Book Extract : How I Became a Taliban Assassin & The Murder that Wasn’t By Rajesh Talwar


How i became a Taliban assassin
TV Hill, Kabul

By this time tomorrow I will be gone. I will have struck a blow against the Western rogues, who have pillaged and plundered my country,
as also against the people who stole my beloved from me. This is the story of how I, Shamsher Khan, became an assassin for the Taliban, an organization I despised with all my heart. Today is the most important day of my life. It will also be the last day of my life. In fact, to be fully accurate, it will be the most important day of my life IF it is the last day of my life.

And tomorrow will be the start of my new life. Will it be tomorrow or today itself? I don’t know. I should have asked Mullah Shamsuddin
about this. Once I die, will I be immediately transported to jannat, or will there be a gap of a few hours? Will my soul be put into some kind of
rocket, like the missiles that I’ve seen raining on my country, fired by the Americans, and will the rocket then take off towards jannat?
What do a few hours of delay matter? Once I kill myself – and I’ll simultaneously kill those who were responsible for what happened at
Muntozai – it’ll only be a few hours before I am face to face with my Maker. According to Shamsuddin, the more infidels I kill the greater merit I will acquire. I don’t believe that is really the case, and I feel like asking him if killing a larger number of disbelievers would mean that I will be moved to superior accommodation in jannat? If he nods his head confidently, I will tell him that I thought you got everything you desire in jannat , and there are no divisions. I’m not sure what he will say to that, but he’s certain to come up with something. Whatever it will be, the accommodation in jannat, I mean, it will be a lot better than this small room I’ve been holed up in on TV hill in Kabul.

I asked Shamsuddin whether he was certain that the building under attack housed those individuals who had been responsible for what had
happened two months ago, and he assured me that this was the case. ‘We have 100 per cent information, bachiya ,’ he said, ‘that these are
the very people who issued the orders.’

‘Are there any innocents in this house?’ I could see that he was getting annoyed with my questioning, but I didn’t care. I am not an automaton, and I don’t believe in killing innocents. ‘None,’ he had said, and then hesitatingly added: ‘Maybe an odd servant or so, but we can’t do anything about that.’ ‘Would those servants be Afghans?’ ‘Yes,’ he said, ‘but don’t worry, since they are Muslims, they too
will go to jannat.’

I am not persuaded by this brand of logic. I have serious doubts about killing innocents, whether they are Muslim or not. Even if I was to
allow myself to be persuaded that all the Muslims who get killed will automatically go to heaven, surely that is not the point. Their families and loved ones will suffer just as I am suffering. If all innocent Muslims who get killed are going to jannat anyway, why in Allah’s name are we fighting this war? We fight because of the families left behind who suffer. Like I suffer. It’s three in the morning, still too early to head off for my mission, but let me just prepare my uniform and check the accessories ..

(Extracted with the permission of the author and the publisher)

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