Tag Archives: Pakistani

A horrible slaughter by beasts. Harrowing images..

The Pakistani security forces are murdering common citizens in cold blood and broad daylight: Their allegation appeared to be correct when footage aired on news channels showed the unarmed youngster had been shot from a very close range by one of six Rangers personnel gathered around him.The language of the video clip is urdu (Hindi).

Courtesy: Duniya TV News (Crossfire with Mehar Bukhari – 9th June 2011)

via ZemTv, YouTube

Sethi: US-Pakistan Relationship ‘Riddled With Ambiguities’

NEW YORK: May 19, 2011 — The Friday Times editor Najam Sethi, who appeared at Asia Society’s Pakistan 2020 launch, discusses the complexities of the US-Pakistan relationship and why Pakistan is “rushing toward” China.

via Wichaar, YouTube

Maududi: Islamisation Will Destroy Pakistan

Syed Farooq Haider, a son of Maulana Maududi. The language of the talk show is urdu (Hindi).

Courtesy: The Express TV (Front Line with Kamran Shahid and Farooq Haider)

via Wichaar, YouTube

Extremely shameful act of how Pakistani law enforcement agencies kill unarmed pregnant woman ruthlessly

– Chechen ‘terrorist’ was pregnant when shot dead

[To see the photo of the woman raising her hand next to a security checkpoint before being killed by Pakistani troops in Quetta, click here].

QUETTA: The autopsy report of a woman who was among the five suspected Chechen terrorists killed in Quetta on Tuesday, reveals that she was pregnant at the time she was shot dead.

Express 24/7 correspondent Shehzad Baloch reports that the autopsy which was carried out at the Bolan Medical Complex in Quetta, revealed  the woman, who is yet to be identified by authorities, was shot 12 times. The report also reveals that she was seven months pregnant. No bomb-related injury has been found on her body.

Autopsies on the remaining four bodies is under way….

Read more : The Express Tribune

Via Siasat.pk

More on above issue: Do suicide bombers take passports and visas in their packets

The hornet is dead, near the nest – Dr Mohammad Taqi

The Pakistani brass was caught red-handed and was not given an option to say no to the operation. But the Pakistani deep state still does not get it, for its ideological sympathies are elsewhere.

Doveryai, no proveryai! This Russian proverb, meaning ‘trust, but verify’, popularised by Vladimir Lenin and later by Ronald Reagan, has not rung truer than in the events surrounding the assassination of Osama bin Laden (OBL) earlier this week. And we may see it applied much more intensely in the months to come.

Phone calls from friends in Abbottabad about an ongoing military action there, were enough to suggest that something big was happening in what the locals had always believed to be an ISI-run facility, but the e-mail news alert from The Wall Street Journal announcing OBL’s death was still a major surprise. Against the norms of punditry, this time one hoped that we were wrong and this was not happening in Pakistan. But it was, and yes, we now stand vindicated: all of us who had been saying and writing for years that the US’s most wanted man was not under the protection of any major Pashtun tribe but was guarded by the clan that has anointed itself as the guardians of Pakistan’s ‘ideological’ and geographical frontiers. It is this same clan that had actually codified in its curriculum that “you are the selected lords; you are the cream of the nation”. Where else could this syllabus have been taught but at the Pakistan Military Academy, Kakul — less than a mile from OBL’s last lair?

There is no polite way of saying it but these masters of Pakistan’s fortunes got egg on their face and that too with the whole world watching. A Peshawarite calling in on a television show said it most aptly: “Koilay ki dallali mein haath to kalay hotay hein per moonh bhi kala hota hai” (Those, whose business is foul, not only get their hands dirty but a blackened face too). But they still have the nerve to say with a straight face that a million-dollar fortress under their nose had been “off their radar”!

Not only that but they also have the gall to mobilise the right-wing media to create the smokescreen of sovereignty yet again while simultaneously playing up their ‘role’ in support of the US action in Abbottabad. The world, however, is not buying that in a cantonment city, the army — which keeps track of every inch of land around its facilities — did not know what was going on in the high-walled compound next to its primary training academy. The paid spin masters will have to do better than this. No matter what President Asif Zardari or his ghostwriter is made to say in op-ed articles in US papers, it is the top brass that is under scrutiny. Using the civilian political leadership as the human shield is not going to work, as the calculus has changed dramatically.

