This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
I stood before the class and started my new lecture about Sufism and secularism, let us start….everything should have a proper beginning and an appropriate ending….. So here it is…. I am a lecturer at a private university of Karachi….the megacity of our times…..my love and my love’s love….. I teach anthropology to new comers and always find them confused about this subject till they become used to of it…. Since majority of students come with certain beliefs and I tell them to ask questions about their belief, they get confused which brings a smile to my face because I myself was confused studying anthropology in an American university. Since most of my students belong to a religious family they start doubting on every other statement that comes out my mouth along with shower of spits coming out once or twice. They were confused during the very first lecture when I had told them:
“Rather being study of truth anthropology is study to find out facts,” everyone had annoying looks on their faces, it was that irritating Salma in her black burqa with grey eyes (she is an activist of a religious party and proudly shows it off by quoting tradition after tradition without knowing what it actually means) out of sixty students of this year’s batch who asked:
“Sir, what is the difference between truth and fact?” hearing the question I smiled, I was sure someone was going to ask this question and wasn’t surprise that it was irritating Salma sitting in the first row.
“Truth;” I told the class: “is perception of people, everyone carries a different truth with him or herself, for example a person has same qualities whether good or bad but because of those qualities some people like him and some people dislike him and it is the truth, had it been the same truth everyone would have liked or disliked the person, there is no scale to weigh the truth, on the other hand facts could be tested on scientific measures,” I stared at the class, everyone was sitting with a dumb face, I understood that no one has understood what I was telling them…. Pointing to burqa covered Salma I asked her to stand up. She is a twenty-three years old full figured young lady, who comes with a new color of her silky burqa, when the male students leave the class their gaze always follows the swings of her round buttocks, she thinks that the solution to every problem of Pakistan is in caliphate system, she is more interested in Islamic studies then anthropology and finds herself detained in the classroom, especially in my classroom as she thinks I am the one who propagates odd idea and most sure I am an American agent, it is not her fault half of countries population thinks that the other half is someone’s agent, you would find people tagged as Yahodi (Jewish) agent, RAW agent, CIA agent, Russi (Russian) agent, Irani (Iranian) agent and the list goes on and on…..
“You know you have some particular habits?” I asked her.
“Yes sir,” she replied moving her shoulders carelessly.
“Meaning it’s true,” I said with a smile: “but is it necessary that whole world should like you, just because you have those particular habits?” she nodded her head indicating no, the class seemed interested in this discussion.
“If;” I said with a smile: “those habits are truth, which they are…. Then whole world must like you…” I had a small pause everyone was focusing on me, I said: “it is not so because everyone has a different perception of truth….please sit down.” Salma sat down, but after that day she always tried hard to prove me wrong.
My first days at this university as a lecturer were amazing, once in the class while having an open discussion the subject of “How much evil America is…?” came under discussion, I wanted to tell my students that it was not so, but they were in no mood to listen to me, so I coughed and stood behind the glass podium with microphone system on and asked the class:
“How many of you are anti-Americans?‟ I asked the class trying to have a start after our introduction, all of them raised their hands, and it seemed that there was an unwritten state policy for students to stand up against America. This brought a smile out of mockery on my face and turning to male students as we are male dominated society I asked: “why?”
“America is the real terrorist,” said one in blue suit.
“It is murderer of innocent Muslims,” said the guy in black t-shirt.
“America preaches anti-religious stuff in name of secularism,” cried the thin fellow with light beard and trimmed moustache.
“America is Dajjal (something like anti-Christ in Christian faith),” cried a young mullah with pointed beard. During all this I just kept on smiling with mock on these young people who were just shown one side of the picture. Then I turned to eight burqa-girls and two dressed in simple traditional clothes:
“What you have to say about America my gentle ladies?”
“America only supports Israeli capitalists,” said one burqa-girl they all looked alike without any discrimination, only their sitting order was distinguished.
“They don’t have moral values,” said one in veil with enthusiasm, another of many conspiracy theories created by religious extremists.
“They throw out their parents from houses,” said one sitting in the second row with total confidence.
“They drink, dance, gamble eat swine and want everyone to do so,” said one burqa-girl from last row.
“What if;” was my reply to them with a smiling face: “I tell you whatever you have said are myths about America?”
“You;” said the same mullah with pointing beard: “must be admirer of their trends and traditions!”
“Maybe,” I said with confident smile.
“Don’t you think;” asked someone unidentified from girls section: “they are misusing power?” it took me few moments to find out who asked the question but was unable to do so.
“Yes;” I replied facing them: „but anyone who has got power in history has misused it, the
Romans, Greeks, Germans, British, Arabs, Christians and Muslims, human history is filled up with massacres and bloodshed, in sub-continent Mughal rulers used to kill their brothers and fathers just to sit on throne.”
“What have you to say;” the burqa-girl with confidence asked: “about high divorce rate, homosexuality, pornography, consumption of alcohol, incest and all other evils in their society.”
“I would suggest you;” was my reply to her with a sharp smile: “stop watching Dr. Zakir Naik,” and there was a roar of laughter in class that touched its roof, this crumbled young lady’s confidence, when the little laugh session ended, I asked facing the class even those empty seats at back were in clear view: „how many of you have ever been to USA?”
No hand went up; this brought another sharp smile to my face.
“You see;” I said to the young ones: “this is the root of problems we don’t work on grounds, none of you have ever been to a certain place, but have already made up your minds against it just from hearsay. What I want to tell you is be opinion leaders not followers.”
After a little pause I said:
“I’d very same ideas and prejudices against America, but living for whole two years amongst them I was made to change my mind, they respect every progressive mind be it of an
African, Asian, Jew or an Arab, they don’t discriminate as far as progress is concerned, you’d find pyramids at Washington DC, built exactly the same way Egyptian pyramids were made, and at Smithsonian Museum they’ve preserved the arts, culture and civilization of whole world. The thing is America is like nest of honeybees you deal with them properly and would get honey, you throw a stone at nest definitely the honeybees would react.” None of the students liked my pro-American sentiments; most of them might have thought I’m their agent planted by FBI or CIA, to preach Pakistanis goodness of America and am here to distract them from true path that leads to paradise.
“Let me share with you my own experience of America, and be assured I won’t manipulate a single word,” this brought smile on my audience faces.
“As I’ve told you;” I started: “before touching the soil of America I’d very same feelings against them that most of you have, such as they all are evil, filthy people, living just with pornographic minds, and drug addicts, caring only about sex,” as I uttered this forbidden word (forbidden only in Muslim world) the heads of burqa-girls went down in shame and disgrace, young mullahs showed me their eyes almost coming out from their sockets, thank God I was standing before them as a teacher or they might have torn me into pieces.
“Few years back;” I continued in confident tone: “I was admitted to a college at Boston to do course of creative writings. Boston is America’s important city; built on water it has a great seaport and merry time center, also famous for taking part in American Revolutionary War, anywhere you go in Boston you’d find sizzling old houses and mansions, its many parks make one feel relaxed for eternity, its market place is a city in itself, and let me tell you
Boston is the educational capital of America.” After a brief introduction of Boston I coughed and said:
“It was my first week at campus, its building a landmark; there I saw a sizzling black beauty Stella an Afro-American with an athletic body, every part perfectly curved, and her ultra – huge tits were a treat to watch.”
“Aaaa…!” the burqa-girls exclaimed in shame and anger as though I was talking about their anatomy, I knew these things were harsh for these religiously brainwashed kids, few clean-shaven boys showed their interest as though they had started reading an erotic novel.
“Seeing those perfectly round cups,” I carried on avoiding the gestures of narrow minded students: “my jaw dropped, mouth started to water, saliva came out from sides of my lips, and suddenly a foolish thought entered in my mind to touch and feel those two beautiful huge globes of flesh and know whether they really are real or its just my imagination, because I’d never seen such a size back in my country. I started following Stella, she was women’s boxing champion of the college and strongly built, that day she was wearing white t-shirt, blue jeans shorts and pair of tennis shoes, following and noticing swings of her bums I was burning with desire and was driving to some other world that of my fantasies. Suddenly I got a chance to face her, she’d noticed much earlier that I was following her, as our eyes met she smiled, which only increased my confidence to feel and touch her enormous figure, after this little hide-n-seek finally I walked to Stella, my legs trembling but giving myself confidence that buddy you are in USA, girls here are open to everyone and for everything, as soon as I reached near her without wasting time in hi or hello I pressed and squeezed her globes at front, that was a shock of life for her, an angry gesture came over her face and then she slapped me on face as hard as possible calling me bastard walked away.” There was a roar of laughter in the class that touched the roof.
“That day;” I continued with smile: “I realized that all American ladies aren’t potential prostitutes, they’ve their self-esteem and self-respect, and from then onwards I was taken as an illiterate Paki, and too a sex manic, also became a saw thumb in my own Sindhi community at Boston, while girls at campus used to avoid me during whole course of time I spent there, as for Stella, for three days she remained absent from campus feeling humiliated by my foolish act, I was never able to come before her again even to say sorry.”
At last the electronic bell buzzed and burqa-girls rushed out from class even before me.
Standing in the classroom of this wonderful private university having modern infrastructure, parking lot, lash green gardens, canteens, labs, a huge library, I adjusted my navy blue tie that has white dots and started my new lecture saying:
“The difference between Sufism and secularism is very minor, there is just a thin string between them you pull away that string and you find both are actually same.”
“Sir;” it was Ashfaque with huge black beard from northern areas raising his hand and asking: “aren’t both of them blasphemous?” hearing this I sighed, whenever someone asks such a question a sigh of disbelief comes out of my mouth and replied:
“You see my dear, our biggest problem is we become judgmental very quickly and immediately call person unbeliever, unfaithful or infidel just because he doesn’t agrees with our ideology.” At that moment I missed my class fellow Amber a lot, she too was judgmental and used to give tags to people immediately.
Amber was my class fellow at University of Sindh, when I was enrolled in the bachelors program, she belonged to bureaucratic family of Lahore and don’t know how she got admission on domicile of Mirpurkhas, during those days I was a student leader of a Sindhi nationalist party which was striving for the rights of Sindh. Amber used to tag me as traitor and agent of neighboring emeny country.
I said to the class: “the main difference between these two is that sufism is based upon spirituality, while secularism is based upon materialism, since a puritan sufi is spiritual and has no charm for earthly bounties, he is not corrupt.” I had just stopped talking, when irritating Salma, this time pink silky burqa rose hand and asked:
“Sir, why people like you always oppose caliphate?”
“But that is not today’s topic,” I said looking at her with astonishment.
“Sir, don’t you think that the solution to all the problems of our country lies within Islamic caliphate, and this western system is nothing but falsehood.”
“No,” I nodding my head said: “true democracy is the only solution of our problems, ” I was enough irritated by Salma but no one was there to stop her and she said:
“But sir what have we got from that democracy...!”
“And what if we get a caliph like Yazid...!!” I said, entire class burst into a laughter, Salma became speechless.
“Miss: Salma,” I took her name and asked: “have you read Moullana Moududi’s book Khalafat aur maluqiyat?”
“No sir,” she replied, seriousness in her tone.
“Then try it once in your life without a prejudice mind.” The class time was coming to an end, everyone was waiting for that shocking noise of electric bell, the history lecturer certain Mr. Asif Ali was standing outside waiting to get in and I was waiting to get out. The electric bell buzzed I came out from the class and with a smiling face passed greeting to Asif the brown half bald fellow, at thirty three we were quite different from each other in fact many of students belonging to other faculties take me as a student and most often ignore me, a well-crafted clean shaven guy with straight black silken hair can never be a teacher according to imagination of Pakistanis, a teacher has to be monstrous according to us, I walked towards brown marbled stairs so that I could go to my office, inserted the key in glass door which seemed greenish in color and entered, though my office is not big but it is beautiful with three shelves just above my chair filled with books and assignments of my students, even my glass table is messed up with number of books, I love to read and read and read and a bit to write, though the institute has given me a laptop with internet connection but I most often use printed books as my reference material.
I sat on black foamed rolling chair and lit my first Dunhill of the day, after the first puff I closed my eyes smoke came out from my nostrils like a dragon, as I closed my eyes Amber’s delightful face came before me. We usually had ideological difference, once my party came to know that she is from Punjab, they tagged me as state agent....don’t forget we never forget to tag people upon their believes and friendships, her entire upbringing is from Lahore, and in that part of the country, including its capital Islamabad, Sindhis are taken for granted as bandits and traitors.... You would find many more tags.....from history of Pakistan, which is only in bits she was told that to speak against One Unit was treason against Pakistan, while for us Sindhis the struggle against One Unit was struggle for survival of Sindh. She considered opposition of Kalabagh Dam as Pakistan’s opposition, while for us Sindhis Kalabagh Dam is another name for doomsday. Anyways, she was a beautiful young lady with full grown bosoms. I always tried to convince to her that we could live peacefully even with our ideological differences.
We were in final year, that was a beautiful Thursday morning, I reached Arts faculty which was at walking distance from my hostel, I was to find my other mates who were working with me on our final project, Amber and Rukshar were also in our group, as I reached the garden of Arts Faculty, I found Amber screaming and crying, her head laying over Rukhshar’s shoulder, while Rukhshar was patting her head.
“What happened,” coming close to them I asked: “is everything alright?” none of them replied, i sat on the grass beside them. Thick tears were coming out from Amber’s beautiful eyes and falling on her red cheeks, I stared at Rukhshar with blank face, she didn’t speak a word as though it was sin to speak on that particular day or someone had sealed her cherry colored lips. Amber sighed and then screamed at me:
“The culture and civilization for which you stand fast have died and are burried in pages of history,” she carried on with crying.
“Would you tell me what has happened?” I asked, almost screaming.
“Would you be able to listen it,” Amber screamed back and then took out a smart phone from her black leather and played an audio clip.
Girl’s (Amber) voice: hello....
Male voice: Yes Amber, I am Aftab Ahmed...
Amber: O! Sir, that’s you...how are you sir... (now friendly tone).
Aftab: fine....fine...... A pause for a while.....
Amber: Yes sir, can I know why have you called me...?
Aftab: Amber I was called by a certain friend.... Who is a friend of your brother....
Amber: Yes sir....
Aftab: You need marks in my paper...?
Amber (in shocking tone): sorry sir....!!
Aftab (hesitation in voice): I mean to say.....
(a cool deep breath)
Aftab: You would get as many marks as you want, but in return you would have to do a favor to me...
Amber (in astonishing voice): What favor sir?
Aftab (more hesitation in voice): I mean to say.....
Pause for few seconds.....
Aftab: I have a farm house outside Hyderabad, if you would spend a night with me, i promise you would be position holder in whole department....
Call disconnected.... My brain started to burst hearing this conversation which Amber had recorded on her cellphone, Amber started to sob. Sir Aftab was our teacher he was a young guy in mid thrities at that time, he was a middle class Sindhi and was politically tilted to Communist Party, he always used to talk about change in the classroom. Hearing all this I was astonished, I sat there for a while and then stood up and went out from the faculty, took out my cellphone from pocket of brown jeans and started gathering my party members, we gathered in the canteen just beside Commerce department, I asked my comrades to stand up for Amber and after some hesitation they agreed with me. We were of the opinion that Sir Aftab would immediately apologize from Amber, we came to faculty and asked for bycot of the classes, majority of students thought that once again the nationalists have lost their quota of cigarettes and out there to blackmail the administration, they might have also thought that these are the real enemies of Sindh and Sindhi nation. There was propaganda at every level against the Sindhi nationalistic movement that now even the Sindhi middle class had refused to own it.....
We the students including males and females, started chanting slogans against Sir Aftab, our number started to increase by every passing second, neutral students and teachers stood in different wings and corridors of the faculty and witnessed our protest, the heat of the day started to increase. After half an hour we got the message from dean’s office that some students should go to his office and meet him, we were five students including me and Amber who went to dean’s office. He was a fifty-eight years old dark skinned guy with thin black and white moustache, half baldy and a pot-belly, we entered his air-conditioned office.
“What now,” he said in horrifying tone: “now whose birth or death anniversary is there so that we should provide you university buses, why you are up to ruin this university, you have nothing but empty slogans.” On that Amber spoke in Urdu, the baldy was shocked and stared at her:
“Sir, my family is settled in Lahore and I am a hostler here,” after that she took out her smart phone and played the audio clip, the dean started to sweat and took a glass of chili cold water from side table and drank in one breath.
“Don’t you every worry,” he said after gaining his calm, the administration would take serious notice of this issue.” After this statement we came out of his office, we knew nothing was going to happen, so we carried on with the boycott, we were in garden of the faculty, within ten minutes rangers and police conducted a raid on faculty, I saw a shell of tear gas falling in midst of the garden, the students tried to hide their eyes and noses suddenly cops started beating us with sticks, one fat ass in Khaki hit me on my head, blackness came before my eyes, yet I started to run but was caught by two rangers personnel, they started kicking me like a football, as I was black listed for arranging my demonstrations, I fell on the ground unconscious......
“If something happens to him I would never forgive myself,” I heard Amber’s voice followed by her sob and found myself laying on the bed of Rajputana Hospital of Hyderabad.
“Don’t you worry,” it was Rukhshar this time, there was pain in her voice. There were other students also, the duty doctor along with two nurses kept on trying to stop the blood coming out from different parts of my body, after half an hour’s struggle they managed to stop my bleeding and stitched me, as the doctor and nurses left the room, Amber, Rukhshar and few other students came in, I found it hard to breath. Amber took my hand in her hands and said:
“I won’t forget this favor of yours in my entire life.” I gave her a pale smile, every part of body was just in pain.
“Am...be...r,” I took her name in broken tone: “wo...ul..d... y..o...u.....do m...e a....favor...?” and started taking long breaths.
“Anything you ask,” she said in sobs without thinking.
“Whenever,” I said in broken tone: “rights of Sindh are on stake, would you raise your voice in valleys of Punjab?” she nodded in agreement and started crying for some time.
Suddenly my cellphone buzzed, I came out from my past, and the cigarette was still between my fingers, its ash spread over glass table. Samreen was calling me. She is thirty years old white skinned lady with bob-cut hair and blue eyes, she lives in Defense and owns a cafe in her flat were people of different backgrounds gather and discuss different topics, she a social activist and her cafe is known as FTS (Flat to Speak or Feel Free to Speak). She also collects books for reading at her cafe, there is a membership system, but on weekdays even non-members are allowed to take part, and pay for some cafe and a reading from whatever they like. Few days back she has announced to arrange a discussion on Balochistan issue with that grand old long marcher Mama Shabbir.
“Hello,” I said receiving her call.
“I’ve got another threat call,” Samreen said in a worried tone, hearing this my face turned pale and trying to be calm I told her:
“Not worry Samreen, I am with you......”
Ghas Mandhi, Karachi, April 2015, Evening......
Walking through narrow streets, he entered the old building of apartments that had the political symbol kite made by electric wires over its main entrance, political slogans were painted in black on the walls. He seemed to be forty years old average person, having thin beard on oval shaped face, while he was dressed in pant shirt and a baseball cap covered his head, he started to climb the cemented stairs and reached the third floor, when he reached the floor he was out of breath and sweating, for few minutes he waited outside white wooden door of the apartment and regained his calm, after which he pushed the bell button that made an irritating sound, he waited for some time but got no answer, so he pushed the button once again. This time a male voice came from inside asking: “who is it?”
“Abrar...” he took his name, the wooden door was jarred and two black eyes stared through the space, suddenly the door opened and Abrar quickly entered the apartment, the door was closed as quickly as possible. It was a two bedroom simple apartment which required maintenance as patches of plaster were falling from the roof, but it was a carpeted apartment without appropriate furniture, mattress lay on the floor in one room, while the other room was closed, there was enough light in the apartment but no proper ventilation, and Aslam had spent three years in this apartment but this is how people in Karachi live. Abrar stared at small television and bedroom fridge, he was asked to sit down.
Aslam took out the bottle of water from fridge and put it in front of his guest, Aslam was a tall dark clean shaven young working in some private company as a software engineer.
“We have got an assignment for you,” Abrar lightening his local branded cigarette said in low but sharp tone, smoke spread in entire room which made both of them to cough, Aslam gazed him with silence, the red balls of his eyes were about to come out from their sockets.
“From quite some time you haven’t got any assignment,” Abrar said puffing the cigarette: “it seemed that masters have forgotten you, but no, they reserve their best people for special occasions.” There was a dirty smile on Abrar’s face, there was a pause for a while, then Abrar took out a brown envelope from under his shirt and passed it to Aslam, he took it and put it under the dirty pillow.
“Remember one thing target must be killed on spot,” Abrar standing up said and walked towards the main wooden door, as he left Aslam shut the door behind him, returned
to the room took out the envelope opened it and found a picture of lady with smiling face, she might be in her early thirties, he took out a white sheet upon which time, date and venue of the assignment was mentioned. He sat down opened his laptop scanned the photo and saved the data into his classified folder and then burnt the paper and photograph.
Like rest of the world, Karachi has a vast network of sleeper cells and Aslam was one of them, it is very hard to catch a sleeper cells as they live amongst common people, look like common people and work like common people, but common people don’t recognize who these people actually are? A sleeper cell never discusses anything with any one and they try give no response as everything in world is just fine, they make it sure that they are in sleeping mode or unconscious in the society, but when a sleeper cell gets an assignment he is activated like a time bomb and accomplishes his mission in no time. Aslam had no close friends and his neighbors had no idea who he was? The only thing they knew about him was, he was a software engineer in a private company, who used to leave house at nine thirty am and returned back at seven pm.
Aslam closing his laptop lied on the mattress and closed his eyes, suddenly he felt his left side of head is aching, the ache was severe and felt he couldn’t breathe, he stood up went to the cupboard attached to the wall took out a glass jar filled with leeches, he unbuttoned the shirt and threw it away, he opened the jar and pulled out one leech, then lay straight on the mattress and put the leech on his hairy chest, when the leech bit him, he once again closed his eyes.
When he was eleven years old for the first time he suffered from this ailment, it was a cold night he was fast asleep, and having a nightmare, he dreamed that he was being chased by wolves and pigs in a jungle, there is darkness everywhere, shouting.....screaming....pigs and wolves jumping behind him, the wolves had sharp blunt teeth like knives, those sharp teeth were entering his soft flesh, in his nightmare he realized he is screaming and calling for help but no one is hearing him, suddenly he woke up and it was his room, very same furniture, same bed and same curtains, he was laying on the bed, sweating and shivering and then he felt pain in left portion of head, he laid there motionless. In the morning when his mother came to see him, she was shocked seeing his condition and called her husband. Aslam was taken to hospital, the doctor examined him and after CT scan it was known that one of the veins is blocked, the doctor prescribed a treatment for two months, but there was no improvement, he often had that pain. One day an Imam of local mosque a short, fat red eyed fellow suggested Aslam’s father let the leeches suck his blood, and since that day Aslam used leeches whenever he had pain in head.
