Dubai: With his job as a restaurant delivery boy, Shafiq Ahmad was struggling to feed his big family in Pakistan’s Dera Ghazi Khan, so he quit his job and had gone to Oman for a visa change as he was expecting to take up a better job soon.
That never materialised, as before Ahmad could set his foot in Dubai again, the horrific Thursday bus crash snatched his dream of a better life for him and his family.
Ahmad was among the 17 casualties of the accident that happened after a Dubai-Muscat tour bus took a wrong turn and crashed into a height barrier just minutes way from reaching its destination.
He was among the two Pakistanis who died in the accident that also included 12 Indians, one Omani and an Irish national.
In a statement to Gulf News, Pakistan Consulate said that both the victims have been identified and all the formalities for the repatriation of the bodies have been carried out.
The consulate ensured that the victims and their families are receiving all the consular assistance.
“Out of the dead, two Pakistanis have been identified. One is Shafiq Ahmad from Dera Ghazi khan. His NOC has been issued and passport is also cancelled by Consulate,” the statement said.
Ahmad’s body was transported to Multan by Airblue on Saturday in a 6pm flight.
According to Ahmad’s close friend and roommate Mohammad Sarmad, who was the last to speak with him, just minutes before the crash, a prayer congregation for Ahmad was held before the body was flown home.
“We all got together and prayed, which is the only thing we could do. His body is scheduled to reach home around 9.30pm (Pakistan time) where the funeral is to be held immediately,” said Sarmad, who shared the room with Ahmad for six years.
A father of two, Ahmad has been working in Dubai as a restaurant delivery boy for six years and had gone to Oman for a visa change.
“I had gone to pick him at the Rashidiya Metro Station. He called me just minutes before the crash informing that the bus will be reaching the station shortly, but the bus never arrived and as I waited there I got the news of the accident and rushed to the spot. He was already dead,” said Sarmad.
The only breadwinner of the his family, Ahmad, 40, is survived by his old mother, his wife, two young children and an unmarried sister.
“My uncle was the only earning member in the family. He has no brothers and his father passed away long back. His children are small and he also has an unmarried sister. He was barely managing all the expenses as a delivery boy, so had quit his job recently and was about to take another job, but it was not to be,” said Irfan Haider, Ahmad’s nephew, who is based in Dubai.
The Pakistan Consulate also identified the second Pakistani who died in the accident as Shehzad Khan son of Sarfraz Khan. His body will be repatriated to Peshawar after completion of necessary documents. Another Pakistani national, Jamshed Khan had a fracture and left hospital after treatment, the consulate said.