Barack Obama’s token acknowledgment of Pakistan’s non-specific cooperation is being construed by the Pakistani establishment and its minions to imply that the US can be taken for a ride again. It is too early for the specifics to surface but conversations with several sources in Washington and Pakistan point only to the deep mistrust that the US has had vis-à-vis Pakistan. There was no deal initiated by General Shuja Pasha to ‘trade in’ OBL for a bigger Pakistani role in Afghanistan. On the contrary, in response to the chest thumping by the Pakistani security establishment and its ultra right-wing political acolytes, they were confronted with damning evidence about the Haqqani network and possibly the Quetta Shura, while the OBL lead was not shared. The no-fly zone over Pakistan was created through phone calls, minutes after the OBL operation got underway. While the Pakistani brass is clutching at straws like blaming the ‘two Pashtun guards’ for protecting OBL’s compound, it was caught red-handed and was not given an option to say no to the operation. But the Pakistani deep state still does not get it, for its ideological sympathies are elsewhere.

Hillary Clinton’s nuanced diplomatic statements notwithstanding, the mood of the US leadership is almost reflective of the immediate post-9/11 days and was conveyed well by Senator Carl Levin in his remark: “(Pakistan has) a lot of explaining to do … I think the army and the intelligence of Pakistan have plenty of questions that they should be answering.” In a complete paradigm shift, any leverage that the Pakistani junta was hoping to gain from the bravado that started with the Raymond Davis affair has been lost completely. What will follow is a steady demand within the US to hold Pakistan’s feet to the fire. While maintaining a semblance of a working relationship, a very tough line will be adopted in private. The question bound to come up is not just why Pakistan was hanging on to OBL but also if there was any connection of its operatives to the 9/11 tragedy.

From a tactical standpoint, the OBL operation is likely to serve as a template for future action against the jihadist leadership hiding in Pakistan, especially with General David Petraeus assuming his new role in the near future. To get closer to the strategic objective of a certain level of stability within Afghanistan and potentially a political reconciliation there, it is imperative for the US to neutralise the next two key hurdles, i.e. the Quetta Shura and the Haqqani network. Both these entities have so far been able to evade the US’s reach, thanks to the Pakistani security establishment’s patronage.

Members of the Haqqani clan have been roaming freely in the vicinity of Islamabad, Rawalpindi and Peshawar. Khalil Haqqani has conducted several meetings in the previous few months to broker the ‘peace deal’ for the Kurram Agency. It is inconceivable that he could act without the knowledge of the Pakistani security agencies. Similarly, Quetta is home to the Pakistan Army’s XII Corps, ISI regional headquarters, the Balochistan Frontier Corps, an army recruitment centre, the Pakistan Air Force base Samungli and the Pakistan Army’s prestigious Command and Staff College. One wonders if the Pakistani brass would still be able to say that they do not know the whereabouts of Mullah Omar.

A window of opportunity perhaps still exists for Pakistan to make a clean break with the past but its incoherent blame-game and constantly changing story says otherwise. The Pakistani establishment has given the world very little reason to trust it without verifying — unless, of course, another hornet is to be missed hiding near a major nest.

The writer can be reached at mazdaki@me.com

Courtesy: Daily Times

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=201155\story_5-5-2011_pg3_2

Who is Aafia Siddiqui? Guantánamo files reveal her as top al-Qaida operative

Guantánamo files paint Aafia Siddiqui as top al-Qaida operative

Documents claim neuroscientist – jailed in US for attempted murder – aided al-Qaida bombing, poisoning and hijacking plots

by Declan Walsh in Islamabad

Aafia Siddiqui, the Pakistani neuroscientist whose case has become a flashpoint of Pakistani-American tensions, plotted to smuggle explosives into America and offered to manufacture biological weapons, according to the Guantánamo files.

