Category Archives: Martyr of Sindh

A letter of freedom fighter to her wife


“Note: JSMM general secretary Mr. Muzaffar Bhutto’s (taken up by ISI first time – 20006) letter to his Wife: in this latter Muzafar Bhutto tell his wife about the torture of ISI. Shaheed Muzaffar Bhutto went missing the second time on February 24 2011, his bullet-riddled body, also bearing torture marks, was found at the roadside near Hatri, Hyderabad on 22 May 2012.”



Hope you are fine along with Akash, Hina and all family members. I am also fine. My health is doing well. I had a detailed meeting with brother Sikandar. I was missing you too much but couldn’t have access to phone to contact you. I am still under hard restrictions and every move of mine is being observed. You asked me about the torture inflicted upon me on October 12, 2008. I am writing this detailed note in that regard.

I was arrested from a friend’s home on October 6, 2006. I was badly beaten by a baton that is possessed by SP level officer. I was asked my name and I introduced myself as Ameer Ali. After the relentless torture for half an hour, they blindfolded me and took me to Karachi torture cell. They kept beating me for half an hour. The baton-beating was extremely painful. Then I was given 92 lashes with the force of both hands as a washman slams clothes. On account of strikes on spinal cord, I became insensible to urine and defecation. When they pulled my legs apart i had to undergo the worst pain ever. I went unconscious as the result of leg-pulling in evening. I regained consciousness at late night. I found my clothes stained with blood and waste which I was asked to wash then. I was continuously bleeding. After some bandage they put a sort of acid in my anus. It was so painful that it made me fumble my body about room like a fish out of water. They were laughing aloud and were making noises out of happiness. My suffering lessened when they applied some spray on my body. Then they put soap water in my mouth and nose which made me vomit. As soon as i started vomiting they shut my mouth and the vomit made its way from my nose. That was the worst of all sufferings. Then they tied a rope in my handcuffs and hanged me with a ventilator. As I was quite heavy, so it gave me such an unimaginable pain that i screamed so much that i had never done like that before and nobody had ever heard the screams like those. Then they made me stand for three days without sleeping for just a second. I was forced to stand except at the time of Sahree (Morning), Aftaaree (Evening) and unconsciousness. My body was white, so the torture left the strips like those of a Tiger. Whenever i saw them i just bloomed with happiness. Whenever i looked at my handcuffs I felt as happy as a woman when she has a look on her ornaments. I would become so happy that i would kiss my chains. Three days of Karachi torture cell were equivalent to three years. Most of the time i was unconscious but whenever i came back to my senses, i addressed my mother and asked her where she was, requested her to pray for my death. I didn’t ask you for such pray as i knew that you would not accept it any cost. Extreme tortures couldn’t weaken me. I confessed my identity as Muzaffar when they brought all proofs. Then they brought me to Hyderabad. An officer said to me that because i had not co-operated with them in Karachi so they would not allow me to die but make me beg for death. He threatened me that they would neither let me live nor let me die. I underwent the same degree of torture and wasn’t allowed to sleep for three days. On account of standing and not sleeping for 6 days my feet swallowed and i almost became mad. I was let to sit after 6 days. On October 12, 12:00 am i was told that Saima and Hina set themselves on fire in front of Press Club and were admitted in LUMHS in serious condition, for whom I should have prayed. It worried me so much that i couldn’t sleep for two nights and a day, although i was already awake for 6 days. Your concern killed all concerns and pains. A human being can bear each and everything but can’t bear the pain of his dear ones. Only then could I suppose that how much pain you might have undergone because you were aware of all the things they could do with me.

On October 14 an officer summoned me and gave me the phone to talk to you because of you voice-raising in media. I became happy and all my concerns vanished because an idea came to my mind that how could you talk to media if you were burnt. I refused to talk to you leaving all of them helpless. Their severe torture and deceiving enticements couldn’t force me to kneel down. They were afraid of my cause and determination. I was badly tortured for not accepting any privileges. They stop physical torture for 12 days but nothing was done to heel my injuries. They got better on their own with the passage of time then they asked me to confess that i was wrong and worked for Indian agency RAW. I was subjected to extreme cold through cooling system during November, December and January. The cold was as cold as snow of Murree. The system was turned on from 02:00am to 09:00am which caused me to continuous shivering. They did not provide me with adequate bed material. To cope with the cold i would deceive myself by saying “Oh Muzaffar you are worrying for nothing, you are going to face urine trouble shortly which will help you to forget this cold”. I would have urine trouble from 03:00am to 11:00am because i was only allowed to urinate at 11:00pm and 11:00am; otherwise i had to bear controlling my urine. I was subjected to mosquito torture during  January and February. I could sleep hardly for four or five hours.

