CHITRAL: A ‘great escape’ episode was enacted at Battagram where six students and two teachers were caught in the middle an abyss when a rope of their improvised cable box snapped and they were left dangling 1000 ft above ground for 15 hours, after which they were eventually rescued.
On learning of the incident, the Army in particular and the Air force flung into action and sent helicopters and trained commandos for the rescue operation. The SSG commandos did make their earnest effort and could pick up one student from the cable car but the weather condition specially the strong wind did not allow them to complete the rescue operation as desired.
At dusk, the aerial rescue operation was suspended due to weather and lack of sky light. It was then that the local volunteers were allowed to try their luck and as lady luck and their expertise favored them, they proved equal to the task and brought the stranded persons down to safety.
Some lessons that could be derived from the hair-raising Battagram episode are:
1) Experts and specialists should be allowed to do their job
2) It is not necessary that sophisticated equipment and muscles would do every job to the best.
3) Even unassuming under-equipped urchins can at times be more suitable for a particular job than a more formal and well equipped force.
4) At the end of the day (as happened literally in this case) people are the real strength of any country and empowering the people means empowering the country.
5) That Pakistan should do it’s rescue operations before it becomes dark, otherwise it will have to be left to providence. .. CN report, 24 Aug 2023