The causality in Islamabad attack could have been more had the Muslim driver not driven the vehicle ahead despite facing a volley of bullets.
It is believed that the courage of Saleem Sheikh, the driver of the bus, who hurriedly drove the yatris to safety, saved 50 lives.
The attack on the bus with 56 yatris aboard left seven dead and over 19 injured.
Indian Express reported: “Realising that halting the bus amid firing can have dangerous consequences, Saleem had driven the bus for nearly two kilometres before he reached an army camp.”
Reports quoting police officials said that the passengers were all praise for the driver. “He drove despite the firing and took them to safety. It made a lot of difference and many lives were saved. He did not stop. Had he stopped, more lives could have been lost,” Munir Khan, IG, Kashmir was quoted.
The report said that Saleem’s family in Gujarat is also proud of the exemplary courage shown by him.
The bus was on its way from Baltal to Jammu when a shootout began after gunmen attacked forces.
Meanwhile, the Gujarat government has nominated Salim for bravery award.
“We want to thank the bus driver who saved many lives amid heavy firing,” Gujarat Chief Minster Vijay Rupani told media persons outside Airport where he had gone to receive dead bodies of pilgrims.