Daniel Pearl’s Everywhere !

What a coincidence, yesterday I Bought this book “who killed Daniel Pearl ” by Bernard-Henri Levy, and today the news of a movie being shot on Daniel Pearl life. Anyways the movie has already been talked about so I will restrict this post to the book.

Bernard-Henri Levy is France’s leading Philosopher and one of the most esteemed best selling writers in Europe. He first wrote about the region in 1971 as a war correspondent covering the conflict between India and Pakistan over Bangladesh. The first of his 30 books, Red India was about this conflict. 1971 was the year he first came to Karachi. (So the book says).

I have not read the book yet but by the bit of foreword I read, the book sounds promising. The author in his foreword writes “It took me from Karachi to Kandahar, New Delhi, Washington, London and back to Karachi.
This is the story.
This is the account of his investigation, his serach for the truth, that is the material of this work: as raw as possible; as close as I can to what I saw and experienced; the role of doubt and that of convections; the dead ends and small steps foreword; the truth and the false witness ; those who talk because they know you know; the hidden actors who confide there part of the secret or, on the contrary, mislead you ;the moments when the hunter, the investigator, has the impression of being hunted …… ”

P.S : Due to the fact that I have yet to read the book, I can’t give you any personal opinions for it, The post is just about a book available at local book shops, which in this case happens to be The Jumbo Books, Main University Road, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Karachi.

28 Comments so far

  1. jumana (unregistered) on August 4th, 2006 @ 7:55 pm

    i have read it!!!! i bought the book while i was in karachi 3 mths back and it was worth every penny of mine..a very insightful book.

    i hope u enjoy reading it as much as i did.

  2. verysmart (unregistered) on August 4th, 2006 @ 8:12 pm

    Jamash, I hope the experiecne of this book turns out to be a positive one.

    However we have to be very very vigilant of the activities of foriegn observers and writers. These issues are far more huge than we can concieve.

    My cousin runs a Media Production company and they also produce shows and news items for BBC, ABC news, CNBC and CNN. A couple of years ago, BBC turned down his film about the Basant festival in Lahore telling him that they dont need movies showing festivals, and development, they said these exact words “BAD NEWS ABOUT PAKISTAN SELLS”.

    Now the issue is these are the signals of some very bad things, the lobby against Pakistan wants to make a case that this country has slid down further south in terms of aggression and extreamism.

    The humainitarian commision in Pakistan led by Ms. Asma Jehangir is also a part of the same effort. She raised the issue of Indians in Pakistani Jails right at the moment when Mr. Musharraf was engaged in Agra Summit trying to make a breakthrough on Kashmir and the Indian government disengaged from the process making this issue as one of the basis for doing so.

    The foreign governments want to keep the pressure on Pakistan, so that, IF needed and when needed they can make a case to the Security Council against us, and try and probably LIBERATE us from the TYRANNY of whatever the government might be operating then.

    What we can do is to try and counter all these things, by marketing a soft image of Pakistan, as Musharraf has been trying to do for quite a while. Mullah led rallies and bunring the resturants does just what these forien powers want. One shall ask this question, arent Mullahs the ones working to the benefit of West?

  3. kidal (unregistered) on August 4th, 2006 @ 8:47 pm

    The extremists and those who are at the forefront of the campaign to demonize them are both equally sinister. The only difference is that the latter have more power, resources, and are more media savvy.

  4. SWA (unregistered) on August 4th, 2006 @ 9:20 pm

    Well said Verysmart! I have been noticing this too in the western media here in the US. They tend to project every bad news item they have available about Pakistan because it sells! They care zit about any progressive activity that is taking place in the country. And in the light of such biases, we need to take it upon ourselves to project a good image of our country and it can be best done through the internet.

  5. verysmart (unregistered) on August 4th, 2006 @ 9:56 pm

    Thanx SWA.
    You see theres a certain pattern, in the mullah led campaigns which made me deduce this conclusion.