The leech kept on sucking his blood, he remained motionless, but his mind drifted to childhood, he clearly remembered that chili December evening, it was the night of 15th Shouban (the eight month in Islamic calendar) entire city of Karachi was decorated with bulbs and lights, people were rushing towards mosques, the local clerics were calling people to come to mosques on this holy eve, this was the eve; according to clerics, during which Allah was about to write fate of whole humanity for next year, come and pray to Allah; so that you might have a prosperous year, the Muslims called it “Sabh-e-Baraat”, as the elders were rushing to mosques, the children were firing crackers and the ladies were cooking sweets and puris, from the minaret of a mosque came the voice of a cleric lecturing people about the doomsday, Muslims in fear were hurrying to enter mosques, even those who sold meat of dogs and donkeys in name of goats and sheep covering their heads with handkerchiefs were hurrying to sit in first rows. Outside the apartments building kids were firing crackers which were making a lot of noise.
“It is today’s night when your food for whole year would be decided by Allah and this night might change your destiny....” came a voice from nearby mosque. The religious gathering at Nashtar Park was waiting for arrival of governor and the chief minister.
At that time Aslam was thirteen years old young lad, having red lips and round whitish cheeks.
“Aslam,” his mother had called him, he came out from his room, mother giving him plate full of sweets and puris said: “go deliver it to the guy on top floor.” He took the plate from his mother but his hands felt the heat and put it down on the table.
“Be quick,” mother gave the order. Aslam took the plate and left the apartment, climbing the stairs he reached the top floor and pushed the bell button, moments later a huge guy with pony tail hair and red eyes was standing in the door, seeing him Aslam almost pissed his pants, the guy was playing with his thick black beard, Aslam tried to give him the plate and said:
“This is for you.” The guy smiled and said: “come in ....come in....” Aslam went inside the apartment, the huge fellow closed the wooden door behind him, Aslam put hot plate on the table, he saw cigarette butts and ashes on the table, a white empty vodka bottle, he could feel the sting in the air, for few seconds the guy stared Aslam, who felt as though sharp teeth of wolves from his nightmare are entering his soft flesh, he wanted to run away but was unable to do so...within the blink of an eye that ugly guy was over Aslam and started feeling him, Aslam tried to scream but huge hairy hand covered his face, the guy unfastened his belt his dirty jeans was on floor in a second he pulled down Aslam’s trousers, tears fell from his eyes as he felt hot lips on his buttocks, the guy took Aslam’s hand in his hand and moved it over his groin, Aslam felt some soft fleshy thing which was becoming harder and harder till it stood like an iron rod, and then he felt an iron rod entering him, his mouth covered with huge hairy hand, he felt the person behind him moving.....pain....pain....pain......and then phut....phut....phut......
When Aslam returned to his apartment, mother screamed at him:
“You rascal I told you to return quickly,” and then he felt a slap on his cheek without knowing what had happened to him...... Since then every night became a nightmare for him, he used to wake up with a scream, felt pain in back, and started fearing from every man, yet he survived and completed his graduation, he was roaming in the vast city of Karachi to find some job, when target killing started in Karachi, in which his parents were killed. And then his fate opened and got a job in a software house, but still he felt mental stress. Here he met Junaid, who was of his age and worked in the same section, Junaid was fond of having big hair and moustache, though being in same section they both had not shared more than hi and hello for the first week. But on the Monday of the next week Junaid approached him during lunch time, the canteen was full but still they were able to get a table in the corner, cigarette smoke and noise was irritating but Aslam tried to adjust.
“Can I ask you something?” Junaid started the conversation, Aslam stared him with blank face and nodded his head.
“Why are your eyes showing sorrow?”
“I don’t know...” Aslam moving his shoulders replied carelessly.
“There is something....there must be something....?” Junaid asked again in same curiosity, as though he had entered Aslam’s mind, Aslam became agitated by mere presence of Junaid, he thought it was Junaid who had molested him when he was thirteen..... He focused on the TV screen, a lady guest was giving her opinion on an overnight political program which was being repeat telecast, she said: “time has come that Pakistan be a secular country, whatever problems we are facing today, are because of religious extremism and intolerance.” Hearing this Junaid’s eeys almost came out and he whispered in his lips: “hypocrite...” Aslam gave him a look, Junaid continued: “you mother fucking bitch, you are the real problem. Fucking Indian agents.” he became silent for a moment and then said: ’if it was possible I would have killed all such bitches and pimps.” Aslam remained silent, Junaid continued in anger: “Pakistan was formed in the name of Islam, people left unholy land like India and came to this holy land only for the sake of Islam,” his anger was increasing and starring at Aslam said: “my friend aim of every patriotic citizen must be to protect this country and raise the Islamic flag, it is destiny of every Muslim to conquer the world and impose Islamic laws.” At that moment Junaid looked at the counter, there was no one there, he stood up and went to the counter and bought two plates of biryani, he returned to the table.
“I belong to a group;” he told Aslam chewing the spicy rice: “named Takmeel-e-Pakistan, we are striving to make Pakistan second Madina of Islam and impose Islamic sharia, and to achieve such a great goal we are led by our great commander Zahid Khan, every night we gather at his place and attend his marvelous lectures about glory of Islam, you mark my words Islam and Pakistan are the only hope of survival of entire humanity.” there came a little pause after which Junaid offered Aslam to join him this night for today’s lecture.
“No....I......” Aslam tried to refuse the offer, but he got a sour luck as words didn’t come out from his mouth Junaid considering it a fine opportunity said: “then it is done tonight at eight pm I would wait for you at Baloch Pull.” Aslam found himself helpless before his new friend.
That evening at eight thirty pm they reached at a beautiful house located at Shahrah-e-Faisail, the house was owned by Zahid Khan, it was a double storey house painted in white paint, ten to twelve cars of different models were parked outside the house, Junaid parked his bike and moved towards the entrance Aslam followed him, the guard in blue dress knew Junaid very well and nodded his head with smile, Junaid did the same in reply, they crossed the lash green lawn and entered into a big hall that was carpeted, approximately thirty people of all ages were present in the hall all sitting on the carpeted floor, while a red caped person in green silk shirt and white pants having white bread that was just visible was sitting on the chair, from his looks he was no more than fifty five years old spectacled guy, Junaid went straight to that guy bowed and kissed his right hand, Aslam had to do the same.
“See;” Zahid said looking at the crowd already seated with a smiling face: “Junaid is our true mujahid, he has brought a new companion for us,” everyone passed a smile of appreciation towards Junaid, he along with Aslam sat down with others on the floor, Aslam was attracted to the picture of a warrior in black grabs riding a white stead, holding a sword, at one corner of the picture it was written “Islamic Warrior....” it hung just above Zahid’s head.
“Today we are going to touch special topic;” Zahid said in his peculiar tone: “which is motivation for us to live in this world.” Zahid claimed that he took part in the Afghan Jihad against USSR and it was most romantic period of his life, though he had to face controversies earlier in his career, he was called “a companion of lair, who claimed to be a prophet....” and due to his blasphemous ideas his wife got divorce from him, but he called himself the true warrior of Allah, he carried on speaking: “to fulfill that mission Allah gave us this holy country in the month of Ramadhan as a gift...” and after a brief pause he said: “Ghazawa-e-Hind has to take place, it has been foretold by our Prophet (PBUH) and troops of rightly guided men have already been selected the Pak Army would lead us in that, it is destined that India would be doomed by a Muslim army and then the entire sub-continent would get a new name and that new name would be Pakistan,” he continued motivating his young guns: “we are also foretold that caliphate would be reestablished and Muslims would rule the world.”
“Insha’Allah......Insha’Allah......” cried his audience.
“Always remember,” Zahid spoke with confidence: “we are at state of war facing external and internal enemies and number two there can’t be any friendship with India, and whosoever speaks about such dirty friendship is infidel and apostate and such person deserves death and only death, Delhi is waiting for us my dears, we would raise the green flag over Red Fort sooner or later....” he was getting excited, but a fair young lady wearing an American branded t-shirt and black pajamas entered the room and interrupted him, she walked towards Zahid, her round firm breasts were swinging here and there, she whispered something in his ear, his face became pale and then nodded his head in agreement and said: “we have to see some very important guests, we would continue with this subject tomorrow,” he stood up and walked out with the young lady.
Zahid climbed the marble stairs and entered a well decorated room, two well-trimmed guys were already sitting on the sofas, they both were in simple plain clothes, he opened his arms to welcome them, and they both stood up and gave him a hug. They all sat down facing each other.
“Mr.Zahid,” one of the two who had red face and blue eyes and looked like a Pathan warrior spoke in thick accent: “you were unable to beat a bitch in a TV debate....!!”
“My dear sir,” Zahid said buttering his guests: “don’t you worry those RAW agents won’t get a second chance, we have already done so much work that no true Muslim and Patriotic Pakistani would ever listen to these bastards.”
“And what have you done about that baldy journalist?” this time the other fellow with dark skin said: “he is still spreading non-sense.” Zahid’s face became pale, the guy continued in angry tone: “do you think we pay you for nothing......spending millions of rupees for your non-sense.....?” Zahid was speechless, the same guy continued: “boss wants immediate results, the whole country is in mess and you are playing hanky panky, you think these baldy politician can run this country?”
“No sir,” Zahid replied mildly: “absolutely not....”
“Then kick them out of our way,” the fair guy spoke this time: “we could do it by ourselves but our prestige and honor is on stack at this moment, we are engaged in different operations, that is why we have hired mercenaries like you, show us some result.”
“Yes sir,” Zahid again spoke in mild tone.
“Now we want complete possession of Karachi, create a chaos, malign that urban political party activate your sleeper cells,”
“As you order sir,” Zahid said with a smile.
“Boss has sent one million rupees for Mission Our Karachi, crush every voice that is against us, destroy everyone who doesn’t want our political role,” said the blackie: “utilize the media properly, let there be riots.” Zahid listened them patiently, there was a pause for while them both guests stood up simultaneously, Zahid was also on his legs, they shook hands and left.
Aslam and Junaid came to Zahid’s residency the next and entered the same hall, today Zahid seemed to be in a jolly mode, his students kissing his hands sat down on the floor, Junaid and Aslam did the same. Zahid gazed in the pale eyes of Aslam and then bringing a smile on his face Zahid said pointing at Aslam: “we see a holy warrior hiding behind this young fellow, such a warrior who could embrace death with a smiling face for our pure religion and pure country, my dear hurs are waiting for you in paradise.”
“Masha’Allah....Masha’Allah......” everyone including Junaid screamed, but Aslam was astonished, he thought what was so special about him.
“We could figure out the aroma of faithfulness and fidelity from his body,” said Zahid with a smile, at that precise moment the young lady who interrupted the lecture the day before entered the room carrying a silver vase in her right hand and threw rose water over Aslam, he thought that he was being baptized to this new world where nothing was above the pure religion, he was feeling already like a holy warrior.
“Almighty Allah has chosen you all for a special purpose, Zahid said with a smile, Aslam stared at his red cap.
“Can you guess what that purpose is?” Zahid asked from everyone, there was an irritating pause in the room for a while, Zahid broke the ice: “that purpose is to fight for Islam, strive to establish Islamic caliphate and kill every infidel, and to surrender on the hand of caliph,” when he said this he widened his chest and moved forward his right hand as thou he had become a caliph.
“And after that wage a holy war over that impure land and bless it with light of Islam.” There came a small pause after which Zahid spoke: “it was predicted by our prophet some fourteen centuries ago, Ghazwa-e-Hind is mentioned in the traditions of the prophet and any troop that would conquer India and chain its king, hellfire would never touch that troop, no one should have a doubt in this tradition, it has to happen.” Aslam was not interested in all that stuff, he was only thinking why such a great scholar praised him, what is hidden inside him.....?
“The area of Khurrasan....” Zahid’s words reached his ears: “is today’s Pakistan and Afghanistan and some parts of Iran, by the grace of Allah a mighty force would raise from these parts and conquer India, but we have to face a little problem,” and once again there was a short pause after which Zahid said:
“The Kharijeen or the apostates, the Muslim community is facing this problem since fourteen centuries Kharijeen announced war against Hazrat Ali and Ameer Mauwi’ya, who consider everyone else as infidel, let me tell you today’s Kharijeen are the TTP, who have waged war against Islamic State of Pakistan. The holy prophet gave us signs regarding Kharijeen in various traditions, these signs are: they would take money from infidels to fight against Muslims, their faces would be covered with huge beards, they would use those verses of the book against Muslims which are to be applied against Jews and pagans....and we confirm all these signs within TTP, they are open enemies of Muslim community. It is our duty along with Pak army to wipe out this evil race from face of the earth.” Everyone was nodding head in agreement, that night at ten pm when everyone was trying to leave, Zahid pointed Junaid and Aslam to stay. Everyone else left the room, only Zahid, Junaid and Aslam were left.
“We are going to wage a holy war against Kharijeen and apostates in Karachi,” Zahid spoke in low tone: “and for that we need young guys willing to serve Allah on our signal....” Zahid stood up, Junaid and Aslam tried to stand up but Zahid stopped them pointing his hand to remain in their positions, he came close to Aslam and put his right hand over Aslam’s shoulder and said: “as you have surrendered over my hand, now you are bound to follow every instruction of mine,” he became silent for short while and then said: “there is no need for you two to attend my lectures any more, tonight you would receive an envelope each at your homes, from tomorrow go to the address mentioned in those envelopes, here you would be trained to use different weapons....don’t forget we are in state of war....” Aslam lost his ability to think, he thought he was under a magical spell.
The next day they came to a club in Defense Housing Authority (DHA) and found a shooting range in the basement, here they were greeted by a middle aged clean shaven guy Abbas, who introduced them to different weapons, they were trained for whole month, in this training they learned to use weapons of every type and were also taught how to make different remote control bombs and suicide jackets. Whenever Aslam gripped a 9MM in his hand that evil face who had molested him at the age of thirteen would come before his eyes, after that he used to empty entire magazine on the target board with hundred percent accuracy.
It was a Saturday evening Aslam was practicing on the target board when he felt soft hands hugging him from the back, he was completely shocked by this move, which remained him of his physical abuse, he elbowed the person behind him with full strength.
“Aoooch....” cried a female voice falling on the floor he turned quickly and pointed his gun straight to the other person.
“Calm down,” the beautiful young lady said in sober tone, she was the same lady who had thrown rose water over him: “I just wanted to be acquainted to you.” He gave her his hand, she took it and said: “Commander Zahid has ordered me to spend some time with you, I am Natasha.”
“Oh! I am sorry,” Aslam stammered
“I am working with commander Zahid for two years,” she said with a smile.
“Pleased to meet you,” Aslam responded with a pale smile, this was his first experience with a young attractive lady.
“Can we move to some private place,” Natasha said winking her left eye.
“I....I....” Aslam hesitated, Natasha put her long index finger on his red lips, and they walked upstairs and came to a well-furnished room.
“I am the love warrior of the group,” Natasha said throwing herself on the double bed, she signaled him to come near her, he moved towards, Natasha pulled him towards her, he was over her, without any further delay she kissed him on the lips shamelessly, it was a long kiss that took air out of Aslam’s lungs, his head started to spin, they kissed for one more time, Aslam felt butterflies flaying in his belly, he moved his tongue over Natasha’s neck, unbuttoned her pink shirt discarded her white bra and felt and sucked her round breasts, he moved farther and his hand found Natasha’s love spot, it was wet and hot...... Natasha closed her eyes.....suddenly Aslam realized this might be a devil’s temptation and stopped playing with her soft body, Natasha opened her eyes and asked in astonishing tone: “what happened?”
“I fear you are send to tempt me,” he said agitatedly.
“Woman is the only creature that could satisfy a man mentally and physically, and you need mental as well as physical satisfaction,” she said with a smile.
“But...” he hesitated but Natasha put a finger on his lips and said: “Sir Zahid narrates us a story from time of Banu Abbas caliphate, once there was a troop during the reign of banu Abbas which fought over a dispute over concubines possessed during a battle,” Aslam gazed her in shock, she continued: “banu Abbas and banu Umayyad dynasty is an astonishing dynasty in whole Islamic history, though Islam reached to other parts of the world by various attacks on different nations during times of these two dynasties but the Arabs lost Islam completely during this period, banu Hashim were killed in time of banu Umayyad, while banu Abbas kicked graves of Umayyad, and took their womenfolk as concubines. One band during this period led by Asas Hashri went to Rome, at a certain place the band stopped for rest and were sent barrels of wine and herds of hundreds of concubines for their satisfaction. Forty eight years old Asas Hashri being the commander wanted special favors and reserved twelve concubines for himself, upon which his cousin Hakin Hashri became angry and announced a rebel against Asas for this unjust division, that night when Hakin planned to attack with his men Asas in his tent was enjoying company of twelve naked concubines over a cup of wine, the rebels attacked the tent killed the commander and took away the concubines, in the same way Hakin became lustful for concubines and made an unfair division, upon which his younger brother Zubair rebelled and killed him, before the band could march to Rome it was divided within itself, and one hundred fifty Muslims lost their lives over dispute of concubines.” Natasha came over Aslam, her breasts were over his face, he fondled the left one, and they carried on with their love making for half an hour playing with each other’s bodies.
Aslam still lay motionless, the blood sucking leech was fattened, now he started to think about his first mission which was a great success, it was three years back......
It was a hot and humid September evening of 2012, people were roaming here and there on the streets of Saddar, the road near Cafe Jaybees was filled with cars, auto rickshaws, motorcycles and other vehicles, there was an open air tea shop belonging to a Pathan family of KPK or maybe it was a refugee family from Afghanistan, many people were enjoying their evening tea with their friends, suddenly a motorbike stopped beside the tea shop, there two riders on it, their faces were hidden behind masks, they pulled guns and opened straight fires upon the tea shop, when their rounds were empty they disappeared in thin air, six people including the shop owner died on spot, while several others were reported critically injured, there was harassment in the area, and human blood was spread everywhere.....it was the first little victory for Aslam.
The leech on Aslam’s chest fell down, he picked it up and put it in the jar, now he was feeling relaxed, he opened the laptop and rechecked the name of his new target, place and time, he opened his e-mail account and found he had received one new e-mail, which gave him the detailed plan. He closed the laptop and went towards the window and stared outside, night had fallen and there was darkness everywhere. .
After taking my last class, I once again returned to my office, actually nor I, neither my students had enjoyed that lecture, I was in agitating state of mind, worried about Samreen, she was receiving dire threats from quite some time for her activities at FTS. I was about to sit on the chair in my office, when 45 years old Bengali office attendant Akram having a goatee beard on his chin entered the office and putting a business card before me said:
“Sir you have visitors.”
“Who is he?” I asked releasing a cool breath.
“He said his name is Abdul Aziz,” Akram replied.
“Alright send him in,” I said, he went out, Akram is amongst those people who fell in love with Karachi, and because of that love he was accused of treason with his entire nation during 1971 Indo-Pak war, at that time he was just nineteen years old young lad and had just married, the Bengalis had announced to leave Pakistan and have their own independent country, that was the unique event of history, never in history had happened that a majority was being oppressed by minority, history had never witnessed before that majority crying for their rights from minority, and then Indian army had crossed the international border of Pakistan, though there was chaos everywhere but Bengalis living in West Pakistan were facing most hardships at the hands of their fellow Muslims, Islam was unable to unite dark skinned Bengali Muslims with fair skinned Punjabi Muslims, Akram’s family tried to escape to Chittagong from Karachi, but he refused his family telling that only death could separate him from Karachi, his aged father asked to leave Karachi, now they won’t tolerate any Bengali here, despite of all that Akram refused to leave his beloved city, it was a dark horrifying night of October, Akram’s entire family left or Chittagong including his wife, he protested but no one listened to him and was left alone, there was an air strike, our beloved Karachi was on fire, the fighting jets were flaying in the dark Karachi sky, Akram sat in one corner of empty house, Akram was feeling pain of loneliness and thought: what is achieved from wars....a river of blood and rotten flesh of human beings, suddenly he heard a knock at the main door of his house, he walked to the door and opened, he saw his two brothers-in-law standing before him:
“You traitor,” screamed the elder brother-in-law pulling a gun from his belt, Akram pushed them back and tried to escape in darkness, two bullets were fired one after the other, Akram was hit in his right leg, his brothers-in-law ran away leaving him lying in the street like a starry dog, when the curfew was pulled, some neighbor brought him to local hospital, because of bleeding he remained unconscious for three days, and then found himself laying in white sheets of some government owned hospital of Karachi, though this war had taken everything from him, still he was happy to be in Karachi, since then Akram walks with a limping leg. Once he had told me a story of 1971 war and how Bengalis were mistreated, he told me about how his family members that were still in East Pakistan joined the Mukhti-Bahani… He had come to my apartment to assist me in my shifting and narrated the story:
“0900 hours at morning, early days of November, cold and shiver in streets, chilly winter breeze had started and in few mountainous areas snowfall had been reported, smoke was coming out from every part of human body, as anyone spoke smoke came out with the words. Captain Saladin a Lahori by birth was ordered to go to East Pakistan; he was young, tall, dark and handsome with almond eyes and short hair cut in army style. The captain was ordered to join the camp in East Pakistan and was strictly told to disguise himself and behave as a common man doing research on Bengali culture, but actually he was going to perform espionage duties finding out Bengali rebels and reporting to the GHQ. One blunder done by some crazy men both in uniform and without uniform was now causing a serious damage. India on the other hand was threatening and infiltrating in domestic affairs of Pakistan. Though they had their own part of Bengal with Calcutta, and Punjab with Amritsar; yet they wanted to have drinks at Lahore Gymkhana under their tricolor. Islam the ground on which this country’s foundation was laid seemed no more good enough to keep five different nations: the Sindhis, Bengalis, Baloch, Pathans, and Punjabis united anymore, and rebel especially in Sindh and Bengal started as “One Unit” was imposed by Ayub to counter one province by demolishing identities of four different provinces with different languages, culture, trends, traditions, civilization and literature.
Dhaka was slipping out of hands by every passing minute, now it wasn’t only problem of Bengal’s politicians but its middle-class also stood up and chanted slogans for freedom. Information had reached Yahya, the then ruler who was having his afternoon drink at Karachi, he received a wire stating:
“A group of Bengali students is going to protest against ruthless massacre of their fellow students.”
“Crush them under your boots” Yahya sipping from his whisky had ordered arrogantly.
In Sindh student groups standing for their Bengali friends chanted in streets of Karachi, Hyderabad, Sukkur, and other cities:
“What is the meaning of Pakistan?” and the procession used to shout as loudly as possible:
“Hanging, lashing and Martial Law…..” Instead of saying meaning of Pakistan is ’Laillaha illalah.’
As Captain Saladin received orders he left for East Pakistan. He was a son of retired bureaucrat the only patriotic and loyal class of the country, questioning such Punjabi bureaucrats and establishment in Pakistan was as though questioning from God Himself! On his way to Dhaka Saladin heard people crying:
“Save the country….. Please for God’s sake save the country……” Reaching the railway station full of angry crowd two junior officers in civilian dress carried him away to barracks in open army jeep. There were arrests, interrogations, many nationalist politicians were thrown in jails especially at “Kot Lakhpat” one of the famous torture cells. Saladin reached the barrack and reported to his C.O, a fat potbellied, short heightened Punjabi brigadier.
“Captain Saladin reporting sir;” he said with a salute as his right boot made harsh sound after hitting the ground. The C.O took up his eyes from the file and stared the new comer.
“I’ve been given orders to join this part of our country.”
“Welcome officer,” the C.O spoke in thick voice, he seemed worried about things.
“Thank you sir,” Saladin replied standing attentive.
