A Phoenix Rises From the Ashes of Bakhshapur

Posted on January 23, 2008
Filed Under >Agha Waseem Ahmed, >Owais Mughal, Disasters, Economy & Development, Politics, Society
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Owais Mughal and Agha Waseem

After the tragic assassination of Benazir Bhutto, Pakistan witnessed widescale burning of Government and public property. Pakistan Railways got its share of bad luck. On the fateful night of December 27, 2007, the locomotive shown in the photo below was hauling Chiltan Express between Quetta and Faisalabad. When the train was 100 km east of Jacobabad, near the Sindh-Punjab-Balochistan border, it got attacked and burned by armed criminals at Bakhshapur Station.

While the criminals did the dastardly act of burning the locomotive as well as the coaches, people of Bakhshapur including the local nazim (mayor) provided exemplary help to stranded passengers by giving them shelter and food.
What is special about the locomotive in the photo is that it was burnt so badly that it was declared scrap. The railway workers at the Diesel Shop Quetta however, had different plans. They won’t take any engine as scrap. They utilised their workmanship and rehabilitated the engine within just 10 days. This photo was taken on January 12, 2008 and you can see the rehabilitated engine hauling a train again. This exemplary ‘can-do’ spirit of workers at Diesel Shop Quetta saved the country almost 60 Million Rupees and deserved this space at the pages of ATP. All in all 14 locomotives were burnt across Pakistan and 3 in Quetta Division. Between 2 other locomotives that were damaged in Quetta division, one is still under repairs while the other one is already back in service.

Angels of Sarhari

While we have noted the damage done to PR infrastructure by criminals, we also want to highlight the help given to stranded passengers by local population everywhere in Sindh. Following cutting is from Jang Newspaper where people of Sarhari (near Nawabshah) Sindh went out of their way to help passengers of Hazara Express that got damaged at Sarhari.

Photo Credits: Agha Waseem

ATP’s Other Posts related to Railways and Tramways in Pakistan.

1. The Trans-Balochistan Railway
2. Changa Manga Forest Railway
3. Lansdowne Bridge, Sukkur
4. Train Tickets can be bought from Post Offices Now
5. Khyber Pass Railway
6. Bolan Pass Railway
7. Khojak Tunnel
8. Chappar Rift
9. 3000hp Iron Horses of Pakistan
10. Karachi Tramway of Yesteryears
11. Lahore Rapid Mass Transit Rail Project

14 responses to “A Phoenix Rises From the Ashes of Bakhshapur”

  1. Jawaid Islam says:

    So much happened that day, so much loss to the country of life and property and economy, the culprits have they been taken to task? No, but its heartening to know something positive about Zardaris while its just so fashionable nowadays to malign a man from that tribe.

  2. These are actually pethatic people including poilitical personal.

  3. syed sajjad says:

    Hats off to the people of silhari, Pakistan. It just elates our spirits to know that the people across Pakistan share the same spirit of brotherhood and fraternity beyond the divide and prejudice created by our leaders.

    A great cheers for our brothers at the metal shop, Quetta division. We salute their spirit and efforts. Those of us, who are abroad, in whatever position, have a responsibility to improve the image of Pakistan and dispel any negative propaganda. Jeeway Jeeway Pakistan Inshaallah!

  4. Viqar Minai says:

    It isn’t just cruelty, often the kindness of people can bring one to tears and restore his/her faith in humanity. Thanks to the people of Sarhari it is, for me, one of those time. May Allah(SWT) Bless them and spare our nation further torment and agony, if only for their sake.

    The accomplishment of the workers of the Quetta Diesel shop is no less amazing. There is so much creativity and spirit in the ordinary people of Pakistan.

    Many thanks Owais and Agha Sahib, for a wonderful article.

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