Stories about terrorist

Good riddance to Osama bin Laden

Forget the future. Forget the fact that al Qaeda, the conglomerate, will continue to operate and spread terror. Forget the fact that the timing of this death is extremely suspicious given what is taking place in Afghanistan and Fata. Let go of the fear of an imminent backlash in Pakistan. This is the time to celebrate the death of a foul man, backed by a foul, twisted ideology that justified the murder of innocent people in the name of power. This is the time to say goodbye Osama Bin Laden – may I never see your face on TV again, and may ...

Read Full Post

Bajaur’s heroes die fighting

To the rest of the world, they were just four names, but Bajaur will pay a heavy price for them. The deaths of the four Maliks and a lashkar chief in the blast that occurred this week in the area was the death of Fata’s voice against terrorists. One of the men who was killed, Malik Munasib, was a light hearted, jolly fellow, whose company would make anyone come alive. He was brave but it took him a while to realise that his fight in Afghanistan against the Russians was a political game, no better than the one being played ...

Read Full Post

Fear and self-loathing in Pakistan

When I returned to Islamabad after five years, I realised how much Pakistan had changed. There were security checks at every entry and exit point of the city and uniformed men looked suspiciously at every car that passed them. “Good job,” I thought after seeing them and assumed they were doing their job properly. But then I noticed that most of the drivers they pulled over had a few similar qualities: they were all  men with long beards wearing shalwar kameez. I understand that terrorists are usually in this type of attire but does this give guards the right to stop ...

Read Full Post

For the millionth time, Muslims are not terrorists Mr King

Another attack has been made on American Muslims, this time by Congressman Peter King from New York, who claims that the alQaeda is recruiting and training members on US soil. The chair of the House Homeland Security Committee has initiated a series of hearings to probe the so called “radicalisation” of American Muslims in the name of national security. In true McCarthyistic tradition, the hearings are to investigate if Muslims are “loyal” to the state and whether they are doing enough to curb extremist elements. King says the local threat against Americans is real and must be addressed urgently. The Telegraph quotes him as ...

Read Full Post

Forget the arms race, we have bigger problems!

As The New York Times reported earlier this month, the Pakistani government has steadily increasing its nuclear stockpile over the past two years. It has amassed as many as 110 deployed nuclear warheads, which puts the country on the path to replace Britain as the world’s fifth largest nuclear power. Pakistani leaders and nuclear advocates are quick to point to India as the principle reason for why the country needs a large nuclear arsenal, as relations between the two neighbours have been strenuous over the last 60 years. What they fail to understand, however, is that the real risk to Pakistan comes ...

Read Full Post

Beards are not just for terrorists

For years I lived any young adult’s dream; there was music, parties, banter, unorthodox festivities, substance abuse and a fair degree of foul play. Then things changed radically – it was nothing short of a revolution; I grew a beard. After extensively studying and reading about both Islam and other religions, I started to pray five times a day and even encourage friends and colleagues towards the path of salvation. I have finally chosen spirituality over (supposed) rationality and have given up on worldly desires to pursue those of an eternal life. Why did I grow a beard? For me it was simple: a ...

Read Full Post

Police check points: Learning to be less critical

Be it individuals or society as a whole, we rarely waste any opportunity to be critical. It seems to have become part of our nature. From the common man to the so-called intellectual class, we all are astute in passing out judgments. And the trend extends to the media as well. Anything positive hardly falls in the category of “breaking news”. On my way back home from work, I have to cross at least three police barricades, as do many of us. I will not be going into the merits and demerits of these check points. My focus, today, is on ...

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

Burqa, bombs and intolerance

A look through the timeline of bomb blasts and terrorist attacks indicate that a majority of attacks in Pakistan are carried out by young men – some wearing vests, others using cars laden with explosives. I believe this spells out a legitimate case to ban young men, vests and cars from public places. After all, in a country like ours which is always on high alert for terrorist attacks, we can’t allow such security risks to roam about freely, can we? If you find my logic ludicrous, you might want to take a look at the recent debate on banning ...

Read Full Post

Suicide – an easy practice in Pakistan?

Being privileged enough to have access to a number of wire services, I stumbled upon a rather disturbing figure: There were at least 10 suicides this week across Pakistan according to these sources alone. The reasons for suicide were varied. A 22-year-old swallowed poisonous pills due to a domestic dispute, a young man took his life after killing two women and injuring four others over a matrimonial dispute, a security guard shooting himself within the limits of Bahadurabad police station because he wanted to marry someone, and a youth committing suicide after being reprimanded by his parents in Sahiwal. The reason ...

Read Full Post