Stories about assasination

If you ever travel on an American airliner, just remember this curly haired economist

Things have been really tough for the Americans since 9/11. All those people in and out of the country speaking so many languages, and if you’ve never gone beyond your local 7/11, how on earth would you be able to tell this language from ‘that’ one. You know, the one that all terrorists speak; Arabic! Which explains what happened to Guido Menzio. Menzio took an American Airlines flight from somewhere to somewhere, right? And the intelligent woman next to him caught him writing something and how was she to know what it was? Acting on the principle, that anything that does ...

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RIP Chaudhry Aslam: The man who walked through fire

I walked into the newsroom and everyone was buzzing. There was a blast in Hassan Square and someone was dead. It’s Karachi so you know, this stuff happens every other day, but it wasn’t just any other day and it wasn’t just someone. It was Chaudhry Aslam. The Taliban finally got him. After God knows how many attempts, they finally got him. In 2011, they blew up his house and then in January 2006 there was an assassination attempt made on him at Gizri by gunmen associated with a big political party. Chaudhry Aslam’s house bombed. Photo: AFP I grew fond ...

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Making sense of the Musharraf indictment

On Monday, Nawaz Sharif addressed the nation. He spoke of staggering challenges: a paralysed economy, a crippling energy crisis, the existential threat of terrorism.  The implication: there’s much to be done, with not a moment to lose. The very next day, Pervez Musharraf was charged in connection with the assassination of Benazir Bhutto. Is this unprecedented indictment of a former army chief a resounding victory for democracy in Pakistan? Absolutely. But is it also an ill-timed move that smacks of revenge politics? Certainly. What else to make of the fact that the leader of a cash-starved, energy-deprived, militancy-choked, flood-ravaged nation has chosen ...

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Did the KGB kill Zia?

This year marks the 24th death anniversary of General Ziaul Haq. His airplane called PAK-1 (Model C-130 Hercules) crashed on August 17, 1988 about five minutes after taking off from Bahawalpur (Zia had flown there to witness a US M1 Abram’s tank demonstration). Zia, due to the geopolitical circumstances, was afforded a long list of possible enmities. To put things in perspective, he had been targeted on at least six previous occasions including an especially close save form a missile fired at his plane. The broad spectrum of his enemies ranged from the Bhutto family domestically to the Red Army fighting in Afghanistan. In ...

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Farida Afridi: Killed in broad daylight

Being a working woman and especially having a Pakhtun family background, it is quite disturbing for me to see that society is still not ready to accept women’s empowerment. This is especially so for the conservative Pakhtun community. The lack of respect does not stop here. A woman, who anxiously awaited to be posted in a no-go area to serve those women and children of her community who have no access to basic rights and do not know how to raise their voices for these rights, was killed on the road in broad daylight. The assassination of Farida Afridi, who was ...

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Mumtaz Qadri’s teachers: Of mousetraps, and mouse disposal

The problem with mousetraps is, one needs to pre-plan efficient mouse disposal.Less than two weeks after Mumtaz Qadri murdered Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer, the two clerics Qadri said had ‘inspired’ him with their sermons, strolled out of the Rawalpindi Anti Terrorism Court on bail. Since their names hadn’t been mentioned in the Taseer FIR, the lawyer argued, there was no justification for debarring Mufti Hanif Qureshi and Qari Ishtiaq Shah from their… err, day jobs. This time, however, the laws are not at fault. With the Anti Terrorism Act, lawmakers erred on the side of paranoia, rather than just caution. Terrorism, ...

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We do not deserve Shahbaz Bhatti

Minister for minority affairs Shahbaz Bhatti has been brutally gunned down today –  joining the list of many to have been killed.Voices of sanity do not do well here in Pakistan. Just when you start thinking things will be okay, that now the maniacs have safely put away Aasia Bibi and they’ve killed Salmaan Taseer so maybe that’s enough to make their point – you are jolted into the reality that is Pakistan. You understand completely and fully, even if you did not that morning when reading the opinions page of The Express Tribune, why George Fulton is leaving. Today’s breaking news ...

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After Taseer: The birth of a liberal movement

After Salmaan Taseer’s assassination, a clear line of distinction was drawn between the liberals and conservatives of Pakistan. This assassination will change the course of Pakistan’s history, and this is not an exaggeration. The outspoken Governor had flaws, but hypocrisy was not one of them. He made a promise to the minorities of Pakistan and fought for it till his last breath. Whether his demand was legitimate according to the constitution of Pakistan or the Islamic law is beyond the scope of this article. Taseer has become a symbol for the liberals and Mumtaz Qadri for the rightists. The rightists ...

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A strange fate has befallen us

Don’t ask me how hard writing has become nowadays as one calamity or the other hits us on a daily basis. Every day there is some accident, every day some tragedy. There was many a calamity one lived through, said Meer, but then one fell in love and discovered that nothing had prepared one for it. The tragedy that visited us Tuesday has stunned not just me but a whole people. The whole country, one might say, has been shaken. Salmaan Taseer has left the world in so unusual a manner. Is this, I ask you, the way to go? I ...

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Salmaan Taseer: An act to be remembered

The first time I was truly scarred was when screenwriters killed off Bambi’s mother in the 1942 Disney animated movie. It was a potent lesson for a child and one that has continued to manifest from the beginning of time throughout history and society.  A bitter testimony to what becomes of nobility in our world – remember, it was the hunter that shot Bambi’s mother as she tried to protect her child. The late Salmaan Taseer is not Bambi’s mother and perhaps he is no deer either, but he gave his life for something and one must pay tribute ...

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