Reported by Ahmed Jan, JUS Pakistan Correspondent in Islamabad | Source: Translated from Dr. Shahid Masood’s TV Programme “Meray Mutabiq” (According To Me), GEO TV.
Islamabad: The massacre of innocent believers; sisters and brothers, continues to inflict pain and grief on Pakistani Muslims, whose eyes remain focused on whether Islam will prevail in the Land of the Pure that some 600,000 mothers, sisters, brothers and fathers were sacrificed for. Following is an article that described the memories of a renowned Pakistani analyst Dr. Shahid Masood who runs regular weekly programme at a local television channel.
“Brother! Why Would They Kill Us?”
The only crime of those girls was that they came out with an ambition to forbid evil in our society. They got a hold of a lady who was operating a brothel. They made her repent (to Allah) and after couple of days she was released with Hijab! Later, they went to a “massage center” and captured a few women who were also involved in flesh trade. Those women were reprimanded and were released after some preaching. Even though these girls walked with sticks in their hands, they did not break anyone’s head in the country, where every other person in the ministry is associated with the “land mafia”.
After the demolition of the mosques, they moved to capture a library in the neighbourhood! Between the beautiful bungalows of the “broadminded”, stylish and blissful society in the capital of Pakistan, where most spend their nights partying… these simple, innocent Hijab-clad pious souls kept busy reciting the Quran in a corner!!
When I met them for the first time, I felt a sense of annoyance and bereavement in their tone! Sadness and complaints in their eyes… Sick of the society!! Their hands, free from bracelets of gold and nail polish… sticks in their hands showed their utmost helplessness – the same helplessness that is evident in the eyes of those decent and pious girls belonging to humble and poor families!!
When I tried to counter them a little over their behaviour and attitude of what they had been doing, they all defied me at once..!! Shahid Bhai (Br. Shahid)!! You don’t know… Doctor Sahib!! You have no knowledge what’s going on… reference of a Quranic verse… evidence from Hadith… they roared at me all at once!! “Do you know what’s happening in America?”, “This is a conspiracy by Jews!!”, “Tactics of our enemy!!” “It’s a crusade!!” etc. etc… With so much difficulty and after accepting my fault, I was able to calm them!! Their principal, Umm-e-Hassan then informed me that these girls haven’t talked to any of the male guests for long, but they were determined to meet me. I thought it would be good for me if I just listened to what they said. This was altogether a different world for me! They may have been looking out from the windows of their small and dark rooms… daily… to find out good looking fashionable girls wearing Jeans and T-shirts… drowned in the swamp of modernism… driving and passing by!! It’s possible… that while going to the nearby market, tempting beats of musical songs could be reaching their ears… at that small age, their eyes may also have dreams for the future… Their hearts must be pounding thinking about better marriage proposals…!! They also may have feelings to get new clothes for Eid… to wear henna, bracelets and bangles into their hands…!! But, all these desires, aspirations and wishes failed only to get vanished behind their veils so much so that there were no faces… no identities…!! ! Only their voices remained and are still echoing in my ears…
Amongst them was a little girl… somewhere around eight to ten years of age… she was clad in the Hijab with her face visible… She was continuously smiling, not knowing the topic of our discussion… may be… our argument became reason of fun for her…!! “What’s your name my daughter?” she replied immediately “Asma…Uncle!” Her elder sister, who was standing behind, slowly slapped on her head.” No Uncle… Call him bhai (Brother)…”, I’ve no idea why but that little angel laughed even louder to repeat “yes, bhai Jaan!!”… “What do you do”, I asked little Asma. “I study” replied Asma… “What do you study my kid?”… Her sister standing behind her replied “Brother, she’s memorizing the Quran”… “Is she studying anything else?” I asked… “Yes, she says she will become a doctor when she grows up”… her fifteen or sixteen year old sister who was covered with full Hijab replied again! “Are you both sisters?” I asked. “Yes Bhai” elder sister replied while taking Asma into her arms. “Three brothers live in the village… we are from Battagram and we own some fields to do cultivation…”
I was present at Jamia Hafsa and Lal Masjid to do recording of a program. After talking with Ghazi Abdul Rasheed and the students, I said good bye to the students and was about to move with Ghazi Sahib to his room when Asma came running behind me, “Brother, Please give me an autograph”, she was almost out of her breath “My name is Asma and my sister’s name is Aaisha.”!! As usual, I wrote for them a duaa for their longer life…!! When I moved a little, she requested again… “Brother! Please give me your mobile number… I won’t bother you again…” I don’t know why, but quite unusually, I gave her my mobile number and her eyes just shone! Ghazi Rasheed then pulled my hand and said… “Doctor Sahib… she will keep you bothering like that… food must be ready by now… and Abdul Aziz Sahib is also waiting for you” The girl then ran away and I followed through the compressed lanes of the Madrassah to reach Ghazi Rasheed’s room at the back where he said… “Doctor Sahib, I’ll bother you once more as our mother also wants to make duaa for you”… We ate while sitting on the ground when Abdul Aziz Sahib joined us.
