Guest Post by Silence
Dear Begum Pervez Musharaff,
I recognize that every one of us is responsible for our own acts, as such, being the wife of a Military Dictator and a former General of Pakistan Army, I wound not hold you responsible for his acts, however I will request you to consider following facts on humanitarian grounds being a women and a mother yourself.
As you know very well, your husband General Pervez Musharraff belonged to a lower middle class family, with limited resources and opportunities, however this nation provided him an opportunity and he became the Chief of Army Staff of fourth strongest army in world, no doubt, it is a great honor for any one, especially an army of a third world Muslim country where a common Pakistani travelling in a public bus would offer his seat as a token of respect when he see a man in Army uniform, a conductor will refuse to charge him bus fair and a poor roadside restaurant owner would refuse to accept the payment for his meal, I have witnessed tears in eyes of soldier’s when they get this much love and respect from people of Pakistan.
It’s not difficult to understand the feelings of people towards our armed forces, the men in uniform are supposed to defend our borders, our women and children.
Unfortunately, your husband blinded by greed for more power forgot about this love and respect towards the institution he was heading and dismissed a democratically elected government, this was a crime punishable by death under constitution but his seven point agenda was so appealing that most of educated and moderate Pakistani’s supported him after takeover in a military coup and took him as a savior of Pakistan.
He did not turned much different from other dictators in world; he has destroyed each and every institution in country right from Pakistan Army itself to Judiciary and committed biggest economic frauds in history of Pakistan, people who were expecting a developed and moderate Pakistan under his rule are worried about a decent meal a day and afraid to go out of homes because of bomb blasts in every street, while they stay at home there is power outage, but let’s not get in to these details.
What compelled me to write this letter to you and the great daughters of this nation like you who are married to, ‘Men in Uniform’ (I can not say how much manly hood is left in them) are the reports about Dr. Afia Siddiqui, a respected daughter of this nation like you and others, who is presently being detained in isolation by the Americans in their Bagram detention centre in Afghanistan, for over four years called ‘Prisoner 650’ and that she has been tortured to the point where she has lost her mind. Britain’s Lord Nazeer Ahmed, (of the House of Lords), asked questions in the House about the condition of Prisoner 650 who, according to him is physically tortured and continuously raped by the officers at prison. Lord Nazeer has also submitted that Prisoner 650 has no separate toilet facilities and has to attend to her bathing and movements in full view of the other prisoners.
According to reports the ‘Prisoner 650’ Dr. Afia Siddiqui, a PhD degree holder, was arrested by Pakistani intelligence agencies while on her way to the Rawalpindi airport and that she was later handed over to the American Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). At the time of her arrest she was 30 years and accompanied by her three sons the oldest of which was four and the youngest only one month, one week after her disappearance, plain clothed intelligence went to her mother’s house and warned her, “We know that you are connected to higher-ups but do not make an issue out of your daughter’s disappearance.” the mother was threatened of ‘dire consequences’ in case she didn’t followed the instructions.
On December 30, 2003 Dr. Fawzia Siddiqui, Dr. Afia’s elder sister met with Mr. Faisal Saleh Hayat (the then minister of interior) at Islamabad with Mr. Ejazul Haq, MNA, regarding the whereabouts of Dr. Afia. Mr. Faisal told Dr. Fawzia and Mr. Ejazul Haq that according to his information Dr. Afia Siddiqui had already been released by ISI and that she (Dr. Fawzia) should go home and wait for a phone call from her sister, however the whereabouts of Dr. Afia were not known until another Pakistani, Mr. Moazzam Begg (a former Guantanamo Bay detainee), who was arrested from Islamabad by ISI and later handed over to FBI recounted his experience during his detention in Bagram, Afghanistan in his book ‘Enemy Combatant’ after his release in year 2005.
After reading Mr. Begg’s book, a British journalist, Yvonne Ridley, decided to find further details about the ’Prisoner 650’ and visited Bagram and later called for help in a press conference on July 6, 2008, for a Pakistani woman. “I call her the ‘grey lady’ because she is almost a ghost, a specter whose cries and screams continues to haunt those who heard her,” Ms Ridley said at a press conference, Dr. Afia is being held by Americans for her alleged links with Al-Quaida operatives.
In the book ‘In the line of fire’, your husband General Pervez Musharraff has admitted the handing over of innocent people to Americans for bounty of Million of dollars in return, theses people are considered innocent unless given a chance of a fair trial and proven guilty by a competent court. He was COAS of Pakistan and self styled head of state and responsible to ensure the sovereignty of Pakistan and protection of lives and liberty of people.
Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan provided a guarantee to every citizen to be treated in accordance with law, there is a set procedure for those involved in criminal activities under Criminal Procedure Code which requires that charges against person involved in a crime outside the country and required by a International Police (Interpol) shall be brought before a court of law, the court shall decide about the validity and prima facie value of these charges and shall ensure that the person shall be treated according to law before handing him to a foreign state’s law enforcement agency. However in Dr. Afia’s case and handing over thousands other Pakistani’s to Americans, none of these procedures were followed, she was arrested with her children and handed over to Americans.
If she is involved in any criminal activity, she must have been treated in accordance with law, the charges against her should have been brought before a court and she must have been given a full opportunity to defend herself, even if found guilty, she, as a human being, enjoys protection under UN Charter of Human Rights while serving her sentence and her life and modesty is protected.
Her Children are as innocent as any other child and deserve the same opportunities and protection which is being provided to children of General Musharraff and other ‘men in uniform’. But unfortunately, those who are supposed to protect the women and children of this country have turned in to traders and selling their own people for sake of dollars.
In case the proper legal procedure was followed, it was ensured by court that she shall be treated in accordance with law; Dr. Afia would not have been subjected to inhuman treatment, sexual, physical and mental abuse to the point where he lost her mind!
You are blessed with children, you are a not only a mother but a grandmother, a daughter and a sister, apart from being the wife of a General, just imagine, what if it was not Dr. Afia it was your daughter Ayela and her beautiful children, and handed over to blood thirsty hounds, how would you feel if your daughter was being treated like Dr. Afia!
Please, look in to it from purely women’s prospective and think that how much dignity is left in the money with which you are feeding your children and grandchildren which is being paid by poor and helpless people of this country to your husband for protecting them and how much prosperity the dollars will bring in to your children lives which were earned by selling a daughter of this nation!
How can these soldiers stand with dignity and pride in front of their own daughters, sisters and wives, who arrested Dr. Afia, Moazzam Begg and thousands other missing Pakistani’s and handed them over to Americans for sake of money, which conquered Supreme Court of Pakistan when it was probing the issue of these innocent people.
Being daughters of this nation you have the power to take away that false pride from these cowards, you can make them realize that they are not much different from any other dirty pimp trading honor and modesty of a helpless women.
All of us have conscience, no matter how weak it becomes, it’s still there to guide us to make right decisions, no matter how late we are it’s never late to make a decision which is voice of our conscience, just take few moments and think over it and decide weather it’s worth spending rest of your life with the a person who have sold sons and daughters of this nation for his personal greed, who has betrayed the trust of those who assigned him the job to protect their women and children.
This country has given you a lot and it’s time to pay back that debt, obviously you are not in position to bring back the sufferings of Dr. Afia, her children or Moazzam Begg, but at least you can do this much, take away that false pride from the man who is responsible for sufferings of Dr. Afia, the pride and the dignity which he have shown you in uniform, which is symbol of bravery and sacrifice, for once ask your husband, why did he do this with a daughter of this country!
May Allah bless you and your children.
A Son of Pakistan.