The allegations are a combination of US intelligence analysis and direct testimony by at least three senior al-Qaida figures, including the 9/11 plotter Khalid Sheikh Muhammad. They cannot be independently corroborated and the testimonies were likely to have been extracted under conditions of torture.

Muhammad, known as KSM in intelligence circles, was waterboarded 183 times in the month after his capture in Pakistan in March 2003.

But several of the accounts do overlap, linking Siddiqui, a diminutive 39-year-old mother of three, with some of Osama bin Laden’s most senior lieutenants. They help explain why the FBI placed her on a list of the world’s seven most wanted al-Qaida fugitives in 2004.

Siddiqui disappeared from Karachi in March 2003 only to reappear five years later amid murky circumstances in Ghazni, central Afghanistan. There was an altercation in a police station and the US accused Siddiqui of trying to shoot two soldiers and two FBI agents.

She was sent to the US, tried and last year sentenced to 86 years’ jail. At home in Pakistan she became a cause célèbre widely viewed as an innocent victim of American injustice.

During the recent stand-off over Raymond Davis, the CIA spy who shot two people in Lahore, a chorus of Pakistani politicians demanded the US repatriate Siddiqui in exchange for the American.

The Guántanamo files offer a murky perspective, placing Siddiqui at the heart of an al-Qaida cell based in Karachi between 2002 and 2003. Emboldened by the success of the 9/11 attacks and led by KSM, the cell conspired to mount fresh attacks in the US, on Heathrow airport and inside Pakistan.

According to the files, the cell planned to smuggle explosives into America under the cover of textile exports – 20 and 40ft foot containers filled with women’s and children’s clothes. The explosives would be used to attack “economic targets” inside the US, according to KSM.

The operation would take place through an import-export business run by Saifullah Paracha, a Pakistani businessman who worked as a New York travel agent for 13 years before developing ties to Osama bin Laden. Paracha, 64, is currently in Guantánamo Bay.

According to Paracha’s file, Siddiqui’s role was to “rent houses and provide administrative support for the operation”. As part of this brief she travelled from Pakistan to the US in January 2003 to help renew the American travel papers of Majid Khan, a co-conspirator who had been ordered to bomb petrol stations and water treatment facilities in America.

According to Khan, he provided Siddiqui with money, photos and a completed application for an “asylum travel form” that “looked and functioned like a passport”.

Then, according to Khan’s file, “Siddiqui returned to the US and opened a post office box in detainee’s name, using her driver’s licence information”.

The plot collapsed after Khan was picked up in Pakistan and sent to Guantánamo. A co-conspirator in America, Uzair Paracha, was arrested in possession of the post box key.

Paracha, son of Saifullah Paracha, was sentenced to 30 years’ imprisonment in 2006; details of Siddiqui’s role in the plot surfaced during his trial.

Continue reading Who is Aafia Siddiqui? Guantánamo files reveal her as top al-Qaida operative

Pakistani Hell

A man dies and goes to hell. There he finds that there is a different hell for each country. He decides he’ll pick the least painful to spend his eternity. He goes to the German Hell and asks, “What do they do here?”
He is told “first they put you in an electric chair for an hour. Then they lay you on a bed of nails for  
another hour. Then the German devil comes in and whips you for the rest of the day“.
The man does not like the sound of that at all so he moves on. He checks out the AMERICAN Hell as  well as the Russian Hell and many more.  He discovers that they are all similar to the German hell.

Then he comes to the PAKISTANI hell and finds that there is a long line of people waiting to get in.
Amazed, he asks, “What do they d here?
He is told “first they put you in an electric chair for an hour. Then they lay you on a bed of nails for another hour. The PAKISTANI devil comes in and whips you for the rest of the day.
But that is exactly the same as all the other hells so why are there so many people waiting to get in?” asks the man.

Because there is never any electricity, so the electric chair does not work. The nails were paid for but never supplied, so the bed is comfortable to sleep on. And the PAKISTANI devil used to be a civil servant, so he comes in, signs his time sheet and goes back home for private business.” SO YOU SEE… IT PAYS TO BE A PAKISTANI!!

Source – Internet.

