A Letter that Helped Unearth Him
By Suhail Memon, October 26th, 2007, www.dailykawish.com
About 95% of the people present in the hall no. 1 of Supreme Court had expressions of gratitude towards him on their faces. People were attentively looking at Chief Justice of Pakistan, Justice Choudhary Iftikhar Hussain seated between the two respected judges. Among women, men and children present in the court hall No1, ninety five percent were those, whose loved ones were missing for last several years. In my heart, I asked my self; what do I feel about this man who was sitting at the elevated platform with black gown on full suit, fighting for the rule of law in the peak times of lawlessness. Gown with golden laces or robes is only for the position of Chief Justice, whereas other justices wear gowns laced with the silver color. In reply to my question, I felt gush of prayers releasing out of my heart for that great man. When I looked at others present in the hall to confirm whether this was only me or others were feeling the same; except those of the government cronies, everyone seemed having good thoughts for the Justice Choudhary.
Even now, he was questioning the federal and provincial officials regarding price hike of that he took suo motto notice. Officials from all four provinces presented their respective reports. But he was interested in knowing the status of the order that listed flour and Ghee prices 25% less than the usual prices. The government officials responded that the order has been promulgated and they have taken several steps towards its reinforcement. Chief Justice acknowledged their efforts, but he added that the court is interested in results. Thereafter, food department officials and police representatives from all four provinces presented their respective reports in detail. The court proceedings of the court headed by Justice Choudhry, who was directly benefiting the people lasted for about ninety minutes, thereafter court official called for infamous missing person cases.
Hearing of October 11 was the sixth in two months after we petitioned Dr. Safdar Sarki's case in the Supreme Court. Present during the hearing were Safdar Sarki's advocate Abdul Latif Memon, his petitioner sister Abida Parveen, his driver Muneer Ahmed Sadhaio, who was also a witness in the case and I. Our case No. 965 was one of the 127 missing person cases called for hearing in the court. With every hearing since we petitioned our case in the Supreme Court, our hopes were raising, and we felt we were getting nearer to finding Safdar Sarkhi day by day.
While talking about Safdar Sarki, attorney general denied any information about his whereabouts. Safdar's advocate said we have a proof that Safdar is in the possession of agencies, and he guided Safdar's sister towards the microphone. She took a letter out of her purse and said with tears in her eyes that the letter was her brother's. Her sobs made the court hall environment very sad. Chief Justice received the letter and while scanning it asked; how did you receive this letter? He was replied that some unknown person handed over the letter to a child at the door. Chief Justice asked to read the letter; I came to the podium to read the letter.
Dear Athar and Naeem Ahmed
God bless you children,
I found this angel in the grave with whom I am sending these few words. For last thirteen months, these people have kept me in different graves. I belong to none for the crimes they pick. I am not an agent of any country. Neither, I have embezzled any one's money, nor I am involved in any terrorism. I am innocent; during all this period they haven't proved any thing against me, nor shall I confess any thing, as I am innocent. I am passing time with self-respect, confidence and dignity. This is not a jail, but a grave, where a person is dug in alive. I keep myself busy with your thoughts and thoughts of children, and remember the past to keep the brain from going completely insane. I think, on March 28, they brought me here in this new cell from Lahore Cantonment. From weather, it seems this is Rawal Pindi, only in the night they let me go in the bathroom; otherwise 24 hours I spent talking to the four walls of this tiny cell. None is allowed to talk, only they provide food at times and let go to the bathroom with black mask on my face. I was on hunger strike for weeks during month of Ramadan. They always say you will be released today or tomorrow. They all recognized that there is nothing against me, and I shall be released soon. They haven't proved any thing; perhaps they got fed up and sent me here. I am very weak, and look older like Baba [ol' man]. I haven't seen myself in the mirror for more than a year, but 38 years old Pathan calls me 'Baba Gee", that's how I figure. Don't worry about me, I am alive with dignity. Please take care of kids, ask them to study hard. You are always with me, that I am alive until now. After 13 months I got hold of this pen and paper, my hand is sore. They say, they would let me go soon, six months ago they said the same too. Let kids have vacation in Sindh, so they can relax. Ask Jeay Sindh leadership and friends not to sit idol. Ask WSC, WSI and SANA the same. I am running short of time; my hands on Baba's feet, please beg of him to forgive my impertinence, and all the past disrespects. Love and regards to all.
Shall meet, if alive, or else life is worth sacrificing for my people.
As I kept reading the letter loudly in front of Chief Justice, the sounds of sobs kept getting louder in the hall. Relatives of the missing persons were feeling the pain of their loved ones in Safdar's letter and were crying. Government officials, Attorney General, lawyers and every one present in the hall looked sad. Chief Justice while addressing Mr. Malik, asked what do you think after this letter. Mr. Malik Qayoom, who just 30 minutes ago denied of any information of Safdar's whereabouts, kept his hand on Safdar's sister seated beside him, and said I have sympathy for these people. He indirectly recognized the knowledge about Safdar and told the Chief Justice that this is the question of country's integrity; I would like to talk to you in the chamber. Chief Justice asked him to say whatever he wants in front of everyone. Malik Qayoom told Safdar's sister that he would give her result tomorrow. Until about 2:00 p.m., those denied of any information about Safdar were speechless, and that was the turning point of this case. Otherwise until 2:00 p.m. from their statements, it seemed they were not yet ready to let him go.