    When Ayub leading Pakistan to being a brilliantly advancing nation, the mullah faction started rallying against him, then Mr. Bhutto’s turn to lead a more softer pakistan in the end days the mullah power rose again (although for soo many other reason I despise Mr. Bhutto), and now the same pattern seems to be repeating.

    Considering the fact that they had a visible pact with USA and the west during the afghan war years, its quite a clue that probably this is the very faction of the society which is fed by USA, for its own gains!! (and why not?)

    The little incidents are part of a greater storyline, ever wondered ahy Ahmed Shah Masood was killed on 10th Sep 2001, just one day before the 9/11? ever wondered why Rafique Hariri was killed last year leading to an evacuation of Syrian forces form Labenon? this led to the current events.

    Now whenever the west wants to embark on a campaign against any country, the media orchestrates a campaign regarding that country, which portrays the ill-fate of humanitarian conditions in that country.

    If you doubt me, just go and search for the SOUTH ASIAN section on bbc website dated back to august 2001 and early sep 2001. you will be shocked to see stories regarding the ill-conditions of women and other humanitarian causes under the Taleban government nearly everyday.

    I wonder how a whole movie about Paksitani society, where a Jewish reporter of Wall Street Journal was slained, will be portrayed and used all over the world, while Jolie and Brad will make it certain that it will be seen by nearly anyone and everyone.

    Liquat Ali Khan’s last words were: “Khuda Pakistan ki Hifazat Karay”

  6. Cy (unregistered) on August 4th, 2006 @ 11:55 pm

    Verysmart wrote: The little incidents are part of a greater storyline, ever wondered ahy Ahmed Shah Masood was killed on 10th Sep 2001, just one day before the 9/11? ever wondered why Rafique Hariri was killed last year leading to an evacuation of Syrian forces form Labenon? this led to the current events.

    Hmmm … as far as I could gather Masood was killed (probably by Al-Qaeda)on the eve of Sep 11 because it was predictable that the Americans would try and unseat the Taliban and Masood was the most obvious and potent means for the Americans to achieve their objective. I’m not sure I don’t understand what your point is.

    And Hariri was killed precisely because he was defying Syria. Also Syria funds and guides Hezbollah (though Nasrallah is too charismatic a figure to be fully controlled) which kicked Israel out of Southern Lebanon in 2000. Syrian troops were in Lebanon, but not in the areas that Hezbollah is operating from. Again, what was your point?

  7. verysmart (unregistered) on August 5th, 2006 @ 12:32 am

    Cy, yes i realized that people like you with pretty basic knowledge and awareness would struggle to underatand.

    so heres the explaination for you;

    Ahmed Shah Massod, was a visionary and a very patriotic man, had US decided to invade Afghanistan in his lifetime, he would not have had approaved the Northern Alliance to side with the foreign invaders. Northern Alliance’s operative assistance was much required by US, which would not have been possible if Masood was alive.

    Similarly, Hariri was removed to envoke both national and international condemnation of Syrian forces in Labenon by Labenese and the arabs to pressurize them into leaving Labenon.

    In 2002, the israeli amry designed this very campaign and code-named it “Vultures and the Snakes” and it targetted Hizbollah and stressed a need for an operation of three weeks to destroy the hizbollah strongholds by giving air cover to the israeli ground forces, who would have made repeative runs In and Out of southern labenon. The Article wrote by Major Charles Hayman in 2002 also revealed that Israelis want to make sure that during this time they will only be fighting against Hizbollah and do not want to engage with the Syrian Army that was in Labenon at that time.

    Cy, I hope this will add your understanding of global politics, for any further assistance keep on reading my posts and you will end up learning a lot more!

  8. verysmart (unregistered) on August 5th, 2006 @ 12:41 am

    For keeping the records straight Ahemd Shah Masood was attacked on 9th Sep 2001 and died on 10th failing to recover from excessive bleeding.

