Good riddance to Faisal Shahzad

Published: October 5, 2010

Faisal Shahzad wilfully chose to destroy the lives of his wife and children.

Faisal Shahzad, the man who tried to set off a car bomb in New York’s Times Square was sentenced to life in prison, and one can only thank the US Court for putting him behind bars and (hopefully) closing the door on yet another messy chapter in our two countries’ fatally conjoined history.

I don’t care if Shahzad, the self-proclaimed ‘Muslim soldier’ was a mere pawn in a larger conspiracy and therefore deserves some form of leniency. I also do not buy the argument that a man who travels to Fata to give Hakimullah Mehsud a brotherly hug was a ‘confused soul’ who spiralled down a path of extremism which had less to do with him and more to do with the anti-Muslim global climate and his own sense of alienation in a hostile country. Hogwash.

We are talking about a man who sat in front of his computer using Internet webcam sites to monitor Times Square, trying to calculate where a bomb would be most likely to cause maximum bloodshed. A man who, on the day of his sentencing chooses his moment in the limelight to say, “the war with the Muslims has just begun”.

This same individual on his ‘noble mission’ to slaughter civilians is also guilty of ruining the lives of his wife and children permanently. They have lost a father, and they have gained a label which will haunt them forever. While the court does not count this as one of his criminal offences, I do, and for that reason I believe Shahzad deserves a life sentence and then some. Lock the gate, throw away the key, and lets all hope this will be among the last headlines we see regarding this tragedy.

Jahanzaib Haque

Jahanzaib Haque

News buff and Web Editor, The Express Tribune. Jahanzaib tweets @Jhaque_

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Hamood

    Good riddance to bad rubbish. I do feel sorry for his family though. This guy deserves this and more for bringing shame not only to them but also to Muslims all over the world.Recommend

  • Anoop

    Visas to the US and EU will be tough to get for many Pakistanis now. There might even be very strict procedures put in place which might effectively ban migration from Pakistan. Recommend

  • SadafFayyaz

    I guess just because of people like him, ordinary Pakistanis living abroad suffer…:( and now, their future generations would feel what about him? His spouse, family and kids? These actions not only destroy current life but ruins the life of future generations too…..Recommend

  • gem

    Agreed. I am shocked at his malicious words.I didn’t think he was involved before he said those words/confessed. i thought he was an idiot who had involved himself in something extremely complicated. What a big mistake. Recommend

  • babruk

    good riddance. he deserves it. Recommend

  • Riaz

    A stupid,half educated,misguided,selfish man,who has destroyed life of his family and children,for a cause,aimed at killing innocent human beings,who had played no role against Islam and Muslims.Recommend

  • S. Ali Raza

    What a waste!Recommend

  • Fazeel

    So when we are starting mass protest against his unjustified sentenced?:PRecommend

  • Taha Kehar

    A short-lived – almost unperceived – tragedy. However, I am still astounded by the sheer simplicity of this case. Recommend

  • Ghausia

    He’s what my dad would call a “parha likha jahil”. Even worse, its not just his family’s lives he’s ruined but the lives of all Pakistanis living abroad or attempting to migrate for a better life. Thanks a lot Faisal Shahzad. May you rot behind bars.Recommend

  • Ashraf Ali Ranjha

    We are condemning one terrorist in the strongest possible terms and eulogising another in equally strong way. What a duplicity!!!Recommend

  • Mubarik Ali

    When is Maulvi Manwar Hassan of Jammat Islami arranging a rally to protest this “cruel punishment” against one of its own??? Any idea?Recommend

  • Ahmed

    @ Ashraf Ali Ranjha
    Kindly don’t link both cases together.She has not accepted the charges put on her.See the full verdict.

