Suggestion: Read this post in the reverse chronological order of events, reading the last news item first.
What is hard to ignore in the whole episode is:
1. The dubious role of Pakistan’s ISI (the double game agency);
2. The unprofessional role of the PFUJ and other professional journalists / organisations who withheld certain important aspects of this disappearance (e.g., the lad’s links with the jihadi and sectarian mafia);
3. The credibility of the missing persons theory, while some of them might have been forcibly (and illegally) kidnapped or eliminated by the ISI, a significant number of them get voluntarily recruited in the ISI cum Taliban’s war on Afghanistan and Pakistan.
4. Now the test is: Will the PFUJ offer an apology or explanation? Will the Supreme Court of Pakistan examine this case further and lead it to its logical conclusion?
اسلام آباد کے صحافی شکیل ترابی کے گمشدہ بیٹے کاپتالگالیاگیا
5 Dec 2010, Updated at 1310 PST
اسلام آباد …اسلام آباد کے صحافی شکیل ترابی کے گمشدہ بیٹے کاپتالگالیاگیا حسن شرجیل ترابی سے والدہ اور ماموں کی پاک افغان سرحد کے قریب لوارا کے مقام پر ملاقات کرائی گئی۔اسلام آباد میں ڈی آئی جی آپریشنز بنیامین نے جیو نیوزکو بتایا کہ پولیس نے اپنے ذرائع سے رابطہ کر کے اس ملاقات کا اہتمام کیا ، حسن شرجیل ترابی خیریت سے ہیں اوران کی والدہ نے بیٹے سے ملاقات کرانے پر انھیں شکریہ کا ٹیلی فون بھی کیا ہے۔ڈی آئی جی آپریشنز کے مطابق حسن شرجیل افغانستان میں امریکی فوج کے خلاف جنگ میں حصہ لے رہاہے۔ ملاقات کے دوارن حسن شرجیل کی والدہ انھیں گھر واپسی کے لیے قائل کرنے میں ناکام رہیں۔حسن شرجیل یکم جنوری2010 سے لاپتاتھے اور خیال ظاہر کیا جارہا تھاکہ وہ خفیہ ایجنسیوں کی تحویل میں ہیں۔ان کی گمشدگی پر سپریم کورٹ نے از خود نوٹس بھی لیاتھا۔
‘Fighting occupation forces’ – Turabi’s son meets his mother: police
5 December 2010
The police are said to have arranged a meeting between the ‘missing’ son of a journalist, Shakeel Turrabi, and his mother in Lowara town near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. According to a police press statement, a police source had arranged the meeting.
Earlier, the Supreme Court had directed the police to arrange a meeting of Turabi’s son, Hassan Sherjil Turabi, with his parents.
The police claimed that his mother, however, failed to persuade Sherjil Turabi to return home because “he wanted to go to Afghanistan to fight the occupation forces”.
Without giving further details of the meeting, the police claimed that the meeting had been arranged via a “police source among the mujahideen”.
Hassan Turabi was reported missing since January 1 this year and his father had accused that Sherjil was abducted by intelligence agencies. He had also lodged a complaint of his son’s alleged abduction.
Earlier, Supreme Court Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry had taken suo motu action in this matter and directed Inspector-General of Police Kaleem Imam and DIG (Operations) Bani Amin to recover the boy.
In the last hearing, the police had informed the Supreme Court that Sharjil’s presence had been confirmed in Lowara, a town few kilometres from Miramshah in Waziristan, where he had been living with militants “and fighting occupation forces in Afghanistan”.
It was contended that he had gone to fight Jihad of his own free will. The court dismissed the case and directed the police to arrange a meeting between Sharjeel and his parents.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 5th, 2010. Source
SC to hear suo moto action against non- recovery of Turabi’s son today
10 Nov 2010
ISLAMABAD, (SANA): Supreme Court of Pakistan will hear suo moto action against non-recovery of abducted Hassan Sharjeel, son of senior journalist Shakeel Ahmed Turabi here today (Wednesday).
Three-member bench of the SC headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and comprising Justice Tariq Pervaiz and Justice Ghulam Rabbani will hear suo moto notice taken by Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry.
Supreme Court has summoned I.G Islamabad Police Syed Kaleem Imam, D.I.G Police, Binyamin for hearing the matter.
14 Sep 2010
PFUJ seeks release of journalists son
By PPI 14 September 2010 Tuesday
Islamabad: The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists has expressed concern over failure of the auditories to locate Hasan Sharjeel, 18, son of Shakil Turabi, the Editor-In-Chief of the Islamabad-based news agency. Mr. Shakil Turabi, believes that “military intelligence agencies were involved in the kidnapping of his son.