    His death was also condoled by Talibans, who denied any links with the attackers.

  9. Cy (unregistered) on August 5th, 2006 @ 1:15 am

    Verysmart: I’ve learned to be wary of people who wear their smartness on their sleeves. Ordinarily I’d just dismiss them, but I have some spare time nowadays.

    About Masood: you seem to have some romantic notions of Masood that suit your own version of world events. He was on the CIA payroll in the 80s and 90s; he was a mass murderer (ref: Afshar Massacre); and while certainly charismatic, few have referred to him as a visionary. I didn’t even suggest that Al-Qaeda (Masood’s murderers were two Arab men) thought the US would invade Afghanistan; I only said that for the Taliban to be unseated the Northern Alliance was the best bet to achieve it.

    About Lebanon: Again, isn’t it cute how your theory seems to fit nicely into your world view? The Jews did it. Of course, Israel would have such a plan. They also have plans to probably fight and conquer all their neighbours. That’s what military planners the world over do, plan! Yet, your theory disregards the reams of information available on Syria’s own role in his assassination.

    Selective use of information is dishonesty of the worst kind. And, no, I will politely decline your invitation to be politically educated by you: you’ve already displayed all the arrogance, the ignorance and the petulance to convince me that you can’t really be a serious student of world politics

  10. verysmart (unregistered) on August 5th, 2006 @ 1:32 am

    Cy wrote:About Masood: you seem to have some romantic notions of Masood that suit your own version of world events. He was on the CIA payroll in the 80s and 90s; he was a mass murderer (ref: Afshar Massacre); and while certainly charismatic, few have referred to him as a visionary

    Cy, your knowledge about the man is limited to Wikipedia source.

    Yes, Masood must have been on US payroll, and so was Gen. Zia…. so if believe your theory than probably AlQaeeda Killed Gen Zia too???? the historians believe otherwise.

    Its realy stupid of Syria to leave Labenon after Hariri’s death, if they planned it in the first place. I think a secondary school student shall be able to understand that.

  11. verysmart (unregistered) on August 5th, 2006 @ 1:41 am

    Cy, both me and you are very much incapable of concluding the major global events.

    Please read my earlier post, which suggested it as a possible theory. But a rather strong one! ;)

  12. Cy (unregistered) on August 5th, 2006 @ 2:55 am

    Verysmart: I didn’t suggest I was concluding world events, I was just challenging your peculiar version of it that is based on a great deal of conjecture and leaps of logic.

    Case in point: you seemed to suggest that Masood was anti-American, so I pointed out that he was on the CIA’s payroll for a number of years, to which you made some inane comment about Zia and Al-Qaeda (even though our general was dead and buried – or at least we’re told that his remains were in the box they buried – before Al-Qaeda came on the scene).

    I already know that Masood was an ardent nationalist who would have opposed any occupation of Afghanistan, but your silly response ignored my central argument: when he was bumped off, nobody (read Al Qaeda or the Taliban) thought the Americans would themselves invade; rather they expected the domestic opposition to be reinforced to takeover after 9/11 exploded.

    And obviously some elementary schools are weaker than others: the Cedar revolution is known as that precisely because it was unpredicted. Bashar has made many miscalculations since he’s come to power and this one backfired spectacularly. You should put down your big book of conspiracies to take a look at other stuff once in a while.

    The irony is that you’ve been accusing me of being a pessimist elsewhere when it is you who has a predetermined and blinkered view of world politics. Oh, well, c’est la vie.

