Reference : V-P-PK-E-01400
Date : 09/2017
Country/Region : PAKISTAN
Caption : Karachi, Edhi foundation. Portrait of an ambulance driver of the Edhi foundation, who was targeted and shot during his service.
Photographer : RAFIQUI, Asim
Confidentiality level : public
Publication restrictions : publication without restrictions
Copyright : ICRC; Noor for the ICRC
Description : "The bullet hit me in the back.
I was about 500 metres from my ambulance, walking towards the injured people lying in the street, when I felt something like a stone hitting me in the back. I don’t remember much after that. I think I passed out, though I do remember an injured old man lying close to me, speaking to me, encouraging me to remain still, to pray, and to be patient. There was nothing I could do but lie still. Bullets were flying all around, and people were too scared to come out of their homes to help.
Earlier, when I had arrived at the scene of the shoot-out, people had warned me to stay back. It was dark, and impossible to tell where the firing was coming from. But I was young, and committed to the belief that no one would shoot at or hurt an Edhi humanitarian worker. People know us in the community, and know what we do. So I was prepared to take the risk, and never once thought I would become a target. It was an intense gun battle, and there were many injured. When I arrived there, along with some 15 other ambulances, I could see the injured lying in the street: innocent bystanders, office workers, schoolchildren and local shopkeepers. I had to step forward and do my job – Edhi sahib had always told us that saving even one life helps save all of humanity. Inspired by his words, I was unafraid and proceeded to carry out my work. I was in uniform, my ambulance lights were on, and I was carrying a stretcher when someone shot me.
I lay there on the street for nearly two and half hours, hearing bullets flying over my head, and the commotion and panic of the residents, but unable to move or call for help. In fact, it wasn’t until after I had reached the hospital that I learned that I had been shot."
Original material : digital
Resolution : 4912x6144
Orientation : portrait
Colour/B&W : colour