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Times Square suspect was ‘not very religious’

Faisal Shahzad may be an American citizen but he spent most of his life in Pakistan prior to going for further studies to the US.

world Updated: May 05, 2010 23:38 IST
Imtiaz Ahmed

Faisal Shahzad may be an American citizen but he spent most of his life in Pakistan prior to going for further studies to the US.

His father was a former senior officer in the Pakistan Air Force. Family friends remember him as a mild mannered boy who did not get into much trouble. An uncle in Karachi told the media that Shahzad was not very religious but had change somewhat in the US.

The family home is in Hayatabad, an affluent locality of Peshawar, where Faisal’s parents still reside. Since Tuesday, when the first images of Faisal Shahzad were flashed on TV screens the world over, House No 139 on Street 6 of Hayatabad has been abuzz with activity, mostly visitors who want to inquire into the whereabouts of family members. But both parents have left the house and are believed to be staying with relatives.

Shahzad’s family hails from a village near Pabbi called Mohib Banda. Locals in Pabbi say that Shahzad’s family shifted to Peshawar some 20 years ago. They do not recall Shahzad spending any time there.

He pursued graduation studies from the Pakistan Air Force Government Degree College in Peshawar before leaving for the US to do business studies.

The US passport shows he is a naturalised citizen. He is said to have visited Pakistan several times over the years. It was on one of these visits two or three years ago, he’s said to have been married to a girl from Mardan. His in-laws are said to be resident in Peshawar too. It is understood that his family is in Pakistan and it was to them he was heading when arrested.