  13. verysmart (unregistered) on August 5th, 2006 @ 3:48 am

    Cy, About your comments for Bashar Al-Assad, it shall be read like this (if someone in his dreams accepts your theory) ;)

    “The Syrian military intellegence and The presidency’s lame attempt of achieving absolute power in Labenon through slaining the labonese president Mr. Hariri has been challenged by a karachi student Mr. Cyril. Mr. Cyril further stated that Syrian Military and Intelligence services failed to calculate the aftermath of Hariri’s death. The Syrian Authorities have decided to ask for Mr. Cyril’s help in desiging the future military and strategic campaigns”. Reported by The DAILY CYRIL CHRONICLES.

    your theory about Masood dismissed the American link in his death, so I suggested you to refer to Mr. Zia’s death who was also a US Ally, and the American hand in his death has never been out of question, rather was very prominent.

    although there are a few very detailed accounts of this theory, however this is the most recent I have been able to produce.

    read the final para.

  14. verysmart (unregistered) on August 5th, 2006 @ 3:53 am

    Although my comments about AlQaeeda’s involvement was a direct sarcasm, obviously you failed to pick that, however FYI, Al Qaeeda was very much operational since 1980s.

  15. king_faisal (unregistered) on August 5th, 2006 @ 4:25 am

    so a gora reporter got killed in karachi and we will do matam over it for generations to come. yet americans attacked al jazeera offices in afghanistan and killed and al jazeera journalist in iraq and we are too ashamed to even bring it up.

    no wonder americans bomb and kill lebanese with impunity. when we dont respect our own people, why should they?

  16. Cy (unregistered) on August 5th, 2006 @ 4:27 am

    Verysmart: Thankfully my free time has come to an end.

  17. Cy (unregistered) on August 5th, 2006 @ 4:34 am

    Verysmart: Thankfully my free time has come to an end.

    But thanks for the Daily Cyril Chronicles idea. I think my first fictional post will be about an American president who sent his troops into a country called Iraq believing they would be heralded as liberators and showered with flowers.

    You see, littlesmart, fact really is stranger than fiction. Good night and good luck.

  18. verysmart (unregistered) on August 5th, 2006 @ 5:05 am

    Iraq, now thats a different story altogether. leave this stupid debate. go read your post abt the Planning disaster… I left a pretty neat idea for u ;)

  19. habib (unregistered) on August 5th, 2006 @ 6:09 am

    Jamash,Cy you authors have right to delete the entries don’t you? Then go ahead and delete the stupid entries just as soon they pop in. Save us and your self from reading all this nonsense that we get enough of it from our corrupt government. “verysmart” or is it “littlesmart” must be on the corrupt governments payroll you should have figured out this by now . If you don’t want to delete his/her entries then just learn to ignore it.

  20. SWA (unregistered) on August 5th, 2006 @ 7:03 am

    @ Habib, thats kinda harsh aint it? I hope somebody says the same about you.

    @ Verysmart: I wouldnt like to argue politics here but your view of world politics seems like it was taught by an expert on conspiracy theories. If they were true and it could be proved, it would be good for the world, but I dont see much support coming for them too soon. So I will leave politics there.
    However, I admire your views on city and urban planning issues and I would like to invite you to participate in the debate on the Pakistan section of the skyscrapercity.com forums. We could use your input there.

    Actually, I would invite everyone on this forum to participate and regularly contribute to the development discussions as advancement is brought about through educated discourse.

  21. UnholySaint (unregistered) on August 5th, 2006 @ 11:45 am


    Sure it does! What good do we have to offer? Culture? Nah.. thats that nasty stuff about honor killing. Night life? Nah.. dont wanna get mugged. What else can we offer beside Shan masala, Mangoes and political arguments? Name even a single Pakistani Company listed at the NYSE.

    Sorry pal but reality is a b!tch. Aint it!

  22. anon-again (unregistered) on August 5th, 2006 @ 1:24 pm

    Not NYSE but Netsol is listed on Nasdaq… the ticker symbol is NTWK

  23. Kashif (unregistered) on August 5th, 2006 @ 5:22 pm

    VerySmart: wasn’t Masood killed couple of days before 9/11 ?

