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A glimpse into Musharraf’s Pakistan… 16 July 2006

Posted by TwentyTwoYards in Land of the pure...and the not so pure.
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Some things don’t need any further comment….

On September 6, 1965, Major Muhammad Taj and his unit were directed to get to the Khokhara Par border in Tharparkar district. Their assignment was to recapture Shakarbu ranger post some six miles away which had been occupied by the Indian army. They arrived at dawn to find activity on the Indian side. Major Taj attacked with a mobile force consisting of 16 men with MGs and RRs. The post was captured. Soon after, a rapid advance was made on the post by two Indian tanks accompanied by two rifle companies. Taj and his men opened fire, and L/Naik Khushi Muhammad took out on both tanks. Taj engaged the advancing Indians with mortar and machnegun fire, forcing them to withdraw, leaving behind a number of dead and two wrecked tanks. For this action, Taj was awarded Sitara-e-Jurat and Khushi Muhammad the Tamgha-e-Jurat.

Lt Colonel Muhammad Taj won his second SJ in 1971, in recognition of his performance in Dhaka during military action and the subsequent march to Rajshahi, fighting a number of battles en route. He crossed the Brahmaputra river, with its rapid flow, under the most adverse circumstances to capture Nagarban where battles were fought against the Mukti Bahini and defecting East Pakistan Regiment rangers.

This twice decorated officer retired from the army as a brigadier, and for many years has been living peacefully in his home (his castle?) in Islamabad. Peacefully, that is, until nine days ago. Why — is explained in a letter sent by Brigadier Taj to President General Pervez Musharraf on July 2 :

“Last night, an ISI major in plainclothes who called himself Tipu, with some 10 men also in plainclothes, armed with automatic weapons, entered my house and beat me, my daughter-in-law and my two grandsons.

“They kidnapped us and took us away to a deserted location where they threatened us with death if my grandson did not cooperate with them in identifying the children who had been involved in a playground incident with the relatives of a senior ISI officer.

“I told them that I was not aware of the incident but could ask the people in the neighbourhood to identity the children involved. We were brought to Faizabad in a convoy of at least five vehicles where the major proceeded to threaten the residents, and beat up and kidnapped another two boys. My daughter-in-law and grandsons were sent away to an undisclosed location by the major. In the meantime, a crowd of local residents gathered, freed me and took the major into custody. The Islamabad police, who had been called by the residents, arrived and took the major away.” Brigadier Taj went to the I-9 police station, filed an FIR, and then another ISI officer (also in plainclothes) appeared. Taj explained the situation to him, and the officer, a Colonel Nisar, ordered the release of Taj’s daughter-in-law and grandsons. They were dropped at a deserted location near his house in Sector I-8/4 an hour or so later. All three had torn clothes and were bruised and battered.

His letter ends : “I am 80 years old now and can only look to you, Sir, as the President of Pakistan and the Chief of the Pakistan Army that I also proudly served, to restore my dignity as an ex-army officer and protect my basic rights as a citizen of Pakistan, and to order immediate action against all officials involved in this criminal act.”

There were many witnesses to the incident that took place on the night of July 1. Three houses on Street 86, I-8/4 were targeted by armed men in two separate cavalcades of double-cabined vehicles. From one house, an ailing teenager awaiting heart surgery was dragged out of his house, thrown on to the street, beaten and then thrown into one of the vehicles. His mother tried to come to his aid but she was pushed aside, her clothes torn, and she also was loaded into a vehicle. Brigadier Taj was slapped, pushed, roughed up, and pushed into one of the double cabins, and the cavalcades sped away.

The mother and her sons were taken to the G-9 office of the ISI while Brigadier Taj was taken to Faizabad to identify the other teenagers involved. Two other boys were picked up and sent to an agency ‘safe house.’

What has happened since then? Well, on July 6, the Director-General of the Inter Services Public Relations, Major-General Shaukat Sultan expressed his ‘regrets’ over the incident. In his own words : “The incident is most unfortunate and extremely regrettable. This has been taken note of at the highest level. I assure you we are very concerned about the incident and action will be taken.” Strong words from a strong man!

Major ‘Tipu’ is supposedly a Pakistan Military Academy-trained man. What sort of men does this proud institution spawn, and who teaches them what?

Source 

And yes, I know the above is not a ‘proper‘ update and probably would not meet knicq and orchid’s exacting standards; I also acknowledge that the above is mere anecdotal evidence, no more, and in a land of 160 million, one elderly man’s plight counts for little, however heroic and venerated that man might have been. However, sometimes, one has to cut through the shocking statistics and the mind-numbing numbers; the staggering illiteracy rates, the large number of suicides, the crimes, the poverty, the helplessness… all that is rendered almost sterile in bland economic facts. Sometimes, one has to cut through all that, and glimpse life at the purely personal level; maybe because we can only empathise with people we can relate to, and not with empty statistics (or with statisticians for that matter!). And it is at that personal level that we get to see the true and shocking reality of the military junta, where Musharraf’s crimes against Islam, against Pakistan and against humanity really hit home…

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Comments»

1. orchid - 16 July 2006

At least this guy has the resources to write to the President (I don’t know how easy/difficult it is to write to one). Also the fact that he could get this published indicates that he has some clout. So no, he gets no sympathy from me. The fact that he got harrassed by the same people he once served means nothing either. In his serving days if he had been ordered to do what was done to his family, he wouldn’t have flinched an eyelid to carry out that order, so why complain now? And even if you say cut down the stats, he is part of the stats already.

