Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Halwa Chronicles - II

So much for "conspiracies against Islam" and "Pakistan's religious leadership." The maulanas simply had halwa beyond its sell-by date.

From Dawn:

Outdated halwa laid clerics down
By Munawer Azeem
Wednesday, 23 Dec, 2009
ISLAMABAD, Dec 22: An unofficial report about the Halwa which sickened a number of religious figures here last week suggested that the sweet was ‘expired’, sources in the police told Dawn on Tuesday.

The sources said the sample of the Halwa was sent to the biological laboratory of the Punjab University by Senator Azam Khan Swati and the report was submitted to the Secretariat police on Monday night.

The report said though poison was not found in the sweet it contained bacteria due to expiry, the sources said.

However, the investigators are waiting for the report of the chemical examiner Lahore to decide the fate of the case, the police added.

The police said even if expiry of the Halwa was confirmed, the investigation would continue to trace the person who had delivered it at the suite of Senator Abdul Gahfoor Haideri to ascertain whether it was a mistake or a deliberate act.

The sources said several requests made by the investigators to interrogate the senator’s cooks in isolation and independently were still being denied.

On December 17, the Secretariat police registered an attempted murder case against the unidentified person on the complaint of Senator Haideri.

Mufti Muneebur Rehman, Liaquat Balcoh, JUI’s Rashidul Haq, deputy chief Abdul Khaliq, press secretary Abdul Haleem and Abdul Rauf; Jamaat-i-Islami’s Zubair Farooq along with the Maulana’s two cooks - Zakir Hussain and Qurban Ali - and Mehar Dil Baloch suffered food poisoning after eating the sweet.

My bet: The report will be rejected by the maulvis who will never accept anything less than deliberate poisoning.

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