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Anti-extremism writer escapes attempt on life

CHITRAL, Nov 30: Zahoor ul Haq Danish, whose article “Preaching extremism on the rise in Chitral” published in ChitralToday on Oct 31, created ripples in the area, has escaped an attempt on his life. Sources told that Danish was coming home at about 8:30pm from a nearby hotel when masked men pushed attacked him near Lotdeh in Singur. The masked men pushed him into a gorge and escaped. He sustained injuries but his life is out of danger. It may be recalled that after the publication of the article based on a speech of a cleric at a mosque on Eidul Azha, Danish had been receiving threats from the cleric and his groups. On the complaint of Danish, the  law enforcement agencies have taken into custody Shah Waliullah, the prayer leader of Lotdeh mosque, along with another man. They are being investigated for their alleged link to the attack on the writer. If the suspects are found to have orchestrated the attack, they would be booked under the Anti-terrorism Act of 1997. People of Chitral have strongly condemned the attack on the young man for raising a voice against the hate mongers. They said the government should take stern action against all those behind the assassination attempt on Danish. They also appreciated the law enforcement agencies for taking quick action and taking the nominated persons into custody.  ]]>

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  1. Afzal Aman says

    Mr. Wasim, for your information I have always raised my voice against these evil ideologies for many years and it doesn’t matter from which city I am raising my voice since these evil people are active in Karachi as well. So speaking against them is as threatening in Karachi as in Chitral.
    Commenting on posts more than six months old are automatically closed.–Editor

  2. Wasim, Dolomuts says

    Afzal Aman: If this is Jihad why you are hesitant and trying to exploit a poor guy whose life is already at danger. If you are so brave why you do not take part in the jihad? Do not befool people and if you have the guts come to Chitral and say something like this, then we will see how bold and brave you are!

  3. Afzal Aman says

    @ Wasif Ibne Jamal, If someone asks me what are Pakistanis good in? Trust me without a second thought I would say in rumours. And we have lot of genius people who believe in such crap even after knowing the facts. Attacks on Malala and Danish are the most recent examples of it. After every unfortunate accident, these genius of our society get active and this is the IRONY of our society.
    What Mr. Danish penned down is a true Jihad. It’s a jihad for Light against Darkness which only peace-loving and brave people can do. It’s not our cup of tea. I have read his article and did not see him disrespecting the Ulemma. He only exposed a few Mullas who were involved in evil activities and spreading hatred among innocent people. He himself is a Sunni Muslim and as a true Sunni Muslim it was his duty to speak against the evil and it’s even a test of IMAAN given in Quran.
    Ulema around Pakistan need to stand up and demand zero tolerance for these small brains with no morals. The problem we are facing today is not because of these few hate mongers but all those peace-loving people who remain silent for fear of provoking the extremists.

  4. Masood ul Haq Masroof says

    I strongly condemn the cowardly attack on my brave brother and appeal to the intelligence and law enforcement agencies to take serious notice of it and take clear actions against the people who are responsible for it.
    As Zain Ahmad bhai has said in his comment that “When people cannot convince others through words, they resort to violence”, no doubt that the mullah family of Singoor is not able to come to the front and challenge him by words. Therefore, they have done this cowardly action. I hereby want to inform the people of Chitral that these were the people who were caught as responsible for the first ever bomb attack in Chitral (on Shahzada Gul’s vehicle). This family has proved itself as the most extremist and violent. You people would think how can I claim that this family is responsible for the attempt on the life of my brother. I claim it in the light of their previous records of spoiling the peaceful environment of a peaceful village. Secondly, the mullah family had many times threatened my brother. Despite all this, these people claiming as champion of Islam didn’t even try to say a single word against such shameful incident which happened in the village.The reason was that the responsible for the incident were again these people. In the light of these OPEN facts, I request the respectable ulema of Chitral that please take notice of it and don’t let the Mullah to defame the name of all true Ulema and don’t let them to act as Imam in the holy masjid because they are ineligible for this respectable designation. And again, I request the law enforcement agencies to take serious notice on this matter and punish the criminals in the way the deserve.
    Lastly, I want to say to such extremist mullah mindset that

  5. Saira Syed says

    I know how difficult it is to stand for truth in Pakistan and especially nowadays. Anyway, brother Danish, take special care of yourself. Now we are expecting laud and clear actions from the responsible authorities in this deplorable incident.

