Picture of the Day: Brutally Shameful

Posted on December 28, 2006
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Law & Justice, Photo of the Day
82 Comments
Total Views: 91575

Adil Najam

This is a shocking picture.

I too was shocked to see it right on the top half of the front page of Dawn (29 December, 2006). I was even more shocked to read the details of this incident that took place in Rawalpindi:

Police broke up a protest demonstration organised by family members and relatives of missing persons, badly beating and arresting several of them after they tried to march to the GHQ to present a memorandum to the Vice-Chief of the Army Staff. More than a hundred people, mostly women and children belonging to the families of the disappeared, arrived in groups to the square in front of the Flashman’s Hotel. According to the organisers of the protest, the participants had planned to peacefully march to the GHQ to register their concern over the detention of their loved-ones, who they say, have been in the custody of the army and secret agencies for the last several years.

Eyewitnesses said the trouble began when a heavy contingent of police, led by SP Yasin Farooq, SP Muhammad Azam and DSP Rana Shahid, pushed some of the protesters inside the hotel’s boundary wall, shoving and manhandling them badly. After some time more protesters arrived and started shouting slogans against the police. Those who had been detained inside the hotel also came out to join them. This led to skirmishes between police and the protesters. According to the eyewitnesses, the protest took a turn for the worse when the police stripped a young man, Mohammad bin Masood, the son of missing Masood Janjua. The witnesses said even then the police continued to drag him, finally throwing him into a police van.

The incident enraged other protesters, especially the man’s young sister, who started crying and flagellating herself. The police also shoved aside the father of a missing man and later arrested him. After having failed to march to the GHQ, the protesters blocked the Mall Road for about three hours. Police and protesters fought running battles for some time. Scared by police highhandedness and arrests, a young girl and a small child lost consciousness and fell on the road, the eyewitnesses said.

Unbowed and determined, the protesters refused to leave the place, end the protest and open the road until the arrested men were released. Later, on an assurance from SP Azam that the detained men would be released, the protesters dispersed peacefully. However, the younger brother of detained Mohammad bin Masood told Dawn by telephone that his brother had not been released by the police. The eyewitnesses said that besides an old man and Mohammad bin Masood, several women had been detained and not released till late in the evening.

The report of the incident in The News, adds the following:

Placard-holding women and children held a demonstration close to Flashmans Hotel here. But the police force stopped the procession going beyond Flashmans Hotel. “We planned a ‘freedom walk’ and wanted to hand over a letter to the vice chief of army staff in the General Headquarters (GHQ),� said Amina Masood, whose husband Masood Ahmed Janjua has been missing since July 30, 2005. Masood is among at least 105 persons missing from all over the country during the last five to six years. The SSPs, SHOs and dozens of constables from various police stations of Rawalpindi were deployed at the roadsides and tried their best to disperse the procession that lasted nearly two hours.

A handful of policewomen were also present at the rally and helped their male colleagues once the protesting women tried to walk towards the GHQ. “Do we belong to the same country,� questioned one aggrieved woman from an SHO when she was stopped. “Do we have arms in our hand? Why are you stopping us?� she shouted. The women shouted slogans and demanded the release of their males before Eid-ul-Azha. Some of the women and their children were even crying. In an unfortunate incident that could easily have been avoided by the security personnel a young man, Mohammad bin Masood, son of Masood Ahmed, was dragged into a police van and forcibly driven away from the scene.

The shame here is not on the young man without his shalwar. It is on the police for allowing this to happen. And in some ways it is all our shame.

My first reaction on seeing the picture was that maybe the young man’s shalwar fell off in the scuffle. The News story calls it “unfortunate incident that could easily have been avoided”; Dawn, however, suggests that he was “stripped.” In either case, the indignity inflicted on the young man is reprehensible. Even more reprehensible is that 105 individuals are ‘missing’ without their families having any news of them.

Here at ATP we try to be as fair and even-handed as possible. We have praised the police in a number of posts when it has done well (here and here). We try to highlight what is blatantly wrong (here and here) when we see it. Silly attempts to spread lies is one thing; disappearances are quite another. They do not do anyone any good and cause irreparable harm to the reputation of the country, and to all of us. To those who worry about Pakistan’s image internationally, we have asked before, and we ask again: Who is giving Pakistan a bad name?