The ‘wealthy’ Pakistani generals

Pakistan has had a turbulent history. And it remains in turmoil with growing internal instability and rising conflicts with its neighbours. Despite the return to civilian rule, the politics of the country has remained closely linked to the military, one of Pakistan’s most powerful institutions. The generals while projecting their utility are virtually in control. Interestingly, while Pakistan suffers economic difficulties, frequent political crises and issues like unemployment, illiteracy and malnutrition, the top brass of the army is making huge amounts of money through the corporate sector and controls large tracts of real estate. The Auditor General of Pakistan revealed that the army is using government land falling in A-1 category worth 1.4 billion USD (Rs. 120.767 billion) for commercial purposes.

The one & only political party of Pakistan which has almost 7 Lacs (seven hundered thousands) armed & trained members paid by govt from tax payers money. “Army forcibly takes its resources from civilians”. It will tell you why politicians are weak in this country.  un ki koi sunta hi nahi.

Courtesy: via- Siasat.pkSouth Asia News – You Tube

US Government Report on Pakistani Press

2010 Human Rights Report: Pakistan – Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor2010 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2010/sca/154485.htm

Courtesy: ARY NEWSYou Tube

Uprisings and impacts – Dr Manzur Ejaz

Even after the Musharraf dictatorship is over, much of our politics is run from Dubai and we have to involve Riyadh in every important political crisis. In fact, Arab kings have been violating Pakistani sovereignty, with the connivance of our ruling elite, even more than the US …

Read more : Wichaar

Harrowing tale of Pakistani policemen lynched in Bahrain

By Salman Siddiqui

KARACHI: Kashif Mehmood joined the Bahraini police force soon after he graduated from the Pakistani school in Bahrain.

He wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps who joined the Bahraini police after migrating from Gujranwala’s Mandi Bahauddin area, some 30 years ago. …

Read more : The Express Tribune

Watch what Pakistani youth is saying?

Pakistan enriched with the overwhelming and enthusiastic youth.Provide them opportunity to come and present their recommendation. Are they really want to change or they also want to become the part of this existing system? In their views what the Pakistan should be? Do they believe on democratic change or want a revolution like Arab countries? The language of the program is urdu/ Hindi.

Program host – Talat Hussain, GUESTS: Tariq Azeem, Kashmala Tariq, Bushra Gohar, Khawja Afif, Ali Raza, Ali Hameed, Ahmad Bilal, Abeera Fatima.

Courtesy: DAWN News (News Night with Talat, 4th March, 2011)

via – ZemTVYou Tube

Pakistani-Canadians: On Egypt

Message of Solidarity by the Committee of Progressive Pakistani-Canadians to The Egyptian National Association for Change (Canada).

by Omar Latif, Committee of Progressive Pakistani-Canadians

The Committee of Progressive Pakistani-Canadians congratulates the Egyptian people on their success in ousting the dictator Hosni Mubarak and salutes their heroic and historic struggle against dictatorship and for freedom, democracy and social justice.

Backed and supported by the US and other western countries the Egyptian regime, like many other Arab regimes – as indeed most of the governments in Pakistan – have served the interests of the rich internally and that of imperialism regionally.

The Egyptian armed services, just like those of Pakistan, receive well over a billion dollars annually from the United States, most of which ends up in the pockets of senior officers. The ties and cooperation between the security agencies of the US with those of Egypt – as with the security forces of Pakistan – are even closer. Along with you, we hope, these relationships will end.

The Saudi monarchy – the most reactionary, despotic and US-dependent of the Arab regimes – has also played a significant role in aiding and abetting undemocratic and unjust regimes in the region – including those of Pakistan.

Continue reading Pakistani-Canadians: On Egypt

A Pakistani journalist on Raymond Davis issue

The language of program is urdu/ Hindi

Courtesy: Geo TV (Aapas ki Baat Najam Sethi ke Saath – 31st january 2011.)

via – ZemTVYou Tube Link

Open secrets – Homosexuality in Pakistan!

In Pakistan, sex between men is strictly forbidden by law and religion. But even in the most conservative regions, it’s also embedded in the society.