    @ Ghausia
    Ma’am..I would not agree with the “migrating” part of your post.Why to care about those leaving this land for some BETTER LIVES ? Yes this is the problem.The day we start thinking and working for BETTER COUNTRY,would be the day a change would be witnessed.Recommend

  • Majid

    Ditto Ahmed on his reply to Ghausia. The day we will start making our country BETTER rather than to go to a BATTER COUNTRY would be a day we all wish for.Recommend

  • Faiza Javed

    i dont know i feel like the real story is still hidden, nothing is better than family and kids but he mashed everythingfor nothing. We usually start cursing for what we usually see and hear. Allah knows the truth and may ALLAH shower blessings on MuslimsRecommend

  • Syed

    Question: Why doesn’t US pick up ordinary Pakistani women and men or more importantly so called anti US leaders (e.g., Gen Hamid Gul, Imran Khan, Qazi Hussain Ahmad, Munawar Hasan etc ) and their families from Pakistan and while they are abroad?

    Think. Recommend

  • Zubair Faisal Abbasi

    A very well written and argued blogpost. Please, continue to do it. Recommend

  • Saad Durrani

    Oh please. Instead of our nation protecting its interest, we love to self-destruct. Faisal Shehzad was an naturalized American living there for 10 years. He studied there, lived there and earned there. If they cannot police themselves right, do not blame us for it. Americans have to stop being such “princess”.Recommend

  • Yasser

    Please, no need to put picture of Faisal with his wife, that’s what i noticed when faisal story broke out CNN showed the pictures of faisal with blurry image of her wife but our local media couldn’t think like that. Thank You.Recommend

  • http://na prasad

    The author and the respondents seem to have collectively washed their hands off Faisal Shahzad. I for one do not see Faisal as unique but as a symptom of an ailment that runs far deeper than the odd act of terrorism. This ailment allows General Musharraf to proudly proclaim his training of militants to foment trouble in the Kashmir valley. This ailment stops the Pakistani society from repealing the Hudood ordinances and the blasphemy laws. This ailment allows for the disinformation to continue in history books and when a Pakistani gets his or her passport this ailment compels him or her to declare followers of a particular strain of Islam as apostates. This ailment does not allow one to see a person for what he or she is – a human being. Recommend

  • Shumail

    Lock and throw away the key! Exactly. Wonderful post

    @Prasad I agree with you sir that this is part of a larger, complex phenomenon, but you cant deny that there is individual choice involved in this as well – should there not be accountability for your choices? But yes you are right, the malaise runs deep and we need to rid ourselves equally sternly of Musharrafnamas and blasphemy laws and all these things which kind of LEGITIMIZE a stance like the one taken by faisal shahzad.

    A wasted live(s)Recommend

  • IZ

    @Prasad – I agree with you completely. Frankly, I’m not interested in these American militants. I’m more concerned about the militants (and those who condone and cooperate with them) in Pakistan.Recommend

  • Usama Zafar

    Saad Durrani please tell me you are kidding!!! Just because he was living and working there and had a US passport does NOT mean that he cannot be linked to Pakistan. The Americans never forced him to become a US citizen. He chose to get a US passport himself and took an oath which said that he would remain loyal to them but he clearly didn’t!! It’s really easy to put the entire blame on America that they gave him a passport so they we don’t have anything to do with it!! I mean seriously start thinking with an open mind it seems to me as if your mind has been blocked!!Recommend

  • Habiba Younis

    100% agreed with the writer!!Recommend

  • Yasir Qadeer

    This so called “Muslim solider” has brought much shame to us as a nation. USA despite some policy conflicts has always helped Pakistan in tough times. The recent floods are an example where USA tops the donor list.Recommend

  • A Suhail

    @ Prasad. That ailments affect other nations also. This ailment allows certain people to bring down a mosque on flimsy account. This ailment allows some people to murder 2000 people in Gujrat. This ailment allows 3000 sikhs to be murdered in broad day light and their holiest place attacked. This ailment allows certain people to be relegated to being untouchables. This ailment also results in history books being full of hatred against a particular race and religion. This ailment shows up in 100 stone throwing kids being shot dead. This ailment shows with the slogan “India Shinning” but when you look at immigration patterns in US, Canada and Australia, largest immigrant population is from India thus the slogan should more likely be “India Leaving”.
    We have our problem and it will take time to solve tem but we dont hide our issues under a shiny rug. One can see from the comments here that number of Paks are happy Faisal got jail time and these are the people who represent us not Faisal and his gun toting brothers.Recommend

