Stories about terrorist

Everyday Af-Pak: Skateistan, Slackistan and more

The recent release of documentaries and films about Afghanistan and Pakistan cover a wide array of topics. Filmmakers are trying to alter the negative image of these countries, or at least showcase a more nuanced angle by showing everyday life in those areas. Here are some films that Everyday life in troubled countries Skateistan: To Live And Skate Kabul Who would have thought there is a skateboarding school in Afghanistan? Produced and directed by Orlando von Einsiedel, this film tells the story of a country’s (and the world’s) first non-profit and co-educational school of this kind, providing youth “with new opportunities in cross-cultural ...

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On being considered a Taliban…

Earlier this week,  Rangers personnel cordoned off Kunwari Colony, a Pashtun-dominated area in Manghopir, Karachi. The area is inhabited mostly by people belonging to the Mehsud tribe that hails mainly from Waziristan. The Rangers banned the exit of all and sundry from the colony with the help of police. They then started a door-to-door operation arresting anyone they found to be suspect; tied their hands, covered their faces and put them into trucks. More than 1,500 were booked and shifted to undisclosed places. Most of them are daily wage labourers and road-side vendors who sell scrap items or fruits. Later some ...

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26/11: Move on and help Pakistan

Time is a great healer and a great leveler- that’s what people say and believe. Is the passage of two years enough to heal the wounds of those who suffered an irreparable loss in the Mumbai terror attacks on November 26, 2008? No, the loss of precious lives can never be compensated by the generosity and magnanimity of time. One has to accept the reality of loss, come to terms with the truth and move on. But have we started moving on? Are we allowing time to heal the wounded relations between India and Pakistan? The Indian government’s rhetoric On the ...

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Green militants: Saving the world through terror

What do Osama Bin Laden and some radical environmentalists have in common? They’re both terrorists and believe that America is evil. They are also not doing much to promote the cause of environmentalism. A green propaganda film called “No Pressure,” created by the green organisation 10:10, released earlier last month, provides an alarming insight into the mind of an ‘eco-fascist.’ The four-minute-long video shows a teacher casually exploding students who refuse to cut carbon emissions. Yes, explode – she presses a button and the students are ripped to pieces, and that’s putting it mildly. 10:10 withdrew the video within 24 hours ...

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Understanding the ‘War on Zombies’

A little while ago, I came across a rather unusual essay, “Night of the Living Wonks” by Daniel W. Drezner in Foreign Policy magazine. I have re-read it a number of times now – essentially because it makes me wonder about things that are not romantic or unrealistic, things that we fret about day and night. A zombie plague? This right wing American academic talks about international relations in the wake of a zombie plague on earth! Actually, I think that perhaps he has not lost his mind. Before I delve any further, I would urge my readers to go ...

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Dr Aafia deserved what she got

“I am not sad. I am not distressed. They are not torturing me. This is a myth and lie and its being spread among the Muslims.” These were the words of Dr Aafia Siddiqui after the long awaited verdict was served against her on September 23. She was found guilty and was convicted of multiple charges including an attempt to murder American military personnel in Afghanistan. She has been sentenced with 86 years of imprisonment after which she called for Muslims to resist using violence. The harsh punishment sparked an anticipated outrage in various sections of the public in different cities of Pakistan. Hundreds ...

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Flood zones: A breeding ground for terrorism

In Pakistan, no matter how bad the situation is, no matter how hopeless the facts, things can always get worse. So while the recent incidents of terrorism in Lahore and Quetta added much pain to an already heartbreaking situation, they were not really surprising. With the Armed Forces and most of the administrative machinery busy catering to the millions rendered homeless and penniless, the terrorists have had ample chance to regroup and recharge. Even though some of the flood hit areas in the tribal belt were home to the TTP and other mainstream terrorist groups including the Haqqani Group, terrorists ...

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The man who was not a terrorist

‘My name is khan and I’m not a terrorist’. This tagline of a popular Bollywood film evokes a myriad of emotions and political connotations. It alludes to the chasm between two socio-cultural forces; the West and the Islamic world, which pervades at both the institutional and human level.  It feigns the yearning of the ‘moderate’ Muslim, to break out of the shackles of stereotypes in the wake of an ever-growing xenophobia in the West, fomented by ongoing episodes of terrorist plots targeting western interests and people. Furthermore, it illuminates the aspiration of such Muslims to transcend the archaic, rigid ...

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Hakimullah on-demand: Value Added Terror!

A team from Voice of Fidayeen* (VOF) is sent to an undisclosed location. Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan leader, Hakimullah Mehsud wants to record a message and it is urgent. Two men with guns receive the team. Cables are laid, camera mounted on the tripod. The men with the gun stand in front of a black backdrop, and Hakimullah arrives. He is looking pale and gloomy; the VOF team looks at each other, nods are exchanged, audio levels adjusted, but a sound of an explosion ruptures the silence. The technician yells. Hakimullah gives a disapproving look, audio-levels readjusted and camera starts filming. The men ...

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It’s high time India made an effort

We have fought numerous wars, we have exchanged many dead, we have brought enough misery upon our lives and continue to live close to the poverty line, only to maintain an aggressive yet defensive posture. We never let a chance go by where we are leveling blames on each other, and we make sure that any talk towards peace must fail miserably. Sadly, this time around it was first Pillai and then Qureshi’s fault! Pakistan has to realize it’s not as big as India and must look more towards its own economic standing, before eyeing a stronger, stable economy, and India ...

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