Gilgit river in background where he drowned. File photo
BY OUR CORRESPONDENT
GILGIT: “Wait for me at the other end, I’ll cross the river and be with you within 15 minutes,” Waqas Ahmed tells his colleagues as he descends into the cold water of Gilgit river to swim through it.
Half way into the river and the 25 years man drowns- probably was hit by a boulder. The water currents wash him away by the time his colleagues come for his rescue.
The incident occurred this week in Amphery area of Gilgit where Ahmed was helping his relatives in fixing a cable at a house located across the river.
Instead of choosing another safer way to reach the other side of the river, Ahmed decides to go for a shortcut via river that proved lethal. His swimming skills, which he would often boast on, also didn’t work.
“It’s a tragedy that we won’t be able to forget ever,” says Zakir, one of his relatives who witnessed the scenes.
“Nobody wanted him to take that route but he didn’t listen to us,” Zakir told Outpost on Monday.
Ahmed, father of three kids, was a sub-engineer in a government department. In addition he was also a famous soccer player in G-B.
“On that fateful day he was there to help his relatives who run the cable business in the city,” said Khan Imtiaz, another relative.
“The issue was taking the cable to the subscriber who lives on the other side of the river,” he said.
Then Ahmed volunteered himself and wrapped part of the cables around his bally and ventured in.
2nd tragedy ?
Only last year, Brother/sister-in-law of Ahmed died in a similar fashion. He was swept away by water after his car fell in the river. “Another similarity was that he too had three kids,” said Imtiaz, adding now both the sisters are widows in their youth with responsibilities of bringing up children.
Incidents of drowning in Gilgit river have become quite frequent over the years. More than fifty youth have lost their lives while swimming. In a bid to stop youth from the venture, the administration imposed section 144 but to no avail.
Published in Outpost on September 25, 2016