  6. Atiq Ahmed Hyderabad says

    Very sad indeed to attack on such a person and the clerics’ brutal faces have exposed within a month. Our prayers are with you Mr. Danish. But i would like to say that if an Ismaili had been in your place, for very sure his/her life would have been at danger. The attackers have just warned you to come back from where you are. Tiki di mo chiyar cheq di mo kalar.

  7. Mohammad Khan, Peshawar says

    The two men reportedly taken into custody in the case are innocent until proven guilty under the law. Secondly, as far as precautionary measures by Mr Zahoor, Chitral is not a place like Bajaur and he might have taken it easily. But why some people are trying to confuse the issue. Yes, if you say that the Swat episode is being repeated here, then the first culprit is the cleric who is toeing the line of the mullah radio of Swat. But as there could be many takers in Swat, people of Chitral know well that in any such eventuality the main losers be they, the people.

  8. Zahoor ul Haq Danish says

    @ Kamal: it’s very naive of you not to be able to rise above your ‘affiliations’. If you still think of such pseudo-scholars as ‘true religious scholars’ WELL and GOOD. Follow them, they will lead you to ‘Jannat-ul Firdaws’. Don’t try to drag people back please!! We are living in 21st century and in an Age of Behaviour. I hope you know that. What seems to be your standpoint is outdated and stranger in today’s world. Faith is an extremely personal matter, you cannot impose yours on me and vice versa. We should learn to create and promote harmony in diversity. After all, what we sow here will be reaped in the world hereafter.

  9. Issa Khan Momi, Islamabad says

    It is an attack on freedom. Law enforcement agencies and local govt. of Chitral should play their role to save such a brave voice, whose motto is to save Chitral from the dirt of extremism and sectarianism.

  10. Wasif Ibne Jamal says

    Life attempt on any human being is very shameful act and all people, irrespective of their social, political, religious, ethnic affiliations, should condemn it. There are few points which every person would like to know.
    1. This particular incidence has been reported by the victim himself, no other witness or any supporting evidence is tabled. What is the authenticity of such a claim? May be it is a game play to gain some importance in the media, society and in “other” circles.
    2. The victim has been said of showing such possibilities and he was “optimistic” about such happening and even it is said that he was pointing towards some person(s) who would be doing such act. If this was the case then why such educated and learned person forgot to take some precautionary measure. A very simple one, to avoid travelling after sunset or if such travelling was very necessary he should have taken a friend or relative with him.
    3. As he has been pointing to some person(s) before this incident, is this incident a game to trap these person(s)? If a person or persons decide to eliminate a man they would not be fool enough to just only push him in a very low altitude ravine rather they would have taken a much workable solution.
    4. In our society, we could easily find a number of such cases where the victims have done such practices to trap their opponents.
    5. After the article of Mr. Danish, a very unnecessary debate has surfaced, the modern educated guys supporting Mr. Danish and criticizing religious circles while the other faction is against it. All this practice, support and counter-arguments and the latest incident are being reported and unnecessarily highlighted. It is same like the issue of a fake video in Swat (2009) on the basis of which Swat operation was launched and recently the Malala episode, again in Swat. The report of Mr. Danish has again fuelled an unnecessary and needless debate. It seems that there are surely some hidden hands who want to keep the issue alive up to the utmost extent for results which would be as per their wills.
    So, it is needed that the incident should be probed properly and we are sure that our law enforcement agencies are capable of finding out the reality and facts.

    1. Zahoor ul Haq Danish says

      @ Wasif Ibne Jamal: Could you please hold your tongue and stop saying all the xenophobic things that you have said against the cowardice attempt on my life!!! Let the intelligence and law enforcement agencies bring the culprits to justice, which is hopefully at hand. I will pull your legs in the court and claim high compensation for all the nonsense that you have charged against me.
      As for the charge of ‘trying to be popular through media’ etc, this is a very mean thinking you know. Only a man having some complex can think of that. You must know me before saying all this!! ALHAMDULILLAH, Allah has given me many favours, at least I don’t need to get popularized. My article was the voice of the silent majority of the society, and an ember of a potential movement. Wait you will see that. If not you, your own children will be a part of that movement. Bear with me. You can’t stop change. CHANG IS COMING!!!
      You know my hypothesis about rising extremist elements in Chitral proves as fact when people go through comments like yours. We don’t need suicide bombers to come to Chitral and blow our innocent people up to show the rise of extremism that way. It is people like you whose prone-to-extremist mentality says everything about such craze. I request the editor not to upload such misleading comments and blame-games lest the collective IQ of all Chitralis should be termed low.