  • rocket

    my friend those leaving the nation have contributed more in the development of pakistan than those who stayed back,and escaped tax-net.there is something called remittances and presently they stand at a whopping 8 billion dollars.those who leave the nation are contributing in more than one way,by projecting a good image of the country of their origin,lobbying for the interests of home country and yes by sending money back.many countries are running their economies literally on these remittances. when a home country has lesser opportunities and recognition of ones talent becomes impossible,everyone has a right to look for greener pastures. Recommend

  • http://na prasad

    @A Suhail – I accept your comments wholeheartedly – I do not wash my hands of Modi and hope that the law will get him. But the aspects I brought up are to do with the army running a proxy war and of laws of the land discriminating against people. As for Ayodhya – all I can say is that a law passed in 1993 protects places of worship regardless of their history. So Hindus cannot claim any other mosque (be it in Mathura or Kashi).

    But to help you understand my point – why was the world up against Apartheid when in some form or the other colour discrimination exists in every society. Apartheid was state policy and that is why it was wrong. Recommend

  • Asmat Jamal


  • Adi

    It’s because of fools like him, that innocent pakistani’s are suffering world over. It’s sad to be honest, that an educated man like him can go down such a path. He should atleast have thought about his family if not pakistani’s. Seriously hope this is the last we have to hear about this. Recommend

  • http://hotmail Abdul Rahman Khan

    @Asmat Jamal – Well said. Is there any way we can put some restraints on such moulvis?Recommend

  • Amna


    I hope you are not trying to take a shot at those who protest for Afia Siddiqui….the cases are very very different, and there is a huge lack of evidence in her case in fact there is no pysical evidence whatsoever. Not even fingerprints on the gun she was supposed to have sttempted to shoot. Just a bunch of testimonies… and aside from that she is not a US citizen.Recommend

  • rahim

    im sorry havnt read the article but why does tribune have a picture of his wife or whoever this girl is with him in their newspaper, you should be more responsible and sensitive, this is tantamount to libel..disappointingRecommend

  • ADE

    Agreed….picture of wife shouldn’t be there. Totally insensitiveRecommend

  • Ahmed

    @ Rahim

    Media simply wants to generate revenue by seeking attention of more and more people.So for this,they will do anything.They will publish every thing without any regard to the consequences and problems generating from their actions.And these cheap acts are given name of freedom.How amazing ! Let’s see if my comment makes his way to the forum.Recommend

  • hasan

    We all what is hidden truth and reality behind this case.Some people said it the reaction of drone attacks,some saying that he doesn’t know what he is going to do now.
    At least he has a family and his background was good then how and whom did changed his mind,thinking and brain washed?Recommend

  • Muhamad

    “Agreed….picture of wife shouldn’t be there. Totally insensitive”

  • barney

    Agreed to all,,, but there is big question .. WHY ALL THIS HAPPENING, WHY WE ARE NOT FOCUSING ROOT CAUSES,, WHY ALL ARE ONLY AGAINST ISLAM………LIKE WISE (( IRAQ – AFGHANISTAN – KASHMIR – PALESTINE..etc..)) plz do solutions for these ,, hope all problem will be solved,, Recommend

  • naina khan

    y u r sayng dat its gud done,wat hve v dne vn america z bombing n us so called droon atttacks,v cn only talk while sum r acting on it.da war jst begin. Recommend

  • Angelos

    oh come on, we need to look at big picture. Sentencing him to prison is nothing, we need to look at the causes/reasons which lead people to such actions.Recommend

  • Omar bin Abdulaziz

    Writers like Jahanzaib Haque, Anas Abas, Sadaf and Asma are all myopic, to say the least.
    When will these liberals understand that we are being battered because of our religion and nothing else?
    Saleem did the same thing in New York what the US drones do in Fata.
    Have these opinionated writers have anything to write on these attacks as well, or do they believe all that their US master says???Recommend