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

Published: January 10, 2012
Zaidi had sent the messages because he wanted to get Rs45,000 back from his student Yamna. PHOTO: SXC.HU

Zaidi had sent the messages because he wanted to get Rs45,000 back from his student Yamna. PHOTO: SXC.HU


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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Reader Comments (14)

  • Kafka
    Jan 10, 2012 - 12:39PM

    twisted logic or there is more to it then meets the eye.


  • Zalim singh
    Jan 10, 2012 - 12:52PM

    No comments from self-righteous pakistanis here. This incident proves that the Blasphemy law is misused in a very gross manner. People are using it to settle scores and finish off non-muslims (who ever are left anyways).

    Blasphemy is a pathetic concept where people do not tolerate anything told negative about their gods or prophetes.

    This shows how strong your religion is or how righteous your prophets are- when masses of the religion and governmental organisations are involved day in and day out protecting their religion from ordinary people.

    Hindu religion does not have the concept of blasphemy. Is it under any threat?Recommend

  • Ahad
    Jan 10, 2012 - 3:29PM

    @zalim singh, Then why do you guys kill muslim and dont let them slaughter cows?


  • Lobster
    Jan 10, 2012 - 3:56PM

    @Zalim singh:
    You are really Zalim, even though there was not any hint about Muslim or non-Muslim, you brought that up. Both involved are Muslim.


  • Zalim Singh Ka Phuppa
    Jan 10, 2012 - 6:16PM

    Beta ji run away with your tail between legs because this wasn’t a case of muslims killing non-muslims. Both the parties are muslims. Even if one was non-muslim, you won’t have a right to talk unless and untill you punish the ones who masscared thousands of people in Gujrant and also dozens or more in the Godhra Express.

    Now run Zalim run!! :P


  • Zalim singh
    Jan 10, 2012 - 7:04PM

    my ignorant friends, aka Ahad, Lobster , Zalim Singh Ka Phuppa

    what are you guys speaking. Blasphemy law has put so many christians in prison and so many were hanged. Salman was assinated. Hope you guys are not asleep.

    @ Ahad: Nobody in India kills Muslims. Last time muslims got killed inriots are in 2002. Some people got killed in Gujarat. These are on both sides- Hindus and Muslims too. I am from Gujarat. Muslims from Gujarat are the ricjest muslims in India- also richer than richest pakistanis. I dont think any Indian muslims will prefer to go to Pakistan now. Cows? I ate beef many times even though I am a Hindu. Nobody can stop me doing that. Muslims in India live on beef. What are you blabbering about?

    @ Lobster : Both are muslims in this particular case. But the law was made to target non-muslims and eliminate them from Pakistan. Just an excuse to hang non-muslims.

    @ Zalim Singh Ka Phuppa: . Muslims are doing well in Gujarat. Propably better than you. A muslim cleric agreed on this and got into trouble. In godhra express 75 Hindus were burnt by a muslim mob. Not the other way around.Recommend

  • Jan 10, 2012 - 7:08PM

    Zalim singh: so if he had done the same by stealing someones car, would you call it misuse of law too?


  • sick of this nonsense
    Jan 10, 2012 - 8:34PM

    @Zalim singh:
    You should know that this law was not created “just to hang christians”. Many muslims here are against its misuse. There have been many cases in India, West, Israel of voilence against muslims. Its a global phenomenon where the majority prey on the weak. But I don’t remember any Sikh, Hindu, Christian being vocal for the rights of muslims as Muslims in Pakistan are vocal for the rights of minorities. Yes the law is being misused but we accept that and want it amended. Our prophet taught us tolerance and true muslims will never harm anybody unless they are preyed upon. peace.


  • Jan 10, 2012 - 10:06PM

    @Zalim Singh: wah ji wah, we are so ignorant about our situation and on the other hand you so enlightened about the plight of nonmuslims in pakistan and that too with India being ‘pure’. main kehta hun wah bus wah


  • Humanity
    Jan 10, 2012 - 10:32PM

    Only proves the real blasphemy is the man-made blasphemy law itself! Shame on its patrons, as the drag God and His Holy people in to settle the personal petty mess.Recommend

  • Noise
    Jan 10, 2012 - 11:19PM

    Zaidi man seems to have hit several birds with one stone.


  • EyeRoll
    Jan 11, 2012 - 1:00AM

    @Zalim Singh
    Yes you are right. I guess you also dont burn Christian churches (over charges of conversion such as in Bangalore recently), or burn Christian missionaries and their children LIVE in their cars. You guys are so tolerant that there is no such thing as caste discrimination and untouchables in India. You dont launch millitary operations against the holiest minority sight in Sikhism, nor do you have any extremist Hindu millitant outfits like RSS, VHP etc that target Muslim holi sights like Babri Masjid, or attack muslims like on Godhra, or even NORMAL citizens on issues like celebrating valentines day, or women drinking in a bar. You guys are the epitome of tolerance and these facts above are obviously ISI sponsored propaganda.
    Oh btw you eat beef do you? Wow do you hide under your bed an eat it and then feel courageous and proud of secular India? Cos last time I checked not only are their several laws against slaughtering cows and eating beef, but only recently they have increased the penalty for cow slaughter WITH jail terms. wow CLEARLY that law is not targeting minorities like you say!
    Read this before you chest thump:…/896817/
    Word of advice: Reading your own newspaper instead of coming over here to read our Pakistani newspaper will open your eyes to the reality of your country and prevent you from making delusional self righteous error laden statements about your country when comparing to ours.


  • Tuty Frooti
    Jan 11, 2012 - 4:11AM

    @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.Recommend

  • sick of this nonsense
    Jan 11, 2012 - 9:23AM

    @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.


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