This is my Pakistan
The News report by Shakeel Anjum
She was bitterly crying on phone begging for her life in the captivity, as she had seen her 16-year-old brother on a CD being slaughtered by kidnappers and pieces of his dead body were sent to her father by them some six years back.
Where criminals are so powerful that they manage to make the law enforcement agencies helpless and paralyse the system, the only way left for people like Shamsul Anwar is to obey them. What he did for the nation against terrorists and what he got in return from the nation on saving lives of hundreds of worshippers in a mosque as a Pakistani is a big question.
Ten, nine, eight, seven, six … countdown has started on the turn of his daughter to be slaughtered by the captors as the poor father is not in a position to pay them a huge ransom of Rs1.8 million. But he is mentally ready to receive pieces of his daughter. The captors have given him a deadline for payment of ransom and warned that his daughter would be slaughtered if he fails to meet the deadline of January 12, 2012. “Be ready to receive the pieces of your daughter too,” they warned. God forbid, he would face another doomsday on January 12, if he fails to pay the ransom.
When he was asked, the captors linked with some terrorist outfits, would kill his daughter on the publication of this report, he said, “This is my last attempt to save the life of my young daughter. In either way, I am mentally prepared to receive another gunny bag filled with pieces of my daughter’s remains.”
“I beg for the life of my young daughter from judicial, political, military and government bosses. I am a voiceless man,” Shamsul Anwar said. The only question left is whether he should proud to be a Pakistani after he was facing the trauma of life-spoiling attacks by the ‘terrorist outfits’.
The victim narrating his shocking tale told ‘The News’, “I am Shamsul Anwar and has served in the Pakistan Army as a ‘Lance Naik’ in 24-Baloch Regiment for over 17 years and got retired in 1992.
“I hail from Khasar Tang, Balool Khail, Tehsil and District Nowshera, and settled in Dhoke Gujran, Misrial Road, Rawalpindi, after my retirement as my father was running a construction business in Rawalpindi, but I preferred the transport business. I, later, included seven public transport vehicles, including cabs, in my squad and built two houses in the neighbourhood and rented out three portions while kept one portion with me to live with my wife and nine children, including two twin daughters — Madina Anwar and Mubin Anwar, 14 — and seven sons — Mohammad Yaseen Anwar, 16; Faizullah, 14; Sajid Anwar, 12; Wahed Anwar, 11; Abubakr Siddique, 9; Ibadat Anwar, 7, and 4-year-old Mohammad Mustafa.
“It was 1st of January, 2001 when I entered the Jamia Masjid of Dhoke Gujran at Misrial Road, Rawalpindi, at about 2:10 p.m. when the ‘imam’ was reciting ‘khutba’ and I was late. I rushed to the basement of the mosque to perform ablution (‘wazu’) where I saw a man who was planting some explosives packed in a steel box and he was busy in plugging wires into the detonation device. As I was an army personnel and had been serving with bomb disposal unit, I sensed the danger. I clutched the ‘terrorist’ from the back without asking any question or giving him any warning as he had plugged one wire into the device and remaining three were in his hands and he was about to put it into the detonator. I started shouting for help but nobody listened to my cries as the ‘khutba’ was being recited on the loudspeaker. In the meantime, the terrorist, carrying a gun, asked me to leave him otherwise he would shoot me but I refused to free him and entangled my left leg in between his two legs as he could not somersault me. After he observed that I was not going to release him, he started firing aiming at my leg and emptied his revolver. I sustained three bullets in my left leg and remaining three missed.
“Meanwhile, some worshippers gathered there and grabbed him as I told people that his revolver was empty. The terrorist warned me that he would teach me a lesson and make me an example. I was shifted to the CMH and the ‘terrorist’ was taken to an undisclosed place by the agencies. As many as 17 terrorists of the outfit were arrested on information provided by the nabbed ‘terrorist’. I remained under treatment for about a month and sent home with a team of security personnel of the army commanded by a JCO. The security personnel remained with me for about a year and protected my family and me stringently. Finally, the security was withdrawn.
“After about five years of the episode, the ‘terrorist outfit’ decided to take revenge and kidnapped my two sons — Mohammad Yaseen, 16, a student of 10th class, and Faizullah, 14, a 9th class student of Noor School in Dhoke Gujran — on May 15, 2006 from their school in the presence of teachers and students in broad daylight. The captors were three in number.
