Stories about Osama

NY’s reaction to Osama’s death: The other side of extremism

Growing up in Lahore, the monsoon was my favourite season – those muggy, motionless afternoons when the air suddenly exploded into a river of orange rumbling down from the sky, leaving jungles in its wake. In the Bay Area, every balmy day of the year was beautiful except for the miserable characterless spluttering they called “rain.” In Ithaca, my favourite season was Autumn – a fire dance in the sky, bold and blazing, curling flames at your feet. And, in New York, it has to be spring, the teenage of nature, blooming poetry from every stem, every lilting branch a breathtaking ballet ...

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Pak-China friendship: How special is it?

In the aftermath of the Osama Bin Laden disaster, Pakistan has been scrambling to come up with a response to counter the piling pressure. The pressure, mostly in form of tough questions being raised from across the world, is something Pakistan is not used to managing efficiently. And, in its moment of need, as always, our prime minister decided to reach out to our allies, China, and got on a plane for a quick state visit. The whole purpose of the visit was apparently to show the United States (US) that Pakistan has the support of China. This is ...

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Bin Laden killing: Whither objective journalism?

I remember the general reaction in the newsroom the day the news of the operation that killed Osama bin Laden broke. There was relief, felicitations of ‘Mubarak ho!’ and the excitement of covering what was perhaps one of the biggest stories of the year. Throughout the day, and the days following the incident, I noted people’s reactions. While some openly celebrated the news, others quietly welcomed the news with relief, adding however that it was against their principles to celebrate death. Sure, there was shock and anger against the political and military leadership and condemnation about the violation of Pakistan’s ...

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Muslim champions: A gold medal for ‘ghairat’

When the excited lot at Times Square was celebrating the death of Osama bin Laden, we in Pakistan were in a state of absolute shock and bewilderment. Like an uninvited guest at a party who’s been asked to say a few words on stage, we had no clue how to react. Why we didn’t celebrate A large fraction in the West expected us to celebrate the death of Bin Laden like New Yorkers. A friend in India tweeted that the moderate Pakistanis should come out of their houses to show their contentment on the death of the Saudi businessman turned al ...

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Pakistan: A state in denial

Rather unsurprisingly, conspiracy theories have proliferated across the globe after the announcement of Osama bin Laden’s death and are fast gaining traction, especially in Pakistan where such mindless gossip is bound to press buttons for the wrong people. Some of these rather unoriginal speculations are: Osama is not dead. Osama was taken alive by the US. Osama died years ago and his body had been kept on ice for almost a decade. Osama was killed as a pretext to war on Pakistan Osama was given up by Pakistan. Osama was killed to secure another term for Obama. Osama was killed to trump Trump and so on. Truth ...

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Osama bin Laden: What now?

While euphoric crowds in Washington and New York celebrated the death of Osama Bin Laden soon after US forces raided his house in Abbottabad, the mood in Pakistan remained solemn – thick, razor-edged with unease. Not in mourning and not in grief, but rather in apprehension. What now? The question looms large. For Pakistanis, Laden’s death was an anti-climatic moment. Ever since 9/11 and subsequently the United State’s ‘war on terror’ which went full throttle with the fall of the twin towers, national security has been shot to pieces in Pakistan. The life of the average Pakistani has been severely affected: oscillating ...

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Charsadda blast: How many more will die?

The events that have taken place in Charsadda are the first of what will be many horrific testimonies to that night in Abbottabad. The people of Charsadda and Pakistan have many sleepless nights ahead of them while Barack Obama can rest easy knowing he has taken out America’s poster boy for terrorism. I remember the moment Barack Obama became the President of the United States of America. I was working at Geo at the time on the US Election transmission, and like countless other Pakistani people, I dared to hope and believe things could change. After the bomb explosion in Charsadda, ...

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Osama bin Laden’s revenge begins

Osama bin Laden, the world’s most wanted terrorist and mastermind behind the September 11 attacks, was killed by US Special Forces in a predawn helicopter raid in Pakistan’s garrison city of Abbottabad on May 1, bringing an end to the decade-long terror that had gripped the entire world in its ugly clutches. His death was declared the third biggest news of the 21st century; right below the rise of China to first-tier nation status and the election of Barack Obama as the US president. However, even in his death, Osama has not seized to surprise us. If anything, he continues to ...

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Indo-Pak relations: Back to normal

After the recent brouhaha over cricket diplomacy, it looks like India-Pakistan relations have again slipped into their comfort zone of allegations and counter allegations. Last month, as I saw Manmohan Singh and Yousaf Raza Gilani in Mohali, I was reminded of David Grey’s song “This year’s love had better last.” But then, in typical Ross and Rachel-esque fashion, statements by our diplomats have begun to resemble “We were on a break” and “No, we weren’t”. The fact that Osama Bin Laden died only complicated matters. Soon after the news of Bin Laden’s death spread, Indian news channels went into overdrive. Predictably enough, ...

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Confessions of a ‘heretic’

It was like a nightmare. Dark shadows, mysterious phone calls, dreaming of death -there should have been a reason for all of this, but there was none. I had been declared an accursed heretic. I could feel them chasing me down, chopping me into pieces and celebrating wildly afterwards. I could sense the happiness they would gain from spilling my blood. The days were getting darker. I was alive but there was a deadly silence around me. Suddenly, my friends had stopped talking to me and so called ‘moderate’ art teachers started discriminating against me. My once ‘liberal’ social ...

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