Stories about suicide attacks

How many more of God’s children will die in the name of God?

Aaj kay naam, aur aaj kay gham kay naam Aaj ka gham kay hay zindagi kay bharay Gulistan say khafa Zard paaton ka band jo mera des hay Dard kee anjuman jo mera des hay Un dukhi maon kay naam  (To, this day and to its sorrows, To the day’s sorrows, cross with life’s overflowing garden, The thicket of yellowing leaves, This thicket of dying leaves that is my land, This assembly of anguish that is my land.) (Intisaab by Faiz Ahmad Faiz, translation by Mustansir Dalvi) The first time a person strapped on a bomb and stood in the middle of a public place and ...

Read Full Post

Why my father devoted his life to jailbirds, and so will I

A poor person isn’t one who has no money or riches, but the one who holds no love in his heart for those who are suffering. This has been my father’s motto ever since I can remember. My father has devoted his entire life to the well-being of prisoners in Pakistan, be it Muslims or Christians. I grew up watching him attend to his duties at the prison and working amongst prisoners for their betterment, and I always used to wonder why he worked with them. Why did my father have this particular job? Why was he not a ...

Read Full Post

Our way or the high way: Vigilante justice for Lahore Church Blast

The minority communities in Pakistan have been facing immense threats to their lives and the recent bombing on the church in Lahore is yet another gruesome manifestation of the extreme form of religious bigotry which threatens the existence of minorities in Pakistan. Yesterday, a church in Youhanabad, a neighbourhood of Lahore, was hit by two suicide attacks, leaving 14 dead and over 70 injured. But the question is: is terrorism only external or has it deeply penetrated into the national and social psyche? We all rightly protest whenever minorities are targeted, be it the beginning of last year when a suicide attack was carried out on a ...

Read Full Post

Ansar Abbas: The blast tore his arms but not his spirit

Pakistan has been a hotbed of terrorism and militancy for almost a decade now. In this period of time, more than 50,000 people have become victims of terrorism with the north western areas being especially vulnerable to militancy and bloodshed. Many Pakistanis see the country’s future as dark and hopeless, however, Ansar Abbas is not one of them. Syed Ansar Abbas, aged 30, is one of the many victims of terrorism that has plagued Pakistan. He lost both his arms in a suicide attack in Dera Ismail Khan. However, despite such a grave and life-altering tragedy, he is still hopeful and ...

Read Full Post

My brave friend was killed in the attack on the ISI in Sukkur

At 3:00pm on an overcast day in Sialkot, I buried a friend. He was just 33-years-old and too young to go, but God works in mysterious ways. Major Zeeshan Suddle was killed in a suicide attack carried out by five terrorists on the Sukkur office of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) on July 24, 2013. At least nine people were killed that day and approximately 35 remain injured. It was Iftar time and my friend Zeeshan was opening his fast with his wife when the first bomb went off. Covered in shattered glass, his wife begged him to stay put, but being the brave person that he ...

Read Full Post

Why we cannot win against the Taliban

The Islamic fundamentalists are on a slow path to victory. Faced with unsurmountable odds after 2001, nobody would have thought that this group of a few men would be able to stage such a comeback. It’s a funny thing, because many Taliban and Al-Qaeda commanders who are interviewed say that the fact that they are winning seems unreal to them. It sure is unreal – how can a small group with minimal access to advanced weaponry and technology, as compared to their enemies, be winning? The statistics are incredible; 80% of Somalia is under the control of al-Qaeda; 60% of ...

Read Full Post

Message to literalists: You are a minority

The Pakistani Taliban’s suicide bombers attacked the shrine of Syed Ahmad Sakhi Sarwar in Dera Ghazi Khan district, killing 50 people. The dead include children, women, the elderly and handicapped. Self-destructing suicide bombers who kill innocent people show that they are against the Islamic ideology of saving humanity from self-destruction. Taliban’s confused ideology The Taliban (including Wahabis, Salafis and all Muslims who kill other Muslims) cast a shadow on their status as Muslims. The classical scholar Hasan alBasri calls Muslims who kill other Muslims “the grave sinners”, whereas Wasil ibn Ata called such Muslims neither “believers” nor “non-believers”. Ironically, the predecessor of all ...

Read Full Post

Lynching Salmaan Taseer: Social justice by a ‘pious’ nation

Governor Salmaan Taseer’s murder at the hands of his own bodyguard has certainly rocked the proverbial Pakistani boat. Just four days into a new year – which the astrologers on the television told us would be a good one for Pakistan – a police guard turned his gun on the governor, riddling him with 26 bullets. The assassin was led away, smiling ear to ear at his accomplishment and leaving a trail of utter madness in his wake. Pakistan has had its share of turbulent times, and through the years we’ve found surprising ways of coping with them. We deny involvement, ...

Read Full Post

The importance of saving our sufi heritage

The resting place of Baba Farid Ganjshakar at Pakpattan, which was attacked last month, became the fifth sufi shrine to be destroyed in the past few years. Security agencies say after the mass attacks on mosques, sufi shrines are now under threat as well. These assaults on our holy sites are slicing through our social fabric, and here’s why: People of Pakistan, especially in Sindh, have long been known as followers of sufism – the mystical interpretation of Islam – and shrines are symbols of their devotion. Destroying them is an outright attack on a system based on deep introspection, great ...

Read Full Post

Fashion Week: A prototype of resilience to terror

Pakistan Fashion Design Council (PFDC) Sunsilk Fashion Week has been a success. From Maria B’s clichéd yet imposing collection ‘Tribal Militants’ to Feeha Jamshed’s commendable attempt at paying homage to 40 years of the Teejays trademark, the show is a shimmering example of the surfeit of talent that exists in our fashion industry. But under the circumstances in which it was conducted, it serves to demonstrate the nation’s resilience against political violence. Ironically so, it is this very resilience that has been spurned upon. There is a section of society which believes that in the event of the suicide attacks in ...

Read Full Post