“You know;” the potbellied brigadier said looking back in the file: “the situation here is going to worst degree you have to keep your eyes open always,” and then closing the file threw it to
Saladin’s side at table.
“Our intelligentsia has;” he said: “reported that there are foreign agents helping the traitors, find them out,” and after a little pause moving the round stone paper weight on table said: “this file will help you.”
“Sir,” Saladin said leaning towards the table and picking up the file. “You may leave now,” the C.O ordered him.
“Sir,” he putting the file under his armpit saluted in enthusiasm and went out from the white walled room with dim lights. Saladin knew he had to work as an undercover agent. He rented a single room flat in the heart of the city; Bengal was on fire while the national TV and radio played Noorjehan’s:
’Aey wataan Kay Sajilay Jawanoon,
Meray Nagmay Tumharay Liyea Hain.” To boast up the moral of soldiers at battlefield as it was during the 1965 war. But common people were angry now, most Bengalis were cursing the day.
When half of Bengal was given to this side, Jinnah’s Pakistan was in serious trouble, and the troublemakers were few of Jinnah’s Pakistanis. Few people realized that Bengalis were culturally different from the rest. But so were the Sindhis from Punjabis and Balochs from Pathans. It was only Bengal that stood up against discriminatory behavior against its language and race.
At the building that was old and electric wires touched heads of people while coming up and downstairs, most of the wooden doors were termite eaten, while concrete from rooftop fell in pieces from time to time. Saladin introduced himself as a researcher in his neighborhood. Most of the times his sleep at morning was disturbed by the sound of musical instruments and singing part of rich Bengali culture, every day he was awoken by voices of dark skinned Bengali ladies singing their traditional songs.
“This is ridiculous;” he used to cry to himself standing in the open window and facing the street filled with crowd: “people start their day in name of Allah, and these devils start with singing. May all of them go to hell.” The locals used to ignore him, then he started to put cotton in his ears to avoid the noise but it was irresistible. With cup of morning tea in his hand he used sit in the wing staring at women of all shapes and sizes walking here and there in saris, men rushing to their work, children enjoying winter vacation playing cricket in streets, yet there was tension and the news bulletins only added fuel to the fire, everyday leaders of East Pakistan made speeches in their funny language. For three days Saladin found no one to speak in whole area, the only thing he was able to do was to turn on his transistor and listen high spirited songs of Noorjehan.
The statement: “Pakistan is going through most critical phase of its history, we must unite as a nation” never bored people like him. He hadn’t found any suspicious person yet, hardly anyone talked about politics, or against West Pakistan, or even about rights of Bengalis in this neighborhood. From the open wooden window of his apartment he’d a clear view of stairs, and noticed a young girl with big black eyes, and long thick black hair almost touching her firm round buttocks carrying a bucket to fetch water from building’s water tank, as the water supplies had been stopped through pipes now for two weeks, as their eyes met, she used to smile, Saladin would smile back, but at the bottom of his heart he used curse:
“Traitors can’t live in peace.” Soon he realized his job could become easier if he traps that girl, she’d give secrets about her community and what they think about present situation. But was still confused how tow to start, for him it was bit difficult, as he’d spent many good years of his youth in army barracks and camps surrounded by guys with thick beards and clean chins, he lacked confidence to get started with a girl, and that too of an enemy camp, always prejudices came in way. But the thing he hated most about Bengalis its part. One morning as he was sleeping in his warm blanket, suddenly his eyes opened on a melodious voice, as though a nightingale was singing to announce spring time, he lost control over himself, and walked out of his flat in pajamas without putting slippers in his feet or washing face, he followed the must as though he was a child or rat following the pied piper. The sound came from the fourth floor; he kept climbing up till he reached an apartment with its door open and now melody reaching clearly to his ears, few kids were having cups of tea for their breakfast, an old fat lady lay on her belly on the mattress her white hair in disarray, one of the kids seeing the stranger at this early hour of morning standing right at their doorstep called his grandmother, the old fat lady turned and gazed at Saladin, with force of hands raised her pulpy body stood up and came to him.
“Yes!” she exclaimed with amazement in her eyes and voice.
“Sorry to disturb you;” Saladin said trying to apologize, his tone soft and a pale smile raced down his face: “I just heard that beautiful voice and was unable to control my feet, which have brought me here.”
“Oh yes;” the lady replied, Saladin could see four of her front teeth missing: “my granddaughter is doing her regular practice.”
“Does such a melodious voice require daily practice?” he said, the lady laughed and patting his shoulder said:
“As the belly requires food daily, so the soul requires music full of melody.”
“Ya….ya…..” Saladin replied ignorantly, he was more interested in singer than the singing. “Come in……. come in;” she said moving away from the door post: „have a cup of tea.‟
“No thanks;” Saladin combing his short hair with fingers replied: “I haven’t washed my face.” “And you have forgotten to wear your slippers;” the lady said with a sharp smile pointing towards his bare feet: “anyways come in Bengalis don’t let their guests visiting first time without tea and water; it’s our tradition.” Saladin didn’t want to go in but was unable to refuse such generosity shown by that old lady and walked inside behind her, she offered him a well cushioned wooden chair in the hall, and he pulled it forward and sat. In the room from door ajar he was able to see a young girl playing satire with closed eyes. Saladin recognized she was the same bucket girl.
“Kaki;” the old lady spoke slowly, young beauty hearing that opened her eyes and was astonished to see the guy she saw daily as she walked downstairs to fetch water sitting at her home.
“Your voice has brought him hear,” it was again the fat lady to speak; she placed her instrument carefully by the wall stood up and came to the hall with smiling face.
“Ask your mother to bring tea for him,” her grandmother said in compassionate tone.
“Yes barima,” she said fingering the lock of her hair and went to the kitchen where her mother was preparing breakfast, there was no male in the house that increased Saladin’s curiosity as spy and was forced to ask:
“So there are only ladies living in this house?”
“At the moment;” the old lady replied adjusting the white blouse sitting down on mat: “my three sons are out doing revolutionary work, one of them is a student leader Abdul and is planning to lead a protest against the merciless murder of young Bengalis in streets of our Desh, we thought this was our own fuaj protector of our borders but now they’ve started to kill us,” there was pain and courage in her voice, this totally confused young Captain Saladin, he was shocked to know that he was sitting in enemy’s house waiting for tea, his face went pale, but was happy at back of his mind knowing that, this was his first big information after coming to East Pakistan.
“When do they return?” he asked in confusion.
“Sometime;” she said taking a deep cool breath: “days and weeks pass.”
The kids carelessly started to play hide and seek, hiding behind dirty old curtain as old as the fat lady, and rat eaten sofa sets. In the meantime Kaki brought tea in China-clay cups on silver steel tray.
“You are;” Saladin looking at the girl said a pale smile: “the one, who passes daily from my floor having a bucket in hand,” his tone made him completely foolish; her grandmother gave them a quick agitating look.
“Yes;” Kaki replied sitting next to her grandmother, she had a round face nor sparkling beauty neither an ugly duckling, big beautiful black eyes carrying all the Bengali magic that captures soul in that pair of eyes, long neck, and her mango shaped breasts adding plus points to her beauty, she was slim, her thin waxed arms were visible from her sleeveless purple blouse, and she also wore gold earrings and a gold chin with thick pendant.
Another fat middle-aged lady in light blue sari walked in, Saladin was disgraced to see the deep brown belly button seen from the space between blouse and lower part of sari, and she was working in the kitchen, seeing the stranger complained to her mother-in-law:
“Barima you know how things are changing and you invite strangers who even don’t look like Bengalis for tea;” her tone was rough and tough, Saladin gazed her with astonishing gestures she continued to talk:
“If anyone in neighborhood comes to know that our whole family would become a saw thumb, either the fuaj would kill us or our own nationalist would shed our blood.” Her statement totally made Saladin uncomfortable.
“Oh my child;” her mother-in-law hold cup of tea in hand replied: “don’t you worry, leave everything upon God, what else is world other than love and trust, life is name of intermingling with other human beings…. Long live Bengali nationalism.” The other lady went back to kitchen murmuring in her lips. Things were becoming unbearable for the young captain; for him staying at a Bengali nationalist’s home was to betray the whole army and the entire country, so he arose from his place and without uttering a word left.
As Saladin reached his flat he found some post thrown inside his flat through open door, he picked two envelopes from ground kept them on his study table and went to bathroom. After taking quick shower and brushing his teeth he came out bare-chested, while a towel rolled up to his knees, went to small space where he prepared morning and evening tea for himself. After having tea of his own hands he dressed up and looked forth into the newly received mail, routine thing asking about situation, he sat down and wrote his early morning discovery of a nationalist family living nearby, three sons involved in treason acts… one named Abdul planning to protest.
As he finished writing Saladin rolled the paper put it in a brown envelope and went out to the bazaar where he knew he would find Lieutenant Ahmed Ali disguised as a cobbler now for quite a few months. Once he was there, Saladin threw his right shoe to him, this brought a smile on cobbler’s bushy face, seeing here and there Saladin passed the envelope secretly, the cobbler didn’t react and kept it inside his wooden box, he usually sat under the palm tree beside the paan hut polishing and mending shoes while keeping strict eye on every individual.
It was evening, Saladin was at his flat when there was breakdown of light, so lightening a candle and placing it on the wooden arm of chair he opened the entrance door for ventilation, he heard footsteps coming in his direction, he become alert thinking the asshole cobbler had made some mistake and nationalist had come to know about him.
“Hello;” he heard a soft voice of female: “are you in there!” Saladin stood up took the candle in his hand and came out in corridor, he was relieved to see Kaki standing before him with plates covered with red cloth in her hands.
“Can I come in?” she asked with a smile. “Oh sure,” he replied.
“Barima has sent sweets for you,” she said coming in and passing the plates to him.
“Oh thanks;” Saladin replied with a smile placing the candle again on chair, and took plates from her, his fingers touched hers, this brought a smile of shyness on Kaki’s face.
“Is there any special occasion?” he asked softly.
“No,” she replied putting the lock of hair behind her right ear.
“Then these sweets?” he asked surprisingly going to the small space just beside the room. “That’s our tradition;” she said with excitement: “to send sweets to our new friends.”
“And what do you send to an enemy?” Saladin asked with a sharp smile, this moved Kaki from inside.
“We Bengalis;” she replied nervously: “don’t make enemies by our choice.”
“What’s that nonsense;” Saladin said with some anger in his tone, putting sweets in his utensil: “you always say we Bengalis…… we Bengalis….. Can’t you just say we Pakistanis…!” This again shocked Kaki and she was having other ideas about Saladin now but keeping herself calm replied:
“We tried a lot to be part of Pakistan; but certain Pakistanis hate us just because we are
Bengalis.‟ Saladin brought back the empty plates and handed back to her.
“I must leave now,” she said taking the plates and giving him her back walked out. While eating the sweets Saladin Kept on thinking how could such nice people rebel against the state?
Analysts like Tariq Ali sitting far away from Pakistan were giving political comments which were shaking roots of the country. Growing sections of the urban working class and petty bourgeoisie wanted to go the whole way and over throw the system, but were severely hampered by the lack of suitable political instrument what no observer can deny; however, is that the largely illiterate rural and urban masses were hungry for politics. The December 1970 election thus took on the character of a referendum on the six points; so far as East Pakistan was concerned. The result was a tidal victory for the Awami League. Of the total of 169 seats allocated to East Pakistan in National Assembly. Its 167 seats in the national legislature (a constituent assembly) gave the Bengali nationalists an overall majority to form the central government. The problem for the Pakistani ruling class lay precisely in the fact that even if Mujeeb had been prepared to make concessions, the masses who had voted for him were totally intransigent. Mujeeb was not a particularly shrewd or intelligent leader. The Awami League was a reformist formation par excellence. The tragedy of the Bengali people was that they were led by a party which had no strategy for coming in power, but was force only through series of defensive moves to elaborate tactics to confront new situation. The leaders of suffering had made Bengal desperate. People were prepared to fight and dragged their leaders willingly behind. The other side, in sharp contrast, was preparing for kill, thus wrote Tariq Ali.
“Military operation is not a solution,” cried many intellectuals.
When the country was in chaos, war was on its doorsteps, Kaki’s nineteen years young heart was filled with fragrance of love, there was red blood and rotten human flesh on roads, but red roses bloomed in her heart. She came to Saladin’s flat two days later, this time having a parcel covered with gift paper that had many small, big, white, red, yellow hearts on it.
“What is it?” Saladin asked looking at her dim face.
“Open it,” Kaki pleaded, he tore the gift paper, there was a clock box and as he opened the brown packet Saladin found Kalidas’ ‘Shakuntala’ the best of Bengali literature translated into English. This brought a pale smile to his face but inside his heart he started to burn and cursed Kaki of being infidel and traitor to a Muslim country. As she left happily Saladin threw the very best piece of Bengali literature carelessly on table without even bothering to open it. This was how he was trained at the military camp, regional literature be it Bengalis, Sindhi or in any other language a part from pure English, pure Urdu or pure Arabic was treated with hate and considered blasphemous.
As days passed Kaki started to come closer to Saladin, bringing meal for him, preparing tea in his kitchen, taking care of his laundry, and he allowed her to come closer though doubting her spying for bullshit fucking nationalists, but soon he realized she was innocent and in love with him.
A week later Saladin took advantage of her throwing her on his bed, fondling her mango shaped breasts and pinching her dark brown nipples mercilessly. As he removed her trouser he found a dark bush of pubic hair between her legs and commented:
“Are all Bengali women so dirty!” this offended Kaki a lot, threw him away and rising up hiding he naked body behind the bed sheet asked:
“What do you mean?”
“You haven’t shaved your pubic hair,” he replied, hearing this, her facial expressions changed a bit and with a pale smile replied:
“I’ll shave them on my wedding eve.” Ignoring her comment Saladin came over her lustfully like a hungry dog.
“Ah…!” Kaki moaned in pain as he went inside and tore her virginity, she started to bleed and cried, thinking the pain was unbearable:
“Pull it out, it’s is hurting me,‟ her eyes were filled with tears, but Saladin never stopped he pumped as far and as hard as he could, thinking he was invading an enemy camp, killing every enemy with just one weapon. As the act came to an end Saladin came down from her and lay side to side helplessly in each other’s arms sweating and breathing hard.
During the middle of the week of December army actions became strict than ever, killing people in streets, lashing them, there were two hundred and fifty arrests only from Dhaka just in one week. Demonstrations and processions were tear gassed; young Bengali girls and women were raped and tortured in detention cells. Finally Indian army intervened, the Bengalis stood with them. Pakistan’s whole army was mesmerized, chaos started, wine glasses fell down from hands of sick minded generals. Yahya and his team were utterly helpless to save Jinnah’s Pakistan; even God wasn’t helping a country made in His holy name.
Saladin was laying with Kaki at his flat, the transistor was on, and news about war was coming and going. Soon there would be announcement. The analysts throughout world were saying: the defeat of Pakistan army would traumatize West Pakistan and considerably dent the prestige of armed services. Jinnah and Islam’s Pakistan was nearing death.
“Pakistani forces have surrendered,” a voice came from the transistor, this brought a shocking wave to Saladin’s body he was petrified hearing these words his mind started to wander in wilderness, and he thought he and his army were stabbed in back by ugly looking Bengalis. The news continued: “a treaty has been signed and now there would be new territorial division, this new country would be called Bangladesh.”
“No,” he screamed jumping out the bed.
“What happened?” Kaki asked staring at his naked body.
“Shut up you ugly dirty bitch,” he shouted at her in anger pulling up his pants, she thought someone had stabbed in her hear, bowed her face down, rose up quickly putting her clothes on and outside crying. Saladin’s anger only increased as the news continued, he picked up the transistor and threw it with all his energy on cemented floor, the transistor broke in pieces with a harsh sound like Pakistan!!!
In the streets of this new born country Bangladesh, people started rejoicing and celebrating their independence to which they gave a name “Yuam-e-Nijat” (The Day of Salvation). There were dances and drum beatings, people distributing sweets in joy. Saladin walked down the street with anger, agony and disgrace. A young guy called him from behind:
“Brother happy independence to Bengalis,” and reaching him presented a sweet box.
“Shut up;” Saladin throwing away the box shouted: „you mother fucking evil Bengali, go to hell all you monsters.‟
“You son of a bitch, traitor,” cried that young Bengali, people gathered around both of them.
“He’s a lover of that Pakistan,” young guy told others.
“Kill him,” everyone shouted and started to punch Saladin’s face, kicked him, bet him with shoes and sticks, he was on ground all bleeding, the mob tied ropes in his legs and pulled him towards the round chowk at main bazaar.
“We should burn this evil guy,” cried someone from the mob.
“Yes;” a girl shouted: “Abdul uncle is right we must burn this devil,” it was Kaki who said that,
Saladin slowly opened his eyes, lashed filled with blood, and saw Kaki standing beside her uncle. With a dying pale smile on his face Saladin spat blood on dry muddy ground.
“You fucking whore,” he cried in low tone yet audible to few standing right beside him. “You filthy pig,” said Abdul kicking him between his legs.
“Ah…” he cried, Kaki gave her uncle a tin of kerosene oil and match box, to guys moved forward and tied Saladin up with iron posts of the roundabout, Abdul threw kerosene oil on him, and then lit a match stick and threw it on Saladin, soon he was caught with fire.
“God save me,” he cried loud, but someone from left side threw a burning torch upon him shouting with pleasure:
“Long live Bangladesh…. Long live Bengali nation……”
A strong build guy in his mid-forties entered my office, he had a broad chest and thick moustache under his nose, I stood up shook hand and offered him seat, he sat down and said in firm tone:
“I am Inspector Abdul Aziz of Crime Branch Karachi,” I gave him a worried look and said: “How may I help you?”
“Do you know any lady named Miss: Samreen?” he asked in firm tone, when he took Samreen’s name I thought someone had pulled life out of my body, the first thought that entered my mind was something bad has happened to Samreen.
“Yes,” I replied biting my lower lip: ’if you are talking about Samreem of FTS cafe...” He assured me he was talking about Samreen and asked: “how well you know her?” I was shocked by this statement and asked: “what do you mean?”
“Well I mean,” he said in same tone lightening a cigarette: “you are friends....good friends....or something else.....”
“I think we are good friends,” I replied in agitation, Inspector Abdul Aziz gazed in my face, I started to sweat.
“Should I consider that Miss: Samreen shares problems of her life with you?” he asked puffing the cigarette.
“Yes,” I replied moving my shoulders
“Do you know,” he said letting the smoke to come out from his thick nostrils: “some people are offended by programs and seminars arranged by Miss: Samreen and she constantly gets dire threats?” everything darkened before my eyes and thought some bastard has harmed Samreen.
“Yes, but is she alright?” I asked in curiosity. Inspector Aziz took out a photograph from front pocket of his white shirt and handed it to me, i looked at the photograph carefully, it was of a young guy who must be my age, and he was laying on the floor of a cheap apartment in a pool of blood.
“Who is he?” I asked with curiosity.
“His name is Aslam Ali,” Aziz spoke carelessly: “earlier this morning at six am, we got a tip that Aslam is murdered and his body is in an apartment at Ghas Mandhi, he was a software engineer in some private software house, we recovered a laptop from his apartment and came to known he was assigned to kill Miss: Samreen,” he stopped talking, my head started to spin.
“We are investigating this case,” Aziz’s voice fell on my eardrums like a hammer: “so that we could find out the real culprit, let me share a classified piece of information,” he leaned towards me and said secretly: “he was a sleeper cell working for some extremist group.” I sat thee silently grabbing whatever was thrown to me by the inspector.
“Thank you Mr. Saleem,” Aziz said standing up: “it was nice meeting you,” I stood up and shook hand with him saying: “you are welcome....” he took out a business card from his black leather wallet and passing it to me said: “this my business card if you find anything suspicious around you and Miss: Samreen or any information that you want to share with me, please do contact.”
“Sure, I will,” I said, he started to walk out, after few paces stopped and turned to me and said: “can I give you a suggestion?”
“Yes sir,” I said looking at him.
“If Miss: Samreen really listens to you,” he said in a friendly tone: “then ask her to remain silent because talking on certain issues in this country is considered as an act of blasphemy, to be alive in this country and especially in Karachi, one must keep his eyes and mouth shut.” I stared him with blank face, he walked out, and I sat down on the chair, putting both hands on my head.
I had met Samreen three years ago at her cafe, I was just offered the job in this institute, and had might Imran Zaboon of Kashmir at canteen who teaches literature in this institute, he is a thin and tall guy, with thin dark brown moustache and red face, during his student years he was an active member of a left wing party, he was in front rows propagating communist agenda, and used to write revolutionary couplets and I was told he had been punished of eight lashes for his poetry during Zia regime, one fact about his poetry is though he writes couplets after couplets but has not completed one whole poem in his entire life, he is fond of eating tobacco paans, he was the one who took me to FTS cafe as he was a member there. The cafe is located in an apartment building at Defense View, just opposite Imtiaz Shopping Mall, and on could find Isra University on just the opposite road, Samreen’s apartment cum cafe is on the second floor, it has three rooms and a hall, with shelves of books attached to each wall, the rooms are used for daily discussions, gatherings and readings, while the hall is reserved for special lectures, people feel free to have discussions on politics, role of military, social problems, literature, history, art, drama and occasionally sex. Imran and I reached the FTS at seven thirty pm on one Friday, there were twenty people already sitting in one room, we were greeted by a beautiful round faced lady having bob-cut hair and thin sight glasses covering her deep eyes, she greeted us with smile.
“Miss: Samreen,” Imran said introducing me to her: “meet my friend Saleem, he is newly appointed in our institute as a lecturer of anthropology.”
“Welcome to FTS cafe be at ease,” she said with a smiling facing shaking my hand.
“Thank you Mam,” I said with a smile.
“Please come here and sit,” she guided us to the room: “today we are discussing about transgender and she-males.” We sat down on the carpeted floor a she-male named Razi stood in the center, her face was covered with face powder and lips were under thick red lipstick. Razi started narrating her life story:
“I was born as a complete male in a middle class family of Karachi, we three siblings and life was moving smoothly, my father had passed away when I was just a teenager, I was the youngest of all, my elder brother Shahid was in Dubai, while my sister Shahnaz after completing her gradation got a teaching job at a government school, as for me I complete my degree in computer engineering and got a job in a private firm, ours was a traditional religious family, but don’t know why my sister refused to marry.....days kept on passing and my mother was diagnosed as a cancer patient. I used to pray five times a day, fast for whole month of Ramadhan and recited the holy Quran.....” we were served coffee and cookies by a young lady, suddenly my eyes met Samreen’s, she passed a smile, I too gave her a smile and bowed my head, I was having strange feelings for her, Razi continued with the story: “my life changed suddenly,” Razi paused for a while puffed from cigarette and sipped from tea and then said: “Shahnaz had a friend Hameeda, a good looking girl, having round white face, good pair of breasts, dark black thick hair and almond eyes. At that time I was working in a multi-national company SoftTech, actually a software house as a junior software engineer, since Hameeda was Shahnaz close friend, she used to visit daily our flat which at that time was in Korangi, my father had died year ago in target killing and Shahid was at Qatar, Shahnaz told me that Hameeda was interested in me, mother and she also want her to be my bride,” at this point sadness overshadowed Razi, everyone stared at she-male’s face her eyes shining, Razi threw the butt of cigarette and lightened another.