If you want to go beyond the stats, beyond the numbers, you should look that those who don’t even enter the numbers/stats/records anywhere. They get hacked, shot, expelled, raped, stripped of their diginity and nobody gets to hear about it because they don’t have the resources to write to their president or to get the attention of journalists.

2. knicq - 27 July 2006

…and I thought Military personnel, all of them let alone the decorated heroes, were the only ones exempt from the high handedness that is a characteristic of the law bentforcement agencies….

Equality, in a twisted kind of way, wouldn’t you say?

Sad sad day…

3. Abu Abdur Rahman - 31 July 2006

Orchid – you are missing the point somewhat, so let me clarify.

1. It is not that difficult to write to the President – his address is on his website. The issue is getting a response from the idiot. :-)

2. Getting injustices publicised indicates no clout whatsoever – the media generally picks up newsworthy stories, and the more controversial or shocking they are, the better for selling newspapers. Or are you saying that only crimes against rich people get publicised? That simply is not borne out by the facts. Read any Pakistani newspaper any day of the week, preferably Urdu papers, but even English ones would do.

3. He was not harassed by “the people he once served“. He served his country and his religion – he was harassed by the minions of the police state.

4. You are completely speculating when you say that “In his serving days if he had been ordered to do what was done to his family, he wouldn’t have flinched an eyelid to carry out that order” – there is simply no basis for this slander. In his serving days, he fought wars with the external enemy, and battled the aggressor. How does that imply that he would have have become an oppressor, a usurper of rights and someone who abuses, tortures and oppresses innocent civilians to further his own personal ends?

Knicq bhai – you have hit the nail on its head, and I am sure its (the nail’s) screams can be heard all the way in Sharjah. If the war heroes, the well-heeled, the reasonably well-off and educated and their like are subject to this abuse, this oppression and this turmoil in Musharraf’s Pakistan, what of the “common man”? If the nature of our ‘police/military state’ is that anyone, at random, can be picked up, abused, detained, tortured, and harassed without any justification and no redress or appeal, then what point is there to our government? To our judiciary? To our country, dare I say…

4. orchid - 1 August 2006

“Getting injustices publicised indicates no clout whatsoever – the media generally picks up newsworthy stories, and the more controversial or shocking they are, the better for selling newspapers.”
Is it? So you are saying that the Pakistani newspapers are full of injustices that happen to the those who don’t matter? Cool, so how thick are the local newspapers then? About 20 inches?

Oh, they have to newsworthy. Ahan, so the same thing that happens to a person who was a civilian would not be newsworthy, but since it happened to a former army guy, it became newsworthy.

“He was not harassed by “the people he once served“. He served his country and his religion – he was harassed by the minions of the police state.”
He served his country, so what? Every ordinary citizen serves the country one way or another. He joined the army and did his job, got paid for it, there’s nothing special about it. Yes he could have died during war, but that’s the risk that comes with his chosen profession. During war even civilians die, and they didn’t even sign up to fight!!

“You are completely speculating when you say that “In his serving days if he had been ordered to do what was done to his family, he wouldn’t have flinched an eyelid to carry out that order” – there is simply no basis for this slander.”
Am I? So in Pakistani army the soldiers can say ‘no’ and refuse to comply with their superiors orders? And there would be no blackmarks in his service record and he would still be felicitated as a war hero? That’s wonderful, because in my country if a soldier doesn’t follow orders, he can say goodbye to everything. This is what led me to deduce that if he was ordered to do what was done to him he wouldn’t have hesitated.

My point is that what happened to him has happened to others too, why should his story be treated differently from others? To me it’s just an addtion to that endless list of people demanding to be treated differently on this premise or that.

5. Shakeel - 11 August 2006

Pakistan Zindabad …

6. Abbasi - 8 December 2007

no one needs ur sympathy !! The real point is that you people have nothing else to do other than criticise . Brig Taj rite did a lot for his people , not only served the army but did a lot for his people as well . There are alive witnesses a’rite .
When you are saying : In his serving days if he had been ordered to do what was done to his family, he wouldn’t have flinched an eyelid to carry out that order”. First of all put ur self into that situation . You are a victim rite , then speak . I’d say bruv you are completely wrong in saying that . We people know him more closely than you . I’m from his tribe and if you are thinking that i’m his close relative , youre completely wrong in that , but still i know how dignified , trust worthy and respectable this man is .
I have nuthin except shame fr u ppl .

7. imran - 16 March 2010

i agree with the notion that “In his serving days if he had been ordered to do what was done to his family, he wouldn’t have flinched an eyelid to carry out that order” and further add even if he would have been asked to do it against his own civilian mother or father he would have done it without hesitation – it is only after retirement that these idiots show some signs of humanity.


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