But this is not about ‘image.’ This is about the reality of disappearances. If these people have committed crimes, then let them be charged and presented in courts. And if they are not, then the guilt and the crime is not theirs, but of whoever holds them.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

82 responses to “Picture of the Day: Brutally Shameful”

  1. Azhar Rasheed says:

    Iss men Parvez Musharraf ka kia qusoor ? Yeh asal main tau police k leay sharm ka maqam hay k iss harkat say mehakma e POLICE kee pehlay say giri huee dignity mazeed gir gaee Lekin afsos ussay apnay keay par phir bhee koee sharmindagee nahee. SHAME PROOF SYSTEM SHAME PROOF POLICE.

  2. Sulaiman says:

    Nowadays in pakistan nobody feels protection. everyone’s life is in danger because of the policies of musharaf’s policies who is lonely leading the whole state, as everyone knows that pakistan is a fail state. Nowadays in pakistan from a 7 years student to 90 years old man who fights for his right but they were killed by napak army of pakistan. today we feel shame to listen that we are pakistani…..so no…no…no….plz dont call us pakistani. we are not pakistanis……if a states army and government does not provide u protection we also oppose the existing of pakistan. where SHAFIS,TULBAS,SARDARS, and most important a civilian is not safe.

  3. Sophaeyyah says:

    So wats new about it? Musharraf has been doing this all the time. Its just that we all kept ourselves blind and deaf to it. Wana walon ke saath ussne yehi kia tau kia hua aag humare ghar main tau nahi laggi thi na, waziristan balochistan main ghar jale tau kia,… humare ghar tau mahfooz thay na aur ab yeh aag jab hum logo ko lapet mai lene laggi hai aur karachi jalne laga hai tau hum logo ko khayal aaya hai ke general sahab ki enlightened moderation tau aik dhong tha. Magar sochne ki baat hai ussko yeh jurrat di kissne??? hum logo ne. Wana aur Waziristan ke log tau bher bakrian thay na aik general ko jang ki aag main jhonkne ko eendhan chahie tha tau unnko jihadi bana dya aur ab jab unnki zindagee ki zarorat thi aur unnki lashon ka tuhfa de kar iqtedar ko mazboot bana lia. Hum logo ne bhi aakh aur kaan band kar lye. Agar log ghayab huay tau kia hum tau mahfooz haina. Yeh bhool gaye ke yeh Pakistan unnka bhi itna hi hai jitna humara hai. Wana n Waziriatan ko gumrah aik general hi ne kia. Magar yeh nahi ke woh Pakistani nahi hain. Iss mulk par sirf humara hi haqq nahi hai. Unnka zyada hai. Woh bechare tau apne khayal main mulk aur Islam ki khidmat main lage hain aur unnko yeh daras aik general ne hi dya tha. Humne socha ke iss mulk par aise logo ka ikhtiar nahi hai. Kyunke woh log aaj ki taleem afford nahi kar sakte thay. Aur madrasson main general ka bheja hua jihadi kaida parhaya jata tha. Zimadar kaun? Chalo acha hai humne kaha ke burai ko jarr se ukhar dia jai aur bombing karni shoro kar di. Humari bemisaal Army ne jiske daman main mulk torne se le kar har shandar medal maujood hai. Humne bhi kaha ke acha hai khass kam jahan pak. Pakistan sirf humare lye banaya gaya hai. Logo ko apne mulk se aghwa kia gaya. Acha hai jab mulk ke khazaane main dollar ain tau kia hua ke aik do sau logon ko becha dala jai. Kia burra hai sola crore ki abadi hai humari kuch tau kam hogi na. Humara kia hai. Enlightened moderation zindabad. Humare mulk ki aurtain tau waise bhi paise ke lye jhoote rape ke daway karti haina. Tau kia hua ke hum bhi paison ke lye bik jain. Humare US friend ne waise hi tau nahi kaha tha na ke Pakistani kaum paise ke lye apni maan tak ko bech dale. Yeh tau humari pehchan hai. Aur phir waise bhi jinn logo ne gunnah kye hain unnko yehi saza milni chahie ke unhai ghayab kar dya jai. Adalat ki zarorat kia hai. General hi kanoon banata hai tau kanoon usske lye tau nahi ho sakta na. Aag humare ghar main tau nahi na.