“Seeing;” Razi said letting the smoke out from nostrils like a dragon: “my family’s interest in this girl I agreed to marry Hameeda, it was a normal middle-class wedding fest,” there came a little pause and then Razi said:
“I never thought marriage will change my life.” I was served a cup of coffee by Samreen with a smile, I too gave her a smile.
“First;” Razi spoke again with pain in tone: “few weeks were very delightful, there was ample sex between me and my new wife, she was more trained at sex than me knowing all the techniques to erect me and sometimes her little moans and cries during the act used to make me a crazy wild beast pumping harder and harder in her. Two weeks later she told me to use condoms for she didn’t want to get pregnant so early and wanted to enjoy a complete sex life before having a baby, I agreed with her even on that point. After one month of our marriage my mother died, now we three me, Hameeda and Shahnaz lived together, I earned enough from my job while both ladies remained at home.” Razi stopped talking to take break.
“One day suddenly;” Razi spoke again: “riots broke in Karachi after a bomb blast, and I hurriedly left my office, though roads were blocked, tires torched, people killed but I found my way out, I escaped from all that carrying all the tension of world in my mind, and the only thing I wanted was to reach home safely. I reached home at least three hours before my regular timing, the main door was locked but I’d the master key of enter lock, swiftly opened the door as I wanted to give surprise to Hameeda and Shahnaz, so walked in silently, doors of living rooms were opened, and as I leaned my head inside Shahnaz’s room I was shocked and couldn’t believe what my eyes were seeing, darkness came before my eyes and head started to spin. My sister was all over my wife, both naked, kissing, pressing and fingering each other, moaning in delight and pleasure, Hamada’s eyes were closed, and Shahnaz went between her legs.” Razi became silent eyes filled with tears.
“It;” Razi spoke again after sobbing: “was a horrifying scene for me tears ran down to my cheeks, a thought came in my mind that perhaps I’m not man enough to satisfy my wife, without making any noise left the house, threw my cell phone away in anger, world ended for me, I wanted death, and salvation from such a grieve pain, and was walking aimlessly on road with just one question in my mind: Am I impotent?” There was a pause this time for longer duration.
“At bazaar a eunuch approached me begging money, she was Nooran my guru, I asked her to spend time with me, she said at my place or hers? I replied at hers, for that whole nigh we had sex, she was terrific at blow job, and then I asked Nooran that I wanted to be one of them. At first Nooran was mesmerized but then agreed, helped me in my operation of changing sex, as my penis and testicles were removed I lost my manhood and never returned to Hammeda and Shahnaz now for four years.” As Razi stopped telling the story silence came all over the room. But in that silence my eyes followed Samreen, I thought she was the one whom I have been searching for years, I have come again and again to this earth to find her, I thought that she was my desired Sita...my Chelopetra....and my Laila..... For centuries I have taken births and rebirths for her, people started discussing about Razi’s life but I was lost in thoughts of Samreen, her bright eyes were injuring my soul....we were still sitting, when we heard shouts and screams coming from outside, everyone inside the apartment was petrified hearing a scream:
“This is an Islamic state you rascals...” and we started to murmur, I stared at Imran fear was common in our eyes, we heard another scream this time much closer: “woe to these enemies of Islam....” and then: “stop spreading immorality.....” some ten goons entered the cafe, sticks in their hands, their faces covered with black masks, they started damaging the furniture and potriates hanging on the walls two of them moved to book shelves.
“Stop it,” Samreen cried, we were terrified by this sudden attack, not were unable to react immediately.
“Come on leave this dirty place you bastards,” a fatty screamed at us pointing his stick, and then abused Samreen.
“It is our fundamental right to discuss on different issues,” Samreen stood in the center and shouted, the fatty punched her in her belly, she cried: “aaah....!!” I closed my eyes and tried to feel the pain as though I was punched, I don’t know how I got the strength and moved towards that fatty, someone gave me a hard below on my head and felt everything was spinning. When I was back to conscious I found myself laying on bed in a private clinic, Imran stood beside me, while Samreen was laying on the next bed, I was dripped.
“What has happened to Samreen?” I asked from Imran in broken tone.
“Nothing,” he replied: “she has given you blood,” hearing this I looked towards Samreen, she gave me a pale smile, I too smiled......
Shahrah-e-Faisal, Karachi, 10:15 pm
Zahid Khan was sitting with his two special guests, there was a wine bottle, empty glasses and plates of dry fruit on the glass table at the center of the room.
“Mr. Zahid,” the one with Pathan accent spoke: “you have failed to deliver, people have stopped listening to you.”
“My dear sir,” Zahid said hypocritically: “we have been able to create clash between two political parties of Karachi, everyday ten to twelve people die in target killing, now we are just waiting for boss’s order to march at Karachi, this vast city is yours sir.”
“This entire country is ours, we own it, we give sacrifices for its integrity,” said the blackie.
“No doubt sir,” Zahid said with a smile and poured wine in empty glasses.
“We have come to know that your disciple was found dead,” said the blackie sipping from his glass.
“Yes sir,” Zahid replied and sipped the wine.
“He was a useless bastard and deserved death,” said the fair guy in his usual Pathan accent: “now listen carefully potray him as an Indian agent in your TV program,” he threw a white file on Zahid’s face “Classified Information” was written on the center of file in bold black letters, the blackie said: “use this script,”
“As you wish sir,” Zahid said sipping his wine.
“Now we would send our special shooters to kill that bitch of cafe, she wants a discussion on Baloch issue, we would show her what it means going against us.”
Defense View, Karachi, 11:00 pm......
“Samreen,” I said to her playing with her hair, we were laying on her bed and had just finished our love-making: “your life is in danger, please stop your activities for a while,” I said kissing her forehead.
“You should be my strength not weakness,” she coming on top of me said, her round breasts dangled before my mouth.
“I am not saying so but....” I said fondling her breasts.
“If you love me than stand with me on every occasion.
“I love you and am with you,” I replied looking in her eyes, she gave me a long kiss, I rolled her down and started licking her neck, our bodies were sweating.
After that incident on my first visit to FTS cafe, I became a regular visitor, and also gave few lectures on history of Sindh, Samreen was impressed from my lectures and we became lovers, she forced me to write a book on history of Sindh, and I am working on it, it’s titled as “Taboos of Sindh.”
From some time Samreen has been working for missing persons of Balochistan and started to contact Mama Shabbir, who had arranged a long march from Balochistan Islamabad, and since that day Samreen has been receiving death threats, she is told again and again to stop playing with fire,
Seventy years old Mama Shabbir came before world in 2013, when he along with his family announced to have a long march for missing persons of Balochistan, his son too is missing, marching two thousand kilometers by foot Mama Shabbir reached Islamabad, and broke record of Gandhi. He was arrested from Karachi Airport as he was going to attend an international conference on human rights at USA. When he was released, LUMS University of Lahore, arranged a seminar for him but some hidden hands pressurized the university management and the seminar was cancelled, when Samreen came to know this that a person was being forced to shut his mouth again and again, she contacted and invited him to come to her cafe and say whatever he wants to say......
I left Samreen and returned to my single bedroom flat, opened my laptop and started writing a research paper about Karachi to be presented in an international conference organized by our institute.
What an amazing city Karachi is, I wrote: a city by the sea, it faced a time when no one gave importance to it, and today Karachi has become apple of everyone’s eye, till 17th century nobody even knew that there exited a city by the name of Karachi. In 1729, some tribes migrated to this place from Kharak Bundher and called the area as Kalachi, after that a business oriented family of Seth Naomal settled here, a person named Bhoojmal of belonging to Naomal family gave suggestion to Bibi Muradan to build a fort for safety of this area, the locals cut the Tamal Forest and built a fort sand and wood, it was spread over thirty five acres and gave two gates to the fort namely Kharra Dar and Meetha Dar (the sour and sweet gates). But the real face of Karachi came out during 1840s, when British conquered Sindh in 1843. Sir Napier standing on the shore of Karachi had promised to make Karachi princess of east. Before being a complete city, this part of Sindh was reserved for tombs and shrines of saints, and people visited these shrines during special occasions. When Shree Ram along with his dear wife Sita went on journey to Hinglaj, he stayed at Karachi for one night and his disciples built a garden in his remembrance, which was known as Ram Bagh, but when Pakistan was born Ram Bagh was changed to Aram Bagh, the locals celebrated the fest of Mangho Pir from early days, while Abdullah Shah Ghazi had come here in one of the earlier failed attacks of the Arabs, before bin Qasim invaded Sindh in 712 AH, Ghazi was also celebrated as a saint by the locals.
In 1843 Charles Napier dreamed to build Karachi, he asked for feasibility reports for irrigation system, one of his major projects was to join the islands of Kimari with main city and to do so he ordered to build a bridge. After four years in 1847 Napier left Sindh, Sindh was annexed with Bombay presidency, but the work of bridge carried on it was complete in 1854, Bartle Frere became the Commissioner of Sindh in 1851 and during his period (1851-1859), he set new dimension for development of Karachi and rest of the Sindh.
In 1857, when Sepoy Mangal Panday stood against British legacy, the white skinned started considering Karachi as a replacement port, and up to 1873, the primary goals of development were almost achieved. Karachi port Trust was formed in 1886, and from 1909, it had an authorized chairman, now Karachi was to be considered amongst four most important seaports of the sub-continent and during the First World War in 1914, Karachi had become the biggest market for wheat supply, during 1912-1913, 1380000 tons of wheat was exported to different countries from Karachi. The Burma Oil Company and Standard Oil Company were established in 1909, that very same year 177 acres of land was allotted for Karachi board, during WW-I Karachi became third important seaport of India.
The British decided to lay network of railway in Karachi, but John Jacob opposed and suggested that river from Jehruck to Karachi which would be beneficial for future g4enerations and citizens of Karachi would be able to cultivate vegetables, rather relaying on other parts of Sindh, but in 1854 foundations of Railway company were laid, by this project Karachi was to be connected with Multan, Lahore and Amritsar. In 1858 the work of railway line started and up to 1861 108 miles track was laid, while in 1865 this entire project was finished and first train traveled from Karachi to Kotri. After that the British Raj started other projects like education and health reforms and in this regards Trinity Church was built 1855, where Christian missionaries from all over the world used to come and preach teachings of Christianity. In 1865 the Cantonment Station Building was built which had a loko shade library and a community hall, The building of City Court at Bunder Road was built in 1868, while Adaljee Dinshaw Dispensary in Saddar was built in 1882, Victoria Museum was built in 1887, Sind Club in 1883, Sindh Madarrest-ul-Islam in 1885, Frere Hall was built in 1865, St. Andrews Church in 1868, D G Science College in 1887, Empress Market in 1887, Mayor Weather Tower in 1892, Indian Chamber of commerce in 19223, Sindh high Court in 1929, Karachi Municipal Cooperation in 1931 and Mohta palace in 1933. From late nineteenth century to mid of twentieth century Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, English, Sindhi, Gujrati, Parsi, Memon, Kutchi and Punjabi communities used to live together in peace and harmony, Karachi gave the best example of a modern city having peace and prosperity.
In 1947, Karachi became the first capital of newly born Pakistan, while Muslims of UP, CP and Biharis entered this mega city carrying spittoons on their bare shoulders, since then the demography of this city changed overnight the Brits, Jews, Christians, Hindus, Sindhi, Gujrati, Kutchi all vanished in thin air, and one could only find aliens with spittoons, good times for Karachi ended in 1947, violence entered the very roots of the city.........
I stopped writing and felt a layer of pain in my entire body, whenever I think, read or write about Karachi, my soul gets tortured, we the Sindhis lost it and lost it for nuts, even God forsook us Sindhis when this injustice was happening to us, Sindhis were killed for speaking Sindhi and wearing Sindhi caps in the capital of Sindh and Pakistan. I walked towards the window, opened it and stared in dark sky, t seemed to me that even the sky was crying over fate of Karachi.... This is not my Karachi, I thought, I had spent my entire life in this city, which once was a wonderful place to live, but today it sucks......yet I love Karachi with all her shortcomings, my father Dr. Ahsan, who was a historian and professor at KU, used to tell me wonderful stories about Karachi, but when I started my schooling, ethnic riots in Karachi had started the Muhajirs had stood up against Sindhi speaking people, they were told Karachi is their property, and overnight every wall of Karachi was painted with one slogan: “Sindh me aman ka mansooba, Muhajir sooba.....Muhajir sooba..... (There is only one way of peace in Sindh....a separate province for immigrants).
One early morning in 1991, when I was seven years old, my father left home for his university in his white FX, as he reached NIPA, he thought he was being followed by a motorbike, two persons were riding it, my father ignored that thought and stopped at signal, the bike stopped just opposite of him, he looked at the riders, both of them were his Urdu speaking students, he passed a smile as he recognized them, in a wink of an eye the back rider pulled a pistol from his pant and shot my father, he died on spot. There were several Sindhi families in my Neighborhood at Gulshan-e-Iqbal, that very evening the neighborhood was preparing for my father’s funeral, when it was attacked by goons with masks, it seemed like a rain of bullets, in fear in hid under the bed, while acid in bottles was thrown in Sindhi houses, my mother was burnt in acid and died in hospital, I was expelled from the school and we were forced to leave the area, most of the Sindhi families left Karachi, but my Uncle Asim refused to leave the city, he was a director in education department, in 1999, he was transferred to Hyderabad, from 1999 to 2007 I spent eight years of my life at Jamshoro, during early nineties Sindhi nationalism got a new face, there was variety of nationalistic literature available, Jamshoro introduced me to Sindhi nationalism. In 2008, I got full bright scholarship of USA where I did my post doctorate and returned to Karachi, and thanks to Karachi it embraced me, but now once again Karachi was becoming out of control, it reminded me of that nineties’ era, I lit a cigarette and polluted Karachi by throwing smoke in the air. Karachi has become a very complicated city it generates seventy percent of Pakistan’s revenue, according to a report published in 2010 Karachi was a city carrying more than 1.7 million souls, out which 48 percent is Urdu speaking population, 14 percent Sindhi, 9 percent Pathan, 7 percent Punjabi, 4 percent Baloch and 12 percent other population. According to a study conducted by Pakistan Institute for Peace Studies, there are dozens of militant religious organizations working in Karachi, most of them are involved in terrorist activities, these include, Lashkir-e-Jangvi, Jaish-e-Muhammad, Jammat-ul-Furqan, Harkat-ul-Mujahidian, Jindullah, Lashkir-e-Tayaba, Harkat-ul-Jihad-ul-Islami, Sippah-e-Sahaba, Tehreek-e-Jaffaria Pakistan, Sunni Tehreek and others.
Jindullah: this terrorist organization came into knowledge of people in 2004, when eight of its terrorists were arrested from Karachi, they were involved in bank robberies and kidnapping for ransom, and the amount collected was sent to Al-Qaida. It was formed by certain Attaullah Rehman in 2003, when he was expelled from Jammat-e-Muslimeen, they are inspired by methodology of Al-Qaida, and they have offices at Shahrah-e-Faisal, Model Colony and Landhi. In 2004, this group conducted an attack on Corp Commander Ashan Saleem Hayat, in 2007 their recruited militants went to WANA and fought against the army. The main object of this group is to damage all the assets of Britain and America working in Pakistan.
Lashkir-e-Jangvi: There are six operative groups of Lashkir-e-Jangvi at Karachi, they have good relations with Al-Qaida, and they are to be found mostly at Millat Colony and Orangi, their main aim is to kill Shi’a Muslims and foreign tourists, they are involved in suicide bombing and target killing.
Harkat-ul-Jihad-ul-Islami: The Burmese Muslims are settled in large numbers at Karachi, in fact Korangi is also known as Burmese Colony, there more than thirty maddaressas of Burmese Muslims in Korangi, these maddaressas provide combat training to young students and motivate them to wage a holy war against unbelievers, apostates and infidels, mostly they are involved in sectarian violence.
Harkat-ul-Mujahidian: They are divided into two fractions, it is said that they have access to chemical weapons. In 2003, this group blasted twenty three fuel station in different parts of city that belonged to Shell Company. They were also involved in a suicide attack at American Consulate near Frere Hall in which twelve innocent people lost their lives.
All most all of these groups agree upon four basic points:
a)To make Pakistan a pure Sunni Muslim State,
b)To revive the Islamic caliphate,
c)To protect Sunni Muslims and implement sharia law, and
d)To kill Shi’a Muslims (according to them Shi’a Muslims are heathens).
Defense View, late night.....
As the phone rang Samreen was terrified, she was fast asleep, her cell kept on buzzing, she didn’t want to pick it, but it buzzed and buzzed, the ringtone was irritating for her, at last she switched the bed lamp and took the cellphone from the side table, she stared the screen with half closed eyes, an unknown number....she knew what was about to come, suddenly the cell stopped buzzing, she was relieved, but it rang again, Samreen looked at the screen, unknown number, she received the call on second ring and said: “hello....”
“So bitch you won’t stop your activities....” came a harsh male voice.
“Shut up you bastard....” she cried in frustration and threw her cellphone with all her force to the wall, the cellphone hit the wall and fell into two pieces on the floor, its battery came out and for rest of the night she was unable to sleep.
Samreen’s parents died in a road accident when she was six years old, she was handed over to her maternal uncle Shakeel, who was a businessman dealing in electronic goods, he had five sons, in that way Samreen was isolated her early childhood. Pakistan during late eighties and early nineties was going through a shift of paradigm, bloody Zia regime had just ended, but its remaining were still to be found in the society, religion had an important place in everyday life, people were living under such a fear that they wanted to wash their hands according to the religion, they wanted to sleep according to religion, eat and drink according to it, as they were told that their religion is complete code of life and the only way to paradise.
In those days women and girls were asked to remain silent, they were not allowed to give their opinions, nor were allowed to talk in loud voice, even the six and seven years old girls were told to cover their tiny bodies behind huge veils, when Samreen was ten years old, one day she tried to ride her cousin Iffy’s bicycle in the garden of house, her fat aunt Nazish saw her from the window and screamed at her, Samreen became so petrified that she was unable to speak for two days, she retired to a lonely corner and cried. This incident made her to think about discrimination against female children, when she started to question this, she was asked to shut up and told that our religion and traditions teach us to do so. This vague idea motivated Samreen to learn more about everything and have an opinion, when she passed her intermediate, she was asked by her uncle to marry Waqar, her third cousin, but she refused saying:
“I want to study uncle.”
“What the hell are you saying,” her uncle didn’t expect such an answer: “we have everything and you had had enough of this bullshit of studies....” This made her stubborn and she stood against her uncle’s decision, and got admission in Karachi University for degree in Psychology, her uncle refused to pay her bills, so she became a part time salesgirl at a departmental store at 70 Clifton, she was sent to ladies’ undergarments section, she found that most of the ladies coming to shop were even shy to choose their desired bras and panties, or mention their sizes to young salesgirls.
It was a Sunday afternoon, she saw her aunt entering the departmental store, where she worked and was shocked to see Samreen selling bras and panties to some fat ladies, Samreen’s eyes met with her aunt’s and she bowed her head down in shame. That evening, when she returned home, Uncle Shakeel burst out at her like thunder and pointing a finger shouted:
“I don’t want to see your dirty face again in this house,” and threw her out with her bags, she stayed in a local hotel for a week, till she got a room in Working Women’s Hostel at Hassan Square. She used public transport to go to her university and work place and noticed that there were lips teasing her, eyes following her, she thought all males wanted was to see her naked, soon she realized that her biggest drawback was to remain silent.... No one should remain silent against injustice, she used think: people must speak out or they would die of suffocation.
After completing her degree, she entered the development sector, but was sexually harassed by her team leader on the fifth day, but this time she didn’t remain silent and burst out, she went to the management and the person was fired from his job, she was delighted over this little victory and celebrated it by having a little party for herself at Alpino Ice Cream Parlor.
Then Aisha came in her life, she was forty five years old human rights activist, they met with each other during a meeting of project regarding early child education, which several ngos had got simultaneously. Aisha became her good friend. They started spending a lot of time together.
They were attending a seminar at Regent Plaza, during lunch time Aisha told her:
“Dear it is my desire to give people a platform, where they could share their ideas, speak about different topics, share their problems.”
“It is an interesting idea,” Samreen said with a smiling face.
“I have a vacant apartment at Defense View and want to utilize it for such activities,” Aisha said: “but don’t know how to arrange such meetings?” There was silence for some moments, Samreen was lost in her thoughts and then she said:
“I can help you with that.”
“Oh really!” Aisha said, she seemed relieved.
That night they discussed about the idea of opening an open discussion cafe during dinner and both agreed to be partners in the cafe, it was decided that Samreen would look after the management of the cafe and FTS on the second floor started to function. For first two months they were able to get only six members, but slowly and gradually their membership increased, one year ago Aisha was sent by her organization to Sweden for two years training program, she handed over the cafe to Samreen.
Preddy Police Station, 8:15 pm
Forty three years old brown skinned SHO Anwer was about to sit on his seat, when the telephone on table rang, he picked the black receiver on the first ring and said: “hello,” in harsh tone.
“I am Inspector Aziz from Crime Branch,” came the soft voice from other end: “Any updates on Aslam’s murder?”
“Sir we are investigating the case and as soon as we get any clue it would be shared with you,” he said in calm voice.
“Ok,” came the reply from other end and the phone was disconnected, he put down the receiver, he took round black cap from head and threw it over the files on the table, for several hours he was out in the field investigating the murder of Aslam. It was famous for Akram that whenever he took a case, he would reach to its very roots before closing it. For last two years he was the in-charge of Preedy Police station, it is commonly known as a goose with golden eggs, this station gets billions of rupees every week from drug peddlers, wine shops and other such illegal businesses. It is said that an honest officer couldn’t survive for more than two weeks at Preedy Police Station
Suddenly Akram’s cellphone buzzed, he took it out from his khaki pants and stared at the screen, he had received a SMS, when he open it, it read:
“Important information regarding Aslam being telecasted on Day TV, he stood up and went to the monitoring room quickly, switched the television to Day TV. Zahid khan with his peculiar red cap was speaking on his TV show:
“Many RAW agents are present in Karachi, and our government is doing nothing, one such RAW agent was killed few days back at Ghas Mandi, according to police investigation his name was Aslam, but our reliable sources have confirmed that his name was Captain Abhijeet Singh, he belonged to Indian city of Madras.....”
“What the fuck......” Anwer screamed his subordinates gave him a terrified look, he went out from the room. He came back to his seat took out his cellphone and dialed the number of his informer in Azizabad, when the call was connected, he asked in firm tone:
“What is the latest information?”
“Nothing special,” he was told.
“Confirm me, is any of their political activists murdered within two days?” he asked.
“No such news,” he was told, he disconnected the call, he took the brown file from the table opened it and stared at photo of Aslam’s dead body. Once again his cellphone buzzed, this time it was his Lyari informer’s message, it read:
“Several movements have been reported in the area….but not of any particular gang, they seemed to be Baloch separatists…”
Anwer had served as in-charge of Lyari for five years, it is considered the most complicated area of Karachi, it is one of the most ancient areas of the city, majority of population is Baloch, who had migrated from Iran, and no one could even enter Lyari without having a permission from one of the leaders of different gangs. Lyari is one of the eighteen constituent towns of the city ofKarachi, in the province of Sindh,Pakistan. It is the smallest town by area in the city but also the most densely populated town.It is bordered by the towns ofSITE Townto the north across theLyari River,JamshedandSaddarto the east, andKimarito the west across the main harbor of Karachi. Lyari name has been used as a name of tree which is called Lyaar.
