Story of PAF Terrorized Airmen
Civilians can express their sentiments through demonstrations, protest, congregations and press conferences. But being an armed forces personnel, even delay or relent in complying with an order is an offence. You have no choice, your have to do or die and you are not supposed to ask “why”?
Controversial war on terror, which was joined by one of history’s most notorious, despot and venol General, without consensus of the nation, spread an anger and resentment in armed forces also, as well as across the nation.
Ironic curtain of armed forces never leak any news of its defamation. There were some of the patriots in PAF, who never welcomed the Nato and US forces at our PAF Bases. Who could not help expressing their sentiments. They denied to guard US aircrafts. They become the forthright critics of Parvaiz Musharraf anti-Islamic and anti-Pakistan policies. They voted “No” in referendum of 2002, considering it a way to save Pakistan’s ideology.
Such type of their actions, infuriated the loyals of despot in secret services and then what happened?
They were subjected to disappearance form their duty places by Special Investigation Branch (SIB). In habeas corpus, they faced humiliation, brutal and barbaric torture and coercive interrogation tactics such as denude beating, flogging, sleep deprivation etc. by pervert torturers. One corporal Hashmat of Kohat, lost his life, while suffering torture, in PAF custody, at AHQ Islamabad.
For obtaining confessional statements of uncommitted crimes, they were beaten into submission. They were told that their families are in custody of the secret agencies. They were threatened to cooperate and make a confessional statement as per direction or otherwise your wives would be raped. Finally, driven by torture and pressure, they made confessional statements, after 130 days of their disappearance, of the heinous crimes they never committed.
They were court-martialled by biased, prejudiced and military chauvinist PAF officers tribunal after 21 months of their disappearance. The trial was declared secret and proceedings were tempered in the name of confidentiality. No incriminating evidence or pertaining to the case was brought against them. All witnesses were “primed,” who were detained and disappeared airmen indeed, and their reinstatement to the duties was linked with prosecution’s desired avidence. Some of them turned “hostile”. In reprisel of turning hostile, they were also court-martialled and sentenced.
6 airmen were framed-up with fake charges of Jhanda Chichi bridge bomb blast. Their plaintiff was the then president and army chief. So these all described elements resulted in a terrible miscarriage of justice, and they finally awarded death punishment because “law goes as king pleases”.
From the whole procedure of court-martial in 2005 until now they are manacled in shackles and bar-fetters. No one can imagine the tribulation of a condemned prisoner because what the eye does not see the heart does not grieve over.
Since their disappearance in 2004, they are facing perpetual apprehensions, prosecution, torture and human rights abuses. They are deprived of even from their basic and inalienable constitutional rights, in the name of the security.
Doors of higher civil courts are closed for them because supreme court in a ruling in sep 2006 rejecting their appeal, said that the higher civil courts had not authority to hear appeal against courtmartial’s verdicts. But, this ill treatment exists only for them on the behest of hidden elements. Captain Usman Ameer’s death sentence was revoked by apex court on 22nd may 2008, which was awarded by FGCM earlier. Lt. Colonel Munir Ahmed Gul was aquitted and restored to duty by LHC on 12th Jan. 2009, who had been sentenced to two years RI by FGCM. Civilian Imran Munir was released by Supreme Court in July 2007, who had been sentenced to 8 years RI by FGCM. Civilian contracter Ghulam Abbas’s was quashed by SC on 8th May 2009. He was awarded 23 year RI by PAF FGCM in jet fuel curroption case. Is it not the paradox of judiciary?
Still, they are deprived of the copies of their trial proceedings. Is it not ironic, that some men, to be hanged, even cannot touch their conviction proceedings?
Verdicts of civil courts including apex court, can be challenged, criticized, blamed with biasing and prejudice. Their punishments can be termed as harsh, cruel and political and sometime called “judicial killing” such as in Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s case. But armed forces and their courts are “sacred cows.”
Unaware of criminal law and setteling feuds, careless of constitution, tin hat armed forces officers’ verdicts can not be challenged. It means that wisdom of an armed forces officer is worthy than a full bench of Supreme Court in criminal cases.
Was ZAB’s crucification a “judicial killing”? A matter, going to be settled. ZAB’s trial was less prejudiced by military regime of General Zia-ul-Haq than airmen’s trial because courts and judges were civilians al least and that was an open trial. But in airmen’s case tribunal was consist of PAF Musharraf’s loyal officers, trial was “top secret” and plaintiff was the then head of the state and military chief.
More than 200 PAF and army personnel were subjected to disappearance in 2004. All were detained for more than 18 months without charges. They all were declared “High profile terrorists” and sent to Civil high security jails, funded by Americans, in style of Guantanamo bay, after court-martial.
What a ridiculous, these men joined the defense forces in their teenages, long before “war on terror”. Assuming the fact that they are “high profile terrorists” means that armed forces are the massive producer of terrorists.
What these oppressed, ill-fated an unlucky airmen want actually? They want that their case should be remitted for rehearing, in open court, before an impartial tribunal of Supreme Court judges. They seek legal redress for their unjust and unfair dismissal.
ZAB and Nawaz Sharif,s cases are going to be re-opened. For what? To prove their innocence. Will somebody dare to claim the certification of Sepoy Islam Siddiqui a “military’s judicial killing” and will some one raise the question why corporal technician was tortured to death???
By: Adnan Rasheed
Ex Junior Technician of PAF
Pak No. 862476
A courtmartialed convict of
Bridge Bomb Blast Case.
And other convicts are :
Ex-chief Technician Khalid Mehmood pak/851 866 Condemned prisoner
Ex-senior Technician Karam Din Pak/ 854096 Condenmed prisoner
Ex-corporal Technician nawazish ali johar pak/489906 Condemned prisoner
Ex-junior technician Niaz Muhammad pak/860186 Condemned prisoner
Ex-junior technician M.Nasrullah pak/865001 Life imprisonment