“I rushed to the Westridge Police Station but the SHO humiliated me and refused to take up the case, terming it a concocted story. Then, I had no option but to seek help from army where I had served for over 17 years. I contacted the Army Centre and went to BRC Centre in Abbottabad but they couldn’t help me out.
“In the meanwhile, the ‘terrorists’ contacted me on my mobile number in November 2006 after about six months of the kidnapping of my sons and demanded Rs1.4 million as ransom for the release of my sons with the threat that they would kill my sons if I informed police. I again decided to contact my ex-department and went to the commander of 4-Corps, Peshawar, who listened to me kindly and referred me to the commander of 11-Corps in Peshawar. The corps commander took immediate action and asked the political agent (PA) to take action against the ‘terrorist outfit’ active in Kurram Agency. When I met with the PA, he suggested to pay them ransom so that they could arrest the captors red-handed after the safe release of my sons but in the case of direct raid, they could kill my sons. The suggestion was good but not feasible for me, as I had not so much amount to pay the ransom to get my sons free from their trap. I remained in Kurram Agency for three days and the ‘terrorists’ kept eye on my activities as I visited the office of PA regularly. However, I came back to Rawalpindi and started collecting the amount from different sources.
“After a long pause, the captors contacted me on my mobile phone at 4 p.m. in the last week of November 2006 and said that I had cheated them and played smart against them, saying that as a reprimand, they are sending me the dead body of my son. They asked me to lift the remains of my son in a gunny bag from Shally Valley at Misrial Road. I took some neighbours with me without informing police, as police was not cooperating with me, and traced the gunny bag at about 9 p.m. lying in the low-lying area with a CD. He was my eldest son, 16-year-old Mohammad Yaseen Anwar who was slaughtered and cut into pieces. They also sent a video in which they captured the scenes of slaughtering and sawing. They put Yaseen alive on the saw-machine (wood-sawing machine) and sawed him into two pieces from middle of his head in front of my younger son 14-year-old Faizullah.
“Another episode started when the captors contacted me a couple of weeks after the burial of my son and repeated their demand of Rs1.4 million ransom with warning that my second son would be killed if I failed to meet the deadline. I had no option but to pay them ransom because I had no nerve to receive another gunny bag containing the pieces of my second son because I had found the law enforcement agencies very weak and the criminals very powerful who threw the remains of my son in my area after killing him. However, I sold out my house and some vehicles to meet the demand of ransom. So, I left for Peshawar on their direction and reached near Haji Camp in Peshawar where they asked me to wait but as I reached there, they asked me to reach Kurram Agency. I hired a taxi and arrived at the said location. In their next call, they asked me to leave the taxi and walk straight in a street where a red car was parked, put the money in the red car and wait for our next call. I followed their directions and started waiting for their call. After a few hours, they asked me to get my son from a low-lying area near mountains (Kala Paharh) in Kurram Agency. I rushed to the tip-off place but found nothing. I kept running here and there for three days but couldn’t trace my son. Finally, they informed me that my son was standing near main entrance of Kurram Agency and I found him there. He was burning with high fever when I got him. I took him to Rawalpindi and contacted the corps commander, Rawalpindi, who directed me to take the boy to the Corp Headquarters, Lahore, and finally admitted to the CMH where the doctors diagnosed blood cancer because the captors have injected intoxicating medicines into his body during one-year detention. I met Imran Khan for providing help in the treatment. He gave me Rs20,000 with a reference chit for Shaukat Khanum Hospital but the administration gave me the estimate of Rs1.2 million for the treatment. However, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan helped me a lot and provided financial assistance for the treatment of my ailing son. I came back to Rawalpindi and again contacted the surgeon general who told me that the only treatment was ‘bone marrow transplant’ which costs Rs3.2 million. I collected the money after selling my whole property for the surgery, which was successful.”
This was not the end of the miserable and painful story of Shamsul Anwar. The ‘terrorists’ again hit him and kidnapped his 14-year-old daughter, Madina Anwar on May 17, 2011 from her school at Misrial Road and shifted her to Kurram Agency. He reported to police and lodged a complaint with the SSP but they did nothing.
After a couple of days, he received a call from the captors who demanded Rs1.8 million for her safe release. “I am sick and tired, having no resources to generate finances.”
But Shamsul Anwar is still looking for a miracle and waiting for help from the heavens amidst cries of his daughter, who is in captivity. The brave man is waiting for the climax of the unending horrific tale. He can be contacted on his mobile phone number 0346-5524259 for any kind of help.