Ghas Mandhi, Karachi, April 2015, Evening......
Walking through narrow streets, he entered the old building of apartments that had the political symbol kite made by electric wires over its main entrance, political slogans were painted in black on the walls. He seemed to be forty years old average person, having thin beard on oval shaped face, while he was dressed in pant shirt and a baseball cap covered his head, he started to climb the cemented stairs and reached the third floor, when he reached the floor he was out of breath and sweating, for few minutes he waited outside white wooden door of the apartment and regained his calm, after which he pushed the bell button that made an irritating sound, he waited for some time but got no answer, so he pushed the button once again. This time a male voice came from inside asking: “who is it?”
“Abrar...” he took his name, the wooden door was jarred and two black eyes stared through the space, suddenly the door opened and Abrar quickly entered the apartment, the door was closed as quickly as possible. It was a two bedroom simple apartment which required maintenance as patches of plaster were falling from the roof, but it was a carpeted apartment without appropriate furniture, mattress lay on the floor in one room, while the other room was closed, there was enough light in the apartment but no proper ventilation, and Aslam had spent three years in this apartment but this is how people in Karachi live. Abrar stared at small television and bedroom fridge, he was asked to sit down.
Aslam took out the bottle of water from fridge and put it in front of his guest, Aslam was a tall dark clean shaven young working in some private company as a software engineer.
“We have got an assignment for you,” Abrar lightening his local branded cigarette said in low but sharp tone, smoke spread in entire room which made both of them to cough, Aslam gazed him with silence, the red balls of his eyes were about to come out from their sockets.
“From quite some time you haven’t got any assignment,” Abrar said puffing the cigarette: “it seemed that masters have forgotten you, but no, they reserve their best people for special occasions.” There was a dirty smile on Abrar’s face, there was a pause for a while, then Abrar took out a brown envelope from under his shirt and passed it to Aslam, he took it and put it under the dirty pillow.
“Remember one thing target must be killed on spot,” Abrar standing up said and walked towards the main wooden door, as he left Aslam shut the door behind him, returned
to the room took out the envelope opened it and found a picture of lady with smiling face, she might be in her early thirties, he took out a white sheet upon which time, date and venue of the assignment was mentioned. He sat down opened his laptop scanned the photo and saved the data into his classified folder and then burnt the paper and photograph.
Like rest of the world, Karachi has a vast network of sleeper cells and Aslam was one of them, it is very hard to catch a sleeper cells as they live amongst common people, look like common people and work like common people, but common people don’t recognize who these people actually are? A sleeper cell never discusses anything with any one and they try give no response as everything in world is just fine, they make it sure that they are in sleeping mode or unconscious in the society, but when a sleeper cell gets an assignment he is activated like a time bomb and accomplishes his mission in no time. Aslam had no close friends and his neighbors had no idea who he was? The only thing they knew about him was, he was a software engineer in a private company, who used to leave house at nine thirty am and returned back at seven pm.
Aslam closing his laptop lied on the mattress and closed his eyes, suddenly he felt his left side of head is aching, the ache was severe and felt he couldn’t breathe, he stood up went to the cupboard attached to the wall took out a glass jar filled with leeches, he unbuttoned the shirt and threw it away, he opened the jar and pulled out one leech, then lay straight on the mattress and put the leech on his hairy chest, when the leech bit him, he once again closed his eyes.
When he was eleven years old for the first time he suffered from this ailment, it was a cold night he was fast asleep, and having a nightmare, he dreamed that he was being chased by wolves and pigs in a jungle, there is darkness everywhere, shouting.....screaming....pigs and wolves jumping behind him, the wolves had sharp blunt teeth like knives, those sharp teeth were entering his soft flesh, in his nightmare he realized he is screaming and calling for help but no one is hearing him, suddenly he woke up and it was his room, very same furniture, same bed and same curtains, he was laying on the bed, sweating and shivering and then he felt pain in left portion of head, he laid there motionless. In the morning when his mother came to see him, she was shocked seeing his condition and called her husband. Aslam was taken to hospital, the doctor examined him and after CT scan it was known that one of the veins is blocked, the doctor prescribed a treatment for two months, but there was no improvement, he often had that pain. One day an Imam of local mosque a short, fat red eyed fellow suggested Aslam’s father let the leeches suck his blood, and since that day Aslam used leeches whenever he had pain in head.