      1. Atiq Ahmed Hyderabad says

        Yes, Mr. Danish, I would like to add something here that people like Mr. Wasif Ibne Jamal even do not like to use word like Shaheed for our young scouts who sacrificed their precious lives in Swat and many other areas. Their families were left helpless, their children became orphans, their wives became widows and they gave their lives for the sake of our safety. I think Mr. Wasif should join these elements who are trying to show ISLAM in another angle. My dear, Islam is the religion of kindness, humility not brutality.

  11. Kamal A Jamil says

    @ Mr. Afzal. thanks for addressing my comment. I think you have not read my comments. I opine that use of pen, paper, voice, mobile, internet… each and every step which in any shape deteriorate the peace environment and our harmony, we should not only condemn it rather we should mobilze society in a decent way to curb such practices. I am again saying that we must condemn and discourage such practices without sparing someone and promoting the other.
    The people who are asking to condemn the Mullah, why such people tight their lips on the remarks of Mr. Danish. Both are equally guilty.

  12. Zahoor ul Haq Danish says

    Salam and many thanks to my well-wishers!! Good news for you I am back, and the bad news for the mullah I AM BACK WITH A MORE RESOLUTE MIND..
    I request people like Kamal A Jamil to please come out of the fools’ paradise that they are in, and study religion by themselves. Also he should not have double standards. He should have one standard to condemn the hate-speech of the mullah and ‘harsh language’ used by me. This is our big problem you know. Even if we know they are messing up everything, still we can’t raise our voice, because we think of them as our ‘religious scholars’ or ‘spiritual leaders’. They have become our criteria, not the Holy Quran, Hadith and Sunnah. Kamal’s standpoint seems to me like what England’s Constitution says about the queen: “The queen can do no wrong.” He seems to believe that “the mullah can do no wrong.” My request to you is please try to swim upstream, have the guts to call a wrong WRONG even if your closest one commits it. If you think that majority of people think of mullahs as right, don’t get swayed by majority, because in Islam majority is NOT the authority. The Holy Quran repeatedly says: “Wa aksaruhum laa yaalamoon” (Majority of the people don’t know.) My long experience in society and with these pseudo-scholars have made it crystal clear to me that ‘Islam and mullahs are poles apart.’ It is high time to wean away the monopoly that they are enjoying on public sentiments. We have to educate people and tell the truth.

  13. Ahmad, Islamabad says

    The nefarious move by some fundamentalist elements to silence the pen of a writer at gun point reflects the sickness and the shallow thought they still possess. The only fault of this young man [Danish] was that he spoke out his mind and challenged the Mullah’s brand of Islam.
    Despite life threats, Danish never budged from his stance and explained what he thought was the right path. Change is the essence of life, which the Mullah never accepted. Instead he toed his limited thought and ultimately resorted to taking the life of an innocent young man, who has not seen many springs of his life.
    The Mullah took the extreme step, which Allah strictly forbids in His divine message. The Mullah who claims to be the champion of Islam has himself violated the very essence of Islam, for which, he should be punished in light of Quran and Sunnah.
    Freedom of expression is right of every person but the Mullah thought what he is preaching is righteousness and all others were rubbish. Alas, it is irony of fate that in a digitalized global village, the Mullah is still hell-bent on imposing his clerical thinking on the larger populace.
    The young chap stood up and challenged his draconian way of life being imposed by Mullahs for centuries. The Mullah should realize that time has changed and you can not control the onslaught of thought process by merely showing a gun to a boy of 21st century, who want to explore his mental faculty.
    My message to all the young blood is to stand up and fight against the handful extremist elements who always hinders the flow of knowledge and discourage young berries through such mean tactics.
    The days are gone when the Priests and the Mullahs had stakes in the state affairs. The Mullah must learn to live from others and must not lock his thinking to just a few books, which he thinks is all the knowledge.
    The Mullah will be a great loser if he still resists the modern education by attacking the nurturing brains, who are the future harbingers of the society. The lovey-dovey days of the Mullah are gone. The sooner he realizes and joins the mainstream the better it would be for him.
    The Mullah should keep in mind that the concept of jihad with sword is no more there. The economic might dictates the rules of global game. The recent article written by a young guy has created ripples in the area and the Mullah who was opposed to the writing had to face the music for his hollow thinking.
    Let the society flourish if you could not contribute anything positive for the welfare of people. Do not create hurdle for others and accept that the chessboard has changed and you can no more exploit and dictate people. Iqbal once said: Imaandari bashert-e-Untuwari Asal Iman hei, Marei budkhjanei mei tao Kaba mei gharo Bharman ko!