  24. Nocturnal (unregistered) on August 5th, 2006 @ 8:12 pm

    @Cy: You wrote that Ahmed shah masood was on C.I.A pay roll in order to prove that he was a loyal servent of American govt.

    so my dear during Afghan war everyone was on C.I.A pay roll from Zia to Engineer Gul badeen hikmatyaar everyone was receiving funds from American govt. Even terroist no. 1 Usama-bin-ladin worked for C.I.A in afghan war.

    As you wrote that he was a brutal killer so what wud you say abt Gul Badeen as he admits that he ruined the kabul, he is the one who launched severe attack on Kabul in order to take control of the capital. An there r other characters who are responsible for mass murders in Afghanistan so Ahmed shah masood is not alone in the list of murderers.

    And for ur kind info Gul badeen is on the run, he’s been hiding and he is considered a bitter enemy of U.S though he worked for them in war against Russia. He is an ally of Taliban and he supported Taliban against Northern alliance.

    Do u remember Aimal Kansi who was arrested in Pakistan, he was also a CIA agent who killed two fellow colleagues in US and flew to Pakistan to escape the wrath of American agencies.

    So if Ahmed shah masood was on C.I.A it doesn’t make him U.S ally as on number of occasion he showed his anger towards U.S policies. He was not willing to cooperate with U.S government, he was considered a threat to U.S in Afghanistan as Americans wanted to invade Afghanistan so they had to get rid of him otherwise he would have joined Taliban to fight Americans and surely U.S didn’t want to be treated as U.S.S.R as massod cud have been a link between northern alliance and Taliban.



  25. alybaba (unregistered) on August 5th, 2006 @ 11:48 pm

    Before everyone starts freaking out about the movie being negative, just go to IMDB and see who is directing it.

    Yes, its Michael Winterbottom, the same director who did justice with Road to Guantanamo.

    Wait and see how it turns out.

  26. nocturnal (unregistered) on August 6th, 2006 @ 3:54 am


    I am not sure abt others but i knew that director of that movie is Winterbottom.

    Just wanna add more that he was in Karachi when daniel was executed.

    And we all know he directed the Movie road to Guontanamo.

    One thing troubles me that why he is not interested in making a movie abt Ken Bigley’s(Engineer) execution by zarqawi in Iraq as Bigley was an englishman from Liverpool and being an english director he sud have directed a movie on Zarqawi-Bigley instead he is filming picture which will bring bad name to this City.

    Is it just a delibrate act to defame Pakistan as life of an engineer is as important as life of any Journalist.

    It has been said that Daniel Pearl was a spy/agent and was wroking for C.I.A. we have to wait and see whether or not they will discuss this aspect of the story in the movie.

  27. alybaba (unregistered) on August 6th, 2006 @ 8:29 am

    Pearl was a spy for the CIA? This is nothing more than conspiracy theories – please cite a source or reference of somekind (other than him being Jewish).

    There would be several reasons for choosing Pearl’s story over Bigley.

    1) He is American, therefore a big box office draw
    2) He was a journalist for one of the most respected newspapers in the world, and a journalist of such high profile being executed is a complete anomaly, rather than a civilian contractor being killed, which has become a common occurence in Iraq
    3) A book written by Pearl’s wife provides all the material needed for it, while I doubt there is one concerning Bigley and a lot of information for the movie to be based upon.

    And lastly, why would Winterbottom have an interest to make Karachi look bad, especially as he has spent so much time with Pakistanis and in Pakistan? Please provide some evidence, as the onus is on you, since you made the assertion.

  28. Suhail (unregistered) on August 7th, 2006 @ 4:41 am

    Cy and Verysmart.
    I am happy to see the knowledge that you two have. The world politics is indeed very interesting thing to discuss. There can be no abosolute truth or fact. I would say both of you are having good knowledge.
    So dont get naughty there with each other.
    We all should discuss facts and figures, even speculations, but shall not each others intellgence or knowledge, as no one has absolute knowledge.
    continue your good work..

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