There are few schools, substandard hospitals, a poor water system, limited infrastructure, and broken roads. Lyari is also the center of Karachi’s Sheedicommunity of African descent.
Lyari is known as afootballhotbed in Pakistan. Many of the nation’s top players come from the area. Football is so popular that crime levels dip significantly during thefootball world-cupseason.
Anwer was told to take calculated steps as in-charge of police in Lyari, he had received a tip on every first day of his joining about a fight being going on between a Sheedi group and an outsider at Cheel Chowk, he went there along with his picket and saw that Sheedi men had circled a fair skinned young who was on the ground, and the Sheedis were kicking and abusing him, Anwer reached the scene and shouted to stop it. A fat round faced Sheedi having curly hair, red teeth and earrings in both ears came to him.
“What the hell is going on here?” Anwer had said, the fat monster looking Sheedi had walked towards him, his name was Babul and said:
“Sahib this bastard entered our area and started misbehaving with our ladies,” Anwer stared the person on ground and asked two cops to pick him and put in police van, that person was bleeding from mouth and nose, he seemed to be well dressed clean shaven guy. A lady who was five months pregnant, throwing her sandal on the guy screamed: “whoever has little bit money in his pocket leaves home for whoring.”
“Sahib this is a red light area,” one thin cop whispered in Anwer’s ear, he stared at the young guy who was sitting with his head bowed down.
“Sahib we should leave this place immediately,” said the same cop in whisper, Anwer asked the driver to move, they came to police station, Anwer offered the guy a seat, and he sat down wiping blood with shirt sleeves.
“What is your name?” Anwer asked.
“Anjum Ali,” he replied, broken words came out of his mouth.
“What do you do?” Anwer asked again.
“I am….” He replied hesitated: “I am a lecturer at engineering college,” Anwer stared him from top to bottom and had asked:
“Where do you live?”
“Noomaish Chorangi,” he replied
“What were you doing in this area?” Anwer had asked.
“Sir,” he’d replied: “I was told by a friend that new girls have arrived at the red light area,” he’d stopped talking.
“And…” Anwer had said.
“So to fulfil that desire I reached there,” he said: “in the street that pregnant lady met and offered to taste something new, I thought she was a maid finding customers for the best item, I asked her how much and was told to pay twenty five hundred, which I paid her, she took me to a single room apartment which had a double bed and a dressing table, I sat on the edge of bed and asked about the girl and was told she is the girl, I was shocked hearing this and protested because she was five months into her pregnancy, she screamed at me and scolded me, then I was pushed out of the room, I yelled at her, meanwhile other whores and pimps gathered and started beating me,” there was a roar of laughter in the police station when Anjum finished, he bowed down his head in shame. The cops took away remaining amount from him and left him……
Since then Anwer had realized it was not easy to work in Lyari…. He received another SMS that read: “two Baloch separatists were seen at Ghas Mandhi earlier in the morning of the murder, they have left for Hub Chowkee.” Anwer was annoyed by the information. A moment later he received a phone call from a private number, after introduction he was told in an orderly tone: “close Aslam’s case by mentioning he was RAW agent, no further investigation…”
“Yes sir,” he was only managed to say that.
I was always fascinated by my Uncle Asim’s stories of his political struggle during the late seventies and early eighties, a child I had heard a lot of stories about nationalism. Once he had narrated a story about his escape from Nara Jail.
“It was a cold evening of December when I broke the prison and ran away from the cell…..” he said, he was telling me and my cousin Amar about faith.
“The police was after me and a dictator was ruling the country; Sindh was marching towards a revolution;” we looked at Uncle Asim with keen interest we were unable to understand what had all that to do with our innocent question about faith. Uncle Asim continued: “Sindh was inching towards communism; every individual of Sindh in 80s would have been a communist, if the establishment would not have introduced an ethnic party and mullacracy; which diverted almost all the Sindhis to nationalism.” we were still confused; UncleAsimadjustinghisshawlsaidincaringtone:
“The mass murder of Sindhis began in their own cities; they wanted to destroy us all; the ethnic riots reached at peak in two major cities of Sindh,” after a deep thought he said: “our mothers, sisters and daughters were being raped, their breasts were cut off and thrown to dogs; hot iron rods were inserted in their bodies,” he paused for a while took of his glasses touched his eyesandtalkedagain:
“We formally joined the national struggle; when the incident of Thori Phattak happened.”
“What happened at Thori Phattak, uncle?” asked Amar, he looked into Amar’s twinkling eyes; and his lips started to move to narrate the incident: “a bus of students from University of Sindh was going to see their leader at Sunn, when they were killed brutally with the army bullets for the sin of being a Sindhi, when this news spread the sons of the soil woke up
we independent in 1947?”
smiled and said:
“You see my son, independence doesn’t mean to have a piece of land only but it also means to have law and order, justice, equality, respecting other people’s beliefs, it also means free to say what one wants to say and free to believe what one wants to believe,” after saying that he asked
Both of us:
“Do you think we have that independence today?” both of us without uttering a word nodded
“The main function of our party was to unite the Sindhi speaking people, to give them awareness about the conspiracies against Sindh and Sindhi nation, to fight for our rights and to even fight against feudal lords.” Amar lay down in uncle’s lap; his uncle started to move his hand in Amar’s hair and continued:
“We started to protest against a dictator under an Islamic mask, we used to arrange rallies, marches, and speeches; our aim was to fight against the gunmen without any gun, you know my sons the best Sindhi literature was published in that era…every day a Sindhi young soldier was killed and labeled a dacoit or a thief.” This brought a while of pause Uncle Asim lit a cigarette and inhalingthesmokeandthrowingitoutsaid:
“If one Sindhi would be killed, we would kill two non-Sindhis in retaliation, this was decided,” after another puff of cigarette he said: “all the journalists of Sindh, poets and writers were behind the bars, but we were getting more and more support from the general public; Sindh became superior to us, even superior than Gita and Quran; Syed Badshah became our only leader,” Amar
“I was amongst the best orators at that time, I and my family started getting threats, your father who was in a government job; lost his job because of me but we carried on, when things became unbearable a retaliation wing in our party was formed and the head quarter was the boys’ hostel at
University of Sindh;” after another puff he said: “anti-Sindhi elements feared to enter the premises of the university, but this was our greatest mistake for us Sindhis lost all the educational institutions at Karachi.” There was silence in the room for a while; and then Uncle Asimspoke:
“The law enforcing machinery woke up against us; they started searching us like hungry dogs; many of our companions were jailed including our leaders, all being tortured for just one sin; to be a Sindhi; the officials wanted us to confess that we were being supported by India, which was not true, when they started to torture us human souls cried.” And there was a pause; Amar‟s
“Just coming,” Asim replied her, the lady left the room and he carried on: “I too was caught in a case of treason against the state if proven death penalty or life imprisonment,” we
“I was brought to the military court;” he said: “and before the case could start we knew that army generals would hang us because treason is unbearable in the military camp.” Uncle Asim broke the neck of his cigarette in the ashtray and asked Amar: “my child please, give me a glass of water,” young Amar poured the water in the glass and gave it to him, Uncle Asim drank the water in one
“We were sent to the Nara Jail; the furious police started to beat us with thick stick, and rubber hunters, to some of our companions the put chili powder in their eyes, to use abusive language was a routine,” and again there was a little pause after which the old guy said:
“They used to tell us;” he said: “to repeat that Muslims are brothers, Pakistan is our motherland, and we are one nation as Muslims.” Uncle Asim again lit his cigarette and with high spirits told us:
But we kept on repeating Sindh is our motherland, all Sindhis are our brothers without the discrimination of cast, colour, or religion and nationalism is our religion.” Amar’s mother came in again to remind them about the dinner, they went to the dining hall. After half an hour and
one more cigarette for Uncle Asim, we returned to his room which was filled with books on every topic, Uncle Asim sat on the bed, and Aunt Nadira brought a cup of tea and two glasses of hot chocolate milk for us, Asim hold the tea in his hand
“Yes,” Uncle Asim started again sipping the tea: “two months later the torture stopped and we were now political prisoners, which brought a period of relief for us,” he finished his tea and kept the
“Yes,” Asim started again sipping the tea: “two months later the torture stopped and we were now political prisoners, which brought a period of relief for us,” he finished his tea and kept the
“There I met Chacha Mohan;” he told us: “he told me that even with a Pakistani identity card he was being charged of Indian spy, the old guy told me that actually he was an activist of nationalism and communism, I found him a soft hearted man and was in the jail since the time of One Unit, when he cried that One Unit is the death of state and his words came true in 1971. Police tortured him and Chacha Mohan lost his legs, I learnt a lot of things about nationalism from him.” It was now time for another cigarette, and as he lit it there was a cloud of smoke in the room.
“Mohan, the old guy had the map of the jail;” Uncle Asim said puffing the cigarette: “and told about me the escape way beneath the drainage system, for three nights he told me everything about the map, and when I learnt the map completely I tried to escape, in which I was successful but at the last minute the guard sitting in the tower at the top saw some movement, he whistled and shouted to stop or he would shoot, but I kept on running, they opened the fires straight on me.”
“Not even one bullet touched you, uncle!” I asked amazingly, Uncle Asim smiled and said: “no all of them were miss-shoots,” and carried on with story: “I ran into the fields; the police was after me all the check points were made high alert, I could hear the police on loud speakers and their sirens, running through the corn fields I came across a small village, I was not familiar with that at all prior to that moment, there was hardly any house or human before my eyes, nor were there any dogs, I kept on running until I came to a house that had a wooden door, hurriedly knocked it but there was no answer, few moments later knocked it again, yet no reply I looked here and there everywhere to have a look that police has not reached, and on the third knock an old man opened the door.” At this point the old uncle of the kids stopped talking, dived into his
“Chacha, I am the soldier of freedom, the cops are after me, I want a night’s protection in your house,” I replied to him he looked deep in my face and said: “Come inside quickly son.” Entering the house I thanked him as he gave the way from the
“My son;” he said in same tone: “take off your cloths,” hearing this I was shocked and my jaw dropped, he continued: “I live here with my daughter, who is of your age and there is only one room in the house.” I glanced in his face that was brightening like a moon; he called a girl’s
“Moomal……Moomal……” and moments later a young blonde girl came out of the room to the
“Listen daughter he is soldier of freedom, but now is in danger, he wants our help to escape from the cops,” his daughter heard him passionately, hope came into her eyes.
“you both go inside and sleep together,” her father said, these were the most surprising words for me in my entire life, we Sindhis believe that for us the most important things are our land and our women, we don‟t compromise on these two things, how is it possible, that a father is asking his young daughter to sleep with a complete stranger, it was even embarrassing for me I thought I should break his head, bash his jaw how can he utter such stupid words, then he said to me:
“You go inside and lay down with my daughter under same blanket, when the cops will come I will tell them, no one is here other than my daughter and her husband, who are sleeping inside.” I don‟t know why, but I went inside the room that was dark along with his young blonde daughter,
she first went into the blanket and called me: “Come inside,” I followed her. After a good half an hour there was a knock on the door all the fear of world entered my heart, my soul was trembling that sooner or later I will be back in police custody.
“Coming…..coming,” the old man replied, and then the door was opened the cops entered the
“We are in search of
who has run away from
jail, has he come here?”
“No sahib;” the old man replied: “no one has come here, only my daughter and her husband are sleeping inside the room, you can check it up.” The SHO signaled one of his constables with his eye, who looked inside and reported that the old man was telling the truth, they left with an order:
If you find a suspicious guy around here report the police. “Yes sahib,” the old guy replied, and they left the house. I was totally surprised on this little scene and thank God they believed the old man’s words, had they inspected properly they would have killed all three of us. When I thought it was save, I came out from the bed and went out to the veranda, I thanked the old man and holding his shoulders asked:
“Chacha, how did you believe that I won’t harm your daughter?” a smile of hope and pride came
“Son how I could doubt you, who is the protector of my motherland, I know well all the daughters of this land are your sisters.” I bowed down and touched his feet; he took me up, and hugged. Putting my hand on girl’s head I told her: “By God, I thought I was laying with my own blood sister,” She gave me a pleasant smile and said:
“O brother! I am your sister, we both have tasted the milk of same mother,” after a little pause she said: “Sindh is our mother and its water is like milk to us, coming out from mother’s breasts, so in that way we are brother and sister.”
Then for a long time Uncle Asim was silent, and after lightening another cigarette he said: “The next day I ran out from this country; through border to Afghanistan, and then to Russia where I
studiedjournalism and social sciences.”After takingadeepbreathhecommented:
“That should be the state of faith; when you believe in something or cause no doubt should enter your hearts.”
Defense View, Karachi…. 9:15 pm
I was laying with Samreen, she is really a terrific lover, I stared in her twinkling eyes and said:
“You know human beings are very funny creatures, they always are in search of happiness, no matter even it is a bit, whether you be a religious are not but whenever Eid comes you try to celebrate it by putting new clothes.” Samreen hugged and kissed me.
“You nationalists are astonishing creatures,” she said with a shining smile, this brought a smile on my face and I said:
“No we aren’t astonishing, we are crazy, and secondly Sindh is a land which has faced invasion after invasion in every period of history.” I took a cool breath and then uttered a couplet of Sindhi poet Haleem Baghi:
“O Sindh! In every age thee have been ruined;
Yesterday thy Thatta was burnt; today thy Karachi is lost;
The Mohanas were kicked out from Tamachi’s country;
Here are the dead bodies of Ami and Phaphi…..”
“What are you murmuring?” Samreen asked coming over me, I translated the couplet for her.
“How sad that couplet was!” she said in a sad tone, I felt it hard to breath and stood up and walked towards the window and gazing into the dark sky of Karachi started singing:
“Whether I live or not….
May my Sindh be there forever….” and after a small pause I sang:
“When I testified thy art my God!
At that very moment God made Sindh my land….” Samreen came behind me and gave a hug, her firm tits were pressed against my back.
To hate India and preach against it, was always a personal matter for Zahid Khan, he was just trying to fulfill the promise he’d made with his father on his death bed. The fifty five years old man was dying of cancer and he’d called his entire family including his two living sons, two daughters and a wife. At that time Zahid was fifteen years old boy, his father Zahil Khan had become feeble due to ailment and it was hard for him to speak, that particular night of 1969 was a stormy night, the wind bellowing from south was shattering the wooden windows, Zahid has never forgotten that night and he often sees his father in dreams reminding him of the family promise to hate and propagate against India, his father had told the family in dying tone:
“My father gave me a promise to hate India and work for its destruction, for my I entire live I lived with this promise and even participated in war of 1948 against those kaffirs, my elder son Shahid gave his live serving the Pakistan Military in the war of 1965 against the very same kaffirs, now my children…..” he paused for a while; everyone started to recite verses of Quran over him, he spoke again: “it is your turn to make a promise with your dying father that you’d work for the destruction of India that land of kaffirs till it becomes a land of believers.”
“Yes father,” the entire family said in one voice, well their mother stood in one corner hiding her face in white duppata and crying, the children said: “we promise you to only live for destruction of that evil land,” all of them including Zahid repeated this mantra in one voice, this brought a pale dying smile on Zahil’s face, later that night he died, and it was said that he died in peace.
Zahid’s father Zahil had promised his father Nawab Chuttun, who owned a tiny state in UP. Their family tree started with a certain Jamal Khan, a fair skinned Turk with blue eyes, who had come to India from Ottoman Empire, soon Jamal was recruited in the Mughal court, he was well versed in the holy Quran and traditions of the prophet, and with his intelligence Jamal got an important position in Zaheer’s court, he also joined Emperor Zaheer-ud-din Babar in various campaigns, Zaheer was so pleased with Jamal’s efforts that one morning he called him at open ground and said:
“You see this open ground,” Jamal nodded his head in agreement: “bring your horse at dawn and let it run till dusk, wherever it would stop, from this point to that point entire land would be your property for your services,” said the emperor, hearing this Jamal fell upon Zaheer’s feet and kissed them, Zaheer was so pleased by this humble act that at that very moment he announced two sacks of gold and a virgin concubine from his own harem for Jamal Khan. Early next morning Jamal Khan brought a fine health horse with himself, and made it run, the horse ran from dawn to dusk and when it stopped at dusk, that entire land was allotted to Jamal Khan as promised, thus he was able establish his own tiny state at UP, some hundred and twenty small towns and villages came under his hands and thousands of acres of agricultural land became his property. He like the sandy town called Nang and stayed there and changed its name to Jamalabad, and ordered his men to build a huge mansion for him which was to be named as Khanmahal. Within two years the mansion was built and he moved into it with his wife Nargis, for the chores of the house he recruited dozens of healthy and young concubines and slaves, everyone who cultivate on the lands in his state became his peasant, being the chief of the tiny state which was also called Jamalabad, everyone came to him to settle their disputes with each other. Within few years Jamal Khan started to build his own force that would be only loyal to him and act on his command.
Old Nang was a town of twenty temples and one mosque, one day after the evening prayer, the fat, dark skinned cleric of the mosque met him outside the mosque and said:
“Nawab sahib, it is your responsibility being our leader to convert your people to Islam,” Jamal Khan stared at the fat cleric and saw something fishy in his eyes, the cleric continued: “besides there is gold and other wealth in temples of kaffirs, while the house of the one true God is empty,” there was a pause, Jamal Khan didn’t respond but the ugly cleric continued: “Nawab Sahib, ask everyone to become a Muslim by hook or by crook and be awarded in hereafter also.” Jamal Khan left the cleric and started walking to his mansion, at first he paid no attention to that non-sense uttered by the ugly cleric, but that night in the beautiful arms of Nargis, he dreamed of being burnt in the hellfire, he woke up petrified, his entire body sweating and recognized that God had warned him to pay attention to what the cleric said….
The next day he stood in the main bazaar of Jamalabad and announced in firm tone:
“I own this state and by the grace of Allah, I am a Muslim…” after a small pause he continued: “I hereby, announce that all the citizens of my state embrace Islam or leave this state otherwise they would face a painful death.” This brought a mocking smile on ugly clerics face, those who were Muslims became happy and started praising Jamal Khan, while the Hindu Population was petrified, he ordered his fifty armed men to attack the twenty temples and collect all the gold and silver for him, within half an hour the temples were attacked and looted, while the pundits there were killed, those who didn’t want to leave this state embraced Islam halfheartedly only show their Nawab they were loyal to him, but the practiced their old faith in homes secretly. Few Hindu families left the state and went to nearby state of Tilknagar owned by a Hindu Nawab Kual Das, when he heard what misery Hindus had faced he prepared to attack the state of Jamalabad, but Kual Das was defeated in the battlefield, Jamal Khan took away his sister and two daughters with him. Anyhow, Kual Das’s younger brother Mohan Das retained the state and since than things never came to normal between the two states.
From Nargis, Nawab Jamal Khan begot four sons, the elder was Hamid Khan, then came Shahid Khan, then was Hatim Khan and the youngest was Yaqoob Khan. But at the age of forty six Nargis died of brain tumor, Nawab Jamal Khan begot eight more sons and five daughters from his three wives of Kual Das’ family, who were converted to Islam shortly after they were detained, but his sexual urges were never fulfilled in the company of women, and then one day he saw a young lad working in his land, he sent his men to bring that young lad to his guesthouse that was opposite of his mansion, the young fair skinned boy Nazir was brought there, he was waiting for him anxiously, when he was there, he ordered his men to leave them alone, as they walked out he closed the door of room.
“Listen to this carefully boy and never mention it to anyone,” Jamal spoke in firm tone: “if you agree to have a sexual relation with me I’d allot that piece of land to you and also pay you some gold and silver,” Nazir’s face shined brightly and bringing a smile on his face he came closer to Jamal and touched his organ, Jamal hugged the boy and kissed him furiously, he enjoyed the whole act as though he was having sex for the first time in his life, since than Jamal spent most of his time, with his new lover, before the act, he used to ask Nazir to dress like a lady and dance for him, on one particular night old Jamal himself was dressed like a lady, and coming closer to Nazir he said: “treat me like a wife,” and Nazir indeed treated him like a wife.
At the age of eighty five Nawab Jamal Khan died, all his sons were given the due share, though Hamid the elder was to become the new chief, but he was fond of women, wine and gambling and never showed any interest in the affairs of the state, and in the end died as a beggar. Yaqoob Khan was cunning of the lot and became the new nawab, he even cheated with his brothers and killed two of them over dispute of the property. He even trained his six sons and told them that they were the ones to carry on the family tree of Nawab Jamal Khan. Nawab Yaqoob even built a shrine over Jamal Khan’s grave, and then an annually people started to pay visit to the shrine. Within fifty years of his death Jamal Khan became a celebrated saint of the area.
It was Yaqoob’s elder son Asad Khan’s idea to have a Sufi musical program at shrine for three days on the anniversary of this newly born saint, who had died some fifty years back, Asad’s idea clicked and now a festival for three days was celebrated on shrine of Saint Jamal Khan, while fabricated stories were concocted about the greatness and piousness of Late Jamal Khan, he was also introduced as a great miracle worker of his time. Asad Khan wrote and compiled a book in Persian language titled “Saint Jamal Khan: A true miracle worker,” this book was translated into Urdu during the last days of Bahadur Shah Zafar’s rein, who happened to be the last Mughal ruler of India, before East India Company conquered it.
One amongst many miracles of Saint Jamal Khan mentioned in the book was when he set his holy feet in this evil land, there was evilness and wickedness everywhere, the idolaters and prostitutes roamed freely here and there, the prostitutes used to walk absolutely naked in the streets mocking that there was no man in the area, then why should they hide their shame…..?
As Saint Jamal Khan set his holy feet over this land, immediately dark clouds gathered upon the sky and for several days there was heavy downpour that took away sins of people, when it stopped raining the prostitutes came out in veils hiding their bodies completely, while the idolaters were found died in their houses and worship places.
However, Asad Khan took over the responsibilities of the shrine, while his younger brother Owais Khan took over the political responsibilities and became the new Nawab of the state. Nawab Owais Khan paid his salutation to the British Raj, even during the mutiny of 1857 and retained his tiny state as a reward from White lords for his services. Things started to change oddly and within ninety years the sub-continent was under complete political chaos and turmoil. The English rulers had decided to leave sub-continent, communal riots broke all over India, Hindus started killing Muslims, Sikhs started killing Muslims, while Muslims started killing both, properties were being occupied, women being raped and murdered. India became a river of fire and blood, partition was announced, Hindus were to get India and Muslims were to get Pakistan.
