A Case of Exploding Mangoes by Mohammed Hanif is a fictional black comedy woven around the intriguing event of the assassination of the former Pakistani General and President, Zia ul Haq.Summary of the BookIn his debut novel, A Case of Exploding Mangoes, Mohammed Hanif takes readers through a humorous and outrageous fictional conspiracy theory revolving around the inexplicable plane crash that killed General Muhammad Zia ul Haq. The title of the book is inspired by an interesting fact – the plane that crashed, killing Zia ul Haq and his co-passengers, was carrying crates of mangoes, which were apparently a last minute addition to the cargo.The novel covers the period leading up to the crash and its aftermath. The protagonist of the story is Ali Shigri, a trainee officer in the Pakistani Air force. The political situation is such that President Zia ul Haq is America’s closest ally in the region. He has facilitated the American funded Taliban insurgency against the Soviet presence in Afghanistan, and his cooperation is so valued that the West turns a blind eye to his despotic rule and oppressive laws, like the ones that allow women accused of adultery to be stoned to death.
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