The leech kept on sucking his blood, he remained motionless, but his mind drifted to childhood, he clearly remembered that chili December evening, it was the night of 15th Shouban (the eight month in Islamic calendar) entire city of Karachi was decorated with bulbs and lights, people were rushing towards mosques, the local clerics were calling people to come to mosques on this holy eve, this was the eve; according to clerics, during which Allah was about to write fate of whole humanity for next year, come and pray to Allah; so that you might have a prosperous year, the Muslims called it “Sabh-e-Baraat”, as the elders were rushing to mosques, the children were firing crackers and the ladies were cooking sweets and puris, from the minaret of a mosque came the voice of a cleric lecturing people about the doomsday, Muslims in fear were hurrying to enter mosques, even those who sold meat of dogs and donkeys in name of goats and sheep covering their heads with handkerchiefs were hurrying to sit in first rows. Outside the apartments building kids were firing crackers which were making a lot of noise.
“It is today’s night when your food for whole year would be decided by Allah and this night might change your destiny....” came a voice from nearby mosque. The religious gathering at Nashtar Park was waiting for arrival of governor and the chief minister.
At that time Aslam was thirteen years old young lad, having red lips and round whitish cheeks.
“Aslam,” his mother had called him, he came out from his room, mother giving him plate full of sweets and puris said: “go deliver it to the guy on top floor.” He took the plate from his mother but his hands felt the heat and put it down on the table.
“Be quick,” mother gave the order. Aslam took the plate and left the apartment, climbing the stairs he reached the top floor and pushed the bell button, moments later a huge guy with pony tail hair and red eyes was standing in the door, seeing him Aslam almost pissed his pants, the guy was playing with his thick black beard, Aslam tried to give him the plate and said:
“This is for you.” The guy smiled and said: “come in ....come in....” Aslam went inside the apartment, the huge fellow closed the wooden door behind him, Aslam put hot plate on the table, he saw cigarette butts and ashes on the table, a white empty vodka bottle, he could feel the sting in the air, for few seconds the guy stared Aslam, who felt as though sharp teeth of wolves from his nightmare are entering his soft flesh, he wanted to run away but was unable to do so...within the blink of an eye that ugly guy was over Aslam and started feeling him, Aslam tried to scream but huge hairy hand covered his face, the guy unfastened his belt his dirty jeans was on floor in a second he pulled down Aslam’s trousers, tears fell from his eyes as he felt hot lips on his buttocks, the guy took Aslam’s hand in his hand and moved it over his groin, Aslam felt some soft fleshy thing which was becoming harder and harder till it stood like an iron rod, and then he felt an iron rod entering him, his mouth covered with huge hairy hand, he felt the person behind him moving.....pain....pain....pain......and then phut....phut....phut......
When Aslam returned to his apartment, mother screamed at him:
“You rascal I told you to return quickly,” and then he felt a slap on his cheek without knowing what had happened to him...... Since then every night became a nightmare for him, he used to wake up with a scream, felt pain in back, and started fearing from every man, yet he survived and completed his graduation, he was roaming in the vast city of Karachi to find some job, when target killing started in Karachi, in which his parents were killed. And then his fate opened and got a job in a software house, but still he felt mental stress. Here he met Junaid, who was of his age and worked in the same section, Junaid was fond of having big hair and moustache, though being in same section they both had not shared more than hi and hello for the first week. But on the Monday of the next week Junaid approached him during lunch time, the canteen was full but still they were able to get a table in the corner, cigarette smoke and noise was irritating but Aslam tried to adjust.
“Can I ask you something?” Junaid started the conversation, Aslam stared him with blank face and nodded his head.
“Why are your eyes showing sorrow?”
“I don’t know...” Aslam moving his shoulders replied carelessly.
“There is something....there must be something....?” Junaid asked again in same curiosity, as though he had entered Aslam’s mind, Aslam became agitated by mere presence of Junaid, he thought it was Junaid who had molested him when he was thirteen..... He focused on the TV screen, a lady guest was giving her opinion on an overnight political program which was being repeat telecast, she said: “time has come that Pakistan be a secular country, whatever problems we are facing today, are because of religious extremism and intolerance.” Hearing this Junaid’s eeys almost came out and he whispered in his lips: “hypocrite...” Aslam gave him a look, Junaid continued: “you mother fucking bitch, you are the real problem. Fucking Indian agents.” he became silent for a moment and then said: ’if it was possible I would have killed all such bitches and pimps.” Aslam remained silent, Junaid continued in anger: “Pakistan was formed in the name of Islam, people left unholy land like India and came to this holy land only for the sake of Islam,” his anger was increasing and starring at Aslam said: “my friend aim of every patriotic citizen must be to protect this country and raise the Islamic flag, it is destiny of every Muslim to conquer the world and impose Islamic laws.” At that moment Junaid looked at the counter, there was no one there, he stood up and went to the counter and bought two plates of biryani, he returned to the table.
