurrences of human beings flying away into pieces is not recent.The tragedy was beyond words.
    and regrettably, those responsible were never punished.
    could anything be more unfair??
    When will or high ups learn not to meddle in others’ affairs????

  51. Yaqoob says:
    April 11th, 2011 8:37 am

    Just read this as I was also realizing the Ojhri Camp date. Amazing how much we have forgotten. Even more than what we remember.

  52. April 11th, 2011 2:53 pm

    Dear! Not 19 years ago but 23…

  53. April 11th, 2011 2:56 pm

    Ohhh… I missed the postscript.

  54. SA says:
    April 11th, 2011 9:01 pm

    I was in Islamabad at that time, still going to school.. so not much of political awareness at that time
    we ran from school but there was no transport on the roads.. it took us more than 7-8 hours to reach home..
    .. i also remember hearing stories like “umreekie hath”, hanood ya yahood kie sazish…
    But after few years started realizing who was really responsible for such acts.. in fact who is responsible for most of the evils our nations has faced so far…

  55. April 12th, 2011 1:40 am

    Some comments from the ATP Facebook Page:

    - “that was an international conspiracy…”
    - “I was in Islamabad when it happened and we thought India had attacked us. The first blast was so loud that we thought a bomb blast went in our drawing room, our windows shook terribly… and our house was near Margla hills, miles away from the blast! We heard the missiles flying over head, one landed in our front yard. It was chaos and it was just like a war zone. Once it was over and we went out of our house and drove around town, it was like war zone. You saw huge missiles stuck into the ground and strewn everywhere. There were people’s shoes and scarves and other things laying strewn around on the streets, when people closer to the blasts ran in panic. The school children ran around in panic and lot of children were lost some were kidnapped never to be found again and some lucky ones were re united with their parents. Our family friends lived near the blast site and they made it to our house bare feet, without duppata and only with the clothes on their backs. There were people killed sitting in their homes by direct hits.”
    - “It was raining missiles that day! And all this from our own weapons depot and not a foreign army attacking us.”
    - ” It wasn’t an international conspiracy. International people were coming for accounting of the weapons that were being given to Pakistan for the afghan war/ jihad and our Generals not wanting accounatbility blew up the weapons depot.”
    - “As many as 5000 people died that day?”
    - “THANX for this narration ….I am surprised that this “LIVE” media has no time to remember those fateful days ! I think if people got knowledge of what happened under the Dark blankets of Long dictatorships they never ever raise slogans in favor of any such Revolution(so called)”
    - “dictators, zia, mush have always caused immense long term damage to the country….”
    - “This ridiculous man (Zia) is responsible for the ojri camp blast”
    - “We r selfish & mean nation & we can gv our respect, loyalites for just 1 dollar.. shamefull nation…”
    - “Thnx for remembering these thing v being a Pakistani try to avoid these type of incidents next time.”
    - “Well!! it was deliberate fire started by ISI, under so called “Shaheed” Akhtar abdul rahman.Fire kept burning for three days before that fatefull day.US team was coming to do inventory check.Our Messiah generals had sold ammunition, esp Stinger missiles to Iran.They played old dirty trick, like our people play to get insurance, start arson.This was the most imp reason of Junejo dismissal.He wanted to make Gen Imran, corp comd pindi,be held accountable.”

  56. Kashif says:
    May 24th, 2011 9:31 pm

    In 1988, Gen. Javed Nasir was in charge to clean up the Ojhri Camp disaster. Against the estimated period of six months given by United States and French experts, he led his team to clean up the entire dump containing millions of blinds by setting a personal example of handling the highly sensitive blinds with his own hands, in a record period of just 15 days
    without suffering a single casualty.
    Courtesy: WIKIPEDIA

    Note: Pakistan did not have the capability of cleaning up the entire highly sensitive explosives back to dumped area. How it was done… Make a Research and if not found then I will tell in a few days…..

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