Zafar Masud stands up for passengers’ safety as first anniversary of Karachi plane crash tomorrow


As Pakistan marks the first anniversary of a deadly plane crash in Karachi tomorrow (May 22), Zafar Masud, one of the two survivors of the saddened incident, has announced to launch a not-for-profit organization to raise voice for the safety and security of passengers.

Explaining the reason behind the move, Masud, who is also President of the Bank of Punjab (BoP), in a note said: “Unfortunately, even after the lapse of 12-months of this crash, which was the 6th Pakistani plane to crash in a decade, nothing soberly changed at the national level to improve passenger safety”.

The deadly aviation accident took the lives of 97 passengers, who were on board, and a girl on the ground in Karachi on May 22, 2020.

Masud added Pakistan needs to bring domestic flight standards at par with international ones, and enforce standardized procedures to handle crashes and their aftermath.

“I believe that the entire eco-system needs to be reviewed and revamped to ensure better safety and security standards,” he added.

The BOP President said that the foundation will focus two areas – “firstly, work on raising awareness about passenger safety and their rights within the civil society; and secondly, work with policymakers to improve standards & regulations, push for legislative change & their implementation, and ensuring better legal assistance & coverage for affectees”.

In his heartfelt note, he also remembered co-passengers and flight officials, who lost their lives, stating: “…the single biggest facet that keeps me traumatized about the crash is the fact that this entire fateful ordeal resulted in the loss of 97 innocent lives. 22nd May 2020 was one of the saddest days in our lives and will remain so forever”.

Praising God for his miraculous survival in the crash, he shared how he managed to recover from the biggest shock of his life.

“God has been very kind on me and I have been managing my recovery well, including psychiatric counseling, medical treatment, etc., with the unwavering support of my employer & colleagues, and my family & friends. I am extremely thankful for the prayers of all known and unknown well wishers during the past one year,” he said.

“However, as I worked towards my recuperation, particularly mental, let me share with you that I discovered other complications of sufferings. I realized that I have been immersed with “survivor’s guilt”. I could not bring myself to meet with the other survivor or the families of victims.

“I struggled to attend funerals without thinking that the family of the deceased must be wondering why I was given a miracle, when their loved ones were not. This is probably the most difficult phase of my life which I am still struggling to get over with great deal of endeavor,” read the note.

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