I would miss Akash, Hina and Mother but tried to avoid missing you because i couldn’t stand it. I was given heat through Thermostat control system during April, May, June, July, August and September. The heat was so severe that chains turned red hot and all my body boiled. My anus bleeded for two months and my shalwar became soaked with blood. The itch and pain was so troublesome that i could sleep after two nights and a day. My clothes were always soaked with blood. The whole bed and Shalwar (Pajama like) spoiled with blood and sweat. They permitted me to wash my shalwar after every two days the fever was so intense that my clothes would stink as if they were pressed i would check my fever by touching my head. I was given a little water so i did not spend it in drinking because i had to use some water on my head so that any vein of my brain might not burst. I had never seen such a fever all my life. In Ramdan (Fasting month for Muslims) i was given rest and was forced to have medicine because my condition had become miserable. The suffering of torture felt less severe after all these sufferings because it lasted for just a few moments. The suffering caused by heat, fever, itch, bleeding and sleeplessness continued round the clock. I was given a stale and some pulse to eat. Sometimes they gave me soup of chicken without chicken piece. Apart from that they gave me paratha (bread) and tea; a tea had a strange taste. I had to sleep on one side due to chain. Speaking, Standing, Peeping and coughing banned and they often abuse punched and kicked me. I will write more some other time.



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Dead on Arrival: Sindh’s Missing Persons

The bullet-riddled body of Muzaffar Bhutto, secretary-general of the Jeay Sindh Muttahida Mahaz (JSMM), was found on the roadside, near Hyderabad last month. This was the first instance of its kind in Sindh when a missing Sindhi nationalist was found murdered in such a brutal manner.

Muzaffar Bhutto had been missing since February 25, 2011, when he was kidnapped from the National Highway near Saeedabad Town. This was the second time that Muzaffar had disappeared; earlier he went missing in October 2005 from Tariq Road, Karachi but returned later.

After his disappearance, his wife Saima Bhutto appealed vociferously to the international community and human rights organisations to help recover her husband. On February 19, she filed a petition in the Sindh High Court requesting that Muzaffar Bhutto be freed “from the illegal custody of the ISI.” The case was initially heard “in a serious manner,” rekindling Saima’s hope of getting Muzaffar back, “but gradually it lost its momentum.” Her fears turned to harsh reality when her 42-year-old husband’s corpse was brought home on May 22, 2012.

In recent years, the unlawful practice of enforced disappearances and extra-judicial killings in custody have risen drastically in the Sindh province. Muzaffar Bhutto was among several Sindhi nationalists who were kidnapped and and have been missing since 2005. And now, in a chilling reminder of the grim situation prevalent in Balochistan, bullet-riddled, smashed-up bodies of political activists are showing up in Sindh.

On April 21, 2011, three political leaders of the JSMM were killed when more than a dozen armed men ambushed their vehicle in Sanghar. According to a report of the fact-finding team of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), the identities of the abductors were questionable: “Assailants, at least some of them who were in security agencies’ uniforms, attacked the activists’ car without provocation and targeted them in such a manner as to ensure that none of them survived. The car was later torched to ensure that the evidence of the grisly killings was destroyed.”

In Sindh, almost all political abductees appear to belong to various factions of the Jeay Sindh movement, with a majority of the missing persons associated with the JSMM, which is allegedly suspected of being involved in militant activities for the independence of Sindh.

According to federal government figures, the total number of missing persons said to have been picked up by secret law-enforcement agencies – from Sindh, Balochistan, Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa – stands currently at 416, with at least 54 of them belonging to Sindh. However, the Sindh Home Department quotes the figure as being 16. Though an accurate statistic of the missing persons is still not available, according to a rough estimate nearly two dozen workers of nationalist parties are currently missing or allegedly have been kidnapped by Pakistan’s security agencies.

