Friends, relatives 'shocked' over Shahzad's sensational Times Square bombing plan

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Peshawar, May 6 (ANI): The sensational arrest of Faisal Shahzad, an American civilian of Pakistani origin who has been accused of plotting the botched Times square bombing plot, has shocked friends, relatives and natives of his ancestral village in Pakistan.

Shahzad's friends and his family neighbours in Peshawar are baffled as to how a highly educated man like him can turn to terrorism, especially when his father, former Pakistan Air Force (PAF) Air Vice Marshal Baharul Haq was not considered to be a 'religious' man.

Wing Commander (retired) Aziz Khan, one of Haq's closest friends, said he has been trying to contact him since Tuesday, the day US authorities nabbed Shahzad while he was trying to flee to Dubai.

"I tried calling him a number of times. I suppose he and his family have vacated their Hayatabad town home in Peshawar," Khan said.

He recalled noticing a change in Shahzad's appearance some months ago, when he was in the country.

"I asked Faisal whether his beard was for fun or religious reasons. I didn't get an answer. He just kept quiet," The News quoted Khan, as saying.

He also recalled Haq telling him about the birth of Shahzad's second child a few months ago.

"He was happy to share the information about the birth of his grandson. He said the boy had been named Zalan, which is a typical Pakhtun name," Khan added.

Khan also pointed out that Shahzad was a 'lonely' but friendly person who loved pets.

Residents of Mohib Banda village in Pabbi, Nowshera, Shahzad's village home, couldn't believe what they were hearing about the 30-year old man who tried to bomb New York's magnificent Times Square.

They believe Shahzad is being implicated in a false case.

"They are a well-respected family. They are apolitical. I know Shahzad's family very well. They are highly respected in the entire village and adjoining areas," said Kifayatullah Khan, Shahzad's family friend.

"The entire family is highly educated and enlightened. The villagers don't believe that Shahzad could act in such a manner," he added. (ANI)

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