We kept talking for some time more. When I requested their pardon to leave, I was presented with a set of their latest book and they took a promise from me that I’ll come here again… both the brothers then came to see me off up to the gate of the Madrassah… I was amazed at the way both the scholars were trying to convince me to come there again…!! Few armed men were roaming around at the gate…
I shook hands with them but avoided any discussion… As soon as I left the gate, that little naughty girl came again saying “Brother, I’ll not call you as my sister’s card gets over… I’ll send SMS… keep replying… please brother…” Her eyes were full of innocence and her style was full with naughtiness… “Yes my daughter! Sure… Allah hafiz” When I turned around while going I saw that her elder sister was also watching from the window! As if it was the whole world for them!
Whoever knows about my personal life is aware that I live around a forest of news!! I spend most part of my day in newspapers, magazines and keep myself buried in the pages of books!!
Therefore, in past three months, when the issue of chief justice took an interesting and complicated turn, I still kept myself busy with these activities. During all that period, from time to time, I kept receiving SMS from an unidentified number… in general translation of a verse from Quran… or a Hadith… or some dua’a… all in Roman Urdu… and in the end, name of the sender… “Your younger sister Asma”… It’s true that initially I could not recall who is sending those messages but one day when I read a message saying “When are you coming to the Madrassah again?”, I recalled that it’s the same little naughty Hijab clad girl whom I promised that I will reply to her!! I immediately replied “Very soon!” she answered “Thank you brother.”
I kept removing those messages from my mobile. Few days back when I heard of the announcement of possible military operation on Lal Masjid and Jamia Hafsah, I desperately started searching for the messages of that little girl, but unfortunately I had erased everything! Hoping that Asma must have left the premises with her elder sister! But I was still at unrest!!! There were no more messages containing verses, hadith! I tried to satisfy myself thinking of the situation where her guardians might have come from remote village to take them home in a hurry, it could be a possibility that they did not get enough chance to inform anyone. Whenever I heard of the announcements like “military operation will start tonight”, “Firing and bombings have started”, “More girl students have surrendered” “There are more women and girls inside” “they’ve been made hostages” etc. etc., my eyes will desperately move to my cell phone wishing that her message come again once… just once! the very same message that I never saved!!
It was the night of 8th July when all of a sudden I received a short SMS saying “Brother… phone card has no more balance… Please give us a call…” When I called, my little… pretty Asma was crying profusely “Brother… I’m very scared! Firing is going on here… I’ll die!” I answered her shouting “Let me talk to your sister…” Her sister then took the phone… “Both of you get out of there immediately… situation is getting worse… if you allow, I can talk to someone to get you out safe from there…” Sound of blasts was still echoing!!!… I felt as if elder sister has secured Asma between her arms while she is still in pain and crying…!! ” Brother, why would they kill us?? They are our Muslim brothers!! They also recite the same Kalimah!! After all, what crime have we committed?? You know Brother! That we also let Shameem Aunty go after little warning… did the same to the Chinese sisters… Brother … this is all their politics… they are trying to scare us” her elder sister said with confidence…!! “See… situation is bad… I’m telling you… get out of there… for the sake of Allah!!!” I felt as if I was ordering them!!!