By Miranda Kennedy

LAHORE — The first time Aziz, a lean, dark-haired 20-year-old in this bustling cultural capital, had sex with a man, he was a pretty, illiterate boy of 16. A family friend took him to his house, put on a Pakistani-made soft-porn video, and raped him. Now, says Aziz (who gives only his first name), he is “addicted” to sex with men, so he hangs around Lahore’s red-light districts, getting paid a few rupees for sex. At night, he goes home to his parents and prays to Allah to forgive him. …

Read more : The Boston Globe

US court summons ISI chief in Mumbai terror case

Washington, Nov 24 (IANS) A US court has summoned top officials of Pakistani spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), as also the alleged masterminds of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks in response to a case filed by relatives of two American victims.

Summons were issued by a New York court to ISI’s powerful chief, Lt. Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha and other officials, as also Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) commander Zakiur Rahman Lakhvi and Jamaat-ud Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed, the alleged masterminds of the Nov 26-29, 2008 Mumbai terror attack.

The 26-page lawsuit was filed before a Brooklyn court last week by family members of Rabbi Gavriel Noach Holtzberg and his pregnant wife, Rivka, who were among the 166 people killed during the attack. Their son Moshe was saved by his Indian nanny in the tragedy. …

Read more : thaindianNews

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For more details : BBC urdu

Agar Tum Mil Jao – Tassawar Khanum

This song was sung by Tassawar Khanum in 70’s. She was a brilliant Pakistani singer and sung lot of memorable songs. Originally she sung this song for Pakistani Film: ‘Imandar‘ released in 1974, Actors: Nisho, Munawar Zarif, Deeba, Rangeela, Talish, Tariq Aziz,…Director: S.T Zadi, Music: Nashaad. Singers: Tassawar Khanum, Masood Rana, Robina Badar, …

You Tube Link

Planting stories: its good that the wikileaks has all the original docs. More reasons, that wikileaks should stay alive, so that corrupt authoritarian establishments can’t present their versions

Pakistani media publish fake WikiLeaks cables attacking India

Comments alleged to be from WikiLeaks US embassy cables say Indian generals are genocidal and New Delhi backs militants

– Declan Walsh in Islamabad

They read like the most extraordinary revelations. Citing the WikiLeaks cables, major Pakistani newspapers this morning carried stories that purported to detail eye-popping American assessments of India‘s military and civilian leaders.

According to the reports, US diplomats described senior Indian generals as vain, egotistical and genocidal; they said India’s government is secretly allied with Hindu fundamentalists; and they claimed Indian spies are covertly supporting Islamist militants in Pakistan‘s tribal belt and Balochistan.

“Enough evidence of Indian involvement in Waziristan, Balochistan,” read the front-page story in the News; an almost identical story appeared in the Urdu-language Jang, Pakistan’s bestselling daily.

If accurate, the disclosures would confirm the worst fears of Pakistani nationalist hawks and threaten relations between Washington and New Delhi. But they are not accurate.

An extensive search of the WikiLeaks database by the Guardian by date, name and keyword failed to locate any of the incendiary allegations. It suggests this is the first case of WikiLeaks being exploited for propaganda purposes.

The controversial claims, published in four Pakistani national papers, were credited to the Online Agency, an Islamabad-based news service that has frequently run pro-army stories in the past. No journalist is bylined.

Shaheen Sehbai, group editor at the News, described the story as “agencies’ copy” and said he would investigate its origins. …

Read more : Guardian.co.uk

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More details about Fake WikiLeaks : BBC urdu

President Zardari pardons 59 Christians in Pakistan

President pardons 59 Christians in Pakistan – By: George Masih

About 59 Christian prisoners in Pakistan received a new lease of life when President Asif Ali Zardari pardoned and freed them on Friday. Heeding to an appeal by ‘Life for All’, a Lahore-based Christian organization, the President released the prisoners who were falsely accused of minor crimes and languished in jails without obtaining legal aid due to financial constraints.

