The Friday Times | Oct 6, 2006
On my second visit to Balakot – the first was made three weeks before the October 8th earthquake – I found the city levelled. The shop where my father had bought his cigarettes, on the left side of the bridge across the bank, was gone.
If I could have imagined the horror of Dresden and Coventry after British and German bombers had had their way, the sights, sounds and smells of Balakot would not have been that different. An estimated 7,000 of the 30,000 inhabitants died according to the Red Cross.
I was here as a translator for an American medical team during Eid. Though it had been three weeks after the October 8th earthquake, we met families with women wailing over newly discovered bodies.