“I belong to a group;” he told Aslam chewing the spicy rice: “named Takmeel-e-Pakistan, we are striving to make Pakistan second Madina of Islam and impose Islamic sharia, and to achieve such a great goal we are led by our great commander Zahid Khan, every night we gather at his place and attend his marvelous lectures about glory of Islam, you mark my words Islam and Pakistan are the only hope of survival of entire humanity.” there came a little pause after which Junaid offered Aslam to join him this night for today’s lecture.
“No....I......” Aslam tried to refuse the offer, but he got a sour luck as words didn’t come out from his mouth Junaid considering it a fine opportunity said: “then it is done tonight at eight pm I would wait for you at Baloch Pull.” Aslam found himself helpless before his new friend.
That evening at eight thirty pm they reached at a beautiful house located at Shahrah-e-Faisail, the house was owned by Zahid Khan, it was a double storey house painted in white paint, ten to twelve cars of different models were parked outside the house, Junaid parked his bike and moved towards the entrance Aslam followed him, the guard in blue dress knew Junaid very well and nodded his head with smile, Junaid did the same in reply, they crossed the lash green lawn and entered into a big hall that was carpeted, approximately thirty people of all ages were present in the hall all sitting on the carpeted floor, while a red caped person in green silk shirt and white pants having white bread that was just visible was sitting on the chair, from his looks he was no more than fifty five years old spectacled guy, Junaid went straight to that guy bowed and kissed his right hand, Aslam had to do the same.
“See;” Zahid said looking at the crowd already seated with a smiling face: “Junaid is our true mujahid, he has brought a new companion for us,” everyone passed a smile of appreciation towards Junaid, he along with Aslam sat down with others on the floor, Aslam was attracted to the picture of a warrior in black grabs riding a white stead, holding a sword, at one corner of the picture it was written “Islamic Warrior....” it hung just above Zahid’s head.
“Today we are going to touch special topic;” Zahid said in his peculiar tone: “which is motivation for us to live in this world.” Zahid claimed that he took part in the Afghan Jihad against USSR and it was most romantic period of his life, though he had to face controversies earlier in his career, he was called “a companion of lair, who claimed to be a prophet....” and due to his blasphemous ideas his wife got divorce from him, but he called himself the true warrior of Allah, he carried on speaking: “to fulfill that mission Allah gave us this holy country in the month of Ramadhan as a gift...” and after a brief pause he said: “Ghazawa-e-Hind has to take place, it has been foretold by our Prophet (PBUH) and troops of rightly guided men have already been selected the Pak Army would lead us in that, it is destined that India would be doomed by a Muslim army and then the entire sub-continent would get a new name and that new name would be Pakistan,” he continued motivating his young guns: “we are also foretold that caliphate would be reestablished and Muslims would rule the world.”
“Insha’Allah......Insha’Allah......” cried his audience.
“Always remember,” Zahid spoke with confidence: “we are at state of war facing external and internal enemies and number two there can’t be any friendship with India, and whosoever speaks about such dirty friendship is infidel and apostate and such person deserves death and only death, Delhi is waiting for us my dears, we would raise the green flag over Red Fort sooner or later....” he was getting excited, but a fair young lady wearing an American branded t-shirt and black pajamas entered the room and interrupted him, she walked towards Zahid, her round firm breasts were swinging here and there, she whispered something in his ear, his face became pale and then nodded his head in agreement and said: “we have to see some very important guests, we would continue with this subject tomorrow,” he stood up and walked out with the young lady.
Zahid climbed the marble stairs and entered a well decorated room, two well-trimmed guys were already sitting on the sofas, they both were in simple plain clothes, he opened his arms to welcome them, and they both stood up and gave him a hug. They all sat down facing each other.
“Mr.Zahid,” one of the two who had red face and blue eyes and looked like a Pathan warrior spoke in thick accent: “you were unable to beat a bitch in a TV debate....!!”
“My dear sir,” Zahid said buttering his guests: “don’t you worry those RAW agents won’t get a second chance, we have already done so much work that no true Muslim and Patriotic Pakistani would ever listen to these bastards.”
“And what have you done about that baldy journalist?” this time the other fellow with dark skin said: “he is still spreading non-sense.” Zahid’s face became pale, the guy continued in angry tone: “do you think we pay you for nothing......spending millions of rupees for your non-sense.....?” Zahid was speechless, the same guy continued: “boss wants immediate results, the whole country is in mess and you are playing hanky panky, you think these baldy politician can run this country?”
“No sir,” Zahid replied mildly: “absolutely not....”