Continue reading President Zardari pardons 59 Christians in Pakistan

India – Pakistani Prisoner Disappears From Punjab Jail

Punjab police clueless about Pakistani prisoner’s disappearance

Amritsar, Sep 1 (IANS) Punjab police and Amritsar district administration remained clueless Wednesday about the whereabouts of a Pakistani prisoner who has disappeared from a jail here.

According to police, Nayamat Ali disappeared under mysterious circumstances Tuesday.

He was arrested by the Border Security Force (BSF) an year ago for illegally entering India in the Lopoke area near Amritsar.

‘So far we have not got any breakthrough in the case,’ Amritsar Deputy Commissioner Kahan Singh Pannu told IANS Wednesday.

Jail officials said that Ali had completed his term Friday and he was waiting for his release and repatriation home. However, the jail authorities were taken by surprise when they found Ali missing from the prison.

Read more >> YahooNews

Songs of the Saints, With Love, From Pakistan

By JON PARELES

Hands waved overhead. Voices shouted lyrics and whooped with delight. Children were hoisted onto parents’ shoulders. In the tightly packed crowd a few dancers made room to jump. T-shirts were tossed to fans from the stage.

Yet in the songs that Abida Parveen was singing, saints were praised. They were Islamic saints, the poets and philosophers revered by Sufism, the mystical branch of Islam.

It was the first New York Sufi Music Festival, a free three-hour concert on Tuesday in Union Square, and it had music from the four provinces of Pakistan, including traditional faqirs who perform outside temples, Sufi rock and a kind of rapping from Baluchistan.

The concert was presented by a new organization called Pakistani Peace Builders, which was formed after the attempted bombing in Times Square by a Pakistani-American. The group seeks to counteract negative images of Pakistan by presenting a longtime Pakistani Islamic tradition that preaches love, peace and tolerance.

Sufism itself has been a target of Islamic fundamentalists; on July 1 suicide bombers attacked Pakistan’s most important Sufi shrine. Pakistan’s ambassador to the United Nations, Abdullah Hussain Haroon, spoke between sets on Tuesday. “What we’re here to do today,” he said, is “to be at peace with all of America.”

Read more >> THE NEW YORK TIMES

A Pakistani makes his country proud. Returns $50,000/- found in hotel room to rightful owner.

“I have a responsibility as a human being, as a Pakistani, a Muslim,” … “I never thought about keeping the money.”

Pakistani hotel cleaner returns $50,000 in cash left behind by forgetful guest

A hotel cleaner who earns just £200 a year has been hailed a national hero in Pakistan after he returned $50,000 in cash left behind by an absent-minded guest.

By Rob Crilly in Islamabad

Essa Khan found the bag of notes stuffed in a safe deposit box while carrying out a routine inspection of a room vacated by a Japanese NGO worker before another guest arrived.

After years of negative publicity from terror strikes and political unrest, politicians have lauded the housekeeper’s honesty as the “real face of Pakistan”.

But Mr Khan told The Daily Telegraph he was simply doing his job.

“I have a responsibility as a human being, as a Pakistani, a Muslim,” he said on Sunday. “I never thought about keeping the money.”

Mr Khan, 50, has worked for the past 20 years at the Gilgit Serena Hotel, which stands amid dramatic scenery at the foot of the Karakoram mountains, in northern Pakistan.

Hotel staff managed to track down the guest, who works for the Japan International Co-operation Agency, and return the money, which was intended to fund a feasibility study into tourism projects in northern Pakistan.

Read more >> Telegraph

US-Pakistan Friendship Day at the Capitol Hill – June 24

The Annual US-Pakistan Friendship Day by Pakistani American Congress at the Capitol Hill. Here are the details: Time: 11 Am – 5 PM, June 24, 2010, Seminar: 11 AM – 2 PM

Sustainability of Democracy in Pakistan

Guest Speakers: 1) Geoffrey R. Pyatt, Principal Deputy Secretary of State. 2) Ms. Theresa Grenick, Deputy Director, Office of Ambassador Richard Holbrooke. 3) Stephen Cohen, Senior Fellow at Brookings Institute. 4) Robert Hathaway, Senior Fellow at Woodrow Wilson, International Center for Scholars. 5) Dr. Marvin Weinbaum, Senior Scholar, The Middle East Institute. 6) David Jones, Washington Post

Congressional Reception: 2PM – 5 PM

US Congressmen and Senators, Venue – 2226 Rayburn House Office Building, Capitol Hill, Washington DC.

