On Monday, Mohammad Hanif announced on Twitter that people claiming to belong from the ISI raided his Urdu publishing house, Maktaba Daniyal, and confiscated all copies of his 2008 bestseller ‘A case of exploding mangos’. He further claimed that the individuals threatened his manager and “sought information about our whereabouts”.
He also said the people would come back tomorrow to get lists of booksellers selling the novel.
The urdu copy of Hanif’s Pakistani novel, which is a military satire chronicling the final days of dictator General Zia ul-Haq’s rule and the multiple conspiracy theories surrounding the plane crash that killed him in 1988, was released last year.
Hanif in another tweet said they had last week received a defamation notice from Gen Zia’s son demanding Rs1 billion for maligning the former military ruler’s name. “Our lawyers are preparing a reply. Is ISI acting on Ejazul Haq’s behalf?” he asked.
A former fighter pilot turned journalist, novelist and librettist, Hanif noted that his novel has been in publication for 11 years.
“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,” he wrote.
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