It was January 1947, Jamalabad was under rule of Nawab Chuttun Khan, who had just one son Zahil Khan, and prior to him four of his sons had died as infants, while his wife had three miscarriages. Nawab Chuttun had three wives, two virgin sisters, his brother’s family and elder sister’s family lived with him in the mansion built by Jamal Khan. Nawab Chuttun had retrieved to his bed, in the middle of a cold night he woke upon shouts: “we have been attacked…..we have been attacked……” The Hindu nawab was decendant of Kual Das who had been attacked few centuries back by Jamal Khan and now it was the time to settle old debt. Nawab Token Das had gathered several Hindu and Sikh rajas to attack Jamalabad at the stroke of midnight. Nawab Chuttun’s guards had seen a mob riding horses and carrying torches moving forward to Jamalabad. Few days back, Nawab Chuttun had assured his men nothing would happen to them, the state still belongs to him, and he or his people won’t be harmed by partition, but this sudden attack had shaken everyone, Nawab came out from his hot bed and ran towards different directions of the mansion crying: “wake up, we have been attacked by the kaffirs….wake up……hurry up……” The guards took their positions, the ladies came out from their rooms carrying their children on hunches, and everyone started to run here and there in terror, the nearby houses, corn and wheat fields were set on fire, due to which there was redness everywhere, people outside were shouting, children screaming and those who were inside the mansion were petrified. Nawab Chuttun gathered his entire family, collected some gold and silver and escaped from the back door. A mob with torches moved towards the shrine and set it on fire. The nawab’s loyal guards fought with their attackers and were killed within ten minutes as they were outnumbered by Token Das’ men, victorious Nawab Token Das carrying a sword blood dripping from its tip entered the mansion with broad chest, he was told that no one is in here, he became outrageous and ordered his men to spilt in all four direction and find out the nawab’s family, he also ordered to bring all members before him alive, so that he could give each of them a painful death.
In the darkness of the cold night Nawab Chuttun and his family kept on walking in eastern direction, soon he realized he was being followed.
“Move faster,” he ordered in chaos, the womenfolk walked in front of the males, yet Chuttuns two virgin sisters Saleema and Hameeda were left behind in this escape episode, they were caught by Token’s men, more than twenty men raped them and then they were killed, their bodies were thrown in the nearby lake.
For few days Nawab Chuttun and his family carried on walking, wherever they found a forest they would stay and hide themselves, after the sunset they would started to walk till the sun came out. On the fourth day Nawab Chuttun with family had reached an army camp that was established for refugees, who’d lost their homes during the communal riots, Nawab was also given the protection, but there was uncertainty in the air, moving from one camp to another they were looted many times, so that they lost all their wealth, finally the reached a camp somewhere in Punjab, which was to become part of future Pakistan.
As the communal riots started Gandhi, the naked faqeer announced to fast till Indians don’t stop killing their brothers, he urged the entire nation to remain peaceful and non-violent. Though being a leader of masses, Gandhi was opposed by many fractions, and some Hindu fanatic organizations wanted to kill him, even the plan of his assassination was prepared. Lord Mountbatten, the last viceroy of India had announced: “by the month of August English masters would leave India, but its partition is inevitable.” The White rulers had already decided that Hindus and Muslims could not live together in peace any longer and to stop this bloodshed, India must be divided.
In the month of July monsoon rain started and made refugees’ life a living hell, but looting, killing and raping continued during the heavy downpour. Every day one or the other camp was attacked by rioters, one evening when darkness was overshadowing light, Nawab Chuttun lay on the ground in the camp urging with God, why He had thrown him such a misery….? He heard cries coming from outside, he came out from his tent and saw that the camp was under attack, furious men were looting everything, stabbing young men, who came in their way, Nawab Chuttun’s two daughters were kidnapped and raped by fifteen wicked souls, they were even raped anally and were thrown unconsciously. The elder one Afshan, who was seventeen years old lost her mind and used to walk naked, calling every man even her brothers and father to come and rape her, from that day onwards Nawab’s eyes never went dry, they always shed tears, he got dark patches under the eyes, the patches later on started to bleed. On 14th August, birth of Pakistan was announced, the Muslim refugees were sent to main camp installed at Lahore. Nawab Chuttun blamed Hindus for his family’s destruction, one night during the diner at main camp he put his hand forward and said:
“Promise me you would take revenge of this disgrace upon us, whenever you get a chance?” All the male members including Zahil gave him the promise, the Nawab also started cursing India for being ungrateful to the services his forefathers had offered, one day they were loaded on lorries and shifted to Karachi, the capital of newly born Pakistan, almost eight percent immigrants were shifted to Sindh, while only twenty percent, whose mother tongue was Punjabi or they were somehow connected to Punjab, were asked to stay in Punjab. Being the capital, Karachi had to take burden of everyone, city’s demography changed overnight, within six months Nawab Chuttun died in disgrace.
The newly formed Pakistani government had announced for the immigrants to bring forward one rupee stamp papers to claim properties left by Hindus, Christians, Jews, Parse and even the Sindhi speaking Muslims, who were kicked out from Karachi. At that time Zahil was thirty two years old, he along with his cousins got property in claim. In 1948, when Zahil was thirty three first war broke between India and Pakistan over Kashmir issue, to fulfill the family promise Zahil and his cousins took part in that war and killed few kaffirs, when he returned from the war he married his cousin Naila, who at that time was twenty seven years old. He begot three sons Shahid, Hamid and Zahid, while two daughters Raheela and Firduos, Zahil started his family business and installed a factory of plastic toys, though it was an income generating business, but Zahil’s heart and soul weren’t satisfied he wanted to kill as many Hindus as he could….. In 1965, another Indo-Pak war broke, Zahil wrote to General Ayub to allow his elder son Shahid to take part in this war, within one week he received a confirmatory letter and Shahid was recruited in Punjab Regiment. On the fifth day of war Indian forced was nearing the BRB River at Lahore, a battalion of ten soldiers and one officer was sent to safeguard the river, Shahid was also in that battalion, the entire battalion got killed after fighting for two days when it lost all of ammunition, at the end of war, the army paying tribute to Shahid’s services allotted twenty acres of agricultural land in Badin to his family, and recruited Hamid in the army as a captain.
In 1969, the family doctor Aftab Ahmed confirmed Zahil of his cancer ailment, and within three months he died, but before dying he asked his sons to give him promise of killing the Hindus. Two years later, in 1971 another war broke Pakistan and India, the Indians claimed to liberate Bengal, known as East Pakistan at that time, Captain Hamid was killed during that war, and ninety thousand Pakistani soldiers were taken as prisoners of war. General Naizi surrendered to his Indian counterpart. Zahid felt this surrender as stab in back. During his college days Zahid became fond of literature and was immensely inspired by Iqbal’s Shaheen, while in Islamic literature he found something called “Ghazwa-e-Hind” that motivated a lot, that he started to believe that sooner or later Muslims would once again conquer India, this made him a fundamentalist believer. Zahid was also thoroughly inspired by Naseem Hijazi’s novels about Islamic conquest of the world, which were nothing but aggregation, and within no time he started to write op-eds in different newspapers and followed the pattern of Naseem Hijazi. The only thing he hated other than Hindus and India was the rule of Bhutto in the country, as he believed democracy was to fall in Satan’s trap.
When General Zia, in 1978, toppled Bhutto’s democratic government, Zahid was the happiest man in the entire world. He congratulated General Zia for such a wonderful move and also wrote Zia’s was the only man who could safeguard Pakistan from all evils. He was also inspired by General Zia’s idea of making Pakistan an Islamic ideological state, he even praised general’s statement, which said:
“Pakistan is like Israel, take Judaism from Israel and Islam from Pakistan, both would fall like house of cards.”
Zia entitled himself to be “Amir-ul-Momineen” (the leader of the believers), the walls of entire country were painted with words like: “mard-e-momineen…..mard-e-haq…..Zia-ul-Haq….Zia-ul-Haq….”
Zahid even wrote an open letter addressing General Zia that he was ready to offer is services for Pakistan Army, during that time Allied Nations were fighting against the curse of communism, General Zia was given a signal from mighty USA to stop the red army entering Afghanistan, to fulfill this mission the general called for hold war jihad, against communists, and asked young people to join and take part in this jihad. This was the golden opportunity for Zahid, he went to Afghanistan and took active part in the war, and here he met talibs in different camps. In 1989, the red army was defeated, USSR split into different nation states. But with his discussions with talibs especially those of Arab origins Zahid got an idea to establish the “United States of Islam” and to revive the Islamic Caliphate. Since in the time of Ottoman caliphate people used to were red caps, Zahid also started putting a red cap, and he was also able to write a book about his days in Afghanistan, later on he became a self-proclaimed defense analyst, he returned to Karachi, but he was not satisfied, he wanted every Muslim to be a warrior of Islam, apart from India and Hindus, he included Jews, Christians and west in the circles of his enemies and became an explicit orator, he concocted an idea that conspiracy were being made for destruction of Pakistan and also became a conspiracy theorist, one of his major conspiracy theory was regarding paper currency, he thought paper currency was introduced to loot wealth of Muslims….. He thought to be the only true Muslim and only patriotic Pakistani, anyone differing with him was an agent of RAW or Mossad. There were many officers of army who supported him and raised funds for his mission.
It was the last evening at Islamic conference at Marriott Hotel, and the guest speaker was a fifty six years old Asif Ali, who was fully dressed in white grab and turban, while his eyes were hidden behind black glasses, he came to the microphone and started his lecture on “Signs of Doomsday.” Zahid was sitting amongst the audience and listened with keen interest. The most interesting part of the lecture was when the speaker started speaking about Al-Mehdi, he quoted more than forty traditions regarding Al-Mehdi, who would lead Muslims in a battle after which he would establish an Islamic state. Zahid’s curiosity was on its peak and he wanted to meet Asif Ali in person, he went to the organizers and asked them:
“I want to meet the Shaikh in person,” the organizers looked him from top to bottom and refused him, but he kept on insisting them and finally he’d to use his non-civilian sources, he was granted the permission on just one phone call.
Asif Ali was staying in Room 420 of the hotel, and after the lecture Zahid was brought to the room, he found Asif Ali already there, as he entered the room he greeted loudly:
“Walllikumsalam….” Asif replied sitting on the sofa drinking some yellow liquid and pointed to Zahid to sit on the other couch, they were left alone in the luxurious room.
“I’ve never heard such a wonderful lecture in my whole life, “Zahid said with all sincerity.
“It is a mercy of Almighty Allah,” Asif said point both hands to the roof.
“What is my role to establish Islamic caliphate?” Zahid asked without wasting time.
“First of all recognize your leader, the rightly guided one,” Asif replied sipping the yellow liquid.
“How should I recognize him?” Zahid asked in curiosity.
“When he would come before you, your heart would testify that,” Asif replied with a smile.
“But my heart has already testified that you are the rightly guided one,” Zahid said, hearing this Asif smiled and remained silent.
“Are you the one?” Zahid asked again, the entire room was filled up with curiosity, again he got just a smile from Asif.
“Please master answer me, are you the one?” he asked again, this time he got an affirmative, Zahid stood up came to Asif, sat at his feet and holding his hand said:
“I testify that you are the rightly guided one, who would lead us to establish the Islamic caliphate.”
“Your testimony is accepted,” Asif putting his hand on Zahid’s head said.
“What is your order for your servant,” Zahid said, tears came out from his eyes and fell on cheeks.
“Make inroads in the society for your guide,” Asif replied, Zahid stood up, kissed his hand and left the room.
He carried on the work in good faith and got some hundred like-minded people who were willing to give their lives for Asif and Zahid, when the mainstream Islamic scholars came to know about Asif’s motives they collectively gave a fatwa against him and declared: he was a lair. This title stuck with him and he was known as Asif, the lair. In 1997, Asif paid a visit to the holy city of Madina and on his return, he proclaimed to his congregation:
“I saw an angel of Allah in my dream, giving me the new message, and said bless those who testify it,” when he stopped speaking, Zahid was the first person to testify it.
“I announce Zahid as my first companion in this mission,” Asif, the lair said: “whoever believes me must believe Zahid, whoever obeys me, must obey Zahid.” Soon the molvis were on fire and Asif, the lair was charged of blasphemy, the religious scholars claimed that he has proclaimed to be a messenger and he should be put to death. Zahid seeing the pendulum shifting the other way, he distant himself from Asif, the lair and went into a hideout, till Asif, the lair was charged of blasphemy by the court and was hanged till death in 2000.
The incident of 9/11 turned out to be a golden opportunity for Zahid, after the World Trade Centre fell to the ground and Al-Qaida took the responsibility of the attack, the entire world stood up against religious extremism and west started to question about teachings of Islam. To counter the west, Zahid formed an independent forum and named it “The Islamic Think Tank” and became a media jihadist of Islam, though General Musharaf had a policy of enlighten and moderation, Zahid got some support from certain fraction of the army.
Shahrah-e-Faisal, 12:00 noon
Zahid Khan sat with his same friends the blackie and the fair, the blackie passed a file towards him saying:
“This is the new script for you, start speaking about this in your TV program.” Zahid opened the file in curiosity and browsed through the file quickly, a bright smile came over his face and in excitement he said:
“Masha’ Allah….there cannot be any other plan to clean Karachi,” and then he shared a drink with both of them.
Saddar, Karachi, 7:30 pm….
Zahid Khan sat in the studio of a private TV channel, the beautiful hostess had just given the introduction.
“Yes Zahid sahib,” the young lady in blue silk dress asked: “what have you to say about all this happening around us?”
“Let me say it very categorically,” Zahid first cleared his throat by coughing and then said: “RAW is behind whatever is happening in Karachi, and few traitors are supporting it, there are some political parties which are being funded by RAW and they even provided modern weapons,” when the young and gorgeous lady heard Zahid saying this in his peculiar style she was mesmerized, Zahid continued speaking: “but our intelligence agencies are well equipped to handle this situation, this country is a gift from God and God would help us defend it,” after a small pause he said: “we would sooner or later conquer Delhi and Pakistani flag would fly over Red Fort,” no one had ever bothered to think what he meant by saying “we…..”
“Zahid sahib,” the sexy anchor asked: how do you look upon the role of media?”
“Most media houses are promoting the Indian and Israeli agenda, they are funded by their intelligence agencies,” he said: “don’t forget we are in fourth generation war and media is trying to cut off the ideological roots of Pakistan, I have filed petitions of treason against an organization of journalists, I urge the army chief to wage a war against such elements, as we have waged a war against TTP.” Somehow, the topic shifted to democracy and Zahid having a mocking smile on his face said:
“More and more international surveys are now confirming that youth and people of Pakistan want Sharia Laws and not Anglo-Saxon Kufr democracy. Even the political parties have now started to raise the slogans of “Islamic state like Medina”, just trying to exploit the emotions of the youth, when in reality, these are totally secular parties, working for the Kufr systems.”
“Zahid sahib,” said the anchor with a beautiful smile: “would things in Karachi come to normal?”
“The Pak-Army has a complete plan and within few days rangers would be called in Karachi with special powers and then you’d witness a peaceful Karachi, the rascal politicians working on foreign agenda won’t be given a second chance,” he said in a confident tone: “we have the best laid plan for Karachi.” Again the “we”, it should have been questioned but was always ignored. Zahid had two more programs on Karachi issue and made it categorically that rangers would take over Karachi, and within three days rangers indeed took over Karachi.
Defense View, FTS Café, Friday, 9:30 am
I stood in the main hall of the café helping Samreen to install the banners regarding the discussion with Mama Shabbir, the Baloch activist, Farzan Baloch and Asifullah, a journalist who worked for BBC Urdu service and was better known for his sense of humor and cynicism. I installed the banner that read: “Un-silencing Balochistan.” Samreen had announced the schedule of the program two weeks ago, it was start it seven thirty and end at nine thirty, all three speakers were first to present their case about Balochistan, and then they were to answer the questions from audience.
Farzan Baloch, the thirty two years old young lady, had already reached FTS last night, as she received a death threat to be killed on her way to the café, she was not afraid of death but she didn’t want to miss an opportunity to speak for the rights of Balochistan. Farzan, a computer graduate from Khuzdar University carried an entire sorrowful world within herself, yet from an early age never a drop of tear had fallen from her big black eyes. Though rest of Pakistani thought that Balochistan was the most peaceful part of Pakistan, but the Baloch nation had exact opposite ideas. They were crying against the military operation, even it was not the first military operation in Balochistan, But after Nawab Akbar Bughti’s assassination during Musharaf regime things being worst, young Balochs came out on streets protesting against this tyranny, while others took arms and went up to mountains, to avenge was in traditions of Baloch tribes so they wanted to avenge the murder of a Nawab of Bhugti tribe, since then Balochistan was on fire, journalists were not allowed to report from Balochistan, and there was no access to information, one sided stories came from this part of the country, this gave birth to a new Baloch separatist movement.
Farzan was the younger child of her parents, she had a brother Abdul Khan Baloch three years older than her, her father the fifty eight years old Rehmatullah Baloch was a school teacher, and they lived in a small village of district Khuzdar. It was the winter of 2000, when she was fifteen years old girl and passed the matriculation exam, when a raid was conducted on her village at night. An announcement was made from the mud-walled small mosque of the village:
“All the villagers are informed to come out from their houses within fifteen minutes,” hearing such an unusual announcement, everyone was astonished, the voice came again:
“Listen all villagers come out from your houses within fifteen minutes, bring out your national identity cards, come out with your families.” The men and women covering themselves from the cold weather started to come out from their homes along with their children and started to walk towards the open ground, Farzan with her parents and brother also came to the ground, where she found two army trucks loaded with men in uniform.
“Queue up,” the young captain waving his stick in air had ordered in firm tone. All the villagers followed the order, and started murmuring with each other.
“Keep your fucking mouths shut,” the captain had cried in anger: “so you motherfuckers want to be liberated?” Everyone remained silent facing the stony ground.
“We have come to know,” the captain continued in same tone: “you are helping the rebels,” yet the people remained silent.
“Search their ids,” he ordered his men and for next ten minutes, and then the soldiers shouted: “all fine janab.”
“Stand still,” ordered the captain, everyone stood still in pin drop silence.
“Now sing the national anthem of Pakistan in a loud voice,” the captain ordered. The villagers stared at each other with amazement and disbelief.
“Didn’t you hear what I said, you sister fuckers, I want to hear our national anthem from you, sing it now,” he said in agony.
“Pak sir zameen……” the villagers started in low voice.
“Louder,” cried the captain.
“Pak sir zameen,” came the voice louder, this brought a mocking smile on captain’s face, when the national anthem came to an end, the captain cried:
“You must live as army loving patriotic Pakistanis,” he said and went to the truck, the villagers walked back to their homes, walking back to their three room mud-walled house Abdul Khan and Farzan took this whole act as a disgrace upon their honor and dignity, and they started to think as Baloch rather than a Pakistani.
Things kept on going and Farzan took admission in the college at nearby town, three other girls had also taken admission in the collage, while Abdul had moved to the Khuzdar University for MBA, Farzan and her friends daily walked for half a kilometer to reach the bus stop to go to the collage. On one particular day, they came down from the bus at evening and started walking to their village, when four men riding an open green colored jeep stopped them in the way, all four girls were petrified, the men stared through their bodies, the girls tried to pass them, but one of the men grabbed arm of one girl, she started to cry, while others screamed, the guy forcefully hugged and tried to kiss her on lips, she protested, other girls tried to run away, they were followed by other men, the girl who was already abducted got a slap on her face, tears fell from her eyes, her shirt was torn into pieces and sharp teeth nit her soft flesh, Farzan picked up a stone and threw it the guy chasing with a cry: “you bastard…” the stone struck the guy on his forehead and he started to bleed, Farzan in a wink of an eye picked up another stone and threw it in the direction of his abductor, this time the stone hit him on the nose and he fell down on the ground crying: “you fucking bitch…..” Farzan carried on running, she ran as fast as she could, when she was at some distant, she stopped running and gazed back, she was still being followed by the same guy, she picked up another stone, when she saw the guy nearing him, she threw stone with full force towards him, this time the stone hit him of the leg with force and cracked his knee cap, he fell down on the ground rolling to the other side, Farzan forgot her friends, though she wanted to rescue them, but was unable to do so and ran to the village crying: “help….help….help…..” the men gathered around her and asked:
“What has happened?’ she was out of her breath and breathing heavily and pointing to the bus stop said: “we have been attacked by four men in a green jeep, Guddi, Nazia and Amarta are still out there,” hearing this the villagers ran towards the bus stop carrying sticks and iron rods, when they reached the spot they found the torn shirt of Nazia and blood spots on the ground following the blood traces the reached the bushes on the other side of road, where Nazia lay unconscious in a pool of blood, Master Rehmatullah took off his white turban and covered the young naked body laying on the ground, they picked her and shifted her to nearby hospital, but died within two hours, while the other two girls were still missing.
The villagers gathered at the ground and decided to have a protest against this evil act, they all came to the main road and blocked, chanting the slogans against this tyranny, Rehmatullah was leading the protest, half an hour later an army truck with gunned men passed the way and was stopped by the protestors:
“Let us go and then you may carry on your protest,” the villagers refused to give them way and few young men lay down in front of the truck, the soldiers came down from the truck loaded their guns and opened straight fires, four men died on spot while several others were injured, yet the protestors didn’t give them way to pass, the soldiers ran back to their truck and its driver put it in the reverse gear, fires opened upon the truck from the hills at the other side of the road, the army troop did an Ariel firing, in cross fires two soldiers were killed. Within fifteen minutes the entire district was sealed, villages were torched and men were taken away to unknown places for interrogation, Master Rehmatullah was also amongst the missing persons, six months passed and there was no information about those sixty five missing persons.
One day some villagers went up the hills with their sheep and goats and found a grave, when they dug it, they found sixty five tortured dead bodies.
Abdul Khan Baloch came to know about this incident, leaving his semester in between he returned to the village and asked his family to move with him to Khuzdar city. Farzan and her mother left the village and started living in the city, Farzan continued her study, and both brother and sister gave tuitions to the students and started to live hand to mouth.
When Farzan entered the university to attend computer classes, her brother was already affiliated with Liberation for Balochistan (LFB) a political front working for the rights of Balochistan, Farzan joined its ladies during the first week of university, LFB was working for pure Baloch identity and on every Friday, the party had a study circle at the main corridor of the central library, here she met with Hyder Baloch, during one such meetings, Hyder Baloch was son of Mama Shabbir, who was a local poet and Bolach historian . Hyder was a marvelous orator, and no one was ever able to win in arguments from him, he was a fine clean shaven young man, and Farzan was immediately inspired by him and started to spend time with him.
Two weeks later, LFB announced to celebrate the Baloch Culture Day at the campus and the party had also announced that Dr. Allah Nazar Baloch’s video message would also be played. When the administration got this news, and they started to sabotage this entire activity, at first they announced the mid-term tests starting from the very same date on which Baloch Culture Day was announced, the LFB activists gathered outside administration block and had a sit-in protest, chanting slogans against the administration, some fifteen minutes later, the protestors were attacked by the police and law enforcing agencies, tear gas was shelled upon them, the students were beaten with sticks, while the leaders including Hyder and Abdul were arrested by the police.
For two nights, they were in police custody, and then were recovered from the government hospital as they were severally tortured. Three days before the culture day or mid-term tests, LFB activists led by the ladies wing had another sit-in protest outside the administrative block carrying ply-cards and paper sheets, they had written in bold letters: “no compromise of Baloch identity….no compromise on Baloch traditions…..” the sat in open ground under the scorching sun chanting slogans: “Show that you are Baloch….or leave Balochistan…….” And: “those who are against our culture cannot be Baloch…..” Farzan was in the front row and she shouted: “to hell with murderers of innocent Baloch people…..” and then: “take a clear stance, tell us either you are with us or murderers….” And then the over aged student welfare officer Balach Khan had appeared like a djinn of Arabian Nights tales comes out from a bottle, he was dressed in white shalwar and Kameez and had spoken in thick voice:
“The administration has decided to celebrated the culture day,” when he said that, everyone clapped, some even whistled, he continued: “but no one would be allowed to play the video message of Dr. Allah Nazar…..”
