A-Levels to al Qaeda: Traumatised father keeps mum

Published: January 22, 2012
Father of Aslam Awan claims he has been told ‘not to speak anymore’. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

Father of Aslam Awan claims he has been told ‘not to speak anymore’. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

Father of Aslam Awan claims he has been told ‘not to speak anymore’. PHOTO: AFP/FILE Visitors stand outside the house of Aslam Awan, waiting to speak to his father. PHOTO: MUHAMMAD SADAQAT

Khushal Khan, the 70-year-old father of Aslam Awan, the University of Manchester graduate who died in a drone attack after joining al Qaeda, has refused to share his thoughts and feelings over the strange and tragic fate of his son.

“I went to offer Fateha for the departed soul of Aslam Awan but the father refused to say Fateha” said Mehmood Khan, a local resident who added that Khan believes that his son was martyred and that martyrs do not need the prayers of others.

When local journalists asked Khan about this, he gave them the same response, but abruptly brought communication to a halt when pressed further. “I am told not to speak anymore on this issue,” Khan told the media.

The grief-stricken retired banker did not disclose who had barred him from speaking about the issue.

Younas Qureshi, another local resident, said that Awan, despite being clean shaven, was a strong Deobandi Muslim, but nobody could say for sure that he was an al Qaeda operative.

Journalists were also denied information from the school at which Awan passed his A-levels in 2003.

However, following the media reports of his death, Awan’s family home remained the subject of strong media focus. Intelligence agency officials and police were deployed around the house as the investigation kicked off. Security forces want to find out if Awan had any local connections during his affiliation with the terrorist outfit. The police have also recorded a statement from Khan and his wife.

DIG Hazara Range Dr Muhammad Naeem, when approached by The Express Tribune, said he was unaware that any resident of Abbottabad with the name of Aslam Awan had been killed in a drone attack. “Nobody told me about what you are asking about. I will collect information and then would be in a position to speak to you by Monday,” he said.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 22nd, 2012.

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Reader Comments (11)

  • sick of this nonsense
    Jan 22, 2012 - 10:29AM

    Parents should be left alone to grieve. I hope the agencies, media, law enforcement and especially the local population have some decency and leave the poor family alone as they have suffered enough.


  • PP (Punjabi Pakistani)
    Jan 22, 2012 - 11:54AM

    ISI can find a memo in MI emails
    SC can see bottle of wine in Atiqa’s bag
    but no one can see how youth of pakistan is being used by terrorist and being killed in a aimless fight.Recommend

  • Jan 22, 2012 - 12:30PM

    In the recent years, we’ve seen terrorists spring from all countries, from all social strata, all economic classes, all educational backgrounds, and from among religious scholars and lesser-informed alike.

    In fact, the only common ground, the only thing consistent factor among them happens to religion. I’m not pointing fingers, and I do not believe being religion inevitably leads one to violent ways, but isn’t the connection a bit too ominous and worth addressing at some point?


  • Saiyed Hussain
    Jan 22, 2012 - 1:32PM

    Terrorosim has nothing to do with education or poverty, its about state of mind, where you are been the you are suppose to rule the world and are the best of people. We fail to understand what God was talking to a particular set of people and at a particular time of history and we are not part of it.Recommend

  • THE
    Jan 22, 2012 - 2:02PM

    How can they be so sure that he joing AQ? or that he was killed in a drone attack? or about anything else for that matter? There is simply not much information in this article to say anything for certain.


  • Parvez
    Jan 22, 2012 - 3:03PM

    @Loneliberal PK makes a very valid point. Keeping our eyes shut to this will only make the recovery longer and more traumatic.


  • MarkH
    Jan 22, 2012 - 3:51PM

    Insensitive though it may be, this is nothing to do with grieving. The father obviously supported the sons activities and knows where the truth will land him: both sides would want him for the same statement but for different reasons. It’s a position where “no comment” is the only safe comment. The catch is, the previously mentioned statement would be required for him before anyone could due to lack of information.Recommend

  • Jan 22, 2012 - 5:52PM

    Pardon the typos in my previous comment..

    Saiyed Hussain, what do you suppose inspires this state of mind?


  • Zoeey
    Jan 22, 2012 - 11:25PM

    No the father hadn’t heard of him since 2010 apparently?!


  • Jan 24, 2012 - 5:45AM

    Pakistani authorities still not Confirming About Aslam’s Death..??


  • Dr Khan
    Mar 11, 2012 - 3:51PM

    may Allah accept him as shaheed. ameen


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