I’ll be home to welcome you, victim’s last words to wife

GILGIT: By the time you are done with your exams, I’ll be back home to welcome you, Nisaruddin told his wife over phone, just before his plane took off from Chitral airport on Wednesday.

But he wasn’t able to welcome her.

Nisaruddin, 35, had no way to know that this would be the last time he would speak to his wife of two years.

Nisaruddin was one of the passengers on PK-661 – the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight from Chitral to Islamabad that crashed into a hillside after one of its engines failed.

A banker by trade, Nisaruddin was a native of Oshikhandas in Gilgit and was on a work visit to Chitral, where he spent a couple of days.

Hoping to see her husband, his wife returned home early from college, where she was sitting an exam. Waiting, she turned on the TV and felt her heart drop.

“The Islamabad-bound plane has crashed and casualties are feared,” a TV channel flashed.

She screamed in panic and rushed to her neighbours downstairs, where her husband’s relatives had also arrived after hearing the news.

Nisaruddin got married in October 2014 and had two children. Being the eldest brother, he was also the bread earner for his seven-member family. He had two brothers and three sisters.

“We can’t believe what happened,” Faisal Ali, his brother in law, said on Thursday. “It’s like we lost everything in the world,” Ali told The Express Tribune.

Before speaking to his wife from the plane on that unfortunate day, Nisaruddin first spoke to his older son – two-year-old Uraibuddin, and promised to get him his favorite chocolate bar once he was back home.

“I can’t believe he is gone. He was one of my best buddies,” said Sher Ghazi, one of his friends. “I’ll never forget the times we spent together,” Ghazi said.

He explained that Nisaruddin was always humble and down to earth – a man who would always be ready to help others.

Family members said that Nisaruddin was based at a bank in Islamabad, but would always come to visit his father and mother back home in their village when he got the time. DNA testing is underway in Islamabad to identify his remains. His wife and children are already back in the village so that arrangements can be made for his funeral.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 9th, 2016.