“Then kick them out of our way,” the fair guy spoke this time: “we could do it by ourselves but our prestige and honor is on stack at this moment, we are engaged in different operations, that is why we have hired mercenaries like you, show us some result.”
“Yes sir,” Zahid again spoke in mild tone.
“Now we want complete possession of Karachi, create a chaos, malign that urban political party activate your sleeper cells,”
“As you order sir,” Zahid said with a smile.
“Boss has sent one million rupees for Mission Our Karachi, crush every voice that is against us, destroy everyone who doesn’t want our political role,” said the blackie: “utilize the media properly, let there be riots.” Zahid listened them patiently, there was a pause for while them both guests stood up simultaneously, Zahid was also on his legs, they shook hands and left.
Aslam and Junaid came to Zahid’s residency the next and entered the same hall, today Zahid seemed to be in a jolly mode, his students kissing his hands sat down on the floor, Junaid and Aslam did the same. Zahid gazed in the pale eyes of Aslam and then bringing a smile on his face Zahid said pointing at Aslam: “we see a holy warrior hiding behind this young fellow, such a warrior who could embrace death with a smiling face for our pure religion and pure country, my dear hurs are waiting for you in paradise.”
“Masha’Allah....Masha’Allah......” everyone including Junaid screamed, but Aslam was astonished, he thought what was so special about him.
“We could figure out the aroma of faithfulness and fidelity from his body,” said Zahid with a smile, at that precise moment the young lady who interrupted the lecture the day before entered the room carrying a silver vase in her right hand and threw rose water over Aslam, he thought that he was being baptized to this new world where nothing was above the pure religion, he was feeling already like a holy warrior.
“Almighty Allah has chosen you all for a special purpose, Zahid said with a smile, Aslam stared at his red cap.
“Can you guess what that purpose is?” Zahid asked from everyone, there was an irritating pause in the room for a while, Zahid broke the ice: “that purpose is to fight for Islam, strive to establish Islamic caliphate and kill every infidel, and to surrender on the hand of caliph,” when he said this he widened his chest and moved forward his right hand as thou he had become a caliph.
“And after that wage a holy war over that impure land and bless it with light of Islam.” There came a small pause after which Zahid spoke: “it was predicted by our prophet some fourteen centuries ago, Ghazwa-e-Hind is mentioned in the traditions of the prophet and any troop that would conquer India and chain its king, hellfire would never touch that troop, no one should have a doubt in this tradition, it has to happen.” Aslam was not interested in all that stuff, he was only thinking why such a great scholar praised him, what is hidden inside him.....?
“The area of Khurrasan....” Zahid’s words reached his ears: “is today’s Pakistan and Afghanistan and some parts of Iran, by the grace of Allah a mighty force would raise from these parts and conquer India, but we have to face a little problem,” and once again there was a short pause after which Zahid said:
“The Kharijeen or the apostates, the Muslim community is facing this problem since fourteen centuries Kharijeen announced war against Hazrat Ali and Ameer Mauwi’ya, who consider everyone else as infidel, let me tell you today’s Kharijeen are the TTP, who have waged war against Islamic State of Pakistan. The holy prophet gave us signs regarding Kharijeen in various traditions, these signs are: they would take money from infidels to fight against Muslims, their faces would be covered with huge beards, they would use those verses of the book against Muslims which are to be applied against Jews and pagans....and we confirm all these signs within TTP, they are open enemies of Muslim community. It is our duty along with Pak army to wipe out this evil race from face of the earth.” Everyone was nodding head in agreement, that night at ten pm when everyone was trying to leave, Zahid pointed Junaid and Aslam to stay. Everyone else left the room, only Zahid, Junaid and Aslam were left.
“We are going to wage a holy war against Kharijeen and apostates in Karachi,” Zahid spoke in low tone: “and for that we need young guys willing to serve Allah on our signal....” Zahid stood up, Junaid and Aslam tried to stand up but Zahid stopped them pointing his hand to remain in their positions, he came close to Aslam and put his right hand over Aslam’s shoulder and said: “as you have surrendered over my hand, now you are bound to follow every instruction of mine,” he became silent for short while and then said: “there is no need for you two to attend my lectures any more, tonight you would receive an envelope each at your homes, from tomorrow go to the address mentioned in those envelopes, here you would be trained to use different weapons....don’t forget we are in state of war....” Aslam lost his ability to think, he thought he was under a magical spell.
The next day they came to a club in Defense Housing Authority (DHA) and found a shooting range in the basement, here they were greeted by a middle aged clean shaven guy Abbas, who introduced them to different weapons, they were trained for whole month, in this training they learned to use weapons of every type and were also taught how to make different remote control bombs and suicide jackets. Whenever Aslam gripped a 9MM in his hand that evil face who had molested him at the age of thirteen would come before his eyes, after that he used to empty entire magazine on the target board with hundred percent accuracy.