Out of the Closet, at Gunpoint

I thought I’d never tell my Muslim parents that I’m gay. Then a terrifying encounter gave me no choice.

By Shariq Mahbub

As a gay, Muslim teenager growing up in a posh area of Karachi, Pakistan, I struggled to hide from my family the fact that I was attracted to other men.

I immersed myself in literature, and as a precocious ninth grader I produced and acted in George Bernard Shaw’s farce “Passion, Poison and Petrifaction,” a play whose title unconsciously expressed my nervous view of the Pakistani world outside my cocoon. Looking for an exit, I was a superachiever in a hurry. At 18, I earned a scholarship to Stanford University. I should have made a clean break then. But all through college I dated women, willing myself to be “normal.” Not surprisingly, my attraction to men didn’t wane.

In grad school, I was ready for adventure and decided to spend a summer back home researching rural-development projects. I worked with a local social worker, a handsome, bearded man who liked to flirt. We’d sit together under the sun discussing politics, while I observed his body under his diaphanous kurta shalwar. Knowing he was married, I didn’t dare make a move.

One evening I drove to a park known for being Karachi’s unofficial cruising spot for gay men. Within a few minutes I noticed a burly man with a heavy mustache in his late 30s gesturing toward me. My heart was pounding as he approached. “I have a place we can go,” he said, and we started walking toward the park’s exit, visions of a forbidden tryst flashing in my mind.

In my air-conditioned car he gave me driving directions. Looking around, he suddenly sneered, “This is a very nice, expensive car.” I started getting nervous. He didn’t touch me. He gave no signals.

We arrived at the entrance to a dingy house and entered the driveway. He locked the gate behind us, told me to wait in the car and disappeared into the house. I was sweating profusely now and wondered, “Can I still get out of this situation?” Five minutes later he came out, visibly angry now, sat in the car and pointed a gun at me. He said he was an undercover cop and that inside the house were several men waiting to rape me to teach me a lesson. “What is wrong with people like you?” he yelled maniacally. “You should like girls, or you will be treated like one.”

My lust had transformed into immobilizing fear. He told me to drive again, and as we drove around for what seemed like hours, I had a vague sense that I needed to play his game and find a way to survive this ordeal. He demanded that I admit homosexuality was a sin, and I eventually complied. I also promised to meet him at a hotel the following day, where he would tell me how much money he wanted. He warned me that he had my car’s license-plate number, and that he’d track me down if I didn’t show.

When I got home, I made excuses to my parents about why I was late, then went right to bed. After an anguished night of tossing and turning, I emerged from the wreckage of my mind determined to come out to my father, who has a calmer temperament than my mother, and ask for his help.

I met my father in his office to keep the confession private. Shaking, I blurted out what had happened, asking him not to tell my mother. I saw immediate worry wash across his face. If he was upset about my sexuality, he hid it and focused on dealing with my predicament. He wisely counseled me that the man was probably not a cop, but a gangster looking to blackmail or kidnap me, and that I was lucky to have escaped. We determined that I would not meet him at the hotel. We didn’t talk about the incident again. But my father told my mother, believing that she had a right to know, and scenes of crying and recrimination ensued. They told me that I was going through a phase, that I just hadn’t met the right girl yet. They expected me to change. I quickly left Karachi to head back abroad. I needed to get away. On the way to the airport I imagined I spotted the thug on the street, but I never heard from him again.

The following year I found a job in New York and knew I would never return to live in Pakistan. As my financial independence grew, my parents adopted a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. In 1996 I met my Buddhist partner. He gave me a gold and platinum ring inscribed with his initials, and I wear it with devotion to this day. Over time, my parents have come to accept my life. When they visit now, all four of us go out for Pakistani food, and it almost feels like home.

Courtesy: Newsweek, March 30, 2009