Dr Mir Alam Marri, vice chairman of the Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz (Areesar), who was kidnapped by security agencies from Hyderabad on March 5, 2012 and remained in their detention for four days, says, “My friend Ahmad Khan Teevano alias Raja Dahar, who was picked up by the agencies along with me, is still missing. But after the killing of Muzaffar Bhutto, we fear that he will also be killed by the agencies.” Dr Marri recalled the miseries and torture he suffered during detention and lambasted the agencies for their inhuman behaviour and illegal acts. “They were accusing me of terrorist acts and demanding that I give them information. I tried to convince them that as followers of G. M. Syed we believe in a non-violent struggle for the right of self-determination of the Sindhi nation.” He lamented the way his fellow activists were being tortured and killed by security agencies, warning that it could lead a peaceful activist to turn violent. He cautioned that if the abducted workers were not released immediately, it would trigger widespread anger and resentment among the Sindhi youth against the state and its apparatus.

Besides workers, some top leaders of various factions of the Jeay Sindh movement have also been kidnapped and kept in illegal detention. In February 2006, Dr Safdar Sarki, president of Jeay Sindh Tehreek, was taken away and detained for more than two years. On June 26, 2006, Mr Asif Baladi, General Secretary, JSQM, was allegedly abducted by unidentified armed men in broad daylight from Shahrah-e-Faisal. He remained in custody till February 2009.

A sudden surge in disappearances was observed after more than a dozen bombs went off on railway tracks at various locations across Sindh, on February 25, 2012. Though the blasts did not cause any casualty or massive damage to the railway tracks, the incident was taken very seriously by law-enforcement agencies. The police blamed the Sindhu Desh Liberation Army (SDLA) for carrying out these blasts and accused Shafi Burfat’s organisation, the JSMM, of being behind the blasts. The police reported that flyers of the SDLA were collected from the site of the blasts. Similarly, on May 2, 2012, approximately 11 blasts that targetted ATM Machines of the National Bank of Pakistan were reported in different districts of Sindh. Then, on May 25, 2012, five gunmen attacked a bus with passengers travelling from Karachi to Attock on the National Highway, near Qazi Ahmed town, and killed six passengers and the driver. The police claim that pamphlets of the SDLA were discovered from the spot.

Though the JSMM has not directly claimed responsibility for such incidents publicly, the police maintain that they have ample evidence that the SDLA is involved in terrorist activities. In the meantime, families and political parties of the Jeay Sindh movement are organising protest rallies and token strikes in almost every district of the province to raise a voice against the disappearance of their workers.

Understandably, family members of the missing students and activist workers of the JSMM are not filing any complaints against intelligence agencies because of the palpable fear that if news of their disappearance is leaked, their loved ones could be brutally murdered in the same manner that political insurgents are being murdered in Balochistan. The Sindh High Court has called up cases of kidnapped persons and is directing law-enforcement agencies to produce the missing persons in court. But Dr Mir Alam Marri is of the view that unlike the Supreme Court, which is more proactive in Balochistan, the Sindh High Court is not taking up these cases on a priority basis.

However, nationalist groups in the province have become very active in mobilising the public into holding demonstrations to protest the kidnap and murder of their activists. The nationalists have further been provoked by the wall chalkings demanding a separate Mohajir province that have appeared overnight and the firing on their anti-Mohajir Suba rally held subsequently in Karachi in which 11 people were killed, including three women.

The rising ethnic tension in the urban areas of Sindh and the rapidly deteriorating law and order situation pose a real challenge to the authorities. Following the firing on the rally in Lyari, President Asif Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani formed an action committee comprising Makhdoom Amin Fahim, Khursheed Shah, Maula Bux Chandio and Naveed Qamar. Their task is to meet with political parties and civil society organisations and address problems arising out of the firing on the rally. But while they set out to tackle the task at hand, it is unfortunate that the high-ups have not taken any serious notice of the cases of missing people and the extra-judicial killings of Sindhi nationalists.

Martyr Muzaffar Bhutto

Corpse of Muzaffar Bhutto

After Muzaffar Bhutto’s brutal murder, there is a looming sense of fear and uncertainty among the families of missing persons. “My wife is worried sick about the fate of our son, Asif Bhutto, ever since she came to know about the death of Muzaffar Bhutto, who was my maternal cousin,” says Rafiq Ahmed Bhutto, an employee of Jamshoro thermal power plant. His son, Asif Bhutto, was picked up on May 16 from the Powerhouse Colony. “Endless visits to police stations have been futile; we still do not know where our son is detained.”

Courtesy: Newsline

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