“Brother!! Why are you worried so much… Ghazi Sahib was saying that they want us to bow down to their demands… There are few brothers outside who are guarding us! Nothing will happen; you will see… military has arrived after all! They will chase the corrupt policemen out of here…!!! Do you know Brother … military men are supposed to be good Muslims… Why would they kill us?? Are we criminals? Are we Indians? Are we Kuffar? Why would they kill us!!! Sister’s tone was full of confidence… She was not ready to listen anything… “Doctor Brother … I feel like laughing that you are trying to scare us!! You also know that these things work out like that! For Asma, she’s scared a bit more… that’s it!… and yes, please don’t disclose our names anywhere… otherwise agencies will arrest my parents and brothers from our village Battagram. Everything will work out Brother! They will never kill us!!”
I then disconnected the phone along with my prayers for both of them and saved their number as well. Next day, there were news of negotiations for hours and as a matter of fact, I was hoping that this week long issue will be resolved very soon; while I was watching these negotiations getting into final stages, I felt that there is something suspicious! I called up few people in Islamabad to express my feelings that this issue seems to be getting worse; they replied that my anticipation of the situation was baseless but it proved to be correct! And after the failure of negotiations by delegation of scholars and the conclusion of Chaudhry Shujaat’s press conference the military operation started… the intensity of which was described by a government officer as “It seems that the whole Indian army has attacked a very small country Bhutan”
Firings… blasts… bombings… shelling… spy jets, gunship helicopters… and Allah knows what else!!!
And then official announcement of the military operation!! I also got a chance to talk to Abdul Rashid Ghazi on TV and then we came to know that his mother is also taking her last breath…!!!
And then during the dawn I received an SMS “Please call”… it was Asma!!
When I called back, I could hear cries, shouting, girls’ voices at the other side… “Hello… Asma!
My daughter! Hello…” Only Allah knew what was happening there… “Hello my daughter… can you listen to me?” I was shouting as loud as I could “Talk to me… what has happened?”
That sentence… will be alive in my ears till my last breath!! A girl`s broken voice who was crying profusely and saying “My sister has died! Dead is my sister” and phone disconnected!
I was getting calls from Studios asking me to comment on the situation… but I was trying to call them again and again with no luck!! I didn’t have power to say or to listen anything!! Myself lacking power of a commando, honesty of Ijaz-ul-Haq and truthfulness of Tariq Azeem, while hearing any blast on TV, I could feel too many cries… with each firing… many sobbing… and within the noise of every bombardment; I could hear the words ” Brother! Why would they kill us?”… There could be small rooms filled with smoke… or there could be firings all over outside… There were many girls… phone was not getting connected… and then there was fire in the building… I wanted to give Asma a departing Duaa’a in lieu of many dua’as that she sent to me… I was unsuccessful!
In the morning when Fajr Adhan were being echoed all over, I thought while making wudhu that those girls clad in black clothes who were arguing with me unnecessarily… would be looking more beautiful in white shroud (kafan)! like fairies…
Good news to the guardians of the flesh trade that Islamabad is peaceful now but it must be sad as well! And like others, following question will chase me for the rest of my life:
Who were those girls? Where did they go?
Oh Pakistani nation! Rise up against this apostate who has rebelled against the Allah’s commands.
Oh Pakistani Ulema! Come forwards and join hands with the innocents of Lal Mosque and shed your fear of this tyrant.
Oh Pakistani Islamic politicians! Shed your hypocrisy and ambiguous stance for Allah shall surely make you accountable.
Oh Pakistani Youth! Rise up for the inevitable battle against the great evil, the United States and her client the Musharraf regime that is worst hypocrite on the face of this earth is on the horizon.
Oh Allah! Grant help to the oppressed women and children who are being slaughtered in your cause by the munafiqeen forces.
Oh Allah! Tear down this evil army and replace it with the believers, and strengthen our hands.