Pak Author's Book on Zia ul-Haq 'Confiscated' by ISI Days After Ex-President's Son Slaps Defamation Case
Mohammed Hanif Hanif's 2008 work is a comic novel based on a plane crash that killed former President of Pakistan General Muhammed Zia ul-Haq and has been praised worldwide.
File photo of British-Pakistani novelist Mohammed Hanif.
New Delhi: Noted British-Pakistani writer and journalist Mohammed Hanif on Monday accused Pakistani intelligence agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) of raiding the offices of his Urdu publisher and confiscating all copies of the translated version of his 2008 bestseller, ‘A Case of Exploding Mangoes’.
Hanif, who won the Commonwealth Prize for the book, said in a tweet that his manager was "threatened" to share information about his whereabouts, adding they will be coming back on Tuesday "to get a list of booksellers".
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
Hanif's 2008 work is a comic novel based on a plane crash that killed former President of Pakistan General Muhammed Zia ul-Haq and has been praised worldwide. The New York Times called it 'eerie timeliness' in a review, while the The Guardian described it as a work of literature "woven in language as explosive as the mangoes themselves... and reveals layers of outrageous - and plausible - corruption".
Eleven years after the release of the book, the author is surprised that ISI has now "bothered" him. "Why now? I am sitting here, wondering when will they come for us. ISI is World'd No. 1 spy agency. I am sure they have better things to do. I have my school to run tomorrow," he tweeted.
A Case of Exploding Mangoes has been in publication for 11 years now. Nobody has ever bothered me. Why now? I am sitting here, wondering when will they come for us. ISI is World’s No 1 spy agency. I am sure they have better things to do. I have my school run tomorrow. 3/3— mohammedhanif (@mohammedhanif) January 6, 2020
The incident comes a week after Hanif and his publisher received a "defamation notice from General Zia's son demanding Rs 1 Billion for maligning General Zia's good name."
"Our lawyers are preparing a reply. Is ISI acting on Ejazul Haq's behalf?" he wondered.
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