Stories about terrorist

A German’s rendezvous with the real Pakistan

Terrorists, bomb blasts and religious extremism; these were the things that automatically came to my friend’s minds at the mere mention of Pakistan. When I told them that I would be going to Pakistan for three months, one of them jokingly remarked, “Aah, you’re joining jihad.” My grandparents were very afraid; they probably thought I would be entering the heart of the evil. This was the perspective of my German family when I told them I was going to Pakistan for three months for an internship with the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) Pakistan, in Islamabad. Next was my father’s voice, probably with the image in ...

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‘Pack-is-tan’ stereotypes in the US

When I was 12-years-old, I visited my aunt in the US. During this trip, I tagged along with my cousin, who is barely older than me, to participate in a very American pastime: we hit the mall. There, we bumped into his desi American friend and I was introduced as the cousin from Pakistan. His friend turned to me and said, “Aap ko angrezi ata bhi hai? (Do you even know how to speak English?)” He enunciated every word loudly, as if I were deaf. I was 12, and this made me bristle with anger. “I’m not stupid,” I replied very stupidly. The boy ...

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Child of war

The child of war loses his mind, As bubbles of fire from yonder rain, His youthful eyes no longer shine, He looks at all with much disdain, The war shall leave in its remains, A man afloat, a childhood drowned, A family was smashed and maimed, In a sea made of clamorous sounds, Out of order alphabet, Scribbled across his only book, The walls, although, his best work yet; Displaying all lives he took, His gun, he wears it on his shoulder; His morals somewhere in the trash, Emotions die as he grows older, His torrid heart now only ash, Upon the prisoners he has freed, His narcissism and his pride, Evils of heredity and creed, His only foes and by ...

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London Olympics 2012: The odds of dying in a terrorist attack

Here come the London Olympics 2012 with another cynical exploitation of fear, thousands of law enforcement officials to protect the public and use of devices as advanced as the LRAD (Long Range Acoustic Device). To top it off, there was the very timely ‘terror visa scandal’ scam by The Sun. As the media projects and orchestrates it, sometimes it seems as though terrorism is the only cause of unnatural death that we face. It seems like the lives of millions of travellers are at risk solely due to this threat alone. There were 2.84 billion commercial air passengers in 2011 ...

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Batman shooter: Mentally ill, not a terrorist

If you are a Muslim, or have Muslim friends, chances are that you’ve seen the gem above doing the rounds on social media websites like Facebook, where the caption states that had Holmes been a Muslim, he would have automatically been labelled a terrorist by the American media. Heck, you only have to visit video coverage of Holmes’ violent shooting spree on YouTube, or read the news reports on websites like CNN, to find random comments from outraged Muslims asking why he wasn’t labelled a ‘terrorist’. But let’s just backtrack a little, in case ...

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The beginning and end of Anders Breivik

In this day and age of Islamophobia, Anders Breivik’s recent trial marks a significant shift in the way the word ‘terrorist’ is perceived. My perceived image of a ‘terrorist’ stems from my own country. Unfortunately, there is irrefutable evidence to prove this – be it the incidents external to Pakistan, such as the July 2005 London bombings and the November 2008 Mumbai attacks, or the list of internal suicide bombings. Since the 9/11 attacks, certain prominent characteristics have come to be associated with the word ‘terrorists’ including but not limited to: ‘Muslim’, ‘Pakistani’, ‘rightist’, ‘conservative’, ‘extremist’, ‘young’, ‘male’ and many others. July 22, ...

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No one wants to tour Pakistan

As someone who has watched Pakistan play cricket on numerous occasions overseas, as well as in Karachi, I can tell you the experience is enormously different at home. Overseas, the seats are comfortable, the stadiums in pristine condition, the crowds well-behaved, the food non-threatening and no eyesore security grill to separate the playing area from the spectators. At home, the seats will put your rear to sleep, the biryani is spicy enough to make you wish you brought antacid with you, and the frighteningly energetic crowd is so loud that you can’t speak to the person next to you without the aid ...

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Here’s the evidence on Hafiz Saeed

The US has been generous enough to announce a hefty $10 million bounty for information leading to Hafiz Saeed’s conviction. After the embarrassment the Americans faced by announcing a reward for collecting information about someone who lives like any free human being without any court-admissible evidence, I felt the need to enlighten them with some hard-hitting, and much needed, evidence. Listed below is what I found after a great deal of research. Some of the figures quoted are mentioned in media reports while a great deal of the record has been shared by JuD themselves, which they claim can be independently verified. Education Jamaatud Dawa (JuD) runs 140 ...

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Hafiz Saeed: Missing pieces?

Hafiz Saeed, a mujahid and philanthropist in the eyes of many Pakistanis is basking in the limelight thrown on him by the US State Department when it placed a $10 million reward for information leading to his conviction under the Reward for Justice Programme. Saeed’s followers point towards the fact that because he demanded for the closure of the Nato supply route, the personal vendetta has been unleashed. The reality, however, is not that simple. Lashkar-e-Taiba, believed to be a militant arm of Jamatud Dawa, was designated as a foreign terrorist organisation in December 2001 by the US while its ...

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Why announce a bounty on Hafiz Saeed?

Why now? At a critical moment in the US-Pakistan relationship, with parliamentary debate raging in Pakistan about how to realign relations with Washington, and with the United States desperate to forge some level of cooperation with Islamabad to help move toward the elusive endgame in Afghanistan, why announce a bounty for “information leading to the arrest or conviction” of living-openly-in-Lahore Hafiz Saeed? This is, after all, a man Washington and New Delhi regard as a terrorist, yet whom many in Pakistan regard as a heroic symbol of defiance toward the United States, an essential strategic asset, or both. In short, Washington’s ...

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