Alleged blasphemy case: Poet turns to arrest for unpaid printing bill

Chaman Zaidi owed people Rs45,000 for printing his protege’s book.

Express January 09, 2012


Police investigators have found that a financial falling out over the publication of a book of verse between a well-respected poet and his protege or shagird is at the heart of a bizarre blasphemy text message case.

Fifty-six-year-old Zafar Zaidi alias Chaman Zaidi, earlier incorrectly reported to be 45, was arrested on Sunday by the Surjani police.

Zaidi is a poet by profession and started his career in his 20s. He is a member of the Arts Council and several of his books have been published. He lives in a small house with his relatives and married about five years ago.

Yamna met Zaidi at the Arts Council and the two often discussed poetry. However, Zaidi’s wife said that ever since Yamna came into her husband’s life, their miseries had increased.

The family said Zaidi helped Yamna publish her book of poetry. “Zaidi took pity on her and helped her write and publish the book but she turned away from him after it came into print,” said Zaidi’s brother-in-law Sajid. “In the pursuit of publishing that book, Zaidi went into debt.”

Zaidi had sent the messages because he wanted to get Rs45,000 back from his student Yamna. He had deliberately sent the messages in order to court arrest. His reasoning was that if he was arrested, so would Yamna and thus he would get his money back. If he was killed for blasphemy, he said to the police, he didn’t mind, at least that would get the lenders off his back.

Zaidi is being kept at an undisclosed location.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 10th, 2012.

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sick of this nonsense | 8 years ago | Reply | Recommend

@Tuty Frooti: Your bashing of Pakistani muslims is also a sign of intolerance. Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world, no wonder its population is 16% now in India as opposed ot 10%. And I sincerely doubt that Pakistan's minority population is 1%. Hindu traders are not regularly abducted and massacred. Its just that when one Hindu is abducted it receives lots of press and that is a good thing. The small business community in rural areas especially Sindh is dominated by Hindus and its not an issue with the locals. In Karachi Agha Khanis live a very posh life, that is because of their discipline and also because they have an environment to thrive. Voilence against minorities is there but also look at the other side of the coin.

Tuty Frooti | 8 years ago | Reply | Recommend @sick of this nonsense: the minority population at the time of independence in pakistan was 10% .. today it's 1%.. this is how you care for your minorities.. secondly if you remember correctly.. the whole colony of shanti nagar was burned down.. the hindu traders are regularly abducted and massacred.. the hindu girls are abducted, raped and converted.. and the worst part is even police and govt isn't able to save their own people. (FYI - In india, muslim population enjoys equal rights and grew in population from 10% to 16% today). Our president, Chief justice and big bollywd actors have been muslims.
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