In this third instalment of our series ‘Human voices in the War on Terror’ we speak to the wife of a detainee who was taken away in front of his children in Pakistan. His family have had no contact with him since he disappeared about 4 years ago and left his children without a father.
‘My children know their father hasn’t done any crime.’
It was 11 May 2012. The day was Friday and it was around 12.30pm. My husband had gone to pick up our children and he had just parked his car outside our gate in Lahore. Suddenly there were three cars surrounding him, and about fifteen men jumped out. Some were armed, and some were in plain clothes, and on the back of their shirts was the word ‘security’ – my children told me this later.
One of the men came to the car and he said to my husband: ‘You will have to come with us.’
My husband left the keys in the car and went with them. Our neighbour tried to put up some resistance but one of the armed men gestured for him to stop.
My youngest son was just 2 years old at the time and I was with him in the house. My other children came to me and they were all crying. They told me what had happened. My neighbour then came round. He was asking if my husband had any enmity with anyone, but I said he had no enmity with anyone at all.
Agencies were after my husband because he was the spokesperson for Hizb ut Tahrir. His job was to contact journalists and the media and initiate discussions with them. He had got a lot of contacts and he met with many columnists. Hizb ut Tahrir is against any kind of armed resistance against current rulers, and only believes in intellectual and political struggle. He only believed that he should do dawah by word of mouth or by writing.
My children know their father hasn’t done any crime. He was working only for the establishment of an Islamic system.
I was very disturbed and I was in shock, and I tried to calm down. I dialled my father’s number. I just wanted to move away from that house. So I left that house with my children, and I stayed with my relatives until I left for Islamabad to stay with my parents.
I have four children, and my eldest was 10 at the time. My second son was 9, my daughter was 6, and the youngest was 2 years old.
It’s been four years now since I have seen my husband. It is a long time.
We tried to find out about him through our own sources. After the event we went to a lawyer and to Islamabad High Court. Then we went to Supreme Court of Pakistan, then to Lahore High Court. The story is very long. But basically the agencies didn’t want to admit they had him.
We found out through our own sources that he was alive and he was okay. We found this out two or three years ago, but it was an unofficial sort of report, with someone telling us to not say a word that we had spoken to him, but that for our own peace of mind he could tell us that my husband was alive and he was okay. That was a relief.
My youngest son sees pictures of his father and he prays for him all the time. My daughter misses him most. She cries almost every night.
Alhumdullillah we have never been harassed by security agencies or services at all.
But we have also heard nothing of my husband. We have lost all hope in the judicial system. There is a commission for enforced disappearances, and there was a hearing some time ago, when the judge said that maybe in a few weeks we will hear some good news.
I’ve received a lot of support though from HT, thousands of messages of duas, supporting messages on Facebook and Twitter, and even from people who aren’t members of HT.
This has taught me nothing new about War on Terror. I knew it already, but this war was started by the Western powers to weaken the Muslim nation and to stop the emergence of Muslims as a united global political entity.
I am hoping only from Almighty Allah that He may pave the circumstances for my husband’s safe and sound release.
(image courtesy of Adeel Anwer on flikr)
(NOTE: CAGE represents cases of individuals based on the remit of our work. Supporting a case does not mean we agree with the views or actions of the individual. Content published on CAGE may not reflect the official position of our organisation.)