Pakistan’s response to sinking of South Korean ferry

The tragic incident of the capsized of the South Korean ferry Sewol, carrying 476 passengers, mostly students, on April 16, received wide coverage in Pakistan’s print and electronic media. It was really shocking news for the entire Pakistani nation, who kept on watching TV channels for the updates. They could not stop their tears when the TV channels played a cell-phone video made by a 17-year-old student aboard the ferry minutes before it capsized. The video contained the scenes and sounds of students laughing and joking, unaware of the fact that those were the last moments of their lives. The cell phone was found along with the body of the student from the ferry.

“Hey, rescue me,” joked one male student, while another one suggested the video would be fun to put on Facebook later. “It’s getting like Titanic,” said another, as the ferry began to list further to one side. And one student said, “It might be time to leave my last words.”

Watching this video and listening to such light-hearted exchanges of students made the people here sob. They could feel the grief of the South Korean parents and prayed for them from the core of their hearts.

The other important news that drew the attention of the Pakistani people was South Korean Prime Minister Mr. Chung Hong-won tendering his resignation over the ferry sinking. It had never happened in the history of Pakistan that the Head of government or even a minister or any other official accepted responsibility and stepped down from office in the case of a mishap. The people of Pakistan listened to the announcement of the South Korean Prime Minister with great appreciation when he said, “I offer my apology for having been unable to prevent this incident from happening and unable to properly respond to it afterwards.”

“I believe, as the Prime Minister, I certainly had to take responsibility and resign,” he said.

The people of Pakistan commented that rulers here should take it as an example for them, as they never take responsibility for any disaster and continue enjoying their office. “The politicians/rulers in South Korea strictly observe moral values. They realize that they are accountable to the masses. Although the Korean Prime Minister was not directly responsible for this tragic incident of the ferry sinking, he showed a high level of ethics and resigned from office.”

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