  14. Nisar Ahmad Shah says

    People like Mr.Danish are supposed to have our respect and encouragement, but here we see otherwise. May Allah Almighty protect him, and give him good health. Ameen

  15. Afzal Aman says

    May Allah give him good health and protect him from these hate mongers. By attacking on Danish Bhai, these Mullas have been further exposed. Brother Danish you ara a brave son of our motherland and we are proud of you. May Allah blees you with long life.

  16. Zain Ahmed, Peshawar says

    When people cannot convince others through words, they resort to violence. This is what happened in this case. Deep down in their hearts these people know that they are wrong and cannot silence the voice of reason. So they are using such cowardly means. But with all their efforts they will not be able to kill this spirit, which has now awakened in the hearts of all sensible Chitralis i.e. to fight against extremism and intolerance. Allah will protect you Mr. Danish.

  17. Ahmad, Islamabad says

    The real face of the mullah has been exposed after the cowardly attack on Mr Danish as they were unable to digest a bit of real criticism sans any answer. Danish emerged as a force of truth and dignity while the mullahs are hiding their faces.

  18. Nadir Khan, Karachi says

    We condemn the cowardly attack on Mr Danish and wish long life for him. If the culprits go unpunished and remain unexposed, there will be no one to speak the truth. But we hope that Danish will be a role model for other youth to speak the truth against elements who had so far made the society hostage in the name of religion.

  19. Manzoor ul Haq, Peshawar University says

    I strongly condemn this dastardly attack on my brave brother and request to the government and law enforcement agencies to take strict action against the attackers. The terrorists would never be able to shake the resolve of us through such dastardly acts and we will continue to fight for the peace and harmony in Chitral.

  20. Sajjad Hussain Gilgit says

    We pray for you ……May ALLah give you good health.

  21. Kamal A Jamil says

    It is sad to hear such shocking news. We all should strongly condemn such activities.
    But we must also condemn the language used by Mr. Danish. Though his feelings about preaching extremism could be right but the language used could not be appreciated which is also a sort of extremism. The term extremism is always a confusing one. When we talk about extremism we should cover all its aspects. Use of pen, paper,internet, mobile etc. for any kind of deteriorating purpose surely is extremism. We should use our wording in a decent and nice way if we want a real change. If someone acts negatively, everyone should not respond extremely.

    1. Afzal, Islamabad says

      @Kamal A Jamil: Could you give the same advice to the Mullah and ask him to restrict himself from using derogatory language against people of the other community. There is too much difference between the language used by Mr Danish and the Mullah. If you think it is insulting, why don’t you think in the same pattern about rest of the people? Do not hesitate to speak the truth as this is the only way to make a difference in a civilized society.

  22. Hasnian Ali Shah Gilgit says

    You are the Malala of Chitral we can say. We are proud of you, dear. Law enforcement agencies should tackle with the culprits.

  23. M. Hussain Hamza says

    Our prayers are with you, Mr. Danish.

  24. Junaid Saleh Hayat says

    The government should take strict actions against the attackers. Our prayers and best wishes are with Mr. Danish.

  25. M. Wali says

    Open terrorism and intolerance to criticism. The attackers, if found guilty, should be dealt with an iron hand.Mr Danish, we are all with you and wish you long life.

  26. S. R. Khan says

    This attempt on the life of a brave and true Chitrali and a lover of peace and harmony needs to be condemned in the strongest possible words. He highlighted an important issue and gave an opportunity of reflection to all the people of the ‘paradise of peace’. Our prayers and best wishes are with Mr. Danish.

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