Advertising

Aafia Siddiqui and Pakistan’s common destiny

The American ambassador to Pakistan Anne Patterson had been denying till then that Aafia was even held by the Americans. In fact, she, a US citizen as well as her two children, was kidnapped from Pakistan on March 30 2003 and put through ignominious extraordinary renditions and taken to Bagram. She was raped and tortured for five years. She wailed so loudly in the lonely nights that her cries were heard ringing in the air far and wide. The US soldiers started calling her Lady Gray of Bagram.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
 

Bal Thackeray, Narendra Modi and VHP were breathing down the neck of Karkare when he caught sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur and Lt Col Prasad Purohit, etc. But when Karkare was killed they totally changed their stance and started calling him a martyr. Shiv Sena and Uma Bharti even offered Purohit tickets in the election. Shiv Sena wanted to pay for the lawyer who would defend Purohit and Sadhvi. On the other hand, they openly threatened lawyers of any Muslim accused of similar crimes. In most other cases like Samjhauta express incident, the police and the investigating agencies fabricated all kinds of lies to blame Muslims when it was becoming clear that Purohit and Abhinav Bharat were behind them.

The report of the arrest of Shahzad Ahmad in 2010 again refocused attention on the pattern of lies. Later we were told that he had fired a single bullet at inspector Mohan Chand Sharma. Till his capture, we were told that Atif Ameen and Sajjad had fired from their guns and that caused the death of Sharma. Even the NCHR had bought this claim and accepted it. The neighbors in Batla house have maintained that there is one exit with two doors opening in the same place and if Shahzad and Junaid had escaped the people should have seen them.

Read more: India in the lull before internal seismic upheaval

They did not see anyone escape

The cops who rushed up at hearing the shooting would have surely met and apprehended Junaid and Shahzad. They did not apprehend them. Then reports of Shahzad attending a flying course in Bangalore to mount a 9/11 in India were leaked to media by the police obviously. The phobia rose in a crescendo. The route of escape Shahzad and Junaid took is another cocktail of lies. According to Indian Express, the duo went to the bus station on foot and boarded a bus to Badarpur. Then they took the train to Mumbai without knowing where it was bound. The Times of India carries two versions. One, the two went to Aligarh by train or bus, then to Lucknow and finally to Azamgarh. Two, they went to Aligarh, then to Blundhaer, Lucknow, Khalispure, Jaipur, Jodhpur and finally to Mumbai.

The police did not make an inventory of bullets and cartridges, etc. The scene was also without any residual evidence there much like the incident of Aafia Siddiqui. In her case, she was accused of assaulting eight American military officers at Bagram prison in Afghanistan. She was too feeble to lift a gun let alone snatching it from the burly soldiers and belaboring them and then shooting them. Neither the soldiers nor the site gave any trace of the shoot-out on July 18, 2008. The American ambassador to Pakistan Anne Patterson had been denying till then that Aafia was even held by the Americans.

In fact, she, a US citizen as well as her two children, was kidnapped from Pakistan on March 30 2003 and put through ignominious extraordinary renditions and taken to Bagram. She was raped and tortured for five years. She wailed so loudly in the lonely nights that her cries were heard ringing in the air far and wide. The US soldiers started calling her Lady Gray of Bagram. The ambassador would arrange luxurious parties and brief the journalists on the version that the army gave out. In this way, falsehood was deliberately spread.

Her wailing and agonized shrieks would remind people here how Khawaja Yunus was tortured and given waterboarding punishment in Mumbai. His mother also wept and cried in the stillness of the night in Parbhani. Police Inspector Sachin Vaze disposed off the body of Yunus much the same way Vanzara had done the body of Kauserbi, wife of Sohrabuddin in Gujarat. In all such cases, the forces of evil were at work, forces which would like to use the extreme extent of terrorizing their hapless victims.

Read more: After Lives: AbdulRazak Gurnah’s tribute to humanism

Mumbai was a witness to this kind of spreading of heinous falsehood

The police and intelligence agencies have never bothered about the fiefdom over which Bal Thackeray ruled like a feudal lord. On the eve of the serial bomb blasts in locals on 7/11, the Shiv Sainiks had burnt vehicles and vandalized shops and commercial establishments protesting over the alleged mud slung at the statue of Thackeray’s wife. When Anand Dighe, Shiv Sena pramukh of Thane, died, the sainiks had vandalized the Singhania hospital where Mr Singhania’s airplane was also kept. In the emergency wards of the hospital, there were very serious cases in ICUs. They had a hell of a time.

There was also the murder case of Ramesh Kini in which a finger of suspicion pointed at the Thackerays. To show solidarity with the victims of medieval revenge even the prime minister, VP Singh had visited the widow of Kini. This last captures the clash between the people who let loose the law of the jungle and those who abide by the rule of law. In the countdown to the release of My Name is Khan we waited with bated breath what might the hordes shouting My Name is Thackeray would do. Would they again set upon the hapless North Indians commuting long distances for jobs, interviews, examinations, driving their taxis, etc???

The possibility of war albeit a nuclear one is lurking in the dramatic twist and turns of events like blasts at the Wagha border on the Pakistan side and the attack on the Peshawar military school make Pakistan more vulnerable as an ‘insecure state’ in the words of C Christine Fair in her book Fighting to the End: The Pakistan Army’s Way of War. “Pakistan views its eastern neighbor, India, as an eternal foe that not only seeks to dominate Pakistan but also to destroy it if and when the opportunity arises.” The opportunity in the destruction of Qalander off Porbandar is fraught with danger.

It has all the hallmarks of manufacturing an excuse

It also reminds one of Stephen Clark, head of Brookings Institution’s warning. If Pakistan is an “insecure country” so is India a “fissile” country and the danger of “sectarian slaughter” or a “crisis with Pakistan” can lead to war without anybody’s imaging it. Snakes are aplenty. Some strategist experts believe that the “eventual concession” [read, Pakistan’s meek surrender] to the superiority of India in development and military power is the only way to get rid of terrorism in the subcontinent and on international theatre.

Read more: Is India not a secular democracy anymore?

As Ashley Trellis calls Pakistan, a hollow state “Pakistan has to recognize that it simply cannot match India through whatever stratagem it chooses—it is bound to fail. The sensible thing, then, is for Pakistan to reach the best possible accommodation with India now, while it can, and shift gears toward a grand strategy centered on economic integration in South Asia—one that would help Pakistan climb out of its morass and allow the army to maintain some modicum of privileges, at least for a while. The alternative is to preside over an increasingly hollow state.”

Mustafa Khan holds a Ph.D. on Mark Twain. He lives in Malegaon Maharashtra, India. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.