My Encounter with the valley of terror: Gabi Martinez
We rarely come across authors who fear that they would be killed if they stayed longer at a place. But we met somebody who went through the exact same situation.
“I'm scared to visit the country again," said Gabi Martinez, the Catalan novelist and the author of "In the Land of the Giants”. He was recalling the terrifying experiences he had during his stay at the Hindu Kush valley.
Martinez wanted to meet the Kalash tribe at the valley and they gave him “a warm welcome and a remarkably good treatment”. Little did Martinez know about the danger that was about to unfold. He did not know that he would become a victim of the instability in the region caused by the Taliban.
Martinez was suspected to be a spy by both the ISI and the Talban. The local people in the valley warned him that the terrorist organization had planned to abduct him. “I was frightened to death and I managed to escape as I was forewarned that I was targeted by the Taliban. My close associates were abducted by the militants….. and their whereabouts remain unknown……. to this day,” Martinez struggled to complete the sentence.
Martinez was worried about the instability in the Hindu Kush region which is on the rise. Extremist ideologies are slowly enveloping the Kalash tradition. If the situation continues for the years to come the custom and culture of the valley "would just scatter in the pages of history”.