Stories about terrorist

Deported from Israel for being a Muslim who visited Pakistan

Destination: Israel Purpose: To visit Jerusalem and everything within it which ‘drives men mad.’ I had spent months preparing for my trip to the country with the primary aim of visiting Jerusalem and seeing the great historical landmarks such as the Al Aqsa mosque and Wailing Wall. I had purchased clothes appropriate for the sweltering heat of the Middle East, booked my flight well in advance and converted almost all of my remaining savings to Israeli Shekels in an almost hyperactive state of eagerness. It was in this mood that I reached Ben Gurion airport on the morning of the 24th of ...

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Dancing with the Taliban

I am not a national security expert – I could not intelligently drop one relevant term if I wanted to. Thanks to my mother’s geographical coordinates when she gave birth, I have a green passport (for which I signed away the religious rights of over three million Pakistanis). I feel like someone is about to sign my rights away as our politicos endorse negotiations with the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). Again. On February 14, as the world celebrated One Billion Rising (OBR), marching and dancing in protest against women’s rights being violated, a room full of (mostly) men decided talks with a ...

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Afzal Guru: How India made a militant out of a med-student

Afzal Guru was hung on Saturday. As predicted, the Indian political fraternity and intelligentsia not only welcomed, but applauded the development. They saw it as a culmination of the legal process-the law of the land taking its due course. News channels repeatedly telecasted the footage of the attacks on the Indian parliament as if to convince themselves and their viewers that justice had finally been served. To borrow the words from the Supreme Court judgment, “the collective conscience of the nation” has been satiated. On the other hand, the reaction in Kashmir has been the polar opposite. Emotions resembling anguish, pain, desperation ...

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Apparently ‘Pakistani’ in French means ‘terrorist’

I experienced it again yesterday; I re-lived what it feels like to be accused – accused when you don’t even know why you are being charged. Again, I lived through the humiliation of someone pointing his finger at me and saying,  “Hey you… You look like a terrorist.” The temperature in Lille was cold; six degrees below the freezing point, to be exact. The behaviour of the four men around me was colder. I had noticed them the moment I had gotten off the train that had brought me back to Lille from Paris. I thought that I was being over imaginative ...

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Islamabad scareport

For the purpose of this tale, I’ll describe the reception area at Islamabad airport as an horizontal U in a space the size of two large kitchens. Stood at the beginning of the left hand column of the U is a security guard for the first security check. Walk through this and along to the curve at the bottom of the U. That’s where (on its outer perimeter) there’s a long table. Behind it are five customs officers in front of it are four queues waiting to have their bags searched.  Walk past this and you’ll swerve up the right hand part of the U parallel to the left – ...

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In Pakistan, you must be Muslim to have a monument named after you

How far does religious background, rather than actual character, go towards establishing respect in this country? The news that the plans to rename the Shadman Chowk roundabout in Lahore after historically instrumental freedom fighter Bhagat Singh have been scrapped isn’t surprising, considering the rising level of intolerance in our nation. Reports state that after pressure from right-wing religious organisations, the ‘Dilkash Lahore Committee’ opted for poet Habib Jalib’s name instead. I have nothing against the Pakistani poet, who by all accounts was as impressive at his prose- as he was in his stance against oppression. What is actually regrettable here is ...

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How many Ajmal Kasabs are we raising?

The memory of the fidgety and mentally distracted Indian classmate, biting his nails furiously, who could not sleep for the whole night after watching the live coverage of the attacks in Mumbai on November 26, 2008 flashes back to my mind whenever anybody mentions attacks. Indeed, it was a tragic as well as ghoulish event; the sights of the killings, the shootings, the hostage-taking and the lamentations of victims’ relatives were seen and heard for three days on satellite TV, which aired grisly images all over the world. (Photo: AFP) On that fateful day, Mumbai was attacked by ten men; nine ...

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Nothing but respect for Hashim Amla

The quiet, soft spoken and religiously devout Hashim Amla who hails from the Natal province in South Africa was a relatively unknown cricketer back in August 2006. It was then, during a pulsating Test match between South Africa and Sri Lanka when Dean Jones, former Australian batting legend turned cricket commentator, hurled an extremely offensive jibe at Hashim Amla. “The terrorist has got another wicket” Said Jones, referring to Amla after he took a catch. Jones was under the impression that the microphone was not live. Regardless of that, his comment was absolutely preposterous. Amla had been left out of the Test side after ...

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We play the blame game while the Balochi’s suffer, why?

Balochistan is a gateway for the development of Pakistan. The treasures hidden here, if unearthed and utilised properly, can bring prosperity and help overcome the woes of both Pakistan and its people. The enemies of Pakistan are aware of this and through different tactics — kidnappings, killings and terrorist attacks — are fuelling lawlessness in the province. Their actions have sowed hatred among the Baloch people. All this did not happen overnight but took years, rather decades. It is a testament to the failure of our power hungry rulers, whether they are in the center or in the provinces. Not one ...

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What it means to be human

With God’s choice, you’re matched with a life, A simple lottery number, you are born into the very rich, The very poor, The simple middle.   You ask questions, But the answers are endless. Tiny prayer offered before a scarce meal, Gluttony at it’s finest and greed sky high.   Our world becomes demoralised, By the second we hope. I pray, She withers away,   He needs a casket, But who can afford one? One human race, Divided into many useless groups.   Who do you follow? Your mosque, Your solitude. Your mosque, my fear.   We are simply animals, No better than mere animals. Why bark, When we can think?   An explosive made, You’re a martyr. A gun shining, In the rays of the sun.   What will you prove, To your god today? Minutes, hours, Days ...

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