He said that he received “a letter in June purporting to have come from the kidnappers, who indicated they wanted a ransom. But details given in the letter for establishing contact turned out to be uncredible.” It is because of my articles. In the past, I was kidnapped and then attacked. Now they have abducted his son. He said sources in the army have told him that his son is being held by a Pakistani intelligence agency. “The grounds for holding his son were his alleged links with an armed group implicated in an attack on a mosque in which senior military officers and their family members were killed”, Mr. Shakil Truabi added. He further said ohe is 99 per cent sure that Hasan is innocent, but if he really involved in illegal activity, let him be tried and hanged. Turabi has been pressing the Islamabad police to seek his sonIs release, if he is innocent, or to bring him to trial if he is alleged to have done something against the law. The PFUJ lamented the concerned agencies failure to trace Hssan Sarjeel.
The PFUJ pointed out that it is the constitutional obligation of the state to protect the life and property of each and every citizen, yet the entire government machiney seems unmoved which is a serious offence. It further said that it is the responsibility of the State Agencies to ensure security of the citizens rather to abduct and torture them. Such allegations have become order of the day in Pakistan owing to unchecked powers grabbed by military agencies. The media persons are fighting for building the image of Pakistan and it would be very unfortunate if media involved in checking activities of state security agencies, the PFUJ observed. The PFUJ regretted that after months of pleading with the military authorities to release his son, Turabi managed to get the case referred to the Supreme Court which was pleaded to order the Federal Interior Ministry to intercede. The PFUJ said irrespective of the identity of the kidnappers and their motives, the facts of this tragic case required to be established without further delay. The accusations that Turabi i against certain sectors of the army are so serious that the President of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardai being Comarander-in-Chief of Armed forces needs to take serious notice of this incident,” The PFUJ stressed.
Who is holding Shakil Turabi’s son?
14 September 2010
New York: Reporters Without Borders supports a request by Shakil Turabi, the editor-in-chief of the Islamabad-based South Asian News Agency (SANA), for the authorities to carry a rapid and thorough investigation into his 18-year-old son’s disappearance since 5 January 2010.
Turabi believes that military intelligence agencies were involved in abducting his son, Hasan Sharjeel. He received a letter in June purporting to come from the kidnappers, who indicated they wanted a ransom. But the details given in the letter for establishing contact turned out not to be credible.
“Regardless of the identity of the abductors and their motives, the facts of this tragic case need to be established without delay,” Reporters Without Borders said. “The accusations that Turabi has made against certain sectors of the army are so serious that the army chief of staff, Gen. Ashfaq Kayani, needs to intervene.”
After months of pleading with the military authorities to release his son, Turabi managed to get the case referred to the Pakistani supreme court, which last week ordered the interior ministry to intercede.
Turabi told Reporters Without Borders: “It is because of my articles. In the past, I was kidnapped and then attacked. Now it is my son’s turn to be attacked. And so they have had him abducted.” He said sources within the army have told him that his son is being held by a Pakistani intelligence agency.
Turabi said the grounds for holding his son were his alleged links with an armed group implicated in an attack on a mosque in which senior military officers and their family members were killed. In a TV interview, Turabi said: “I am 99 per cent sure that Hasan is innocent, but if he really was involved in illegal activity, let him be tried and hanged.”
Turabi has been pressing the Islamabad police to seek his son’s release, if he is innocent, or to have him brought to trial if he is alleged to have done something illegal.
Reporters Without Borders reported the various physical attacks on Turabi in 2007 in press releases.
Shakil Turabi’s son in Gul Raziq custody: Sakhi Afghani discloses in letter
30 June 2010
ISLAMABAD, (SANA): After the hearing of many weeks of Hassan Sharjeel’s suo moto notice by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry the case took a new turn on Wednesday when father of Hassan Sharjeel (Editor-in-Chief of South Asian News Agency Shakeel Ahmad Turabi) received a letter from a person named Sakhi Afghani.
In the letter Sakhi Afghani disclosed that Hassan Sharjeel is in good health and is in the custody of a person named Gul Raziq.
Sakhi Afghani noted that he was a driver of Gul Raziq and he had kidnapped Hassan Sharjeel from Islamabad on 5th January in a vehicle No RIT-3156.
Sakhi also claimed that he is resident of Afghan province Khost and presently is living in Miranshah headquarters of North Waziristan Agency.
