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The War Within Islam ( 12 Sept 2011, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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A Guide to Dying in Pakistan

By Fahd Husain

13 Sep, 2011

 An array of death merchants awaits you. There are the wild TTP dudes who will cut your throat while chanting holy verses. Your religious sentiments will therefore be lovingly safeguarded while you experience that throat-slitting feeling

Bzzzzzzzz....That is the sound of death hovering over you. Take your pick: drone or dengue mosquito. Both ways, you are done for.

Death is the trend in Pakistan. You can choose from a wide variety of locales: Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar, Badin, North Waziristan. There is plenty of death to go around for all of you. There is the quick ka-boom if you want to experience the Reaper from the skies; there is the bloodsucking kind in Lahore if you desire to hold out for a while in a netted hospital bed before slipping into the hereafter; or if you want a surprise end, try walking a bazaar in say D I Khan. Who knows you might just meet a teenaged suicide bomber. Then of course, there is the famed drill-induced death that awaits you in Karachi. Chop, chop, chop and gunnybagged for your final journey. Karachi beckons if you are into this kind of stuff.

It is all happening here. If you’ve got the wish, we’ve got the means.

If you liked ‘Saw’, or ‘Saw 2’, you will absolutely love Pakistan. We have got Jigsaws crawling all over the place, and they do not even need funny masks. Decapitation? We got specialists. Death by your own bodyguard? Yep, done that. Severed limbs and noses? Happens in the warm confines of our homes. How about whipping? Hey, we can do that with our left hands, with an applauding audience as a bonus. Oh, and how about a shot in the back of the head by a posse of cops? We teach that at our police academies. If you want a headlined death, we have got this huge compound in Abbottabad you would cherish for the rest of your life — till the marines come. And now even our mosquitoes are trained to literally suck the life out of you. Beat that.

Remember we are 180 million strong. This means there are a lot of us. So a couple of hundred going six feet under does not really upset our demographic balance. We have lost 35,000 of our fellow Pakistanis in this war on terror and that does not even get us a mention in the 9/11 speeches by US presidents past and present. That is how conveniently expendable we are. Death gets a multiple visa on arrival.

We are the horror movie rated not ‘R’ but NC17. But age is no bar to death here. We have got dead kids turning up all the time. In fact, while movies end after two hours, this one does not. We just keep on killin’ and killin’. Imagine ‘Spartacus: Blood and Sand’ on steroids. That would be us.

An array of death merchants awaits you. There are the wild Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) dudes who will cut your throat while chanting holy verses. Your religious sentiments will therefore be lovingly safeguarded while you experience that throat-slitting feeling. If you do not want this cutting edge experience, we have for you the political militants. You can discuss your personal favourite ideologies and they will drill some sense into you — through your kneecaps. And there is also a homegrown scheme for you to whiten your black money if you so desire. You will be gagged and bound and bundled off to Fata and then perhaps to Afghanistan (no visa fee required). You can then pay a couple of million rupees of your black money as ransom — tax free — and return home to your loved ones. Word-of-mouth is the best advertisement, you know, that is why we are never short of thrill-seekers. ‘Pay as you go’ works best.

For the nature freaks, there is Lahore. Here are some tips to maximise your death wish: wear short sleeves, expose some skin (no midriffs please), try to stay near water bodies, and just hope for the worst. The mosquitoes, rest assured, will take care of the rest. Of course, if the thirsty insects mess it up, the doctors will ensure your wishes are fulfilled. Lahore Lahore aye na (Lahore is Lahore).

Further up north, Swat boasts lush hills and bloody memories. If you are lucky you may still run into a Taliban commander, but if not, you can dress like one and there are solid chances you will get lined up against a wall and shot. Look at the bright side: you got very dead in drop-dead surroundings. Swat is, after all, heaven on earth.

If on the other hand, you are the faint-hearted type, we could always just bore you to death. And we have just the place for it: parliament. You see, all good political debates have migrated to TV studios and parliament now echoes with eternal inanities. The roof of the building leaks, just like the politicians, and hardly anything ever gets done in there. You are in for a whole lot of — nothing. Are you man enough to do it?

We take our trade seriously here. We are good at the game of death — and striving for further excellence. We are blessed with trained manpower and fertile killing fields. We are open for business. We are dying for you to visit us. So snuff out those doubts, stop being killjoys and bite the bullet. Pakistan is a must-see, even if it is the last place you see.

The writer hosts a primetime show on a private TV channel.

Source: The Daily Times, Lahore