“No….booooooo……” cried the students, but Balach paid no attention to it and said in firm tone: “now it is up to you to choose between the Baloch culture or Dr. Allah Nazr….” The students wanted to stone him to death but remained still and silent, it was Farzan who said with a smile on her face: “we agree there won’t be any video of Dr. Allah Nazar….” And the protest came to an end.
During the session of study circle at CL on that particular day more fifty LFB activists had gathered and everyone was cursing Farzan for surrendering before the administration and agreeing upon their terms. When Farzan’s turn came she stood up and spoke confidently:
“Don’t consider it as our surrender or failure, consider it as our first step towards a glorious victory, at least we have been able to bring forth our culture, which would indicate our separate identity as Baloch people,” Farzan was speaking, when Hyder and Abdul approached them, they both had bandages on their arms and legs. Everyone welcomed them, Farzan continued, she said:
“Once people would recognize our identity as a separate nation, every other thing would be recognizable,” though there were some who didn’t agree with her but majority agreed.
From the next day preparations for the culture day started, different students were given different duties, some were to arrange bandwagons, and some were to maintain the stage upon which students were to perform Baloch folk story named “Sassui and Punhu” the play was to be directed by Maheem, Farzan’s class fellow, she had selected Farzan to play the part of Sassui while Hyder was asked to play part of Punhu, Maheem was to give the background of the story from back stage.
On the appointed day, the main campus of Khuzdar University was blooming like a colorful garden, male students were dressed in traditional white shalwar kameez, and their heads were covered with white turbans, rallies were coming and going chanting slogans: “Long live Baloch culture…. Long live Balochistan…..” students riding lorries, buses, cars and motorcycles were singing the folk songs, while some groups were dancing at the garden in joy, even the faculty members were dressed in traditional dresses.
After the early celebrations everyone gathered near the stage installed just opposite of CL, two rows of chairs were arranged for faculty members, while the students were asked to sit on the carpets. Twenty minutes, Maheem made the first announcement on the microphone: “Respected teachers, brothers and sister we are about to begin our play, it is a traditional Baloch folklore of love and sacrifice, it is also recorded by Sir Richard Burton, the great English traveler and linguistic and this script is based upon what he has recorded and what is narrated in Baloch and Sindhi traditions, please remain silent during the play and maintain discipline….thank you all for coming.
The red curtains of the main stage were still down, Maheem’s voice came: “Thus begins this ancient story………
In the days when Islam had but partially spread over Sindh and the adjoining countries, a Brahman of Bhambuna had a daughter, of whom it was predicated that she would change her religion, become a Muslim and bring disgrace to her family. The father was…..” as she said that the curtains raised up and a worried half naked Brahman and his wife dressed in red sari could be seen with and infant in a cradle, he walked from one corner to the other in despair, Maheem continued with her description in the background:
“The father was dissuaded from killing his offspring, and at his wife’s…..” the actress on the staged moved to the guy, voice continued: “request puts the child into a box…..” Brahman picks up the box and walks to the waters of Indus and throws it….” Upon this the curtains fell and there came a pause for few minutes, then curtains were risen up, and a washer-man is to be seen washing clothes on banks of the Indus, he was a childless man, suddenly his eyes witnessed a box floating in the water, he waits for it, till it reaches it, he opens it and finds a beautiful infant, taking the child out from the box, looks to the heaven and praises God, then he kisses the child, after knowing its sex, he calls it:
“My Sassui…” and kisses the child on forehead….. The curtains fell down…. Maheem’s voice came:
“According to traditions, when Sassui grew up, her beauty and accomplishments.”
The curtains were gone up, a young Hindu Merchant named Babiho was seen walking with his caravan, he was his employer was Ari the Jam, the prince of Kech and Mekran. He passes by the Atan or gynoecium, where Sassui and her friends are siting, they are talking and laughing with each other.
Sassui (seeing the merchant approaching them calls him): O merchant! What are you selling?
Babiho: Chooa, sandal wood and Kewara, I have by me, and of goods many scores
Dearly do I sell all these at double the price.
Sassui (enjoins him to be more gallant): Sitting in our Atan, you must not need such profits, produce your musk, rise and rub it upon those presents.
Babiho: I am a foreigner and a wayfarer, why should I produce? Ladies! Behave not so tyrannically in this city of Bambhora.
Sassui (now goodness in her heart): Banyan, approach and fear not; freely produce your stores, I will pay you the ready money, the One Lord knows.
Babiho starts showing them goods.
Sassui (in flirting tone looking at her friends): Wandering about this trading Banyan has reached our abode, see his beauty, o my friends, how handsome he is?
Babiho (mischievously): What am I? You must see my lord, of his charms, I have but a fortieth part.
This raise eagerness in Sassui and….
Sassui: Banyan what is your name and who is this youth whose praises you sing?
Babhio (with a smile on face): My parents named me Babiho, and the youth whose praises I sing is Punhul (Punhu) Khan, the Baloch.
Sassui (imaging the charms of Punhu) request: My little Babiho, just bring that young Baloch once before my sight and I will pay taxes and duties for all your caravans.
Babiho (denying): He cannot get leave from his mother even to chase, how than I bring that well-guarded Baloch to you?
Sassui (in mocking tone): hundreds of caravans and lac of people come and go, what then is the difficulty for the Baloch to come? Is he afraid to leave his mother’s lap…..?
Babiho (hurt by the mock): The charming Punhu, with long flowing locks, has taken a wife and two maids, whose voices are sweet as those of the Kokila.
Sassui (in anger): I, too am a maiden, the pride of Bhambora, and my accents are not less dulcet than Kokila’s songs.
Babiho (seeing Sassui’s heart is burning to see Punhu once): I now start my journey back to Kech, lady God be your preserver, I promise to bring the charning Baloch to you for love of the Lord.
Sassui (delightfully): My little Babiho, give my best regards to the Baloch, and tell Jam, I have sent for him an offering of rich clothes.
Babiho starts to walk….
The first act of the play comes to an end, curtains were pulled down and audience started to clap.
Maheem announced the second act.
Babiho the Hindu merchant has reached Kech, he is in the company of a young charming handsome Punhu, who is dressed in traditional Baloch dress and his head is covered with white turban.
Babiho: O my fair master! On my last journey to Bhambora I met a beautiful lady with big beautiful eyes, even the fourteen full moons cannot comprehend her beauty, she seemed as an angel fallen directly from the high heavens.
Punhu stares him and rolls his black moustache.
Babiho: I mistakenly told that fair lady who is known by the name of Sassui in her land, about your charms, hearing this she lost her heart for you unseeingly just on my account, and took a promise from me that I would bring you her for once in life.
Punhu (in amazement): O my fool merchant, you indeed would break the heart of that fair lady, as you know my mother doesn’t leave me for adventures, she fears I would be lost in the world forever.
Babiho (bowing his head in shame): O master, for a merchant nothing is more important than keeping a promise now save my grace.
Punhu (unmoved): O poor Babiho indeed you have lost your grace.
Babiho (trying for last time): Master I only promised because the charming Baloch was mocked by that fair lady.
Punhu: What she said?
Babiho (bowing his head in shame): I was told my master is a coward hiding in his mother’s lap.
Punhu: My Friend! Kettledrums, cymbals and assemblies are poison to me, even if my mother permits me not, still I will journey with you, and I will even ignore the prophecy made by a jogi on my birth that I would die wandering.
The scene had ended, the curtains had come down and then the next scene had started
Babiho is standing behing white curtains of Punhu’s mansion, his mother is behind the curtains.
Babiho: O my fair madam, let prince Punhu go with me on this trip announced by Jam Ari, let the charming prince see the bounties and beauties of this world.
Mother’s face becomes pale, she remembers the prophecy of the jogi made on Punhu’s birth and closes her eyes. After a while she speaks.
Mother: There are my sons Hoto, Noto, Jakharo, take them with the slave Babbur, if you like but leave our young Punhu with us.
Babiho: Hoto, Noto, Jakharo and the slave Babbur are not wanted, give me Punhu that he may have the intercourse with the great.
Mother: I certainly don’t assure this.
At this Babiho takes off his turban and puts it in feet of Punhu’s mother.
Mother: God take my soul before going through this test!
And then standing up she says: Fine then, take my Punhu with but remember I would hold you responsible on the judgement day if any harm happens to my prince.
The scene ended….. Within two minutes next scene started.
Punhu dressed in fine clothes is riding a camel, his wife Ayisa and two maids walk beside him, the drumbeaters are beating drums and announce in public: Our Prince Punhu is going for his first expedition, rejoice for his journey and pray for his safe return. The mother is watching this from window of mansion and;
Mother: O youths! Guard my little Punhu with anxious care.
Ayisa comes to the camel and takes its string in her hand.
Ayisa: Husband don’t leave me, for Lord’s sake! Either pass a night with me or send me home to my parents.
Punhu’s camel moves forward, Ayisa falls on her knees and cries, but Punhu leaves with great glee and delight with the caravan.
The act comes to an end….
Act three started….
On the road they passed through a town dwelt a lady more celebrated for her beauty than correctness of morals. This fair dame, whose name was Sehjan, was struck with Punhu’s beauty as she saw him ride by, and determined to meet him. She disguised herself like a man and came up with the caravan at a place called Loe, where the camel-men were dozing under the palm trees, and Punhu was playing chess with his friends and confident Babiho. Punhu immediately saw through the deception and charmed with the frail one’s beauty.
Punhu (to his friends): We have received an invitation to attend a feast for three days, then we would march ahead.
Babiho: This would delay our journey, my prince.
Punhu (rolling his moustache): Let them burn in the fire of their heart who have teased the Baloch.
Babiho bowed his head in agreement.
The scene came to an end….
Sassui becomes impatient to see Punhu, and resolving to do her best, and goes to the house of Akhund Lal, the scribe.
Sassui (requesting): Can you do me a favor, o scribe! Write a moving epistle to the fickle youth.
To which the man of letters, who had long been silent admirer of the lady and was blind withal, responded,
Lal: To me, your order is as though a commandment from Lord.
Sassui immediately dispatches the courier with the note.
The scene changed;
The messenger reaching Loe meets Punhu.
The Messenger: Good Lord! Am I in the company of a human or a heavenly creature, blessed be You for creating such a beauty.
Punhu: We have heard same about Sassui…
The messenger (with a sigh): Truth have you heard, to describe Sassui’s beauty in words would be an insult to her, she kills one hundred men with mere smile, even if she is hidden behind seven curtains.
This increases Punhu’s curiosity to meet her, but his charms had made such an impression upon the too-sensitive Sehjan, that he was unable to get leave for his departure.
At night he drops opium into the lady’s wine cup.
Punhu (instructing Babiho): stay behind to take leave of the outwitted Circe, whenever she recovers from her intoxication.
The scene changes….
Sehjan is back to her conscious and finds Punhu nowhere.
Sehjan (worryingly to Babiho): Where is my beloved Punhu?
Babiho (inventing a story): A messenger came last night with a message that Punhu’s mother has died, so he left for Kech and Makran.
Sehjan (with tears and sighs addresses to everyone near her): Come, come my companions, come visit bright Loe, and kiss with your eyes the place where my beloved Punhu abode.
Babiho was dismissed by the lady with presents, and soon he joined his lord.
The caravan approaches its destination, the crafty Babiho opened the camels’ mouths, put a bit of musk into each, and closed them up till they reached Bambhora. Crowds of people assembled to see them enter and to admire the size and trappings of their animals. The camp was pitched in Sassui’s garden, but for some reason or the other the lady’s modesty would not allow her to meet her unseen lover after sending for him from home.
Punhu, after failing in many attempts, at length hits upon an expedient. Taking with him his bow and arrows, he observes a pet pigeon sitting on a mango tree, and shot it so skillfully that it fell into the lap of its mistress, Sassui’s aunt.
The old lady (in wrath): You murderous boy, you mule, you surely have done a murderous deed, and what have you gained by slaining our bird?
Punhu (in anger): Indeed I am a murderer and a mule, and have done a murderous deed, but I thought to slay her bird who brought me here from Kech, my home.
Sassui, overhearing the dialogue, hides herself in veil, takes up the arrow and hands it to Punhu, Punhu is only able to see her hand and loss his mind upon just that sight.
Punhu: Blessed be the one who created such a beauty.
Sassui smiles and Punhu realizes entire world has started to smile with her, he starts to walk away.
The aunt: You strut about the courts; whose peacock you are? Are you a digger of walls, or a cloth thief?
Punhu (denying the charges categorically): I strut about the courts, the peacock of friend, but I am neither a wall-digger nor a cloth-thief.
The curtain had fallen…. Maheem started to give the description in the background;
At length Sassui took pity upon the young man, consented to meet him, and, in order to test his affection for her, told him that if he wants to win her hand, he must become a washer-man under her father. He agrees and when the finishes the agreed time the marriage takes places, Babiho quarrels with him and leaves him behind.
The curtains were pulled up;
Sassui is standing with Punhu in their chamber…
Sassui: Promise me my beloved, you would never pass through the door of Bambhora were goldsmith’s wife Bhagula abides.
Punhu (in loving tone): I promise you my dear, I won’t pass that ever in my life.
But in his ignorance he one day passes through that gate and his eyes meet that of Bhagula’s, the fair and frail spouse of the goldsmith. The lady admires the handsome Baloch and cries loud.
Bhagula: May God cause us to meet.
Punhu returns to his home and finds scabbard of his sword is broken, he must go to that gate of Bambhora, so that his sword might be mended.
Sassui realizes she has lost his Punhu to Bhagula and cries to her fate.
Sassui (to herself): My beloved Punhu is gone to armorers, having broken the scabbard of his sword; probably the goldsmith’s wife has conquered him, Bhagula had pierced his heart with the arrow of love.
Suassui roaming here and there…..
Maheem’s voice in the background;
Now, Bhagula was so wicked, that not contented with seducing Punhu’s affections from his wife, she tried to persuade him that Sassui was unfaithful to him.
Bhagula enters the scene with Sassui;
Bhagula (mocking Sassui): Every banyan has been your favored lover, the very weavers who sit at their looms, no one has missed you, no, not even the Thori of the wild.
Sassui (indignant at such accusations): Alright Bhagula, let us walk through the holy fire and let it decide who amongst us is faithful to the great Baloch.
When the affair became public, crowds gathered from all directions to witness the event, and a pile of three or four tons of cotton, steeped in oil and clarified butter, was prepared for the ladies’ reception. The unhappy Bhagula turned pale at the sight, and would have fled, but Sassui seized her ears and compelled her to enter. Virtue of course triumphed, and the goldsmith’s dame was burnt to ashes; her ears, which were in the pure hands of her rival, being the only portion that escaped. Punhu, acknowledged his wife’s chastity and returned with her to her father’s house.
Babiho is standing with Jam Ari (Punhu’s father)….
Babiho: Master don’t blame me Punhu was enchanted by big black eyes of Sassui.
Jam Ari (shouts): Gather my six sons and tell them to bring back Punhu by hook or by crook.
Punhu’s six brothers leave for Bambhora on camels, when they reached there, they intoxicated Sassui and Punhu’s drinks by bribing a maid, at midnight all six enter Punhu’s chamber, pick him up and come out, tying him with the camel the left Bambhora during the night.
At dawn Sassui looks around, but her beloved is not on the couch beside her, she searches, yet finds not the camels of her brothers-in-law at the place where they were alighted; stooping to the ground, she gazes, and recognizes the fresh footsteps of Punhu. Then she weeps tears of blood; as if sprinkling over the hills her husband was travelling, crying:
Alas! Alas! She scatters the red gulal over her head.
How shall her wounded heart survive the loss of him, whom the Baloch have torn away from her?
The friends and family start to consolidate with her, her mother reminds her household duties.
Sassui: My spinning wheel gives me no pleasure, now that my husband is gone, nor I feel joy from conversation of my companions, my soul is among the hills, where the Baloch urge their camels.
Sassui is with her friends.
Sassui: I want to follow footsteps of my husband.
One friend: Not go forth to the wild, O Sassui, where snakes lurk in the beds of mountain streams, where jackals, wolves, baboons and bears sit in parties, watching for the travelers, and where black vipers, in the fiumaras oppose your way with their hissings, fierce hornets haunt the hills, Korars utheir cry, and Luhars, winding round the trees, swing and sway in the wind. After such dangers appear the sheds, Jam Punhu’s village home.
Sassui (adheres to her determination dissuades her companions): O married females, return to your homes and don’t come with me, I am not returning home without my husband, I fear lest, when you would die of thirst on this journey, you might start cursing Punhu.
Sassui starts her journey alone, and thus apostrophizes the hills;
Sassui: O you high hills, why don’t you point towards the direction of my lover? It must be yesterday that the string of camels passed over you, wasn’t my lover, my friend in that caravan?
Sassui faces the dangers of roads, the heat, the feelings of a lady in her novel position, and her praiseworthy tribulation in spite of the sun, simoom, fatigue and bruised feet.
At last she meets a goatherd.
Sassui: O my brother! The goatherd, may God bless you with more goats, and may your name be celebrated for the beauty of your flock at every ford, where animals are driven to water. For Lord’s sake, goatherd! Point out to me the path taken by my brothers-in-law.
It happens so that this wretch, described as a perfect demon of the waste in ugliness and wildness, had been told by the old witch, his dam, that on that day he should meet in the jungle a beautiful bride, decked in her jewels and rich attire. Seeing Sassui, he concluded that she was the person intended for him, and forthwith began to display a grotesque and unceremonious gallantry, which was rapidly verging towards extremes. The lady, to gain time, complained thirst and begged her horrible admirer to milk one goat.
The goatherd: I have no pot.
Sassui drew out a brass mug, and gave him. As he went down to fetch the animal, knocked a hole in the bottom of it with a stone. The villain’s eyes were so much occupied, and his senses so charmed, by the beauty of his prize, that he did not remark unusual length of time it required to draw a draught of milk.
And now Sassui, driven to her despair, offered up earnest prayers to heavens to preserve her honor; begging to be admitted into the bowels of the earth, if no other means of escape existed. Heaven heard her prayers and suddenly she sank into the yawning ground.
The wretched goatherd then perceived his mistake, but unable to cancel the past, occupied himself in raising a hut of straw in honor of the departed fair one.
Punhu escaped his brothers with his slave Lallu and started traveling to Bambhora, passed by the spot, attracted by the appearance of the hut, he went up to it and would have sat down there to rest, but suddenly he heard Sassui’s voice calling from the tomb;
Sassui: Enter boldly my Punhu! Don’t think to find a narrow bed, here gardens bloom, and shed sweet savor around, here are fruits, and shades, and cooling streams, and the prophet’s light pours through our abode, banishing from its limits death and decay.
Punhu calls his servant Lallu, gives him the reins of his camels, and directs him to carry the tidings of fate to his father and friends.
Punhu than prays to heaven to allow him join Sassui, his prayers are heard and he is swallowed in the land.
The curtains had fallen down…. Maheem had concluded:
“Separation is now removed, and the friends have met to part no more, the souls of those true lovers are steeped in bliss, and the rose is at last restored to the rose bed.”
Everyone in the stage had stood up and clapped, the performers had come in front and received the applause. For many days Farzan had remained under the spell of Sassui’s character and started to believe that Hyder was her Punhu.
“Have you heard,” Hyder had said: “about the airstrikes upon different villages at Awaran.” Abdul stared in his friend’s face, who said: “more than eighty people have died in those attacks.” Abdul had said nothing.
“This is clear-cut genocide of Baloch people, they are doing our ethnic cleansing,” Hyder had said, anger and hatred was visible in his tone, and then he said: “come, we are told to install the posters of doctor at the campus, Naseer, Shameer and others are waiting at campus.”
“Maa…!” Abdul called his mother and said: “I am going to the campus, would be back in half an hour.”
“The diner is ready,” his mother said wiping her sweat.
“Ma I’d have it on my return,” Abdul said and left with Hyder, riding Hyder’s motorbike, they reached the campus in twenty minutes and met with others who were waiting for them. They carried big banners and posters of a man in his mid-forties, belt of bullets was tied around his waist, and he hold Ak-47 in his right hand, above that “Liberation of Balochistan is our Destiny” was written in bold letters. They formed eight teams of two and spread into different corners of the campus pasting banners and posters on different spots, while those who were assigned the chalking job, they painted the walls in black with slogans like: “Stop genocide of Baloch people…. Doctor we are with you…..”
Hyder and Abdul were pasting the posters on the walls of CL, when they saw lights of a vehicle, they ignored it and carried on with their work, the vehicle stopped at the roundabout, six healthy men in plain clothes came out from it, one of them threw torch light in the direction where Hyder and Abdul were standing.
“Catch these bastards, don’t let them go,” cried the one with torch.
“Run,” cried Abdul, and the two started to run, they were chased by five men, suddenly something came in Hyder’s way and he fell on the ground and injured his knees, Abdul was running ahead, when he saw Hyder fell down he stopped running and came to his rescue.
“Run Abdul run, leave me alone,” Hyder cried in pain.
“Without you maybe in the next life,” Abdul replied and tried to pick his friend up, at that precise moment Abdul felt a strong hand in his neck.
“So you are the motherfuckers,” said their abductor, and punched Abdul in his stomach, he felt the pain, then he was kicked between his legs, Abdul fell down.
“These motherfuckers think we are fools without any information,” the one who had torch in his hand said and this time kicked Hyder. Two men went to the walls and tore the posters, others grabbed the boys from their hair tied their hands and blindfolded them, they were thrown in the vehicle, soon they realized they were not alone, other friends have also been abducted.
When the clock hit midnight, Abdul’s mother became worried and said to Farzan:
“Why has Abdul not returned?”
Farzan was studying in the longue.
“Relax ma, he must be at hostel,” she replied concentrating on the book.
“Call him on his cellphone and ask when would come home,” said the mother in worried tone. Farzan took out her cellphone from the black pouch and dialed Abdul’s number, it was off.
“What happened?” the mother asked in worried tone.
“His number is off,” Farzan replied and dialed Hyder’s number, even the other number was also off, this made Farzan worried too, she tried to contact with few LFB members but got no response. Half an hour passed, no contact was made, the mother in worried tone prayed:
“Ya Allah, protect my son.” A few moments later Farzan’s cellphone buzzed, she quickly took it out from the pouch, she had received a text from Maheem, which read:
“Just come to know that a raid was conducted on the main campus and boys’ hostels, more than sixteen students have been abducted.” Farzan was shocked reading the text, blackness came before her eyes, and she had no guts to tell her mother, what had happened?
Even on the third day when no news about Abdul came, his mother having mental stress fell on the ground.
“Ma….ma….ma…..” Farzan cried in fear coming to her, she picked her unconscious mother and put her on bed, twenty minutes passed but her mother was still unconscious, she rubbed her hands and feet but got no response, tears fell on her white cheeks as she ran out from the house to neighbors for help, in no time the neighbors gathered, and an ambulance was called and her mother was shifted to the local hospital.