He also claimed that he kidnapped children for ransom purposes and presently there are many children in their custody hailing from Punjab, Sindh and other areas and suggested that we (parents of Hassan Sharjeel) should contact Gul Raziq for Hassan’s recovery.
Two telephone numbers were given in the letter and on repeated contacts on one No -which is of district Bannu- given on the letter no response was received.
Contacting on the other No the receiving person was talking in Pushto inquiring him that could he understands English no answer was received but through Pushto translator the person said that his name is Gul Muhammad and he is resident of Lugar province of Afghanistan.
On contacting again the respondent said that he is resident of Kandahar province of Afghanistan and told that he did not know any person named Sakhi Afghani and Gul Raziq and somebody has given you wrong number.
It is also worth mentioning here that Hassan Sharjeel gone missing five months and 26 days ago from Islamabad when he went to college but did not return home till today.
Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry had taken suo moto notice of Hassan’s kidnapping and hearing of the case is fixed for 2nd July tomorrow (Friday) in which the police had been ordered to present Hassan in court at every cost.
Journalists protest before NPC for recovery of Shakil Turabi’s son.
7 January 2010
ISLAMABAD, January 07, 2010 (Frontier Star): Journalists from Rawalpindi Islamabad protested before National Press club here on Thursday for immediate recovery of Sharjeel Turabi, son of senior journalist Shakil Ahmed Turabi. Addressing to protestors President Press club Afzal Butt said that kidnap of Sharjeel Turabi is condemnable. On one side columnists and journalists are facing terrorism while on the other side different pressure groups of political parties are pressurizing media. He said any attempt to harm any journalist would be considered as attack over whole journalist community. It is responsibility of Secret departments to provide security to us not to tease us. Afzal Butt said that journalists are fighting for existence of the country and working for development of the country. He gave time frame of twenty-four hours and said that if nothing would be done in twenty-four hours then they would independently plan their strategy. On this occasion Secretary press club Asim Rana said then if Hasan Sharjeel was not recovered then protest demonstrations would be arranged throughout the country. He demanded from Interior Minister to constitute a special committee for immediate recovery of Hasan Sharjeel.
(THROUGH ASIA PULSE)
14 September 2007
Fourteen-year old son of journalist beaten for his father’s reporting
Hassan Sharjil, Shakil Ahmad Turabi assaulted (CPJ/IFEX) – The following is a CPJ press release:
Outrage as 14-year old son of Pakistani journalist beaten for his father’s reporting
New York, September 14, 2007 – The Committee to Protect Journalists is outraged by the assault on Hassan Sharjil, the 14-year-old son of prominent journalist Shakil Ahmad Turabi, editor-in-chief of the South Asian News Agency. Hassan was beaten by a man outside his school today in Islamabad as he was dropped off for classes at around 6:45 a.m. Another man remained at the wheel of a four-door white pickup truck parked nearby while the beating took place. The pair had shouted to the boy from the truck before the attack began. Pakistani journalists say this is one of the types of vehicles frequently used by plainclothes government security forces.
Hassan’s father told CPJ that the man beating his son told him, “We warned your father to stop writing lies, but he wouldn’t listen. This will teach him a lesson.” Hassan has been moved from the hospital to his family’s home for safety. He was badly beaten on the head and his back was heavily bruised, his father said.
His father, Turabi, had been assaulted on May 18, when he was pulled from his car and beaten in a commercial area of the capital at around 10:45 a.m. That attack came during political tension surrounding the ouster of Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry by President Pervez Musharraf. The day before the May 18 attack, Turabi had written a piece that contradicted government claims that local police, not government intelligence agents, had roughed up Chaudhry when the judge was detained in March.
“For thugs to attack a 14-year-old schoolboy because they do not like what his journalist father writes is an indicator of how little respect for the basic level of law and order remains in the nation’s capital,” said Joel Simon, CPJ’s executive director. “We call upon the authorities to open a full investigation or prosecution and bring those responsible to justice. If not, this incident will be just another gash in the fabric of Pakistan’s disintegrating civil society.”
Turabi said that though he had filed a complaint with the police about today’s attack on his son, he expects the police will not take action or investigate. They did not take action on his case in May, either.
Attacks on journalists by plainclothes police are common in Pakistan and are becoming worse as the political atmosphere heats up about upcoming presidential elections. On September 11, CPJ wrote an open letter to President Musharraf, expressing concern about reports of brutal attacks on journalists by security personnel during that morning’s arrival of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Islamabad.