Salman and Bilal Clash in Cyberspace

President Pervez Musharraf’s son Bilal and rock band Junoon’s guitarist Salman Ahmed, who till recently were good pals, are now clashing in cyberspace over the imposition of emergency in Pakistan, according to a story in The Nation. Salman, who was a supporter of Musharraf’s policies, especially his stand against terrorism and his vision of ‘enlightened moderation’, has been prolific on the cyberspace, calling the President a ‘dictator’, since the imposition of emergency on November 3. This provoked an angry response from Bilal. In his letters, which have now been taken off most websites, Bilal has accused Salman Ahmed who he says was a close friend and a spiritual guide of sorts since 1998 - of indulging in ‘venomous rhetoric’ against his father. “If Salman feels the need to neutralize the burden of prior public contact with my father with his venomous rhetoric, I find it not just unjust but truly unfair. ”Looking back today, I am unable to decide whether his motivation for prior public overtures towards my father were selfless or selfish in nature,” Bilal wrote. “No one is perfect, I realize. However, to the extent one can, one must try to reduce one’s integrity gap which someone defined aptly as the difference between lived values and stated values,” he said. In his response, New York-based Salman wrote that despite their close friendship, “staying silent under the present conditions that Pakistan is undergoing, is no longer an option”.

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