“She is in coma due to stress,” the doctor had told Farzan, she felt pain in her head and wanted to throw herself out from the third floor window of the hospital, but she remained unmoved, tears fell from her eyes.
On the fifteenth day, in the evening when Farzan had come hospital to attend her mother after the university and tuitions, a tall, dark aged guy dressed in white kurta and white shalwar came to her.
“I am Shabbir father of Hyder,” he said to Farzan in calm voice, Farzan stood up from the wooden stool and greeted him.
“I want to talk to you in loneliness,” Mama Shabbir said: “could you join me for few minutes in the garden?” Farzan nodded her head in agreement and walked out with Mama Shabbir. They came to a lonely corner in the hospital garden and sat on a stone bench.
“I have come to know that your brother Abdul was abducted with my son,” he said.
“Yes,” Farzan replied with a sob.
“I am going to start a protest for recovery of all the missing students at the local press club,” he said: “would you join me?”
“Yes, of course,” Farzan replied without thinking.
“Fine then, we would meet tomorrow morning,” Mama said standing up, Farzan also stood up and asked: “would they return?” Mama Shabbir didn’t answer and walked away.
The local press club was a small four room building having a wooden door, the photographers and reporters always had to wait for the news, hardly a protest came and then they weren’t even sure about the publishing of their filed news. When Mama Shabbir and Farzan reached the press club carrying ply-cards about the missing students, the photographers rushed towards them and started instructing them where to stand, what posture they should have, there were clicks on the cameras.
“Please make a “V” sign,” said one dark skinned photographer, Farzan and Mama did as they were told, after the photo session, reporters came around them noting quickly what was their problem? After all this, they sat together under an old tree. The next day only one local newspaper had published their news, while four papers published the photographs without news. On that particular day, relatives of two other missing students joined Mama and Farzan, for three whole months they kept coming to the press club but still got no information regarding the missing person. After three months they went to Quetta press club and protested there, many journalists ignored them, but then came a thin feeble journalist Raiz his eyes were not visible under his thick glasses, he had thin line of moustache on his upper lip, Raiz was a freelancer, and he wrote an article for a famous English daily of two thousand and five hundred words about the missing persons in Balochistan focusing on Mama Shabbir and Farzan case.
The article went like a fire in the jungle, Human Rights activists started to open their mouths, solidary demonstrations were held in Sindh and other provinces as well, two days later when Raiz was going back to his house at night, two motorbike riders stopped him and fought with him, he was injured in this attack and warmed to control his pen, but fifteen days later, he wrote and other article this time on mass graves in Balochistan and missing persons, the article became a hot potato, one mainstream Urdu news channel had a one hour program on prime time and Mama Shabbir and Farzan were taken on-air via phone call. The Chief Justice of Supreme Court took the suo moto action on the issue of missing person but none of the missing returned.
Outside Quetta press club, it was a bright sunny day Mama Shabbir, Farzan and twenty others had installed a camp and they had been protesting for a month there, on that particular day Raiz approached the protestors at their camp with the latest issue of the paper in which his article had published.
“Mama Shabbir;” Raiz lit a local branded cigarette and blew the match stick with the smoke he had inhaled told the protestors: “could I give you a suggestion?”
“Yes my son,” Mama Shabbir replied.
“Mama;” Raiz puffing the cigarette said: “announce a long march from Quetta to Karachi for the missing persons,” everyone listened to him carefully, he continued: “but remember don’t have any political slogans.” Mama Shabbir went into deep thought and then agreed with the journalist. An emergency press conference was arranged and Mama Shabbir along with Farzan announced to have a long march from Quetta to Karachi. They had a march and the world started to recognize the Baloch problem. When LUMS withdrew from the program, Samreen offered them to have a discussion at FTS.
Farzan came out from the room and joined us, we welcomed her with smiles; she picked up one sheet.
“We would do it by ourselves,” Samreen said with a smile.
“You have already done more than enough for us,” Farzan said in humble tone.
“This café is all about speaking freely,” Samreen said, Farzan nodded her in agreement.
Shahrah-e-Faisal, after the Friday Prayers…..
Two teenagers Hameed and Ahmed were at Zahid Khan’s residency, they were sent to him by Zahid’s handlers, four two months they were getting training of hit and run, after Aslam’s death Zahid and his handlers had become extra cautious, they had kept both the boys in high surveillance. Hameed at age of nineteen was to drive the motorbike, while Ahmed, the eighteen years old was to shoot the target. They both had just passed their college and waiting to be admitted in some reputable university. Both of them were traced by agencies from their social media posts, and were motivated to work for them.
Ahmed was the most desperate one during his college days, he started attending lectures of a newly formed religious party “The Rightly Guided Path” founded by Dr. Abrar Ali, who was a medical doctor and then became a religious scholar, though hard-liners of Islam, this group claimed to believe in peaceful agitation. It was very rapidly corrupting the minds of young Sindhis through their literature, some of which was distributed free of cost.Most often this organization distorts the historic facts especially that of Arab invasions and glorify it as the golden period of Muslim ummah, a fabricated word for Muslims of the world. They firmly believe that all the Muslims of world are one ummah, while they don’t support concept of nations.
According to office bearers of this group, Sindh chapter, having an office at Qasimabad, Hyderabad, they don’t believe in the concept of nation states, whole earth belongs to Allah, and by hook or crook they would impose the divine law in entire would, one caliph would soon rule the whole world, and that is the only way to peace.
Engineer Asghar Ali, heads the Sindh chapter of The Rightly Guided Path, he believes that it is the duty of well learned Muslims to come forward and strive for Islam, he used to think the organization should reach the youngsters, he also thought that present education system was corrupting minds of young Muslims, it should be changed, it was time to promote Islamic values in the society. He used to think capitalists and seculars have played devil’s part in downfall of Muslims.
The hard-liners of The Rightly Guided Path, also firmly believed that Jews are engaged in a conspiracy against Islam since its beginning, and they don’t mind spreading conspiracy theories if these theories serve their purpose.
According to latest statistics The Rightly Guided Path has approximately 13000 members all over Pakistan. However, Dr. Abrar Ali has remained a controversial scholar, his famous controversy arose when he made a comment against Hazrat Ali’s (the fourth caliph of Islam) personality on a national TV. This comment was condemned by the Shia’a community, while in 2008 Sindh government decided to file a case against Dr. Abrar Ali on making an ill-comment on highly respectable Islamic figure. He died in 2010.
The organization holds number of offices in various cities of Sindh like: Karachi, Hyderabad, Jamshoro and others. Amongst many activities, from past two or three years the organization is trying to promote anti-valentine day on 14th February, trying to convince Muslim youth that such activities are as though following the footsteps of devil and in the end will lead them to hell fire or anti-April Fool’s Day, because there is no provision of a lie in Islam, even if it is joke.
According to the office bearers of organization in Sindh, Late Dr. Abrar Ali predicted that Since Sindh is known as the “Gateway of Islam” it would be Sindh where this so called Caliphate Model would be established and made known to the entire world.
Though both the boys were inspired by the ideology, yet they believed peaceful agitation was not the solution to the problem, someone had to wage the holy, so they started posting about great works done by Osama bin Laden and the Al-Qaida and got traced. Ahmed was diverted to religion after his failure in the music industry, he wanted to be a singing star and to fulfill his dream he even participated in the “Pakistan Idol” a singing competition announced by one private Pakistani channel, but he was rejected in the very first round, this broke his heart and he stopped singing. He even stop socializing with his friends and then he changed his way by becoming a hard-liner of Islam.
They both sat with Zahid Khan, who cleared his throat by coughing and started to brainwash the boys for one last time.
“Every revolution needs blood, sometimes you give your life for the cause and other times you take lives,” he told them, the boys nodded in agreement, he continued and started narrating evilness of Kaffirs against Muslims during the Iraq war:
“Most soldiers of the Allied Army were engaged in Afghanistan, when they heard about a new battle field from their crazy leader, the Afghan dispute was yet unsettled, but to invade another country was also important, the junior officers and soldiers didn’t know what was the reason behind this attack, but for a soldier an order is an order, without any if or but!
“To seek the weapons of mass destructions,” was the excuse given by high-ups. Going to a battle field, and seeing armed enemy face-to-face is a dream of every soldier. Iraq was their new destination; the trouble maker claimed to be the peace-maker, and all he got was a shoe on his face in a press conference as a reward for his efforts to see world peaceful; it was too merciful but that was all a poor helpless journalist could do. From the mountains, now suddenly the plan was to move in sandy land, which held the ancient secrets of human civilization. There were the Ramala oil fields, and a never ending desire of Jews to have a ‘Greater Israel’ on the face of earth. Sergeant Menis was a young handsome man of American Army, in his early thirties, with bony clean shaven face, enjoying his vacations in New Jersey, when he received the letter to report immediately at Quarters, spitting out his drinks he came out for war, which had already begun.
Of the 50 odd tanks 3 R.T.R, standing ever ready to fire at enemy at Baghdad and Basra, Sergeant Menis was too in the streets of Baghdad, once the center of art, literature and civilization. Evil Saddam’s Palace was already captured, his statue tore to ground, he was arrested and his family executed, no WMD was found, the streets of Basra, Kuffa and Karballa heard silly noises of allied force, uncomfortable soldiers in their camps. Unfortunately too many regiments employed the same gallant treaties; they were learning the hard way. Regarding the advent of new tanks with a good deal more vital interest fuel was to present a new problem of supplaying services, as the engines ran efficiently only on high octane aviation spirit. Bearing the expenses of the army fighting at two different battlefields crushed the mighty economy of America. Sergeant Menis in his open four-wheel army jeep was out there to visit Baghdad that was under air strikes and rain of bullets, smile ran over his face when he saw blank faces of Arab women and children in the streets, perhaps waiting for Sinbad to come and rescue them. As most army men Menis too was an agnostic, knowing only one thing: “all hail to America, conquest is their destiny…..”
“Make a few fast turns,” he ordered his driver, on the second turn he saw an Arab young blonde girl in veil, and looking at her lustfully he said to his driver:
“Well Haley, what do you think of her?”
“She is honey sir,” the driver replied joyously, the sergeant took out his tin of wine and took a large sip from it.
He had heard about alarming stories going about what biological weapons were and could do to massive turrets. A more or less automatic procedure followed if the circumstances were favorable. The objective was to get close enough to enemy and destroy. The battle practice convinced Menis that he was right, and that in tanks that were out gunned and out armored, mobility was an essential element in survival. The sun had set down and the sky was becoming dark, only thing Menis wanted now was to relax his mind without thinking of any further killings, he wanted to escape the battlefield for a while, the light was failing, there was a threat of guerilla fighters who can come out from nowhere and attack. There were rumours at camp that Hizbullah leader Nasrullah was prepared to attack Israel, which at that time seemed to be a big joke for a well-equipped army. Menis had just reached his camp when he heard radio transistors buzzing the voice: “some movements at northern side have been noticed.” A battalion was order to drill in that position and find out what was going on, it was just a peaceful operation, not at all like the beginning of the adventure, when soldiers were ordered to kill everyone, destroy everything. But the young sergeant was excited for he was going to see the enemy for the first time. Not just about the substantial things of war-tanks, guns, infantry, and armor piercing shells, there was an extra-ordinary inquisitiveness that always possessed Menis in strange new places and circumstances, but above all there was this curiosity about the immediate future and what could happen in it…….what would happen to him! The information was correct, there was a movement, but it went normal, it was a family going to destroyed city.
The first important thing for Menis was to adjust in the camp, adjusting with seven soldiers using one toilet, watching and washing dirty under-wears, passing the wind while sleeping and avoiding homosexuality, there were more than many of this kind especially Blacks with their large tools. Lack of water, might force them to drink their own urine, was also worrying thing for him. But he was becoming used to of all that, things at large were under his control. There was a civil war now in Iraq, once again the radio buzzed and he heard:
“35 unknown people are seen in an under-ground place at the middle of the city, find out who are they?”
“Oh! God damn it, not again,” he exclaimed in anger becoming fed-up of all these silly orders from the control room, when he reached the mentioned place with his company, he found more than 30 people hiding to save their lives, men, women and children, there were shouts of cries when the people saw soldiers in uniform.
“Don’t panic,” Menis cried loud moving his binocular back: “we are here to rescue you,” few of the children were infected with diseases as bio-weapons were used, who were immediately sent to safety camps, Menis’ eyes met with a young girl that was trying to hide herself behind an old lady, probably her mother, after spending days with crazy soldiers, look of a blonde brunette girl moved his heart, desires aroused inside his heart, lust overcame his head, ignoring everyone he came close to her, she was crying, he wept her tears, she became more tensed and frightened, though Arabs can be horny but culturally and religiously they avoid sex without marriage, it is taken as an insult and offense to touch a body without marriage contract.
“Don’t cry my dear,” he told her, she threw away his hand.
“I won’t kill you, I want to use you!” he said with lustful smile on his face, she spat at him, the soldiers loaded their guns Menis with his hand stopped them, but there arouse an emotion of insult inside his heart tiring it like a sharp tack.
“Bring them to camps,” he ordered cleaning his face with sleeve of shirt, the soldiers obeyed him, people started to walk in queue, the girl attached to her mother was in the end, Menis pulled her from arm, she cried out of pain.
“For God’s sake, leave her,” the old lady pleaded, but she was kicked out of the way, the gesture of Arab men was that of anger, they wanted to kill that bastard but were helpless. She was brought to the camp; “leave us alone gentlemen,” Menis told his soldiers, they went out.
“Please leave me,” now she pleaded.
“I will, when I am finished with you,” he said with a mocking smile, which was as sharp as tack.
“No please, leave me,” she cried again.
“Even the god can’t help you;” he said coming near to her: “ask him, what you call him….” And answering his own question with that same smile said: ah! Allah.” He tore her veil, she cried: “no, please.”
“Come on you bitch,” now he said in frustration and slapped her, as he tried to hug her she bit his hand.
“Aoch! The bitch bites,” he exclaimed, and slapped her again, she fell down on the ground, he came upon her.
“It would be better for you to give up willingly,” he told her in rough tone: “I don’t want to rape a girl like you.” After few kisses here and there he took out his cane of wine and drank from it, also forced her to drink, she denied, he forcefully opened her mouth and put some wine in it, she vomited immediately. The sergeant threw her on the mat and started to lick her neck, she started to move her legs here and there, crying and trying hard, but escape was impossible, he removed his trouser and came over her again, she first closed her eyes, and prayed in her heart for death, when she opened her eyes, she saw guns, pistols and grenades, one of them was placed near the lamp, she thought if she can reach it she would kill her along the bastard over her virgin body, so she stopped resisting, Menis commented:
“Nice baby; it’s good for you to cooperate.” He carried on kissing, her cloths were torn, he started fondling her firm breasts, all she could to was to move in the direction of the grenade, when a hand touched her slippery thighs she closed her eyes, but kept crawling in that direction. Menis was aroused so much that he was unable to understand why the girl was moving, he took it normal as was used to of it in his country, girls moving in different directions during the intercourse that made the whole baldy thing interesting and full of pleasure. At last she neared the grenade, Menis was engaged kissing her neck and playing with her soft breasts, and she pulled the pin out of grenade and threw it in other direction, when Menis heard the voice of something falling he looked there, and in the next moment there was a large explosion, few soldiers waiting outside were also injured, but the sergeant and the girl were dead on the spot with parts of their bodies falling here and there, fire raised high as though it was touching the sky, but it only took fifteen minutes overcoming it. Parts of Menis’ body were collected and put in a casket, after which it was rolled in American National Flag, news in the media broke:
“A terrorist attack on allied camp in Iraq, it being said it was a suicide attack, even the Iraqi ladies are ready to kill American soldiers………” and then there was a question roaming in the media:
Can America win this war?” After this little story, Zahid said with enthusiasm:
“Based on Objectives Resolution, this sacred document was a “Tajdeed e Ehed” a renewal of our promise, that we shall complete Pakistan by implementing the original resolutions and nation building guidelines of our founding fathers, and revive the true spirit of Pakistan’s creation; to carry out its takmeel, or completion,” after a little pause he said:
“God has chosen you and me for this purpose, it is clearly mentioned that: Glad tidings are for those who kill and get killed in the way of God.” Zahid moved his right hand on his grey beard and continued: “And why should ye not fight in the cause of God and of those who, being weak, are ill-treated (and oppressed)? – Men, women and children, whose cry is: “Our Lord! Rescue us from this town, whose people are oppressors; and raise for us from you one who will protect; and raise for us from you one who will help!” The boys were listening to him carefully, he continued:
“But remember today you have to kill only and not killed, that bitch is an enemy of Allah, enemy of our country as she is promoting Indian and Israeli ideology, when we are again and again told that the Jews or mushriqs would never be your friends, we Muslims are destined to rule the entire world and for that we have to kill the Jews, mushriqs and their agents. You must know the strength of a believer, one faithful is equal to ten mushriqs.” There came a pause and then Zahid said: “see what they are doing to us in Karachi, they are promoting their false ideologies through their agents, our well-trained law enforcing agencies have arrested hundreds of RAW and Mossad agents in this city, they are at war with us, I ask you my children: are we Muslims helpless that we even can’t defend our country, shouldn’t it be our duty to fight these evil-mongers?” these were rhetoric questions and Zahid himself answered: “yes, we have all the right to kill them, we even went into their cities and killed them there, don’t go far in the history, just look few years back, how beautifully the city of Mumbai, the mother of all evils was attacked by our great holy warriors, never for once fear entered their hearts when they were killing Jews and the mushriqs, I call them our truly committed faithful, who gave their lives for a cause, no man could choose a person to do work of God, it is God, who chooses them and you are also chosen by God.”
The blackie and the fair one had entered the room, they carried black leather bags and passed them to the boys, and the blackie gave them keys of the motorbike. As Zahid stood up, the two boys were also on their feet, Zahid came closer to Ahmed, hugged and kissed his forehead.
“May God give you the strength to pull the trigger at right moment,” Zahid said holding the boy’s arms, the boy nodded in agreement. Zahid faced Hameed, hugged and gave him a kiss. They picked up their bags and walked out from the room.
“Zahid sahib get ready for new assignment,” said the fair one with a smiling face.
“Sir the servant is also ready to serve you,” the blackie passed a leather bag to him saying:
“Carry on the good work.”
Defense View, 4:30 pm
As the time was getting close, Farzan was getting excited, we had already taken two cups of tea during our work, now we were setting the chairs for the speakers.
“Ah!” she exclaimed: “so the day has arrived when other people are ready to listen us.”
Samreen gave her a smile and said: “you are one of us, we are always ready to listen you,” Farzan gave her a smile and said: “it is very hard to lose your close ones, few incidents change entire course of your life.” I was moved by her words, I knew what it meant to lose close ones, especially when someone is punished for the crimes he has not committed and said in a sad tone:
“True….” Both young ladies stared at me.
“My father,” I said: “was killed at NIPA Bridge during the ethnic riots that took place in Karachi, and since then things have never been same for me, I was tortured for raise a voice against injustice at my university, in this country you are punished to speak truth.” Both ladies sympathized with me, and then Samreen said jokingly:
“After this program FTS would arrange a program on your life,” we started to smile and carried on our work. By five-thirty, we had completed all our preparations, suddenly the doorbell rang and we were petrified, I went to the door and opened it. Mama Shabbir and the journalist were standing at the door, shaking hands with them I welcomed them in.
“So all set for the big day,” the journalist said with a smile.
“Yes,” Samreen replied.
“Samreen,” the journalist said: “you need to be careful, by arranging this program you have made many enemies.”
“Don’t worry sir,” Samreen replied with a smile: “the world is an amazing place, here you make friends and foe at the same time.” There came a silent moment and then she said:
“Who cares about death if one has friends like you?”
When the dot hit six o’clock, people started to come to FTS and within fifteen minutes the hall was over crowded, I closed the door as there was no more space in the hall and sat in one corner, Samreen moderated the program, she started by saying:
“This evening is a unique evening, as we have some amazing guests to share their stories with us, let me introduce our speakers this evening,” and then pointing to the old man she said: “on my right is Mama Shabbir, a Baloch human rights activist, he had the famous long march for missing persons of Balochistan, next to him is Miss: Farzan, she is also Baloch activist and was with Mama Shabbir in the long march, next to her is a well-known journalist Asifullah, we welcome you all.” The three guests nodded their heads, as the audience started to clap.
“Let me remind our audience,” Samreen said: “please don’t interrupt our speakers, once they have finished their presentations, you would be free to ask questions.” After another little pause she said:
“Ladies and gentlemen, may I invite Mama Shabbir to open this session,” The audience started clapping.
“Thank you,” said Mama Shabbir: “I am glad to be with you and thank Miss: Samreen to give us an opportunity to talk about a serious problem with the Baloch people, these are ways to cripple us mentally and physically so that we no longer are staunch on our cause. But they forget that the Baloch are a proud nation. We have fought and survived various invaders and our heritage and traditions have only further strengthened instead resolve.
After him Farzan spoke and said:
“We kept asking you for help. I asked the High Court of Balochistan and the Supreme Court of Pakistan, the police and the activist groups. But no one has heard us. If our brothers, sons and fathers are guilty of a crime, produce them in court and charge them officially. Punish them after charging them. But follow the law and the constitution. There is a limit to our tolerance. Imagine how it must have felt when in the middle of the Long March, after reaching Dera Ghazi Khan, we saw the news of the discovery of a mass grave in Khuzdar.”
Finally the journalist was given the chance to speak, and as always the journalists do he joined many things with his peculiar wit. Everyone seemed to enjoy, what he was saying and as he finished, there was a thunder of applause, then the audience asked questions and got answers.
At nine pm, Samreen called for an end to the program, most of audience left after getting autographs from the three speakers, finally everyone left the café, only I and Samreen were left behind.
“Let’s have a dinner and then move to my flat,” Samreen said happily. We closed the café and came out. It was a starry night, but still the sky upon Karachi was dark, I felt a cool breeze coming from the sea, we were going towards her car parked just outside the building, she opened it and sat in the driving seat, while I was in the passenger’s seat, she ignited the engine. The traffic on the overhead bridge was moving smoothly, we also took that route and started to speak about the success of the program, discussing its merits and demerits, and suddenly I looked into the rearview mirror and noticed a motorbike following us.
“We are being followed,” I told her.
“Don’t be crazy,” she said carelessly.
“Look in the rearview mirror,” I cried, she looked into the mirror and noticed two persons in black dress, their faces covered following us, her face went pale and pressed the accelerator, even the bike riders increased their speed, Samreen pushed the brakes as the bike came in front of us, one of them came down and pulled a gun from his bag, and in no time open around of fires on us, I opened the door in a wink of an eye an jumped out of the car, as I fell on the road my elbow started to hurt, Samreen was hit by five bullets, as the firing stopped, the shooter ran towards the bike and the disappeared in the thin air.
I was feeling the pain in my entire body, but I stood up and ran towards the car, Samreen was lying in a pool of blood, he felt her coldness, she died on spot. People started to gather around the car, suddenly sirens of police vans and ambulance it my ears, she was shifted to the ambulance, I wanted to shout and scream but my tongue was unable to utter a word. Suddenly my head started to spin and I fell down on the road.
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