    Aur ab aag humare ghar tak pohanch gayi hai. Berut bante huay karachi ko dekh kar nachtay huay hukmarano ki jurrat par hum heran hain. Unnko yeh jurrat kisne di hai. Humne ………….Hum kasoorwaar hain. Musharraf kaun tha agar hum usske pehle hi kadam par usska rasta rok kar kehta ke tum kaun hote ho humare Wana aur Waziristan ke bhaion par bambari karne wale. Tumhai kisne yeh ikhtiar dia hai ke unnke mutalik maut ka order jaari karo. Akbar Bugti ko tumne kyun iss tarah out of court marwaya. Humain pochna tha ke 70% se zayad budget khane wali Army humari muhafiz bane na ke hum par bandok chalai. Kaun hai jo humare Pakistanion ko aghwa karwa kar bech raha hai. Yeh fauj hai ya karaye ke ghunde ke apne logon ko Pakistanio ko Pakistan se ghayab karwa rahe hain. Kisne kaha ke woh gunehgar hain, kis adalat ne unko saza di aur kis kanoon ki kitab main yeh saza likhi hui hai. Unnke apnon ne kia jurm kia hai jo unnko iss tarah khwar kia ja raha hai.

    Magar humne nahi pocha. Humne nahi pocha aur agar aaj general sahab lashon ke dher par ghoron ka naach dekh rahe hain tau kia hua. Hum tau ghoron se be badtar hain. Hum kaun hote hain ihtejaj karne wale. Humne khud hi ussko yeh ikhtiar dia hai. Jo hum dekh rahe hain woh tau bohat kam hai. Cameron ke saamnay woh itne bebaak hain tau na jaane unnhon ne Wana Waziristan main kia kia hoga. Soch kar hi darr lagta hai ke kahin inn logo ki aah hum logo ko le hi na dobay. Kasoor tau humara hi haina ke hum chup rahe.

  4. KAWA1 says:

    POLICE

    Police is at no fault. They obey orders passed by higher up’s and they are expected to obey or loose their jobs.

    Unless the judiciary is independent which holds police accountable for their actions and the police in turn opens up the Pandora box and names the higher up’s for ordering wrong doings to save their skin…either spill the facts or go behind bars for 30 years…
    A lot of facts will come out. The next time when the presidency or PM secretariat issues such orders to the IG, he will think twice before obeying..or even if he does, the foot constable will refuse to obey..

    The role of independent judiciary is critical to the functioning of a democratic nation. Justice must be independent, swift and blind. Blind meaning, it does not see colour, race, religion, wealth or power…

    It’s so easy to blame an illiterate, two cent worth cop whose brain cells never developed beyond the age of 5 years old or a retarded 15 year old (max) and making them the escape goats is hilarious. If Pakistani police men ever lived in a developed western country or somehow managed to immigrate there, each one of them will end up in a mental clinic and probably get segregated from society. Blaming them solves nothing..

  5. KAWA1 says:

    Police is at no fault. They obey orders passed by higher up’s and they are expected to obey or loose their jobs.

    Unless the judiciary is independent which holds police accountable for their actions and the police in turn opens up the Pandora box and names the higher up’s for ordering wrong doings to save their skin…either spill the facts or go behind bars for 30 years…
    A lot of facts will come out. The next time when the presidency or PM secretariat issues such orders to the IG, he will think twice before obeying..or even if he does, the foot constable will refuse to obey..

    The role of independent judiciary is critical to the functioning of a democratic nation. Justice must be independent, swift and blind. Blind meaning, it does not see colour, race, religion, wealth or power…

    It’s so easy to blame an illiterate, two cent worth cop whose brain cells never developed beyond the age of 5 years old or a retarded 15 year old (max) and making them the escape goats is hilarious. If Pakistani police men ever lived in a developed western country or somehow managed to immigrate there, each one of them will end up in a mental clinic and probably get segregated from society. Blaming them solves nothing..

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*