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Shame and Resolve

If the fact of Daniel Pearl’s kidnapping was senseless, the act of his murder was inhuman. While we Pakistanis may never be able to live with the shame of Daniel Pearl’s brutal killing, being battle-inoculated by two decades of terrorism we will eventually come to terms with this ghastly atrocity. Skeptical about Pakistan as a viable entity when he (and his wife Marianne) first flew in on Sept 16, 2001 from Mumbai where he was based as “The Wall Street Journal” (WSJ)’s Bureau Chief, he would comment quite frequently about how wrong he had been about Pakistan, how one could never discover the real truth without personally visiting the area and inter-acting with the people. Tragically a vicious minority proved Pakistan otherwise. Refined and sensitive, Daniel had been filing material in WSJ favourable to Pakistan, his confidence in moving about freely without any personal security reflected how much he was at ease in Pakistan and with Pakistanis, unfortunately that trusting approach was his undoing. Danny was inquisitive but unlike many of his professions he was not cynical, or for that matter naive, he was simply far more ready to believe. That he was a Jew and his grandparents lived in Israel made him no less a good human being and a friend. Jews are people of the Book and our only difference with Israel should be the status of Al-Aqsa, the mutual terrorism unleashed against each other by the Israelis and Palestinians is a matter to be settled between them. Can anyone refer me to when Yasser Arafat last mentioned Kashmir favourably with Pakistan? Danny’s frank, candid comments showed an absolute lack of prejudice that was not only refreshing, it made Daniel Pearl much more, a friend to cherish, both in life and in death.

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