Karachi’s “Dirty Harry”

The aftermath of the attack that killed Chaudhry Aslam.
The aftermath of the attack that killed Chaudhry Aslam.

On 9 January, one of Karachi’s top policemen was killed by the Taliban. Chaudhry Aslam, who headed the city’s counter-terrorism operations, was a controversial figure who had faced at least 10 previous assassination attempts.

I wrote a piece for Vice magazine about Aslam, looking at his life, his death, and his legacy. You can read the full piece over at the Vice website, and here’s an excerpt:

In a country where many politicians and public figures are afraid to speak out against the Taliban and other extremist groups, Aslam’s belligerent attitude earned him a folk hero status. When I met him in December of 2012, he was dressed, as usual, in a white salwar kameez (Pakistan’s national dress) and a flashy watch. He chain-smoked and carried a Glock pistol. “My religion tells me that everyone must die in the end,” he told me. “So I fear nothing. I have seen too much to be afraid.”


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