January 07, 2020
ISLAMABAD—Journalists have taken to Twitter to condemn a raid on the publishing house that published the Urdu version of the novel, A Case of Exploding Mangoes by writer and journalist Muhammed Hanif.
The novel about the last days of military ruler Ziaul Haq who died in a plane crash in August 1988, was published 11 years ago.
This afternoon some people claiming to be from the ISI barged into my Urdu publisher Maktaba Daniyal offices, confiscated all copies of Urdu translation of A Case of Exploding Mangoes. Threatened the manager, wanted information about our whereabouts. Coming back tomorrow... 1/3— mohammedhanif (@mohammedhanif) January 6, 2020
Cyril Almeida, formerly of Dawn, wondered if ISI still had Zia sympathizers. “After @ijazulhaq 's recent defamation threat, does this imply the ISI still has Zia sympathisers?”
Television presenter Amber Rahim Shamsi highlighted the dilemma associated with languages. In a tweet in Urdu, she said if one writes a book in English, it is taken as slavery to the west, but if you write or get it translated into Urdu, “you are harassed.”
Murtaza Solangi, a former director-general of Radio Pakistan, thought it had taken some time to figure out what’s in the novel. “They finally figured it out. After 11 years, Mohammad Hanif’s book gets the axe. I guess it hurts more if it is in vernacular.”
Newsweek Pakistan informed: “Offices of Urdu publisher of 'A Case of Exploding Mangoes' raided by men claiming to be from ISI within a week of Gen. Zia-ul-Haq's son filing defamation notice, says author Mohammed Hanif.”
Human Rights Commission of Pakistan also deplored the raid. “HRCP deplores the raid on the publishing house that recently released the Urdu translation of @mohammedhanif's novel 'A Case of Exploding #Mangoes'. Copies of 'Phatay Amon Ka Case' were also confiscated. The authorities must revoke this action immediately.”
Novelist Osama Siddique expressed shock. “Had a brief chat with @mohammedhanif when iconic A Case of Exploding Mangoes came out & asked if he feared something like this. He quipped that it was unlikely as it was in English. Turns out Urdu translation has woken them. Or it's deep state's very insecure current mood. Shame!”
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A study conducted by JournalismPakistan.com and Communications Research Strategies on the economic situation of slain journalists' families and journalists displaced due to security threats.