The snake-bitten 2011 comes to an end as I sit struggling to collect my thoughts. There are certain moments in life that one wishes one does not have to relive. That unusually dark and cold January 4, 2011 dawn in Florida was one such moment. I had turned on my phone first thing in the morning to get my daily news fix. But the banner headline was anything but a fix. Stunned, dazed and shocked; these words cannot begin to describe that overwhelming feeling. It was almost like I stood outside my body. It was not real.
Salmaan Taseer, the larger than life governor of the largest Pakistani province, Punjab, had been assassinated in broad daylight in Islamabad. The killer, Mumtaz Qadri, a member of the governor’s elite police guard, had pumped a magazine-full of bullets into Taseer, at point-blank range. The governor had died on the spot. I cannot help but think of Taseer’s December 31, 2010 message on the micro-blogging website Twitter: “Peace prosperity & happiness for new year (1 1 11) I’m full of optimism [sic].” ….
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