It was a Saturday evening Aslam was practicing on the target board when he felt soft hands hugging him from the back, he was completely shocked by this move, which remained him of his physical abuse, he elbowed the person behind him with full strength.
“Aoooch....” cried a female voice falling on the floor he turned quickly and pointed his gun straight to the other person.
“Calm down,” the beautiful young lady said in sober tone, she was the same lady who had thrown rose water over him: “I just wanted to be acquainted to you.” He gave her his hand, she took it and said: “Commander Zahid has ordered me to spend some time with you, I am Natasha.”
“Oh! I am sorry,” Aslam stammered
“I am working with commander Zahid for two years,” she said with a smile.
“Pleased to meet you,” Aslam responded with a pale smile, this was his first experience with a young attractive lady.
“Can we move to some private place,” Natasha said winking her left eye.
“I....I....” Aslam hesitated, Natasha put her long index finger on his red lips, and they walked upstairs and came to a well-furnished room.
“I am the love warrior of the group,” Natasha said throwing herself on the double bed, she signaled him to come near her, he moved towards, Natasha pulled him towards her, he was over her, without any further delay she kissed him on the lips shamelessly, it was a long kiss that took air out of Aslam’s lungs, his head started to spin, they kissed for one more time, Aslam felt butterflies flaying in his belly, he moved his tongue over Natasha’s neck, unbuttoned her pink shirt discarded her white bra and felt and sucked her round breasts, he moved farther and his hand found Natasha’s love spot, it was wet and hot...... Natasha closed her eyes.....suddenly Aslam realized this might be a devil’s temptation and stopped playing with her soft body, Natasha opened her eyes and asked in astonishing tone: “what happened?”
“I fear you are send to tempt me,” he said agitatedly.
“Woman is the only creature that could satisfy a man mentally and physically, and you need mental as well as physical satisfaction,” she said with a smile.
“But...” he hesitated but Natasha put a finger on his lips and said: “Sir Zahid narrates us a story from time of Banu Abbas caliphate, once there was a troop during the reign of banu Abbas which fought over a dispute over concubines possessed during a battle,” Aslam gazed her in shock, she continued: “banu Abbas and banu Umayyad dynasty is an astonishing dynasty in whole Islamic history, though Islam reached to other parts of the world by various attacks on different nations during times of these two dynasties but the Arabs lost Islam completely during this period, banu Hashim were killed in time of banu Umayyad, while banu Abbas kicked graves of Umayyad, and took their womenfolk as concubines. One band during this period led by Asas Hashri went to Rome, at a certain place the band stopped for rest and were sent barrels of wine and herds of hundreds of concubines for their satisfaction. Forty eight years old Asas Hashri being the commander wanted special favors and reserved twelve concubines for himself, upon which his cousin Hakin Hashri became angry and announced a rebel against Asas for this unjust division, that night when Hakin planned to attack with his men Asas in his tent was enjoying company of twelve naked concubines over a cup of wine, the rebels attacked the tent killed the commander and took away the concubines, in the same way Hakin became lustful for concubines and made an unfair division, upon which his younger brother Zubair rebelled and killed him, before the band could march to Rome it was divided within itself, and one hundred fifty Muslims lost their lives over dispute of concubines.” Natasha came over Aslam, her breasts were over his face, he fondled the left one, and they carried on with their love making for half an hour playing with each other’s bodies.
Aslam still lay motionless, the blood sucking leech was fattened, now he started to think about his first mission which was a great success, it was three years back......
It was a hot and humid September evening of 2012, people were roaming here and there on the streets of Saddar, the road near Cafe Jaybees was filled with cars, auto rickshaws, motorcycles and other vehicles, there was an open air tea shop belonging to a Pathan family of KPK or maybe it was a refugee family from Afghanistan, many people were enjoying their evening tea with their friends, suddenly a motorbike stopped beside the tea shop, there two riders on it, their faces were hidden behind masks, they pulled guns and opened straight fires upon the tea shop, when their rounds were empty they disappeared in thin air, six people including the shop owner died on spot, while several others were reported critically injured, there was harassment in the area, and human blood was spread everywhere.....it was the first little victory for Aslam.
The leech on Aslam’s chest fell down, he picked it up and put it in the jar, now he was feeling relaxed, he opened the laptop and rechecked the name of his new target, place and time, he opened his e-mail account and found he had received one new e-mail, which gave him the detailed plan. He closed the laptop and went towards the window and stared outside, night had fallen and there was darkness everywhere. .