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Friday Dec 16, 2016

Haseena Gul: The 14-year-old who lost her entire family in PIA plane crash

CHITRAL/ISLAMABAD: 14-year-old Haseena Gul stayed back at her friend's house as her family boarded a PIA ATR-42 plane to Islamabad. Her exams were coming up, and Gul's parents wanted her to focus on her studies.

Little did the teenage girl know that the fateful morning would be the last time she would see any of her six family members ever again.

On Wednesday, December 7, around 1642 local time, flight PK-661 from Gul's hometown Chitral crashed in Havelian area of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, about 125 km north of its destination Islamabad.

All 47 crew and passengers, including Gul's parents, two brothers and two sisters, perished when the aircraft blew up in flames as it crashed into a hill in Havelian.

Haseena, who is suffering from severe psychological trauma, is being treated at a hospital in Chitral while her relatives have begun a bitter fight to benefit from the Rs33 million she is to receive as compensation from PIA and insurance companies.

Haseena's paternal uncle claims she is "his daughter", while her young cousin says she will live with and his mother, Haseena's paternal aunt.

Sources in the family say her aunt is trying to get Haseena married to her son. "She will live with me. With me and my mother. My mother is alive," says Haseena's male cousin.

Haseena Gul
Haseena Gul's paternal uncle, pictured right, and her cousin

But, instead of leaving her with their relatives who now claim to be her family, Haseena's parents had left her with her friend to study for her exams.

Spokesman for PIA, Daniyal Gilani, said several families from her village have come forward claiming to be Haseena's family to become her guardian and lay claim to the compensation money until she is of legal age.

PIA will send a team to investigate the matter before disbursing the Rs 33 million amount, said Gilani. 

Also read: Eyewitnesses recall horror of PK-661 crash

Doctors at the PIMS hospital say the teenaged girl is suffering from severe psychological trauma. She gets scared every frequently and starts crying.

"At the moment, she is under severe trauma, but as the initial trauma wears off, she is likely to go into long-term trauma. The pain, obviously, is likely to increase with time. I would suggest that authorities should look into this case," a senior doctor at PIMS told Geo News.

But, despite the trauma, Haseena appears to know what she needs to do—complete her education as her parents had wished for her. She appealed to the government for help in a message recorded with Geo News

"They will not let me study in Chitral. Please have me shifted to Islamabad where I can study and fulfill my parents' dream."

Meanwhile, MD Baitul Maal has offered Gul a residence to stay. "Gul can stay in the home as long as she wishes to on the department`s expense," he said.