Stories about terror

The weapon of ideology to fight terrorism

Why lambast Pakistan? Why criticise the Pakistan army and religious fanatics? Why can’t you offer some solutions to fix the grave security situation responsible for our economic turmoil? We sacrificed our citizens, sports, tourism, hotel industries and foreign direct investment etcetera so why highlight Pakistan’s problems rather than offering solutions? Above stated are questions I have faced over the past few years, during my conversation with Pakistanis across the world. In this blog, I have tried to analyse these questions and also tried to highlight solutions to terrorism (‘public enemy number two’ after inflation). Just as a doctor needs to make a proper diagnosis before ...

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For us to dig deeper

Recently while in the US I had an unusual exchange with someone.  I was in a meeting with a financial analyst, Eric, and in the middle of a conversation about tax returns and the IRS he paused and said: “So, the kids in Pakistan are like the kids here, right?” I was taken aback.  I didn’t quite know what to make of his comment/question. I asked him to elaborate.  He hesitated and said: “I mean kids are kids everywhere, right?” I told him that the Pakistani youth came in all shapes, sizes, political affiliations and bad musical tastes. He mulled that over ...

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Fatima Bhutto and her songs of blood, sword and fairytales

She was beautiful. She was eloquent. She was vivid, and witty. Yet while orating at the Sydney Writers’ Festival Fatima Bhutto also managed to be  naïve, hollow and juvenile. Seemingly, the trauma of her beloved father’s death has not left her and this, unfortunately, has become an indistinguishable part of her personality – to discuss her experiences while speculating about national issues. Her recent speech clearly epitomises the emblem of her book, “Songs of Blood and Sword,” published in April, 2010, that is, selective amnesia and fiction in the absence of fact. Her speech starts with the popular state propagated narrative of politician ...

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An open letter to the Chief Justice, from a granddaughter

Did you know your grandfather Mr Chief Justice? I knew mine rather well for a man with 21 grandchildren. His name was Nasir Ahmed Chaudhry. He lived to be 90-years-old and was a retired Major-General. He was killed on May 28, 2010 in the attack on the Model Town Ahmadi “place of worship” – first wounded by a grenade and then shot repeatedly by a terrorist. These are the facts; you can read them in any number of newspaper articles. Let me tell you what the papers don’t know. My nana used to pick me up from kindergarten while I lived in ...

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Terror won’t end with Uncle Sam’s exit

Facing a resurgent wave of violence after the Abbottabad operation, our government, that is the military, is facing internal pressure to defy the United States’ (US) demands and reclaim our sovereignty. At the same time, it is being pulled in the opposite direction by our chief benefactor, the US. The line of argument, simple, yet repeated so often to have become a sacred mantra, is to demand that the US withdraw from Afghanistan, and Pakistan should seize to support her. By doing so, the Taliban would no longer have any justification to continue fighting. It’s neat and simple, yet its ...

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I laugh, but so does the world

Imagine this scenario: Around a dozen bodies of children wrapped in sheets of blood cradled by helpless parents, and in some cases just lying in a pool of their parents’ blood. On Saturday, you didn’t have to imagine. US-led Nato forces killed 14 Afghan civilians including up to 12 children. President Hamid Karzai was quick in issuing a “last warning” to the US military telling it to avoid operations that kill civilians while commander of the Nato-led force Isaf in south-west Afghanistan apologised for the deaths and, this was it. I do not want to rant about the cruelty and the blatant ...

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Saleem Shahzad: When journalists bite the dust

I hope we live to see the day when journalists in Pakistan boast about a prosperous economy, medical breakthroughs, and life security. I hope most of us never see the day when things are actually worse than how newspapers make them out to be. Syed Saleem Shahzad, the Pakistan Bureau Chief of Asia Times Online (a Hong Kong-based news website), disappeared from Islamabad on May 29, 2011, just days after publishing an article for the Asia Times which implicated that officials in the Pakistani Navy had links with al Qaeda (The second part of Saleem Shahzad’s report, ‘Recruitment and training of ...

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Military goes bang, bang

With apologies to the munchkins from the Wizard of Oz, it’s astonishing to see the extent to which civilians will go to defame the armed forces and paramilitary units. First they blame the army for Abbottabad, then the navy for PNS Mehran. Then the accusations of ISI support for our strategic ally, the Taliban, Raymond Davis’s exit, and a host of other problems. Don’t they realise that khaki knows best? The brouhaha over the shooting of a civilian in Karachi is an embarrassment. Can they not see that the dangerous civilian was about to overpower the five Rangers men? Can ...

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The choice is ours to make

When I go out reporting I come across politicians and bureaucrats sitting in chilled rooms but agitated over the post-OBL scenario. At the same time I also get to meet members of the general public who vent anger at the current state of affairs and seek to interpret the information we provide them through our media outlets 24/7. Needless to say, it’s not just the chopping of trees that has made the city hotter but there are certain policies that our mighty establishment pursued since the 1980s, which have certainly added to this heat and it is now becoming unbearable. With ...

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PNS Mehran attack: United we stand?

Does the maxim ‘United we stand, divided we fall’ hold true for us, only as a nation? It’s very evidently true for us, if we are part of the military forces. Just how can the intruders jump into the naval base and create havoc of such great magnitude. Unthinkable and unimaginable. Karachi, my city was under attack, and one feels extremely out of focus, when our armed forces, our jawans, who spend their entire life guarding our lives and our borders, evidently get attacked by people we know as Taliban. This is in reference to the recent attacks on them. But ...

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